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!
Exodus, Persona Non Grata (Nuclear Blast)
For fans of: Anthrax, Testament, Municipal Waste
Standout track: “The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)”
While so many thrash bands are fast and acrobatic, Exodus’ strength comes heavily from how utterly pissed-off they sound — and in that respect, Persona Non Grata is a triumph. This album is so angry, so salty and rough around the edges and incensed, that one can help but find themselves grunting and pounding the table as they listen to it. Make no mistake, there are still delicious riffs and solos abound here, and Tom Hunting sounds like cancer must be fucking terrified of him, but it’s that rage, that acid burn, which makes this one thrash harder than others. Come on, get angry.
Khemmis, Deceiver (Nuclear Blast)
For fans of: Spirit Adrift, Pallbearer, High On Fire
Standout track: “Obsidian Crown”
Denver’s kings of epic downer metal are back, and this time around, they’re not holding back a goddamn thing. Deceiver is Khemmis at their most outright metal, taming riffs that blaze and melodies that soar. Meanwhile, the band’s spiritual side is stronger than ever; there’s a sense of ritual on this album, a feeling that one is immersing themselves in the soul of the music rather than just listening to it. Though some might miss the band’s stoner-rock galumph of previous records, metalheads will see this as a massive moment of growth for the band, embracing the heights that we’ve always known them capable of reaching. The headbanger’s sonic equivalent of going to church.
Converge and Chelsea Wolfe, Bloodmoon: I (Epitaph)
For fans of: Darkest Hour, All Pigs Must Die, King Woman
Standout track: “Viscera of Men”
Interesting! The joining forces of Converge and Chelsea Wolfe could’ve gone either way, but as it is, Bloodmoon: I is a grand success. Both artists obviously worked hard to write music that showcases each of their unique abilities, which is what keeps this from feeling like a mismatch. Wolfe’s haunting vocals complement Converge’s emotional gush, while the band’s ominous noise creates excellent framing for the singer’s mournful tones. Pick this one up — it’s cooler than perhaps even we expected.
Obscura, A Valediction (Nuclear Blast)
For fans of: Gorguts, Gojira, and weirdly enough Dragonforce
Standout track: “In Adversity”
It’s hard to lock down exactly what Obscura are — ultra-dramatic thrash? Raging tech-death with acoustic intros? — but A Valediction definitely showcases what the band do at its most entertaining. The German crew’s dulcet intros and proggy bass are still ever-present, but there appears to be a greater emphasis on catchiness and melody this time around. This also seems to make their cosmic scope more accessible; it just feels easier to get these guy on this album. Definitely worth a listen, even if you haven’t always been a fan.
- Swallow the Sun, Moonflowers (Century Media)
- The Lurking Fear, Death, Madness, Horror, Decay (Century Media)
- Pathology, The Everlasting Plague (Nuclear Blast)
- Theatres des Vampires, In Nomine Sanguinis (Scarlet Records)
Words by Chris Krovatin