Five For Friday: August 20, 2021

Oh, am I ever excited about this week, Decibel readers!

Just think of the positive engagement we’re going to get from talking about some of the bands below! Do you enjoy posting unsolicited opinions about metal on social media, for all your non-metal-listening friends and family members to see? Yes? YES! Then believe me, I’m handing you a personal-branding golden ticket today! We have Deafheaven and Wolves in the Throne Room AND Between the Buried and Me featured all in the same post! It’s practically Christmas in August, isn’t it!?!?

Go on, then! Enjoy! After all, those copypastas that will make you live on in the eyes of every well-adjusted person for eternity aren’t going to write themselves!!!

Between the Buried and Me – Colors II

Of the various factions of the BTBAM fanbase, I belong to the crowd the band probably resents the most: devotees of the first three albums (the remastered versions are absolutely immaculate, by the way). That said, 2007’s Colors was a truly remarkable artistic achievement, perhaps the experimental pinnacle of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal before the metal world fractured into the confusing mess it is today. I played the album to death on my college radio show and it will always bring back fond memories of that autumn so long ago. On Colors II, the band seeks to recapture the mood and feel of that album and its predecessors, while bringing along the innovations they’ve made on records like Coma Ecliptic and The Paralax II. It’s the right mix of the unexpected you’ve come to expect from the veteran prog heroes. I’ll always prefer the metalcore-to-prog ratio to be stacked heavily in the former’s favor, but I’ll never pass up a chance to see what fires still burn in BTBAM’s dry mouths.

Stream: Apple Music

Blasphemous Creation – Forsaken Dynasty

I mean just LOOK AT THAT ARTWORK. It’s the kind of thing an oh-so-clever group of funny guys would make into the newest insufferable … I mean totally awesome and coooooool joke band. But no, these guys are dead serious and it’s glorious. Blasphemous Creation play a heroic, battle-ready iteration of death-thrash that was made for people who actually like this music, and not for some irony-poisoned laughs.

Deafheaven – Infinite Granite

Go on, smartass, say something snide about Deafheaven. Jokes from 2013 are so fucking funny, you’re so smart, I wish I could be just like you one day! On the band’s latest album, they lean fully into the shoegaze, post-rock, and alternative rock side of their sound — just as Alcest did back in 2014 with Shelter. It’s a sound that comes naturally to the band, and allows them to breath and engage in some powerful and memorable songwriting.

Stream: Apple Music

Necronautical – Slain in the Spirit

Oh, hell yes. The latest album from England’s finest symphonic black metal thespians has arrived! I saw these guys live in 2018 and was absolutely blown away. If you want to hear the absolute best in well-produced black metal, look no further. Power, drama, sadness, majesty — it’s all here!

Stream: Apple Music

Wolves In The Throne Room – Primordial Arcana

No wait, don’t leave the keyboard yet, dear warriors! I bet you have more to share with all your friends on your awful YouTube channel about this band too!!! The Cascadian horde has descended yet again to deliver, well, what you’d expect: soaring, evocative, atmospheric black metal. After all these years, the style has been thoroughly strip-mined beyond all recognition, but Wolves In The Throne Room remain a stern oak, stubbornly pointing the way to the dark and unforgiving heavens above.

Stream: Apple Music