As always, there are a plethora of great and not so great albums coming out January through February. It’s hard to chose which releases to buy and some new ones to try out when there are so many to choose from. Metal has a ridiculous amount of subgenres, which typically just confuse the listener and cause arguments. This guide I’ve written up summarizes many new albums to help you determine which ones are worth a listen and even buying.
Captivity and Devourment by Armageddon
If you’re looking for some fast and intense Death Metal without any Melodic annoyances, the latest release by Armageddon is certainly for you. This album is 100% heavy and brutal, containing excellent grooves and blazingly fast guitar work. The vocals are incredibly heavy and dark, but not to grating on the nerves. Songs like Locked in and Conquer have a modern catchiness that gives the album a lasting effect on the ears and mind. Some of the sounds and musicianship in the album are cliche Death Metal, but the typical fan who likes it straight up heavy will probably love this album.
Sounds Like: Mastodon, Pantera, Sepultura, Scar Symmetry
Album Rating: 7/10
Cessation by Dead in the Manger
If you like Blackened Doom Metal and all out Death Metal, Dead in the Manger’s newest album “Cessation” is probably everything you’ve been looking for. This album is heavy, dark, fast, and heart wrenching. Its ghoulish and devilish sounds are mesmerising and heart pounding. “Cessation” is everything I like about Black Metal; It is raw, powerful, all over the place with tempo, and you can’t understand one word from the deafening screams. This album as if the world has so sun, no hope, no faith. It is perfect, even if it is extremely short.
Sounds Like: My Dying Bride, Summoning, Dimmu Borgir, Darkthrone
Album Rating 8/10
New World Order by Deathbreed
Deathbreed is just pure, heavy, unedited Death Metal with Thrash influences. “New World Order” is not a one sound album that you’re used to with Death Metal. There are some Symphonic sounds as well to try to make the album more diverse and complicated. However even with the attempt at diversity, I found the vocals on this album to be unbearable. The album lacks anything that sets it apart from other Death Metal albums, making it a throw away release for me. But, if you the traditional side of the genre you might like this album. If you require more mature and knowledgeable sound in your Metal, don’t even bother buying this album.
Sounds Like: Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Entombed
Album Rating 2/10
Fool’s Gold by Iron Lamb
Iron Lamb is a Hardrock band from Stockholm, Sweden and have strong Classic Rock influences that come out very well in their music. The new album “Fool’s Gold” is an album that is derailed instrumentally, like a runaway train in the 1800s in America. It is a great blast from the past with guitar solos rampant and well produced. This album is excellent if you crave the raw sounds of Rock in the 60’s and 70’s. Every song sounds similar to each other, lacking dynamics, but it is still enjoyable on some levels. I don’t care for the vocals on this album too much, because they sound the same on every song, but some might enjoy the heavy grit. “Fool’s Gold” is out now.
Sounds Like: Mastodon, Danzig, SPIDERS, Volbeat, The Cure, The Smiths
Album Rating 6/10
The Harmonic Passage by Winterage
If you’re a Power Metal fan and Speed Metal lover, Winterage may be an excellent choice for you. Winterage mixes Folk, Symphonic, and Theatrical influences with upbeat Power Metal. There is orchestral work spread throughout the heaviness, giving good contrast. The guitarwork is fast and tight, surprisingly well executed. The vocals are not annoying, cheesy, or overpowering and I actually quite enjoy their vocalist’s range. The drums are typical rhythmic and tight drums, easy to follow along with. The synths act as a extra lead guitar, making for a fun and energetic sound. The lead violin is also a fun Folk twist on this particular style of Power Metal. This album is a treat amidst all the Death Metal, giving diversity to your winter releases.
Sounds Like: Hammerfall, Serenity, Orden Ogan, Nightwish, Lyriel
Album Rating 6/10 Worth a Listen
Ravenhead by Orden Ogan
If you like very good quality heavy Power Metal, this album should fill all your desires for anthemic Metal. “Ravenhead” is precise, fast, heavy, melodic, and creative all at the same time. The album ebbs and flows with darkness, then hope and desperation. I really enjoy all of Orden Ogan’s music, as it has the most obvious Scandinavian sound to it. However, the band is German and has industrial influences integrated, no doubt from the uprising of Rammstein. Orden Ogan is just a really solid band. I highly suggest all of their releases.
Sounds Like: Hammerfall, Sabaton, Crimson Shadows