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!
Ape Vermin, Arctic Noise (Koloss Records)
For fans of: Mastodon, Eagle Twin, Lair of the Minotaur
Standout track: “Megaliths of Echo”
You might see the mammoth on the cover of Ape Vermin’s Arctic Noise and think, Ah, groovy stoner metal. But while there are plenty of thick caramel riffs on Arctic Noise, there’s also a serious harshness present throughout. The album never drifts along, but instead wrestles its melodies with steel gloves, to great effect. Sure, it’ll sound great while high, but it’s definitely more Sativa than Indica, and proves that this band aren’t simply another crew of swamp-sloggers. Only three songs, but each one rules in its own way.
Sumo Cyco, Initiation (Napalm Records)
For fans of: My Ruin, Chronic Future, Incubus
Standout track: “Love You Wrong”
Initiation proves that the nu-metal revival has moved beyond worshipping the genre’s early heaviness and into reliving the scene’s latter-day reggae-informed phase. Sumo Cyco sound like a Second Stage Ozzfest band circa 2001, and while this has a certain nostalgia factor to it, that nostalgia is also replete with ball-chain necklaces and transluscent green visors. Though earlier tracks like “Love You Wrong” and “Vertigo” err on the side of real metal, later cuts like “M.I.A.” and “Run With The Giants” might prove a little too crunchy for typical metal dudes. Hey, some menus have steak, some have multi-colored popcorn.
Reality Grey, Beneath This Crown (Blood Blast Distribution)
For fans of: Nightrage, Cannae, Corporation 187
Standout track: “Kings of Nothing”
The power of Reality Grey is that they channel the heart of a movement in metal…that no one really knows about. This Italian band is pure 1999 – 2005 melodic Swedish thrash-death, carrying the torch once held by bands like Carnal Forge and The Forsaken. Don’t really know those bands? Exactly! But for those of us deep in the fuzz of early-Aughts melodeath, this shit is pure comfort food. For everyone who was listening to records by Impious and In Thy Dreams on their Discman in ’01, this record will take you back.
Cvlt Ov The Svn, We Are The Dragon (Napalm Records)
For fans of: Raven Black, Bloody Hammers, Vile A Sin
Standout track: “My Venom”
There are a lot of mixed messages behind Cvlt Ov The Svn’s new record. The logo and all the V’s in the band name suggest an ultra-grim black metal band, but the music is super-listenable goth-aggro with a vocalist who sounds like a world-worn necromancer awoken from an ancient slumber in his LA apartment. Parts of this will appeal to fans of goth metal, black metal, and nu-metal, though they will undoubtedly be confused by how disparate the record is. We’re…here for this, we think. Wait, they have a song called “The Pit?” Nevermind, best band ever.
Lord Vampyr, The Vampire’s Legacy (Sleaszy Rider)
For fans of: Cradle of Filth, Theatres des Vampires, a bunch of vampires in a vampire cathedral
Standout track: “The Evil’s Origin (Strigoi pt. II)”
Fourth wall break: I am stupidly obsessed with vampires and Dracula. Thankfully, Lord Vampyr are, too, and on The Vampire’s Legacy the Italian three-piece make the kind of percussive symphonic black metal that jagoffs like me live for (jaggoves? Is ‘jagoff’ like ‘wolf?’). Sure, there’s nothing groundbreaking here, but what it does provide is shitload of ripping songs about vampires, vampire victims, vampire legends, and sipping hot plasma from a chalice in your crypt because you’re an undead ghoul in league with night’s armies. Grow fangs, bite someone, drink their blood, explode into bats.
- Hecatomb, Horrid Invocations (Invictus Productions)
- Acid’s Trip, Strings of Soul (Heavy Psych)
- The Crooked Whispers, Dead Moon Night (Helter Skelter)
Words by Chris Krovatin