This week’s release schedule isn’t dead, but there is a lot of talent that is unexplored by many. Give some of these albums a listen for some undiscovered gems. Of course, you’ll know the lead band as the self-proclaimed heaviest band in existence, and one of the few with the credentials to back a claim like that up.
Oceano, Ascendants (Earache)
Every album that Oceano has released has featured skull-crushing breakdowns and Adam Warren’s impossibly guttural vocals. Unfortunately, that’s all that’s the same here, as Warren is the only remaining member of the lineup that recorded 2013’s Incisions. That doesn’t stop Ascendants from being one hell of a ride, though.
Dødheimsgard, A Umbra Omega (Peaceville)
Often abbreviated as DHG, Dødheimsgard is one of the most prolific avant-garde groups in the European underground. The Norwegian group may have begun their career as a black metal group, but these days, their music progresses far beyond any single genre. This is the first album for the group since 2007’s Supervillain Outcast, so fans of the band will be chomping at the bit to hear it.
Liturgy, The Ark Work (Thrill Jockey)
Before Deafheaven rocked the scene with Sunbather, Liturgy awoke a phenomenon with their jaw-dropping sophomore album Aesthethica. Since then, the band has taken their time in creating its successor, losing and re-gaining members in the process, and being willing to include anything at all that struck their fancy. The Ark Work is streaming now on NPR, so you can hear the mind-blowing creativity that Liturgy have created before immediately picking up this album.
Barren Earth, On Lonely Towers (Century Media)
This Finnish group brings together current and former members of Amorphis, Moonsorrow, Turisas, Kreator, and many other bands to form an intensely powerful progressive metal unit. The group’s sound draws just as much from old prog rock from the ’70s as it does from death metal. Barren Earth also holds the distinction of being the first Finnish band to sign to the legendary Peaceville Records, although they signed with Century Media for the release of this album.
Sorcerer, In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross (Metal Blade)
Sorcerer’s career began in the late ’80s with the release of two very promising demos. The Swedish band called it quits in 1992, but they resurrected themselves in 2010 to create and release their first full-length album. In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross may have taken five years to make, but it’s worth the wait. The band’s style has been dubbed “Epic Doom Metal”, which may not sound feasible, but believe me when I say that it works to fantastic effect on this album.