Freeways – True Bearings

Tastes of straight up rock music from heavy metal through psychedelic to hard rock. A band with two records that sounds like an old classic that could be around for decades. Logo and cover arts also support this feeling.

Rise Against – Nowhere Generation

When I wrote “good punk rock” for the latest Offspring record I was already thinking how I’ll make that right when I get to this album. Because I think Rise Against is an obviously more mature and serious punk rock band, but then again punk is definitely not the definition of anything serious. Anyhow, Rise Against is not the joker type, they are serious, political, and they play melodic hardcore—this is all right there on this one.

LONELYOUTH – Floating in a Negative Space

Nu metal with all that you’d expect from a melodic modern metal band. I like these young new bands so much who doesn’t get bogged down by “oh this has been done before” and create something that’s clearly along the lines of a genre that’s sometimes considered past tense and moved over, and still can hit their own voice and create something great.

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.