Hello, Metal Wani readers! It is I, Yidu and today I am bringing you my picks for 10 Metal Albums You Should Listen To for July 2016. For this segment, we will be covering the full length releases that came out in July. July is the second most important summer months of the musical year. With July, the second wave of summer releases are presented. This July provided some good albums to listen to. Here are some of my favorites. These lists are designed to showcase some new music for our readers and to promote music from the metal underground. Before we start, I want to make it clear that these lists are not “top lists” or “best of lists”. Instead, these lists consists of albums that I feel are highlights of the previous month. Please note, that this is only my opinion and my opinion only.
Starting off with number 10, we have the new album ‘Welcome to the Graveyard’ by Canadian/American Doom Metal act, Castle. The band plays a blend of Heavy and Doom Metal and fits nicely along with other recent, similar sounding acts like Christian Mistress, Witch Mountain, Mount Salem, and Demon Lung. Fronted by Elizabeth Blackwell on vocal and bass duties, the band has an ethereal vibe to their approach but still maintain a nice grit to their sound with the crunchy guitars and warm bass underneath. Elizabeth’s vocals gently lay on top, and along with the mixing, gives a more distant soundstage for her vocal contributions, warming up the sound (Pallbearer comes into mind). If you’re a fan of female fronted Heavy and Doom Metal, check this one out. It’s a gentle album that remains in the middle ground between the two genres. Recommended tracks include “Hammer and the Cross” and “Down in the Cauldron Bog”.
At number 9, we have ‘Hope Misery Death’, the new album from American band, Pestifere. Pestifiere plays a style of Melodic Black/Death Metal that fans of the classic Swedish sound would love. Pulling influences from bands like Sacramentum, Dissection, Unanimated, Gates of Ishtar, and Dawn, the band delivers an album full of melodic aggression that will melt your face. Great melodic riffs, blistering drums, and good vocals can be found on this album. Alongside the melodic tendencies, the band can switch from leaning on a more energetic Black/Thrash Metal tendencies and then go in the opposite direction and take a step back and allowing their melodies to play through in a manner similar to what you’ll find in Atmospheric Black Metal bands and Melodic Death Metal bands. Recommended for fans of melodic styles of Black and Death Metal. Recommended tracks include “Peregrine’s Timbre” and “Tomb of Monumental Decay”.
For number 8, we have the new album from Whipstriker, ‘Only Filth Will Prevail’. Whipstriker is a Heavy/Speed Metal band hailing from Brazil. The band has a large discography (mainly splits) filled over the six years so far, but ‘Only Filth Will Prevail’ is their third full length album. Whipstriker plays a good blend of Heavy Metal and Speed Metal, mainly focusing on the Speed Metal portion of their sound. You can expect awesome riffs, good drumming, and vocals (almost Black Metal like) that compliment the sound well. The biggest star of this album is the guitars and the riffs they deliver. The riffs are catchy, melodic when it needs to be, and have bursts of Heavy Metal flair that delivers the energy of each track. Recommended for fans of Heavy Metal and Speed Metal who don’t mind raspy/shouted vocals in their music. Recommended tracks include “Waiting for the Doomsday” and “Nuclear Metal Blood”.
For number 7, we travel to Finland, the land of an old but thriving Black Metal scene. One of the most famous one man bands of the scene (well predominantly one man), Baptism, returns with their fifth full length album, ‘V: The Devil’s Fire’. As a big fan of Black Metal and the Finnish scene, I was intrigued in what Lord Sargofagian could do. With the new album, I can say it’s easily the best album Baptism has put out. Evil atmosphere, great vocals, good drumming, and sinister riffs plague this record. The album rarely takes a break from what it sets out to do and that is to provide great sounding Black Metal. Definitely recommended for the Black Metal fan. Recommended tracks include “The Sacrament of Blood & Ash” and “Malignant Shadows”.
