The best fall music release calendar in history rages on. However, today’s list carries a bittersweet note with it, as our lead album may be the last new material we get from a much-beloved band in the technical metal scene. It’s never easy to see a band hanging it up, especially after such a distinguished career, but it happens. Let’s send one of the best of all time off in style today!
The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dissociation (Party Smasher Inc.)
Although there is the possibility of a follow-up album containing additional music recorded during the making of this album, the members of Dillinger have made it clear that this marks the end of the band. After one last tour as a thank you to all of the fans, The Dillinger Escape Plan will be over. It will be hard to see them go, as Dillinger has been one of the most unique bands in all of heavy music for the entirety of their career. However, at least we know that they are going out at the top of their game, since Dissociation is even better than its predecessor, the critically-acclaimed One of Us is the Killer.
Darkthrone, Arctic Thunder (Peaceville)
At this point, it should be clear that Darkthrone are not returning to their pure black metal roots anytime soon. And that’s okay, because the band’s punk-inspired approach to blackened heavy metal has found its footing in a whole new legion of fans that only want more. Arctic Thunder teases at some black metal elements at various points in the album, but overall, this is more of what we’ve come to expect and enjoy from Darkthrone in the past 15 years, because it works.
Red Fang, Only Ghosts (Relapse)
Striving to be more ambitious and wanting to bring a more diverse feel to their sound, Red Fang has kept fans guessing about the style of Only Ghosts from the time that the first single was released. Channeling everything from Queens of the Stone Age to Cathedral, Only Ghosts shows just how talented Red Fang can be. You can stream the album in its entirety through our friends at Metal Injection, and also try out their Tetris-inspired game “Fangtris” while listening.
Wormrot, Voices (Earache)
After releasing Dirge in 2011 and touring all over the world, Wormrot announced in mid-2012 that they were taking a long break, during which they would write material for a new album. That new album has finally arrived, and Singapore’s most promising metal export is back to break more heads. This album marks the recording debut of new drummer Vijesh Ghariwala, who was recruited to the band after former drummer Fitri fell out of contact with the other members under strange circumstances.
Anciients, Voice of the Void (Season of Mist)
Rapidly becoming one of the most prolific progressive outfits in the country, Anciients garnered a lot of attention with their 2013 debut Heart of Oak. The Vancouver-based group is now showing their heavier side on the sophomore follow-up Voice of the Void. Inspired by current world events and trends of things getting worse before they get better, the album is punctuated by a harder musical edge overall and much more cynical lyrical themes than their debut.
Eden’s Curse, Cardinal (AFM)
Despite what the cover art would have you thinking, Eden’s Curse is actually a multinational progressive metal group that has been around for a decade. The band’s last album, 2013’s Symphony of Sin, was a mixed bag that had more in common with Journey than with Symphony X. Cardinal sees the band returning to their roots in many ways, which is a good sign for the band. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of the power-prog stylings of Voodoo Circle and Silent Force.
Seeker, Loss (Victory)
Five long years ago, we featured Seeker in our Unsigned & Streamed column, and they’ve gone on to do big things since then. Loss marks a period of major change for the band, though, as they have dropped down to being a three-piece group and amplified their aggression a hundredfold. Filled to the brim with pummeling breakdowns and buzzsaw riffs, this album is the result of what the band members have described as “letting themselves go for it and trying everything they wanted to do musically”.
Iron Mask, Diabolica (AFM)
The brainchild of Belgian guitarist Dushan Petrossi, Iron Mask is a neoclassical power metal supergroup, with links in its current and past lineups to just about every European power metal band in history. Diabolica is the sixth album from Iron Mask, and it features the recording debut of Argentinian vocalist Diego Valdez, best known as the singer for Helker. Diabolica was previewed during a tour in the beginning of 2016, where Iron Mask opened for Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody all over Europe.
Venom Prison, Animus (Prosthetic)
Death metal upstarts Venom Prison are now unleashed with their debut Animus, and they make a statement right away with album artwork depicting a castrated rapist being force-fed his own genitals. Things only get more intense from there, as lyrics centered around rape culture, misogyny, and religious hypocrisy are framed by a destructive lattice of death metal, hardcore, and grindcore. The whole album is available to stream over on Decibel, if you’re seeking a sonic mauling today.