Five For Friday: August 28, 2020

I’ve said this a lot in 2020, but it bears repeating: it’s been a rough week. I might as well make that the start of every post until the end of the year (or the second week of November at the very least). We could discuss at least 20 different things to bemoan, stress and rage about right now.

But for now, a quick note about the passing of Power Trip‘s Riley Gale.

His sudden and untimely departure from our mutual mortal coil is sad for so many reasons, the loss felt by his family and friends first among these. But for metal fans, and for metal’s current state, there’s something uniquely cruel about this. In 2020, the metal world contains more styles and variations than ever, and that’s great! But the upshot is the lack of a cohesive, meaningful set of bands that fans, particularly young fans coming of age with this music, can say “this is what metal is right now.”

Power Trip is one of the exceptions. Their modernized form of underground thrash and hardcore is real, fun, heavy and exciting, and audiences resoundingly agreed. They had so much momentum behind them, crossover appeal among metal and hardcore fans, and name recognition outside the world of extreme music. Incredibly, they managed to breath life back into modern thrash after the late-’00s over-saturation of neo-thrash had made it so boring.

And Riley’s presence on the mic was an electrifying element of this emerging success story. That his tenure was cut so short is beyond unfair and sad. As is always the case when these things happen, the only real consolation we have is the tunes he left behind. Rest in Power, suffer no fool.

Now. Here’s some new music for you to get excited about.

The Atomic Bitchwax – Scorpio

Looking for some trippy heavy stoner rock? When you hear Monster Magnet do you think, “I wish there was even more to listen to!” The Atomic Bitchwax has got you covered on Scorpio.

Stream: Apple Music

Black Magnet – Hallucination Scene

Speaking of magnets. It was only a matter of time until classic industrial metal crept out from the past and made a comeback. Black Magnet is steeped in the tradition of Ministry, Fear Factory, Godflesh, Broken-era Nine Inch Nails. We’ll see if 20 Buck Spin is about to become the masters of another revival genre.

Stream: Apple Music

Metallica – S&M2

From the moment you hear the lines of “Ecstacy of Gold,” you know what you’re in for. Metallica has joined forces once again with the San Francisco Symphony to produce a set of live explorations into the band’s storied catalog. The setlist features a good mix of new and old, and there’s a pretty rad rendition of “(Anesthesia) – Pulling Teeth” to look forward to as well.

Stream: Apple Music

Necrot – Mortal

Necrot’s 2017 album, Blood Offerings, got a lot of hype from the metal journalism world, and lot of love from death metal fans. This year, these raging Californians are back to do it again on Mortal. Like I said earlier, metal may be very fragmented right now, but there are still some guideposts available. Necrot is the sound of death metal in 2020.

Stream: Apple Music

Venomous Concept – Politics Versus the Erection

Not sure what to make of that title. We could go down so many roads, I already feel like I’m lost. But this grind supergroup has always been exemplary in chaos, absurdity and aggression. That’s all you really need to know here, and it’s all you really should want at the end of the day.

Stream: Apple Music