The technical gods smile upon us today, as some of the best technical metal bands in the world unleash new music today. These new albums come amidst a week already packed with great releases, so this should be a great week for metal. If all goes well, there will be some new albums making an impact on the top 200 next week. Check it all out!
Obscura, Akróasis (Relapse)
It has been several years since we’re received new music from the German technical death metal masters, but as always with Obscura, Akróasis is worth the wait. Production duties returned to Dark Fortress guitarist V. Santura, and based on the three tracks that have been revealed so far, we can already say that Akróasis will be a top album of 2016 for many. Check out the title track, “Sermon of the Seven Suns”, and “The Monist” if you have any doubt that Obscura is the real deal.
Fleshgod Apocalypse, King (Nuclear Blast)
Both northern and southern Europe are representing technical death metal this week, as Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse delivers their fourth album as well today. Initial impressions of King are that the album is more methodical and classically-inspired in its approach, but it still delivers with skull-crushing intensity. You can check out the very NSFW video for “Cold as Perfection” to see for yourself, and if you like it, that link will also show you dates for the band’s tour with Carach Angren and Abigail Williams that starts next week.
Drowning Pool, Hellelujah (eOne)
Drowning Pool’s second album with vocalist Jason Moreno is their first as part of the eOne roster. The album, produced by Jason Suecof, was originally scheduled to be released two weeks ago, but was then postponed to today. Drowning Pool promised that this would be their “most metal record…to date.” Check out lead single “By the Blood”, which premiered on Loudwire back in November.
Rhapsody of Fire, Into the Legend (AFM)
Into the Legend is the second album from Rhapsody of Fire following the amicable split with Luca Turilli. Although 2013’s Dark Wings of Steel was a somewhat rocky start for the band’s new era, they seem to have things righted on this new album. This album marks the debut of new bassist Alessandro Sala.
Prong, X – No Absolutes (SPV/Steamhammer)
Prong pulled out all the stops to make this new album their hardest hitting. Tommy Victor and company have crafted a record that hits hard right from the get-go, but continues to deliver high-quality songs for the entirety of the album. Prong sounds tighter and more cohesive on this record than anyone would expect for a band of their age, making X – No Absolutes required listening for any thrash and groove fans.
Textures, Phenotype (Nuclear Blast)
After releasing Dualism in 2011, Textures engaged in a lot of touring, including their first tour of the United States, before taking nearly two and a half years off to write their next two albums. Now the Dutch group is back with the first of these new releases. Phenotype contains the polyrhythmic, technical excellence that we’ve come to expect from Textures, and will surely top Dualism in quality and innovation. Next year’s Genotype is a planned single-song album lasting 45 minutes, which will build on the music introduced in Phenotype.
Seven Sisters of Sleep, Ezekiel’s Hags (Relapse)
Los Angeles may be most well-known for producing polished, well-produced hair metal and metalcore over the years, but there is a dark underbelly to LA that few in the metal community have seen. Now it is being exposed, with the advent of Seven Sisters of Sleep. This sludge group came together in 2010 and quickly earned a spot with A389 Records. Ezekiel’s Hags is the group’s third album and their debut with Relapse.
Product of Hate, Buried in Violence (Napalm)
Originating from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Product of Hate started making waves in the early 2010s, playing shows and self-releasing demos and EP’s to get their name out, and building a strong underground following as time passed. They earned themselves a spot opening for Allegaeon and The Agonist on last year’s “Get Rekt Tour”, and their performances were enough for Napalm to offer the group a deal. Buried in Violence is the group’s first full-length release.
Degradead, Degradead (Metalville)
Consistently active in the Swedish underground, Degradead continues to be a force in the European scene whilst trying to break out in America. The band’s self-titled fifth album was recorded last year and is intended to commemorate the band’s 15-year career, the first six of which were spent under the name Septima.