Arceye – ‘At First Light’ (Hostile)
Genre: Thrash/Death Metal
Before you ever hear vocals on the British band Arceye’s sophomore album At First Light, you get a blistering guitar solo. That sets the tone for the album.
Arceye blend uptempo thrash with more moderately paced death metal, creating songs that are groovy and riff-based, but also have plenty of shredding. There are a few instrumentals on the album as well, where you’ll hear soft and mellow acoustic sections. The closing instrumental “Dusk” has a flamenco vibe. It’s a very diverse but still cohesive album that runs the gamut of styles and genres, and doing it well.
Black Water Rising – ‘Pissed and Driven’ (Metalville)
Genre: Psychedelic/Death Metal
Oil is liquid dinosaur and black water rising is a phrase describing oil’s power to drown the greedy. Black Water Rising, the band, brews an oily gumbo of Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age and a slew of Red Dust bands to ladle out their political sludge.
Powerful playing while thudding like dinosaurs in a metal Jurassic age, BWR does hard rock while keeping a hoof tip in the metal waters… those black waters of combustion and seventies memories.
Borracho – ‘Oculus’ (Strange Magic)
Strange Management Records
Genre: Stoner Metal/Rock
For their sophomore album Oculus, Borracho guitarist Steve Fisher also assumes vocal duties. But the D.C. band doesn’t miss a beat consolidating from a quartet to a trio.
Borracho deliver all the standard stoner rock/metal trappings, but their songwriting makes them stand out. The songs are lengthy, but extremely catchy. Even though there aren’t any vocals on the opening track “Empty” until 5 minutes in, the memorable riffage will have already sucked you in. There’s a lot of variation in tempo, Fisher’s vocals are more than adequate, and the songs burrow into your brain. Before you know it, 35 minutes have elapsed, the album is over, and you are jonesing to hit repeat.