Oct. 6The Black Dahlia Murder, “Nightbringers”There is no band in any scene or subgenre as consistent as The Black Dahlia Murder. Every two years, like a true serial killer, they return with a new opus. They aren’t the most technical, and they won’t make you weep with the beauty of their songwriting, but the songs slay, each and every time. These guys are a band that have been with me for a long time, to the point when I still consider their 2007 masterpiece “Nocturnal” their “new record.” The riff on the title track on the (actual) new record is wonderful and catchy, and stands on the shoulders of some of the most memorable guitar pieces they have ever crafted. Overall, the songs strike me as tighter than their previous efforts. The addition of new guitarist Brandon Ellis has done nothing but bolster their sound, as he does a great job of maintaining their typical sound while not letting the riffs tire themselves out.
Marilyn Manson, “Heaven Upside Down”Marilyn Manson’s career has been full of substantial ups and downs. On top of the world in the late ’90s, crashing hard and then slowly clawing his way back up into the upper echelon of the shock rock gods. 2015’s “Pale Emperor” saw a rebirth of the classic Manson sound that was lost in the daze of the middle-2000s catalogue, and I was happy to hear that, for the most part, “Heaven Upside Down” continues this upward trajectory. The track “We Know Where You Fucking Live” is pure industrial scream-a-thon wonder, and would be at home with any of the tracks on his earlier material in “Mechanical Animals” and “Holy Wood.” One track, “Saturnalia,” is good, but at just under seven minutes, substantially overstays its welcome. Beyond that, I think “Heaven Upside Down” is a win for Manson and will definitely satisfy fans of his sound.
JD McPherson, “Undivided Heart and Soul”On “Undivided Heart and Soul,” JD McPherson sounds like a man out of time and space. Rootsy garage rock is how I would describe it, but garage rock carries connotations of a lack of polish or not-giving-a-shit that is decidedly absent from this album. Instead it carries itself through emotionally charged lyrics and loose but impassioned playing. The production on tracks like “Crying’s Just a Thing You Do” bring to mind old-school sounds from KC and the Sunshine Band, or Stealer’s Wheel’s “Stuck In The Middle With You” not quite with the funk flavor, but with that vintage microphone and amp sound.
Primitive Man, “Caustic”With a hiss of feedback it begins, the most pissed-off record you will ever hear. I have been following Denver doom giants Primitive Man since their inception out of the ashes of Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire. There is something very primal about their music, but at the same time, it could not exist without the strife of modern living. “Caustic” turns a mirror on the face of human suffering. When I first heard the riff to “Victim,” I got goosebumps immediately. Metal heads understand that the drive to headbang is not something we have control over. When you feel it, you feel it, and you go goddamn crazy. “Caustic” is a record for those that understand the power of furious and passionate music and why it is made. It will scare people, as it should.
Also this week, we have new releases from Liam Gallagher, August Burns Red, Jerrod Niemann, Jeremy Camp, The Darkness, Wolf Parade and Haemorrhage
— Cooper Stapleton