Despite the diversity of metal that occurs in the world, Sweden is basically the go-to country for metal of all genres and periods. Today we get a prime example of why that is, as our two lead albums give us a taste of the range that Sweden’s metal scene has to offer, even in the modern age when the country is best known for the Gothenburg style. Check them both out, along with all the rest of today’s releases, right here!
Hammerfall, (r)Evolution (Nuclear Blast)
Hammerfall took a year-and-a-half long hiatus after the release of 2011’s Infected, in order to spend time with their families and work on side projects. Their return with (r)Evolution marks a return to their older style of power metal, as can be found on albums like Legacy of Kings and Renegade. Listen to the track “Bushido” for a taste of what you can expect on this new record from one of Sweden’s most experienced power metal bands.
The Haunted, Exit Wounds (Century Media)
Another band that is back from hiatus, The Haunted lost most of their lineup after 2011’s Unseen, an experimental album that was panned by longtime fans of the group. The only members remaining, Jonas Björler and Patrik Jensen, recruited former members Adrian Erlandsson (drums) and Marco Aro (vocals), as well as Six Feet Under guitarist Ola Englund, to complete the band’s new lineup. Preview the album by streaming the songs “Cutting Teeth” and “Time (Will Not Heal)”, and you’ll hear just how good The Haunted’s latest ensemble will be.
Earth, Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord)
Drone metal pioneers Earth have been remarkably busy recently. Primitive & Deadly is their third album of new music to be released in the last four years. Of greater note, however, is that Primitive & Deadly will be the first Earth album to feature vocals since 1996’s Pentastar: In the Style of Demons. This represents the latest phase in Earth’s ever-changing repertoire of stylistic additions to their drone-based core. You can see Earth live on September 25th in Brooklyn, NY, headlining one of two benefit shows co-sponsored by Metal Insider and DLF Live. Details for the benefit shows can be found here.
Yob, Clearing the Path to Ascend (Neurot)
Known for creating epic doom compositions with song lengths that put Opeth and Dream Theater to shame, Oregon’s Yob signed with Neurosis’ record label Neurot Recordings earlier this year with hopes to expand their audience. We were lucky enough to preview the album a few weeks ago, and we’re confident that Yob will succeed in that regard. With a knack for experimentation and unparalleled ability to surprise listeners, Clearing the Path to Ascend will definitely make a mark on Top 10 lists among doom metal fans this year.
Code Orange, I Am King (Deathwish)
After releasing one album under the name Code Orange Kids, this Pittsburgh-based group decided to change their name and refine their sound for their sophomore release on Deathwish. The fact that Code Orange sounds similar to Converge is not entirely coincidental, seeing as they are part of Jacob Bannon’s record label and Kurt Ballou has produced both of their full-lengths. This isn’t a bad thing, though, as you’ll hear upon listening to the title track from the album. Give this album a spin if you’re patiently waiting for the next Converge record to drop.
Incite, Up in Hell (Minus Head)
Richie Cavalera has worked hard to make Incite a strong entity on its own, rather than riding the coattails of his family members. The hard work has paid off – Incite is one of the most formidable thrash-core groups on the scene, delivering powerful songs and a jaw-dropping live show that puts some older bands to shame. Up in Hell is the group’s third album, and it is even more punishing that either of its predecessors. Check out the track “Fallen” right here for a small taste of what’s to come on this album.
Dark Fortress, Venereal Dawn (Century Media)
Venereal Dawn is the first new material we’ve gotten from Dark Fortress since 2010’s Ylem. This is somewhat understandable, though, as guitarist V. Santura has been busy with Triptykon since after the release of Ylem. The German black metal group has always been separated from the Norwegian black metal scene due to their strong melodies and willingness to incorporate other genre styles within their base sound. Check this album out if you’re a fan of Naglfar, Dark Funeral, or Lord Belial.
The Color Morale, Hold On Pain Ends (Fearless)
One of many bands rising through the current American post-hardcore scene, The Color Morale have separated themselves from their peers with strongly positive lyrics and a message of hope that is getting harder to find among young bands these days. The Illinois-based group won over a lot of new fans during their stint on this year’s Warped Tour, and used that opportunity to promote their new album prior to its release. You can check out the video for “Suicide;Stigma” (which some of us are accidentally part of) right here.
Wolf, Devil Seed (Century Media)
Wolf is a heavy/power metal group from Sweden that has been around for almost two decades, but has stayed relatively close to the underground for the duration of their existence. Despite never truly breaking out, the band has been remarkably consistent in their output – 2011’s Legions of Bastards was a well-composed affair with plenty of NWOBHM influence. This should hold the interest of fans of White Wizzard, Helstar, and Virgin Steele.
Illdisposed, With the Lost Souls on Our Side (Massacre)
Illdisposed are the longstanding veterans of death metal in Denmark, with a career stretching back to 1991 and an unquestionable influence on almost every Danish metal band to come after them. With the Lost Souls on Our Side is the group’s eleventh album, and it packs an even heavier punch than 2012’s Sense the Darkness. Fans of Hatesphere, Kataklysm, and God Dethroned will not want to skip this one.
Krieg, Transient (Candlelight)
Transient is counted as Krieg’s seventh full-length album, but in truth, the American black metal group has unleashed over 40 different releases across various formats during their career. Originating in New Jersey in 1995 as an evolution of the group started by vocalist Lord Imperial, Krieg has evolved from a stereotypical chaotic black metal group to a more diverse modern black metal band, now incorporating crust punk and noise elements into their sound. If you’re a fan of other American black metal groups like Leviathan or Judas Iscariot, then Krieg is definitely for you.
Next Week: Sweden once again takes the top spot on a much shorter list. Come back and find out who leads things off next time!