New Metal Out Today: 11/20

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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!

Killer Be Killed, Reluctant Hero (Nuclear Blast)

For fans of: Gojira, Machine Head, Strapping Young Lad

Standout track: “Filthy Vagabond”

The fact that Killer Be Killed are a ‘supergroup’ — their members include Soulfly’s Max Cavalera, Mastodon’s Troy Sanders, Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato, and Converge’s Ben Koller — shouldn’t discourage purists from putting on Reluctant Hero. This album fucking rules, its groovy hard-rock-meets-aggro-metal vibe making each song both listenable and gripping. But it’s the two polar songs on the album, the fast-as-fuck “Filthy Vagabond” and the melancholy title track, that make this one of 2020’s must-hear albums. Get on it.

Dark Tranquillity, Moment (Century Media)

For fans of: Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Enslaved

Standout track: “Identical To None”

For the past thirty years, Dark Tranquillity have made some of the most interesting melodic death metal around, and Moment carries that legacy one step further. Sure, there’s a lot of shimmer on this record, but there’s also quite a bit of believable rage, and plenty of bluesy solos. Tracks like “Identical To None” and “Standstill” are the kind of exceptional tracks that set Sweden’s death metal scene above its peers in the first place. It’s exciting to hear that these guys can still make an album this good.

Tombs, Under Sullen Skies (Season of Mist)

For fans of: Triptykon, Asphyx, Prong

Standout track: “The Hunger”

With each new album, Brooklyn’s Tombs expand their sound in novel ways — but on Under Sullen Skies, the band have captured lightning in a bottle. A resonant mixture of doom, goth, and groove metal, Sullen sees Tombs celebrating their love of the dark without hesitation or irony. Opener “Bone Furnace” and merciless vampire anthem “The Hunger” would be typical if written by a band trying hard to sound heavy or dark, but with Tombs distinct style and their complete lack of pretense, they’re menacing as fuck. Mike Hill is the goddamn man.

Horncrowned, Rex Exterminii (The Hand of the Opposer) (Ketzer Records)

For fans of: Belphegor, Ravencult, Funeral Mist

Standout track: “Unrepentant”

We like our death metal how we like our ladies: big, loud, and outspoken in their love of the Devil. Thankfully, Colombia’s Horncrowned have made just such an album with Rex Exterminii, a grandiose piece of death metal mastery will shake the rafters of any temple with its muscular power. Though plenty of the record is a blast of unholy noise, the band utilize enough of black metal’s atmosphere to give this one a sense of towering blasphemy. Put this on at Christmas next month, and see what happens.

Other crushers:

  • Fuck The Facts, Pleine Noirceur (Noise Salvation)
  • My Dying Bride, Macabre Cabaret EP (Nuclear Blast)
  • Ilsa, Preyer (Relapse Records)
  • Nader Sadek, The Serapeum EP (Independent)
  • Eternal Champion, Ravening Iron (Independent)
  • Witchwood, Before The Winter (Jolly Roger Records)
  • Subterranean, Rotten Human Kingdom (Transcending Obscurity)
  • Skelethal, Unveiling The Threshold, (Hell’s Headbangers)
  • Goatcraft, Mephistophelian Exordium (Hessian Firm)
  • Symbtomy, Demo I (Immortal Souls Productions)


Words by Chris Krovatin