The ratings are on a 5 star scale.
Arceye - 'At First Light' (Hostile)
Genre: Thrash/Death Metal
Before you ever hear vocals on the British band Arceye's sophomore album At First Light, you get a blistering guitar solo. That sets the tone for the album.
Arceye blend uptempo thrash with more moderately paced death metal, creating songs that are groovy and riff-based, but also have plenty of shredding. There are a few instrumentals on the album as well, where you'll hear soft and mellow acoustic sections. The closing instrumental "Dusk" has a flamenco vibe. It's a very diverse but still cohesive album that runs the gamut of styles and genres, and doing it well.
Black Water Rising – 'Pissed and Driven' (Metalville)
Genre: Psychedelic/Death Metal
Oil is liquid dinosaur and black water rising is a phrase describing oil’s power to drown the greedy. Black Water Rising, the band, brews an oily gumbo of Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age and a slew of Red Dust bands to ladle out their political sludge.
Powerful playing while thudding like dinosaurs in a metal Jurassic age, BWR does hard rock while keeping a hoof tip in the metal waters… those black waters of combustion and seventies memories.
Borracho - 'Oculus' (Strange Magic)
Genre: Stoner Metal/Rock
For their sophomore album Oculus, Borracho guitarist Steve Fisher also assumes vocal duties. But the D.C. band doesn't miss a beat consolidating from a quartet to a trio.
Borracho deliver all the standard stoner rock/metal trappings, but their songwriting makes them stand out. The songs are lengthy, but extremely catchy. Even though there aren't any vocals on the opening track "Empty" until 5 minutes in, the memorable riffage will have already sucked you in. There's a lot of variation in tempo, Fisher's vocals are more than adequate, and the songs burrow into your brain. Before you know it, 35 minutes have elapsed, the album is over, and you are jonesing to hit repeat.
Eminence - 'The Stalker' (Self)
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
The Brazilian band Eminence return with their latest album The Stalker. Even though they have been around since 1995, this is only their fourth full-length, and first since 2008. Sepultura bassist Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr. also lends his talents to a couple songs on the album.
Eminence's sound is built on death metal. Sometimes it's fast and blast-beat driven. Other times it is slow and crushing. The band infuses thrash elements, too. Bruno Paraguay shows a wide variety of extreme vocal styles, from guttural growls to throat-shredding screams. There's some melodic singing as well. The production by Tue Madsen is well-balanced, showing their heaviness and power, but adding some polish and separation.
In Silentio Noctis - 'Disenchant The Hypocrites' (My Kingdom)
Genre: Symphonic Black/Gothic Metal
Three years after their debut album was released, the Italian band In Silentio Noctis return with an almost entirely new lineup and a new EP Disenchant The Hypocrites. The only holdover is vocalist Armi Päivinen.
The three songs on the EP are orchestral and cinematic, blending the majesty of symphonic black metal with the emotion of gothic metal. Päivinen's vocals bridge that gap perfectly. Her operatic style is able to cut through or ride above the arrangements. The three bombastic and dynamic songs on the EP bode well for the future of In Silentio Noctis.
Lacerated and Carbonized - 'The Core Of Disruption' (Mulligore)
Genre: Death Metal
With a name like Lacerated and Carbonized, you know you're going to get something brutal, and that's exactly what the Brazilian band delivers on their sophomore album The Core Of Disruption.
In addition to crushing riffs and endless blastbeats, you'll hear a guitar solo or two, adding some spice to tracks like "Awake The Thirst." Jonathan Cruz utilizes the typical guttural death metal vocals, but higher pitched backing vocals and overdubs give it some variety. The lyrics reflect the violence and seedy underbelly of their hometown of Rio de Janeiro, adding authenticity to the record.
Nothnegal – 'Nothnegal' (Season of Mist)
Genre: Maldivian Folk Metal
Nothnegal were formed in the Maldives, a country of atolls floating in the middle of the South Nowhere Ocean where metal bands are as common as Studebakers. This four song EP centers around the second song, “Rannamari,” which refers to a folkloric sea monster.
The EP has a rich, brooding sound. It’s melodic and dark with a minimalist production that allows exotic percussion to swirl around Affan’s tempered vocals. Nothnegal initially feels familiar, but with “Viha” something unique lurks beneath the waves.
Panzerchrist – 'The 7th Offensive' (Listenable)
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
The aptly named seventh full length from Danish war revellers Panzerchrist sees them shrugging off the vast majority of their black metal influences and wading through the trenches of melodic death metal. This entire record is a powerhouse, boasting fast paced double bass blast beats, chunky down tuned guitars and ferocious vocals.
All 10 tracks are completely unrelenting and the impact is like blunt force trauma to the ear drums. What prevents this from lazily rolling down the slope of generic Cannibal Corpse sounding music are the huge romps of melodic passages that are accessible enough to not sound out of place on an In Flames album, but do not detract at all from the intense brutality.
Raving Season - 'Amnio' (My Kingdom)
Genre: Gothic/Doom Metal
Amnio is the debut full-length from the Italian band Raving Season. A gothic band having dual vocalists is extremely common, but having both female growling and operatic singing is much less common.
Judith has a voice that's sometimes piercing, other times ethereal. That's in stark contrast to the intense growls of Federica. The songs are dark and atmospheric, with mellow rock transitioning into heavy doom. They are painstakingly composed, with some interesting melodies and a lot of depth. However, it needs a few more memorable hooks, as some of the longer tracks start to meander.
Genre: Death Metal/Electronica
Their name is unusual, and so is their music. The German band We Butter The Bread With Butter are releasing their third full-length Goldkinder, but it's the first time they are getting a physical North American release.
WBTBWB combine standard death metal/deathcore with electronic elements. Some songs are heavy, others much more accessible. The electronic elements aren't tacked on or additional flourishes, they are an integral part of the band's sound. Growls and shouting vocals mix with melodic German singing. Some songs are downright dancy, but still have metallic guitars. It's a unique album that fits equally well in a disco or a mosh pit.