May 17At The Gates, “To Drink From The Night Itself”At The Gates is one of the most influential metal bands in the history of the genre, and it’s one that most casual fans have never heard of. As progenitors of the melodic death metal genre, their signature blend of ariose riffing, quiet acoustic passages, and howling vocals has inspired genre heavyweights like In Flames and The Black Dahlia Murder for decades. “To Drink From The Night Itself” is their second post-reunion record, and the grandeur of the record title is not just for show. These songs have a massive weight to them, not only in the riffing, but also in the timely subject matter. Vocalist Tomas Lindberg wanted the record to be an act of resistance against the growing resurgence of fascism throughout the world, and the creation of the music to be the confrontation against said rise. All in all, this is a killer record, with riffs for days in a style that is rarely done well.
Burn The Priest, “Legion: XX”Burn The Priest is another band that most people have felt the influence of within the metal scene without even realizing it. You may know Burn The Priest by another name. Way back in 1994, a few guys from Virginia started playing hardcore-tinged death metal as Burn The Priest. They recorded an album and gained a following before signing to a new label and changing their name to Lamb of God. This new album features the same members, reformed under the name Burn The Priest. They recorded this album of classic track covers that influenced them growing up, and especially when they started playing together in the early ’90s. The tracklist is a who’s who of the time, kicking off with a cover of The Accused’s classic, “Inherit The Earth,” and it does not mince words or pull punches. It is great to hear the band (who some have claimed softened) do some absolutely ripping tracks. Their rendition of Bad Brains’ “I Against I” is absolutely killer, as is the almost haunting cover of Ministry’s “Jesus Built My Hot Rod.” A fan of the genres presented, or a fan of the band in their current state, absolutely owes it to themselves to check out this record, and I cannot wait to see how it invigorates Lamb of God’s current sound.
Courtney Barnett, “Tell Me How You Really Feel”Though she has been an indie darling for a while now, “Tell Me How You Really Feel” is only Courtney Barnett’s second solo album, and what a record it is. Fresh off the lackluster (in this reviewer’s opinion) collab record with Kurt Vile, Barnett returns with a melancholy glimpse into her id and ego, and the anxieties associated with said introspection. Hearing her boil over in anger while quoting Margaret Atwood was one of my favorite musical moments of the year so far. Do not be afraid of the darkness. Embrace it, and enter into one of the best indie releases in a long, long time.
Other releases include: Parquet Courts,
Stephen Malkmus, John Wesley Harding, Jonny Greenwood, Alkaloid, another new live Joe Bonamassa, Twiztid, Ray Lamontagne, and more.