Austere – ‘Withering Illusions and Desolation’ (Eisenwald)
Genre: Suicidal Black Metal
When no hesitation marks mar the victim’s wrists, Austere’s classic reissue of their debut will fill the cramped room as police break in the door to perform a welfare check. The Australian duo of Desolate and Sorrow recorded this in 2007 only to have it wither into under-promoted oblivion.
With Eisenwald, the album gets a bona fide release. It’s a significant achievement for the down under death and despair scene. Burzum is spoken here. Heartbreaking blurs of guitar progressions evolve while vocals try to shout away the pain against left-ear only drums. At ear-splitting levels, despair bares its teeth.
Close Your Eyes – ‘Line In The Sand’ (Victory)
Genre: Melodic Hardcore
Even though Line In The Sand is the third album from the Texas bandClose Your Eyes, it’s also a new beginning. It’s their first release with new vocalist Sam Ryder. They combine silky melodies with aggressive guitars and a hardcore sensibility.
There are some strong songs on the album, such as the title track. It has really good aggressive vocals, memorable riffs and a catchy chorus. When they emphasize the more melodic elements, like on the radio friendly “Frame and Glass,” Ryder’s distinctive accent gives it a unique spin. They transition smoothly between heavy, metallic hardcore and accessible rock, and the lyrics impart a positive message.
Deep Swell – ‘Love Of The Angler’ (Weathermaker )
Genre: Hard Rock
Deep Swell are a West Virginian band that includes Clutch guitarist Tim Sult. The band is fronted by front woman Briena Pearl, who will remind listeners of Christine Davis (Christian Mistress) and Rosalie Cunningham (Purson) as she maintains a melodic voice that has essential rock appeal.
The album also includes some wonderful moments reminiscent of The Police and Rush as it can be borderline dub reggae. It’s a strong album with mass appeal to lovers of rock and something a bit different.
Doyle – ‘Abominator’ (Monsterman)
Genre: Punk Metal
The Misfits are clearly one of the most influential punk bands of all time. Their early records defined a genre and catapulted them to legendary status. Long time guitarist Doyle has now released his debut solo record Abominator, and it is a perfect hybrid of metal and punk. Staying true to his roots, song topics include murder, disembowelment and necrophilia.
Cancerslug singer Alex Story handles the vocals and wisely incorporates his own style and doesn’t try to imitate Danzig’s approach. Lead single “Valley of the Shadows” has a driving metal riff blended with an addictive chorus. Abominator is worlds ahead of what The Misfits are currently doing. Doyle has captured the spirit of the classic Misfits sound while adding the metal elements of solo Danzig.