Act – ‘World’s A Stage’ (Self)
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Groove Metal
Turkish quintet Act may not be adding too much ingenuity to the tried-and-true melodic death metal template, but the band’s debut full-length album World’s a Stage wears its influences proudly, bridging American attitude with Swedish variation and emerging with an impressively even and thundering premiere.
Buttressed with Gothenburg melody, the band meshes the snarling groove of Lamb of God with the percussive lunacy of Meshuggah to satisfying effect. While this mixing point of genres hasn’t seen much improvement in recent memory, Act’s very capable song-writing skills liftWorld’s a Stage front and center. Genre fans should adore.
Bangladeafy – ‘The Briefcase’ (Nefarious)
Genre: Progressive/Technical Metal
There are a lot of different ways to describe The Briefcase, an EP from the New York duo Bangladeafy. Jazzy, progressive, technical, spastic, experimental and creative are just a few adjectives that can be used to characterize this unique album.
There are some vocals, but the musicianship takes center stage. Most of the songs clock in between 2 and 2 and a half minutes, but Bangladeafy cram a lot into that time span. Catchy parts morph into dissonant and technical sections followed by a jazzy interlude. It’s always changing and shifting, and the non-traditional song structures may not appeal to everyone.
Battlecross – ‘War of Will’ (Metal Blade)
Metal Blade Records
Genre: Thrash Metal
Michigan is returning from the dead, not as zombies, but as leaders of cutting edge thrash metal. Battlecross are this year’s high-end model. “Force Fed Lies” blasts out of the driveway with a supercharged growl, leaving no doubt that that War of Will bangs hard on all cylinders.
In the frenzy of the first test drive, as gears shift into “Flesh & Bone,” and then “Never Coming Back,” the smile widens and that new leather smell fills the nostrils. By the time “Never-Ending Night” empties the tank, it’s definitely a war of will to resist becoming a new owner.