For number 6, we have the second album from the Canadian Black Metal horde A.M.S.G., ‘Hostis Universi Generis’. I first heard this band with their debut 2013 album ‘Anti-Cosmic Tyranny’. The style of Black Metal the band plays can be described as evil and relentless, but also melodic at times. After a solid follow-up 2015 EP, I was excited to listen to what the trio could do with their new album. The band, improving their sound and capabilities, delivers a great Black Metal record that I would say is their best record so far. Awesome riffs and good drumming really help bring their music to life, filling it with aggressive vigor while daring to be twisted. The album also explores new grounds of experimentation by adding the usage of various electronics, didgeridoo, and even saxophone. This band is a great example of good Canadian Black Metal outside the Quebec Black Metal Scene. Fans of Black Metal should definitely check this out. Recommended tracks include “Astral Projections Of Lucifer” and “Baptized In The Blood Of Galaxies”.
At number 5, we have the new “split” album, ‘Disposal of the Dead/Dharmata’, from German Death Metal legends Defeated Sanity. Personally, a majority of modern Technical, Brutal, and Progressive Death Metal have not resonated with me as much as some of the other styles of Death Metal out there, but Defeated Sanity has been an exception. With each release the band delivers a stronger album, and with their newest offering, I would say it’s their most ambitious and enjoyable release. The album plays out into halves, with the first half ‘Disposal of the Dead’ being their classic Technical Brutal Death Metal sound that does not get carried away with itself. Like their previous album, this side of the album is well written and is miles ahead of the generic modern tropes. On the second half, ’Dharmata’, the band switches to a Progressive Death Metal sound which boasts interesting songwriting and winding riffs, but again, does not get carried away with itself. Definitely recommended for the band’s fans and fans of these styles. Recommended tracks include “Generosity Of The Deceased” and “Return To Samsara”.
Heading to the Northern California, we arrive in San Francisco for our number 4, the sixth album from the band Hammers Of Misfortune, ‘Dead Revolution’. Hammers Of Misfortune is a six-piece Progressive Metal band featuring current members of bands like Vhol, Vastum, and Death Angel. Unlike the other bands the members are apart of, Hammers Of Misfortune features their own unique quirks like having four vocalists (2 male and 2 female, one of each on the new album) and incorporation of other instruments like piano, organ, and trumpet. ‘Dead Revolution’ is a fantastic collection of varied Progressive Metal tracks that bolster exploration while maintaining a well-rounded sound (some folk music is explored on this album too). With Joe Hutton and Leila Abdul-Rauf on vocals, the band possesses a captivating balance between the two voices and the rest of the band, creating an album that shows creative strides but does not fall flat in its organization. ‘Dead Revolution’ is the band’s best record of the past decade. Definitely recommended for Progressive Metal fans and people who want to hear something different. Recommended tracks include “Dead Revolution” and “Days of ‘49”.
For number 3, we arrive in the Canadian capital, Ottawa for our next band, The Night Watch. The Night Watch is a four-piece instrumental Progressive Metal band that are capable to go beyond the generic Progressive Metal tropes and reach for new horizons of influences and nuances. As a result, their music is well-crafted and dynamically varied featuring violin and percussion. On their new album ‘Boundaries’, the band sets out on the difficult task of crafting a single-track album that is capable of captivating the listener, providing a progression of ideas, and supplying a dynamically fluid continuation of sound without dragging, imploding, and boring the listener. The Night Watch delivers an almost 40 minute track that succeeds in creating a track that’s dynamic in composition, sound, and atmosphere without being reliant on repetition, generic tropes, or gimmicks. Recommended for Progressive Metal fans and those who want something new and different. Check out the track below.
