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!
King Woman, Celestial Blues (Relapse Records)
For fans of: Mantar, Chelsea Wolfe, Alice In Chains
Standout track: “Coil”
So rarely does a record stand up to its hype like King Woman’s Celestial Blues. From the moment Kris Esfandiari released her video for the single “Morning Star,” the metal world was abuzz about this album; now that it’s out, it’s every bit as killer as people expected it to be. From the ecclesiastic opening title track to the frantic venom of “Coil” to the lush shadows of closer “Paradise Lost,” the record is a breathtaking piece of Luciferian vitality that cements Esfandiari as one of heavy music’s most interesting and important artists. Hail horrors, hail.
Dee Snider, Leave a Scar (Napalm Records)
For fans of: Jasta, Sabaton, Accept
Standout track: “Open Season”
Man, fuck anyone who doesn’t get down with Dee Snider. The former Twisted Sister frontman’s solo work is utterly dedicated to metal at its purest, and Leave a Scar only continues this tradition. The album is a punchy, sneering slab of classic groove metal with lyrics about living for rock and laughing at the haters — pretty much everything old-school heads want in a metal record. Just put on a leather jacket and nod along to this one. Tall boys will help.
Karloff, The Appearing (Dying Victims Productions)
For fans of: Carnivore, Vanik, Death Breath
Standout track: “The Sound of Discipline”
One might see the name ‘Karloff’ and assume this band play spooky horror-worship. But nope, these Germans make gnarly black’n’roll, with plenty of hardcore punk thrown into the mix. The result is an album that feels dark and horror-oriented in the way that, say, the Misfits or Vampire do, but retains a sense of devil-may-care attitude. It’s a lot of fun, but not, like, carnival fun. Vandalism fun. Mailbox destruction fun.
Tombstoner, Victims of Vile Torture (Redefining Darkness Records)
For fans of: Nervosa, Power Trip, Frozen Soul
Standout track: “Sledgehammer”
If you had to take the Staten Island Ferry, you’d be this pissed off, too! Tombstoner’s name might make you think oozing death-doom, but their music is kinetic, thrashy, and brutal as hell. There’s just enough speed and dynamics in their rhythms and attitude to keep Victims of Vile Torture from sounding like just another cavernous death metal record. That said, these dudes still go tuned-down and wily with it. Might be one of our albums of the year — and we didn’t even know about them until today.
- Swallow the Sun, 20 Years of Gloom, Beauty and Despair – Live In Helsinki (Century Media)
- Axel Rudi Pell, Diamonds Unlocked II (Steamhammer)
- Tragedy, Disco Balls to the Wall (Napalm Records)
Words by Chris Krovatin