Infernal Coil -- Within a World Forgotten
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Infernal CoilWithin a World Forgotten

★★★☆ A particularly nasty bit of blackened death, this debut from a trio out of Idaho packs a lot of interesting riffage and punishment into its scant 35 minutes. It’s noisy and devastating, but beneath that offputting veneer lays a progressive beast of an album. Production values may hurt the band here, but either way I’m going to be keeping my eyes open for them in the future.

Imperial Triumphant -- Vile Luxury
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Imperial TriumphantVile Luxury

★★★☆ This is a really interesting slab of avant-garde grindy blackened deathy metal, reminiscent of Gorguts, Artificial Brain, Torrential Downpour, and Kronos Quartet. It’s insanely ambitious and highly inventive. The album loses points for its uneven production, however. While this is certainly not for everyone, if you’re the kind of metalhead who also likes jazz, this is a must-listen for you.

Sumac -- Love in Shadow
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SumacLove in Shadow

★★★☆ First off, don’t let the 4-song-66-minutes thing fool you: there are definitely sections and breaks in those tracks. That said, this feels like Sumac’s attempt at pulling a Catch Thirty Three. And the band pull it off a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Yet, this brand of post metal can’t seem to consistently bridle their experimentalism to the yoke of listenability.

Pig Destroyer -- Head Cage
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Pig DestroyerHead Cage

★★★☆ This is not exactly what I came to expect from Pig Destroyer. It’s oddly accessible… for a grindcore boot to the teeth. It’s also full of hints at a (dare I say) progressive streak running under the surface, if not quite erupting right on the skin. More than anything, this makes me excited for the next thing PD put out.

Beyond Creation -- Algorythm
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Beyond CreationAlgorythm

★★★☆ As to be expected, this BC album starts out sounding primarily like a showcase for fretless bassmanship. (Playing to the judge? I’ll allow it.) And while I’m talking about the bass, I need to highlight that “newcomer” Hugo Doyon-Karout more than fills his predecessor’s shoes. But the album quickly shifts gears into a more nuanced form of technical death metal, jazzier and more inventive than before.

Gorod -- Aethra
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GorodAethra

★★★☆ Three years since their last album, Gorod return with a more honed approach. Their sound now is still solid technodeath, but with a renewed commitment to songcraft. The band wields a more diverse palette this time around, channelling Gojira, Revocation, and early Mastodon… while simultaneously reining in their prior self-indulgences.