New Metal Out Today: 2/26

It’s Friday, which means two things: giving the 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!

Alice Cooper, Detroit Stories (earMusic)

For fans of: Iggy Pop, KISS, Blue Oyster Cult

Standout track: “Go Man Go”

It’s always interesting to hear Alice Cooper go street rock rather than spooky theater freak, and Detroit Stories is a collection of just that. The record’s definitely a lot more jangly and fun than some of the spiderweb-dwellers would prefer, but in that respect it offers a different side of Cooper than some are used to. Meanwhile, those who dig Alice for his van-friendly ’70s sleaze material will probably get a huge kick out of this release. It’s classic rock about being a rebel — just have fun with it.

Black Sheep Wall, Songs for the Enamel Queen (Silent Pendulum Records)

For fans of: Dillinger Escape Plan, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Torche

Standout track: “Ballad of a Flawed Animal”

If you got into Black Sheep Wall during their sludgy days, get ready to be challenged. There’s still some of that ultra-heavy slamming power on Songs for the Enamel Queen, but those moments are peppered between frantic scrambling, high-pitched howling, and guitars that shriek like a car driving down a too-narrow alleyway. The sheer amount of anger on this record will leave some fans confused, but will have the majority of them overwhelmingly delighted. A cool record, but requires a bit of an ugly mood to fully appreciate.

Einherjer, North Star (Napalm Records)

For fans of: Vreid, Tombs, Kampfar

Standout track: “Echoes In Blood”

Among their peer group, Einherjer were one of the more interesting bands — always a little less typical, always a little more experimental, always steeped in the true weirdness of the Viking thing. North Star sees them adding a level of catchiness and thrashiness to their sound, but still maintaining an attitude that will alienate all the fairweather Viking metal fans. Dynamic but perpetually driven, the record is a killer new way to see one of metal’s unusual stalwarts. You can raise a drinking horn to this, but there better not be a Budweiser product in it.

Jarhead Fertilizer, Product of my Environment (Closed Casket Activities)

For fans of: Mortician, Skinless, Creeping Death

Standout track: “Silence the Narc”

FFFFFUCK. The cover of Jarhead Fertilizer’s Product of my Environment may make you think it’s going to be a DIY hardcore record, but make no mistake, this is death metal at its nastiest. Full of squealing pinch harmonics, colonoscopy vocals, and drums that sound like they’ve been buried alive, this record is an excellent sonic bulldozer. At the same time, the band avoid the gore route that so many of their peers revel in; this music may be intestinal, but it sounds like more than just actual entrails. A deeply satisfying soundtrack to human decay.

Other crushers:

  • Moonspell, Hermitage (Napalm Records)
  • Culted, Nous (Season of Mist)
  • Of Mice & Men, Timeless (Sharptone)
  • Ominous Ruin, Amidst Voices that Echo In Stone (Willowtip)
  • Coffin Mulch, Septic Funeral (Redefining Darkness)

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Words by Chris Krovatin