At number 2, we have the legendary Dan Swanö’s newest album ‘The Northern Sanctuary’ from the Swedish band Witherscape. Witherscape is a Progressive Death Metal duo featuring Dan Swanö and Ragnar Widerberg that gets coupled with the “Atmospheric” tag. I was first introduced to this band with their debut 2013 album, ‘The Inheritance’. On their new album, Witherscape delivers an album that not only contains what could be found on their previous album (a balanced Progressive Extreme Metal sound), but also added some additional faces to the music that can be described as “heavy”, “aggressive”, and “energetic”. Dan’s vocals aged very well and contributed beautifully to the whole feel of the album. Great guitar and bass work from Ragnar really brings out the mood, melody, and attitude of the album while Dan provides the great drummy and keyboards to add additional layers to the sound. ‘The Northern Sanctuary’ is the duo’s best album out. Fans of Progressive Metal and Death Metal should definitely check this album out. Recommended tracks include “Wake of Infinity” and “In The Eyes of Idols”.
At number 1, we have the long awaited follow up album to ‘Melancholie²’, by German band ColdWorld, ‘Autumn’. ColdWorld is the one man Black Metal band and brainchild of Georg Börner. After 8 years of waiting, the band released their second album, the follow up to their acclaimed debut. ‘Melancholie²’ is considered a Depressive Black Metal classic and plays out like a numbingly winter which extended its stay. ‘Autumn’ continues where ColdWorld left off by providing yet again, a melancholic album but this time, the band added some new nuances that instead of just having a bleak blizzardy winter scene, there’s a warm fire in the middle of all the gloomy and frigid atmosphere. ‘Autumn’ is capable of making you feel desolated but provide a glimpse of warmth, scattered across the the album. The guitars pave way like falling snow with intricate melodies (sometimes Neofolk and Post-Rock inspired), the drums kick like the winter wind, and the vocals provide the harshness and serenity of winter. However, the album also have parts where warm melodies melts away the cold, providing interludes that are not only comforting but also able to add to the great atmosphere and the solemn feel of the album. Fans of Black Metal, especially Atmospheric/Ambient/Depressive/Post-Black/Blackgaze styles, should definitely listen to this album. Recommended tracks include “Scars” and “Climax of Sorrow”.
This concludes our journey this month. Here are 5 other albums that did not quite make the list that I want to touch upon. Here are this month’s honorable mentions.
Carnal Tomb – ‘Rotten Remains’
German Death Metal newcomers Carnal Tomb unleashed their debut album ‘Rotten Remains’. The album consists of nothing but filthy Old School Death Metal (OSDM) that all fans of OSDM would enjoy. Great guitar tone, good riffs and drumming, awesome vocals, the band delivers everything an OSDM album needs. Great record for Death Metal fans to enjoy.
Ghoul – ‘Dungeon Bastards’
American Death Metal band Ghoul takes more on a pure Death/Thrash Metal approach to their sound on the new album ‘Dungeon Bastards’. Improving from their lackluster 2011 album, the band delivers a Death Metal record that is fun and entertaining to listen to. Not much of the Hardcore Punk influence is left, but the influence does contribute nicely to the sound. Death Metal fans take note.
Saboter- ‘Mankind Is Damned’
Saboter is a new Heavy Metal band from Greece. Releasing a debut EP last year, the band returns with their first full length ‘Mankind Is Damned’. Catchy guitar leads and strong vocals really brings out the band’s sound. Saboter joins the ranks of the bands from the quickly developing and flourishing Greek Heavy Metal scene. Fans, old and new, would definitely enjoy this one.
Seedna – ‘Forlorn’
Swedish band Seedna, is a newcomer in the Atmospheric Black Metal scene. With their debut album ‘Forlorn’, the band delivers a record that goes beyond the stagnant pitfall of Atmospheric Black Metal and creates a well-crafted record that delivers melodic and melancholic passages that blossoms over the album. Fans of the style should definitely check this one out.
Summit – ‘The Winds That Forestall Thy Return’
Summit is a predominantly instrumental Progressive Post-Metal solo project by Gabriele Gramaglia (The Clearing Path). With his debut album, ‘The Winds That Forestall Thy Return’, Gabriele creates an album that blends Progressive and Post-Metal very well while at the same time staying varied and providing a cinematic atmosphere. Progressive Metal and Post-Metal fans will enjoy this.