Brutus – Unison Life

It’s a new find, the kind where it’s obvious from the first track I hear that it’s a match. Great metal sound with a grunge feel to it and strong female vocals. What makes it stick is how honest and human it is. It’s like friends from the neighbouring rehearsal room throwing a concert.

Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor

They do this soul-blues-metal whatever the third time, and it still works. I postponed playing this record for a long time because I thought two albums of this was probably enough, but here I am, finally listening to the third one, and it’s still great. It’s rawer and more metal-like than the previous ones perhaps, but I cannot even imagine repeating that smash-in-the-face-feeling of their first arrival when this whole style just blasted into the music scene.

Btw, it’s still hard to believe how ahead of the curve I was being on a Zeal & Ardor concert in a club in 2017, at the very moment when the first album dropped. And now, I cannot get a ticket to their stadium tour in town. But, they deserve all the fame and success, I just wish that they keep going.

I also feel like I don’t want to put them in a box and want them to stay there for ever. I can easily imagine this style to evolve and grow beyond what it is now. There’s already a process there that I see in their three-record span, and this is a band I wish won’t be afraid to reach further and innovate more.

Gojira – Fortitude

This record is such an amazing balance of being full of zest, groove, great tunes and moods, while also being technical and musically complex. And the latter is by no means detrimental to the prior. It’s just extremely smart and also extremely enjoyable metal.

Hoaxed – Hoaxed

The vocals sound like witch house but in rock, it’s eerie and soft but also smooth and comforting. Otherwise it’s overall dark rock with an amazing atmosphere. It’s hard to put my finger on it, like I’m trying to slap a genre label on it, but it’s really not about the genre but the mood.

I also wanted to put the follow-up record here instead of this EP, but this just kills so hard, and it is not replicated on the full-length unfortunately. Fuck unfortunately though, thanks for these four tracks.

Lorna Shore – Pain Remains

I’ve never used deathcore as a genre definition before, but it just makes so much sense after listening to Lorna Shore. Also, seeing “blackened death metal” as a genre on Wikipedia is part funny, part makes a whole lot of sense as well.

As for the music itself, this is an amazing blend of stuff that I like (which are noted in the above definitions). It’s also great focus music to me, as a backdrop when I’m not writing copy just doing design work.

Slipknot – The End, So Far

I admire that this album starts with a song that’s not typical for Slipknot, it almost sounds like Queens of the Stone Age for the vocals or Nine Inch Nails with the piano. Mature, thoughtful, with lots of fine details. Still I can see how this is a Slipknot song: I can feel how it reflects the journey and experiences that these individuals have gone through. Just looking at the side projects and solo career of Corey Taylor, it is so well reflected in Adderall how he brings back his own development to the band.

Besides this aspect, the record at length has everything Slipknot owns, even pushing their signature nu metal further to heavy metal. Amazing album as always, scratches all my Slipknot itches, it just delivers.