10 (More) Metal Albums to Check Out This Fall
Two weeks back, Noisecreep profiled ten top tier metal records to take us all the way to the Mayan calendar melt-down on Dec 21. But why stop at just ten? The likes of Pig Destroyer, As I Lay Dying and The Acacia Strain all have upcoming records worth your attention. Who knows if those year-end "Best-of" lists are going to happen?
So, for your listening (dis)pleasure, may we recommend the following 10 albums?
These Boston bruisers move to the Warped-friendly Rise Records (home to Of Mice & Men and Memphis May Fire) and make a record full violence, irresponsibility and a general disdain for one's fellow man. "We put more time and effort into this than any other record," says vocalist Vincent Bennett, "I can assure you, we are still The Acacia Strain. Feel free to criticize. We stopped caring what people think a long time ago!" Say your prayers kids.
Ecstatic Trance, A Life Once Lost (Oct. 22 on Season of Mist)
Forget the fact that these Philadelphia riffians have undergone a couple of massive membership shifts. A Life Once Lost's Season of Mist debut foregoes the expected groove of past offerings for a fuzzed-out, creative headfuck of a record! According to guitarist Doug Sabolick: "Our new LP, Ecstatic Trance, will pummel you into the ground for 34 minutes straight. It's our most cohesive album. We have always done what we wanted no matter what "scene" people lump us in and this record is proof. We also do not put out the same record over and over. This album you can zone out to while listening and let it tale you on your own personal journey (drugs recommended)."
Awakened, As I Lay Dying (Sept. 25 on Metal Blade)
If you thought these San Diegans had pigeonholed themselves as the Motorhead of metalcore, think again. With producer Bill Stevenson (he of Descendents/All/Black Flag drum notability), they eschew the expected to make their best record in years. Says guitarist Phil Sgrosso: "There's nothing totally out of left-field, we just refined our songwriting and incorporated some ideas that bring a real freshness to the record. We wanted something that was a lot bigger and more open sounding, and that's exactly what we achieved. Bill Stevenson is a very intelligent guy, and he'll be honest with you - if he's not feeling it he'll tell you straight, 'I'm just bored here, something else needs to happen.' He'd look at a song and instinctively know what would improve it, and having that fresh perspective onboard helped so much."
All We Love We Leave Behind, Converge (Oct. 9 on Epitaph Records)
Forget simple notions of "hardcore", "math-core" or "punk" as these now-legendary Bostonians once more elevate their rapacious art. Converge continue to defy categorization. What can you expect? Of course they are going to remain as sonically iconoclastic as ever. "No artificial distorition, triggers or Auto-Tune," says producer and guitarist Kurt Ballou. Meanwhile, frontman Jacob Bannon continues to step-up Converge's visual artistry with a special edition of the record that includes a 28-page hardcover book. Says Bannon: "I think we really stepped up our game on this record. He most important thing to this band is that we want to create something that excites us and moves us."
Unsung Heroes, Ensiferum (Aug. 28 on Spinefarm Records)
The Finnish "Sword Bearers" (the English translation of the word 'Emsiferum') pull up their longboats, grab their blades and stand ready to do battle once more. The likes of "In My Sword I Trust" alone will keep their seats reserved at the round table in folk metal Camelot. Unsung Heroes is the most ambitious and epic work we have made so far," states bassist Sami Hinkka. "We pushed the boundaries on the two key elements of Ensiferum's music: folk and metal and the result is a really heavy, bombastic and beautiful album full of emotion. From the first notes of atmospheric intro "Symbols" to the last fade out of majestic final track "Passion Proof Power", this album takes the listener to a challenging but rewarding journey. So unveil your blade, join the Folk Metal Revolution and let the Sky Dome rumble with our battle shout: In My Sword I Trust!"
10 Other Must-Hear Metal Albums This Fall
I Begin, God Seed (Oct. 23 on Indie Recordings)
Former Gorgoroth frontman Gaahl and bassist King Ov Hell pick up where they left off before duking it out with Gorgoroth guitarist Infernus in a lengthy court battle over their erstwhile band's name. While the recordings from that time became the one-off Ov Hell record with Dimmu Borgir's Shagrath on vocals, God Seed (the band-name taken from a song on the last Gorgoroth album the pair were involved with) continues on these black metal contenders wicked way – with a few twists and turns on the left hand path. Says King: "We have worked hard for two years on what is going to be our debut album, I Begin. I have used my '70s influences more on this record combined with what Gaahl and I did in the past. I think we have made a record that will surprise quite a few. This is a different new beginning."
A Map of All Our Failures, My Dying Bride (Oct. 16 on Peaceville Records)
British Funerialists My Dying Bride enter their 21st year of a career as musically upbeat as a crib death. Guaranteed: Mausoleum Fresh. "It breaks the heart and treads purposefully on the soul leaving a nasty dark bruise. I find it elating to listen to but then, I do have a rather sinister outlook on life," states frontman Aaron Stainhorpe on a cheery note.
Book Burner, Pig Destroyer (Oct. 23 on Relapse Records)
It's fucking Pig Destroyer, awright! It's a 32-minute, 19-second "Weapons Hot" grind assault with plenty of twists and turns. Here's what sampler Blake Harrison has to say: "Book Burner is a an auditory assault on the senses. Fierce and brutal and nothing short of a severe bludgeoning."
Emerald Forest and Blackbird, Swallow the Sun (Out now on Spinefarm Records)
The Finnish doomsters do their best Opeth impression (that being a compliment) and concoct a 67 minute opus of a record. Nightwish frontwoman Annette Olzon even gets in on the act on the track "Cathedral Walls." "How to mix a perfect drink of gloom and doom?" queries guitarist Juha Raivio. "Throw in some Type O Negative, Marillion and My Dying Bride and add a few drops of black metal and ice from Finland. Drink and survive, fucking cold!" Rarely does a bum-out sound this necessary.
The Curse Remain Cursed, Vision of Disorder (Sept. 18 on Candlelight Records)
Vision of Disorder has a lot to answer for - sparking modern metalcore as a genre for starters. Now a decade since their last album, From Bliss To Devastation, VOD sound more ornery than where they left off. "It was a real motherfucker to write this record," says frontman Tim Williams. "It took spit, balls, bloody knuckles and hate. We mixed them all together, turned up the heat and delivered a record worthy of the VOD brand. It touches on all the finer points that we as musicians have to offer. With no scene to piss off and no label to please we were given the solitude we needed to feed the fires that forged The Cursed Remain Cursed."