Cherish this last week of September, friends, for next week, October is upon us. And with October comes the slow but steady decline of the 2015 release calendar, as we approach the holiday season, end-of-year countdowns, and the dark period of no new music that plagues us every year. This year has truly flown by, hasn’t it? Now then, while I start scrambling to listen to all the new albums from 2015 that I still haven’t gotten to yet, all of you please check out this week’s new music, led off by Australia’s pride and joy, Parkway Drive.
Parkway Drive, Ire (Epitaph)
The opening moments of “Vice Grip” are the only proof needed to show that Ire is anything but standard fare from Parkway Drive. The band that once thrived on breakdowns has grown to add a plethora of new elements and styles into their sound. It’s certainly different and unexpected for longtime fans of the Aussies, but enough of the band’s old sound remains to maintain some level of familiarity. This is a daring step for Parkway Drive at this stage of their career, and it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
Graveyard, Innocence & Decadence (Nuclear Blast)
Swedish rockers Graveyard have ascended through the ranks very quickly, thanks to touring with big names such as Clutch, CKY, and Soundgarden. Part of the reason for their swift rise is their unique sound, which combines hard rock and psychedelic with a blues foundation. This will be the first album not to include founding bassist Rikard Edlund, who left the band last year to “pursue other musical ventures.”
Huntress, Static (Napalm)
Huntress has been on a roll since the release of 2013’s Starbound Beast, and even though frontwoman Jill Janus was sidelined by uterine cancer recently, the band has remained committed their performance on Motörhead’s MotörBoat Cruise next week (9/28-10/2). Static sees Huntress expanding beyond their established sound from their first two albums, continuing to seek new styles by which to convey their message.
Gloryhammer, Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards (Napalm)
It’s safe to say that Christopher Bowes doesn’t do anything half-assed. When the Alestorm vocalist/keyboardist isn’t living a pirate’s life with his main band, he’s showing up on stage in full armor and costume with his side project Gloryhammer. Their music has an ongoing story and concept, and every member of the band represents a character in their epic tale. Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards is the second album in their ongoing saga, and given the positive response that fans have given the band, it definitely won’t be the last.
Black Breath, Slaves Beyond Death (Southern Lord)
Last week’s Dissident Aggression had a lot of good things to say about Black Breath, and I’m inclined to agree with the assessment given about Slaves Beyond Death. There’s plenty of classic Swedish death metal influence to be found on here, and the additional black and thrash metal elements help to diversify the sound and keep it fresh. The band has honed the wide-ranging skills shown on their previous output to the highest caliber, and that helps make Slaves Beyond Death the current high point of their career.