Hey y’all, here’s where I’m going to share what I’ve been listening to and really enjoying over the past week or so. I can’t guarantee that I’ll pump one of these out every single week, but hey, I’m trying new things. Ain’t that what life’s all about?
I can’t pretend that I’m reviewing a bunch of things that are constantly thrown at me and this list is what I’m reeeeaaaally listening to, man. I’m just a guy who picks albums off Spotify for one reason or another, listens to them, and writes about them. That’s it. So, it may be that my list of what I’m jamming that week is just what I’ve reviewed that week. Capiche?
Demolition Hammer – Tortured Existence (1990)
Damn, man. I don’t know how I missed Demolition Hammer when I discovered thrash in high school and when I discovered OSDM as a freshman in university. One of the funnest albums I’ve heard in a long time. The production isn’t the greatest, but it’s dumb thicc and the bass is actually audible. Kind of toes the line between charmingly rough and fuckin’ heavy as balls, as odd as that is. The riffs are nonstop bangers, and the lyrics are totally of the era. Dopey, crude, and catchy as hell. “PRACTICING WITHOUT A DEGREE! FORTY-FOUR CALIBER BRAIN SURGERY!” Awesome.
Depravity – Evil Upheaval (2018)
Straight up brutal death metal that hearkens back to Vital Remains‘ all-of-the-everything-all-the-time approach to the genre, and damn is it heeeaaavvvy. One of the best sounding albums I’ve heard in a while. Honestly, just check out my write-up. Everything I said there still stands. This album hasn’t lost its luster yet, and to be honest, it kind of kicked off a death metal deep dive that I’m still digging through.
Serocs – The Phobos / Deimos Suite (2018)
This shit right here is why I fell in love with death metal in the first place. One of my favourite albums of all time is Cryptopsy‘s None So Vile, its nonstop onslaught of groovy riffs, blastbeats, and incomprehensible vocals set the bar in my mind as to what the heaviest extreme metal should aim for. After binge-reading through Metal Injection’s The Obituarist column, I decided to check out Trevor Strnad’s top album of 2018 and Jesus Christ, does this rip. Think mid-90s Cryptopsy mish-mashed with Cattle Decapitiation‘s incalculable speed, with a small garnishing of neo-classical riffing thrown in just for funzies. Uncle Trev was right, this is some seriously righteous stuff that is leagues beyond what everyone else is doing.
Judas Priest – Turbo (1987)
It can’t all be doom and gloom, right? Turbo is an album I’ve been told to stay away from for a while, and honestly, if I had checked it out back in high school when I first got into metal and Judas Priest, I probably would have hated it. Now that I’ve got a broader appreciation for things that don’t have blastbeats, Turbo fits right up my alley. It’s made of neon and leather, and combines some of Priest‘s killer guitar and vocal work with some ridiculously catchy choruses an hooks. “Locked In” has got to be my new favourite song to jam when I can to let loose, party, and feel like I’m part of a roaming band of leatherdaddy bikers.
Knocked Loose – Laugh Tracks (2016)
Okay, back to the doom and gloom. Knocked Loose have blown onto the scene with their debut full length Laugh Tracks. This is one of the most pissed off albums I’ve heard in a long time, probably since I last listened to No Absolutes In Human Suffering by Gaza. This might be more charged full of anger than the new Cult Leader record, which is saying a lot. This album is mostly midtempo slammers, reminiscent of Weekend Nachos, but only the breakdowns and mosh sections. This has been my go to gym soundtrack for getting amped up to hit heavy sets as of late, and turns out if I start the album as I leave the change room, I’m lining up to hit my top set right around where the breakdown of “Counting Worms” kicks in. Hell yes. ARF! ARF!