As I pointed out last week, we’ve been in a biweekly pattern for quite awhile now, where one week oversaturated with new releases will be followed by a week where next to nothing comes out. It’s these weeks where the well has run dry that we metal fans must stay devoted to our artists. With lineup changes, record label bureaucracy, touring incidents, and so many other factors making it harder for bands to stay active, the least we can do is throw them our support in the weeks where we have some extra cash. If you don’t find anything you like on today’s list, why not go buy an album from the first three months of 2012 that piqued your interest when you first heard of it, but never got around to buying it? Or better yet, why not try a band that’s similar to things you like but that you’ve never heard before? It’s the little things that make the difference to our artists, and you doing your part helps the vitality of the metal community that much more.
Today’s list is led by a veteran noise rock/metal group from New York City. They’ve been around since 1988, but are only on their seventh full-length album. Still, this group has their own uniqueness that has always been a defining characteristic. A plethora of other lesser-known bands fill out the rest of the list. So take a glance at some new names and see if you find something to your liking!
Unsane, Wreck (Alternative Tentacle)
If you’re like me, your first major exposure to Unsane was through video games – their song “Committed” was featured on the very first Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, while “D Train” showed up on True Crime: New York City. Those who have been longtime fans of Unsane, though, know that the group came out of the same noise rock revolution that spawned Helmet, Cop Shoot Cop, and many other high-intensity groups from New York City in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Wreck is best summarized as a sonic history lesson on the group that couldn’t be felled by anything, not even their three-year hiatus at the beginning of the decade. If you’re a fan of noise rock, crust punk, or heavy upbeat stoner metal, then Wreck is a required purchase this week. Our buddies over at Metal Sucks are lucky enough to have an exclusive stream of Wreck for your listening pleasure. And if you need further convincing for some reason, just catch Unsane on their upcoming Spring tour with the Melvins.
Split Cranium, Split Cranium (Hydra Head)
Isis may have broken up in 2010, but Aaron Turner is not one for sitting idly by and letting the days pass without creating something. The former vocalist and guitarist of the post-metal icons is now letting his aggression go full force in Split Cranium, a crust punk group that also features Jussi Lehtisalo, bassist for influential Finnish experimental rock group Circle. If nothing else, this makes for an interesting study in musical contrasts. It seems as though Turner decided that, for every ambient and melodic element that made Isis so beloved by their fans, Split Cranium would that much more abrasive and disharmonious. This album is not going to attract any mainstream attention, but it should rule the underground like the raging beast that it is.
Also being released this week:
Rise & Fall, Faith (Deathwish)
Desultor, Masters of Hate (Abyss)
Automatic Static, Number IV (Authentik Artists)
Subwaste, Broken Machine (Warbird)
Fester, A Celebration of Death (Abyss)
Sadistik Forest, Death, Doom, Radiation (Violent Journey)
Only Fumes & Corpses, Selfish Act I (Lockjaw)
Eye Beyond Sight, The Sun and the Flood (Massacre)
Bloodline, Calm Before the Storm (Wizard Works)
Next Week: We’re keeping with the pattern all through March Is Metal Month, as the final week of March features over two dozen new releases already. On top of that, more than half of the releases on the schedule are well-known artists with big followings. Get ready for yet another overrun of new metal!