Deftones – Ohms

I’ve been having a scattered attention for Deftones since the early 2000s. They were an essential, integral, and coming of age part of my teen years, and they hold that extremely precious place in my soul and memories. And even though I wouldn’t miss any live show when I have the chance to see them, Diamond Eyes and Koi No Yokan passed by me with maybe a handful of listens, and I might have listened to Gore just this one time. Now Ohms landed a powerful punch and I’m not sure why that is. Maybe after two decades I can rediscover them in a very different time of my life. In any case I go back to this album about once a week since late fall, early winter last year, and it takes me to that usual sorrowful mood of Deftones, but also feels powerful and… a part of me. I don’t feel that it brings me down because it just feels self-identifying, it cannot be anything negative because it just feels like being myself. Thank you for this record Deftones, and welcome back.

Haken – Virus

This is an album that I’ve been replaying for such a long time that I started resuggesting to friends because I’ve forgotten about the first time. Well, it was released in July so that’s about half a year, not sure if that’s a while or I’m just forgetful. Anyhow point is that every time I listen to it again I feel that rush of hearing something really noteworthy. Some tracks are more light, some are more heavy, some keep a steady pace, some are slower, but they are all moons orbiting around the same progressitve metal planet. I had this idea of comparing it to Tool, although it is not at all in the same vein but I’m thinking about the sophistication of it’s own prog metal sound. And in that sense Haken became one of my new favorite metal bands in 2020.

Enslaved – Utgard

It is a fantastic nordic metal record with prog, heavy, and black elements mixed in. But whatever it is, the one track Urjotun is one mind blowing single track that is right there amonst the top 3 of 2020 for sure. Right as the synth beat and drum groove starts (and just by typing this it’s clear how non-typical this song is on the album) I get goosebumps, and then it goes into a black metal march just to go clean after a minute and get back to the synth and groove again. It is not at all a nordic metal thing, much rather some industrial rock thing on par with the best of Killing Joke, but then melts it with Enslave’s burning voice making it their own. This song is just epic.

Rabbit Junk – Xenospheres

It’s industrial metal with a heavy electronic drag. And most of all, even though it’s presented as a neo-noir cyberpunk aesthetic, I still feel a positive vibe in there. It’s not like one of those doomed self-deprecating whiners who suck all your willingness to live but this one rather pushes you to go go go and if there’s something in your way just crush through it. It has energy and fun.

Wargasm – Spit.

Probably my most replayed single track recently. I love the energy of the raw industrial punk. Funny that Kittie comes to mind when listening to this, who also had a track called Spit, although their song that comes to mind is Brackish.

Katatonia ‎- City Burials

This album got parked on my Play Later list for a while, then I gave up on it because I was never in the mood to give it a go. And today I restumbled upon it and I’m so happy I did. Ah, it got to me just perfectly today. There are these moments when a music hits me just in the right spot and that’s everything I want. It has that perfect balance of depressing and motivating that it could take me from that first mood to the latter.

What I like best about it is in part a few great melodic hooks, but much more importantly the vocals and lyrics. Jonas Renkse’s voice is the most wonderful rediscovery of today. Also, there are some songs (like Behind the Blood, The Winter of Our Passing, and Flicker) that sound like classics that I’ve heard a hundred times. I’m listening to the album the thrid time today right now, and I just don’t feel like changing to anything else. It is an amazing piece of progressive rock.

MOLYBARON – MOLYBARON

Leading up to the new album when the first single, Lucifer appeared did I come across MOLYBARON and it was an instant hit for me. The new track got me hooked with its extremely satisfying hard rock flow crossed over with the totally heavy metal riffs and vocals of the chorus. I also love in a rock song when there’s a post-chorus bridge that’s just totally outside the normal flow of the track and takes you on a little trip of its own. That’s also very strong in this song.

So, after listening to Lucifer a mere fifty-something times did I realize maybe this band is not coming from out of nowhere and that’s how I ended up with their debut record. It’s an awesome introduction, I get many more of that above described song structure, and there are surprisingly few tracks that I’d call fillers. It’s a proper hard rock ride. I can imagine a MOLYBARON live concert as a steam-filled two hours long train ride without breaks, I hope that’s true. Anyhow, just based on the two new tracks the evolution and perfectioning of their voice is unmistakeable, so looking forward to the new album quite a bit.