For most bands, releasing an EP does one of two things. One, it offers bonus tracks or demo material from a recently-released full-length album, stretching the experience and giving fans even more of what they want to hear. Two, it acts as a stopgap between two albums to keep fans satiated while writing and recording for the new album is completed, while also usually raising interest levels for the new album and enticing people into purchasing or even pre-ordering it. However, there are some bands that will find other ways to make EP’s more purposeful and interesting to their fans, and that is exactly what we see here today.
In the wake of their signing to Metal Blade, Between the Buried and Me has taken the next step in their unwitting march towards global domination. Over the past four years, the North Carolina-based group has taken its place alongside The Dillinger Escape Plan, Opeth, and Mastodon as one of the definitive progressive metal bands in the metal world. Now, armed with their new contract and the success of both Colors and The Great Misdirect, Between the Buried and Me’s new EP tops this week’s list of new releases.
Between the Buried and Me, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues (Metal Blade)
According to various interviews, this EP is the first part of what is to be a two-part concept piece, something that the band is second to none at creating (see Colors and The Great Misdirect as proof, if you need it for some reason). While only carrying three songs, this EP is still half an hour long and carries the trademark Between the Buried and Me experimentation. And with a second, equally excellent piece still to come, Hypersleep Dialogues is going to be one of the most popular EP’s in recent metal history.
Thursday, No Devolución (Epitaph)
Say what you want about Thursday, but you can’t deny that they know how to write some damn good riffs and hooks. The New Jersey heroes of post-hardcore have gotten dark and more ambient on their sixth album, with more balanced musical input from the entire group and insightful lyrics from Geoff Rickly. It may turn some older fans off, but the development shown on this album already has critics raving.
Pentagram, Last Rites (Metal Blade)
The pioneering doom metal group was on hiatus for a long time for the release of Last Rites. It’s been seven years since the release of Show ’em How, and although Peaceville and Relapse Records filled the void with a number of reissues and compilations during the years off, it just didn’t feel the same. Having Pentagram back in action will likely awaken many older doom metal fans and attract them to some of the scene’s newer bands at the same time. In other words, doom metal is better with Pentagram active and producing new music at all times.
Red Fang, Murder the Mountains (Relapse)
Red Fang is Relapse’s new focus band, taking four musicians from four very different bands to create a new, cohesive stoner rock group. Given the success of Torche, Bison B.C., and Black Tusk in recent years, this new wave of stoner rock seems to be a very attractive genre among the metal faithful. Red Fang’s appearance on the Mayhem Festival this summer may be a bit out of place alongside the rest of the lineup, but that won’t deter them from drawing in a lot of new fans, most likely.
Letlive, Fake History (Epitaph)
Fake History initially came out last year on indie label Tragic Hero Records, but the album received such good reviews that the band earned a contract on Epitaph this past February. The first order of business was a re-release of the highly successful album, with new artwork, three extra tracks, and plenty of other goodies. If you’re a fan of Glassjaw, Defeater, or other post-hardcore artists in the same vein, then Letlive will be your new hot album of the year.
Also being released this week:
Indian, Guiltless (Relapse)
Last Chance to Reason, Level 2 (Prosthetic)
Victims, A Dissident (Deathwish)
Young Widows, In and Out of Youth and Lightness (Temporary Residence)
Believer, Transhuman (Metal Blade)
Complete Failure, Heal No Evil (Relapse)
Jesuit, Discography (Magic Bullet)
Too Late the Hero, Statement of Purpose (ReThink/The End)
Cypherseer, Origins (Nightmare)
Next Week: A short week graces us with some excellent new releases and some re-issues and older material for re-release. Check out what’s to come next week!
(P.S. Yes, we are doing something for Record Store Day. Don’t know what that is? Want to find out? Check back on Friday!)