It’s Friday, which means two things: giving this week the finger, and new music! Tune in every Friday for The Pit’s round-up of new releases, from singalong hard rock to pus-drenched underground death metal. Keep those ears bleeding!
Corey Taylor, CMFT (Roadrunner Records)
For fans of: Sevendust, Nickelback, Sixx A.M.
Standout track: “European Tour Bus Bathroom Song”
There’s a lot to take in on Corey Taylor’s debut solo record, not just in the number of styles the singer experiments with, but in what it means for rock and metal culture. For a generation of fans — this writer included — Corey Taylor has always been the volatile frontman of one of the world’s craziest bands, so to hear him making what is basically an adult contemporary hard rock record evokes mixed emotions. That said, there are still some hard-hitting moments here, such as “Culture Head,” “Everybody Dies on My Birthday,” and the aforementioned closing track, which channels the irreverence that Taylor channeled on Slipknot tracks like “I Am Hated” and “Get This.”
DevilDriver, Dealing With Demons I (Napalm Records)
For fans of: Lacuna Coil, Slipknot, Darkest Hour
Standout track: “Vengeance Is Clear”
DevilDriver are if anything reliable. Even while they’re doing new things, Dez Fafara’s occult metalcore outfit (fuck you, what else are we supposed to call them?) bring all the double-bass drumming and head-throttling riffs that one is craving when they pop a DevilDriver record on. Dealing With Demons I definitely shows the band exploring their more goth- and doom-oriented tendencies at times, with Dez using clear vocals on “Wishing” to drive home an eerie vibe. But it’s also chock-full of the pit-swirlers one wants, even if they’re too faux-classy to admit it most of the time. A nuanced and impressive variation on a traditional potato dish, but still, fuck, how good are potatoes?
Anaal Nathrakh, Endarkenment (Metal Blade)
For fans of: Naglfar, Emperor, 3TEETH
Standout track: “Feeding The Death Machine”
There are only a handful of bands who can pull off an album cover featuring a severed pig head with dick eyes, and Anaal Nathrakh are probably the best of them. Endarkenment shows the British black metal genre-fisters going heavy on their power metal side, but this only lends grandeur towards their terrifying industrial cult sound. While song titles like “Create Art, Though The World May Perish” and “Libidinous (a Pig with Cocks in its Eyes)” feel a little much, the songs behind them are even more, and will warrant repeated listenings to full grasp. The most fun you’ll have wondering what the fuck is going on.
Vanik, III (Mercenary Records)
For fans of: Bat, Rigor Mortis, Devil Master
Standout track: “Carmilla”
If you’re rejoicing at the onset of the Halloween season but find Cradle of Filth and Type O a little floofy-doo, Vanik are here to rip you to shreds with a cloud of bats. The Ohio-based trio play ripping horror-thrash that embodies the spooky, rebellious side of Halloween, which sometimes feels as though it lost its way post-Return of the Living Dead. For “serious” thrashers (and if you consider yourself that, dude, figure your shit out), this might be too cobwebby, and for goths it might feel too bro’ed out, but for a specific type of metalhead who yearns for October so they can hang up paper skeletons while getting ripped on pumpkin beer, this is the album of the year.
Sarcoptes, Plague Hymns EP (Transcending Obscurity)
For fans of: Absu, Nightwraith, Vreid
Standout track: “The Vertigo Soul”
Well, fuck, THIS rules! Listening to Plague Hymns, one might think Sarcoptes come from the coldest depths of Ukraine or Romania, but nope, these guys are from Sacramento. And yet, this two-song EP packs all the looming old-world darkness of black metal, and yet does so with considerable thrash chops and a distinctly kinetic production sound. The result is music with a dramatic majesty that also rages hard as fuck, and which should endear fans from any of metal’s nastier subcultures. Gets better every time you listen to it.
- Sumac, May You Be Held (Thrill Jockey)
- Enslaved, Utgard (Nuclear Blast)
- Nachtblut, Vanitas (Napalm Records)
- Fate, II (Caligari Records)
- Amaranthe, Manifest (Nuclear Blast)
- Six Feet Under, Nightmares of the Decomposed (Metal Blade)
Words by Chris Krovatin