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The Best Metal of March 2017

Your best source for what’s new, undiscovered and unholy in metal.

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This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #89. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.

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Battle Jacket – \?ba-t?l\ \?ja-k?t\
noun 

1. A denim or leather jacket or vest, usually covered with sewn patches embroidered with the names/logos of killer metal bands.

2. Unwinnable Monthly’s metal column, your best source for what’s new, undiscovered and unholy in metal.

 

So. Much. Rain. For a while there, I thought it would never stop. Is it Spring yet? Apparently it’s close, because all the metal bands are shaking off the winter frost and releasing new material and touring.

It’s still amazing to me just how much new music comes out every month, and there are always great metal records among them.  Here’s this month’s most bests, I hope you set aside a little time to hang out and listen, there’s some really great stuff here. It’s full of riffs, jams, and dirges, and there’s prog, sludge, death, tech, goth, and more. Start with this month’s album of the month, the rippling debut release of the new side project from Between the Buried and Me’s bass player.

LISTEN NOW TO THE UNWINNABLE METAL PLAYLIST MARCH 2017

ALBUM OF THE MONTH
Nove Collective – The Further Side
INSTRUMENTAL CEREBRAL PROG
Talent begets talent in Nova Collective, as Between the Buried and Me bassist Dan Briggs’ new outfit explores trend-bucking mathy prog that sounds both neo-retro ‘70s and state of the art. The writing is tasty, the arrangements are complex, with rich patterns of licks and riffs building and evolving on and over each other. There are strong prog strains in these compositions, from Yes to ELP to Zappa, but always with modern arrangements and immaculate performances from four terrific musicians. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you’re going to absolutely love this.

WATCH: “DANCING MACHINES (LIVE)”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

BEST METAL OF MARCH 2017
Behind the Sun – Post Solis
CRUSHING RIFFS
These guys have listened to a LOT of Leviathan-era Mastodon, making Post Solis a war chest of riffs, carved up with polybreaks and long reverb-washed octavey passages of Billy Howerdel-esque space guitar.

LISTEN: “THE FALL”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

Gold – Optimist
NEW MOD GOTH DOOM
If Mew went in a heavier Sisu direction and explored more occult psychedelia channeled through vintage Siouxsie and the Banshees and 80s goth metal, you’d have Gold. And I’m so glad we do.

LISTEN: “WHITE NOISE”; LISTEN: “YOU TOO MUST DIE

Persefone – Aathma
MELODIC PREGRESSIVE TECHNICAL DEATH
With the tech chops of Cynic and Between the Buried and Me, Aathma is tighter than John Travolta’s face. There’s a strong flair for the theatrical as heavy shredding guitars, screams and clean virtuosic vocals collide.

LISTEN: “PRISON SKIN”; LISTEN: FULL ABUM

Spaceslug – Time Travel Dilema
ASTRAL SPACE TRUCKER
Fuzzed out guitars from Wroclaw, Poland, transpose this spaced out guitar excursion into a sludge jam from another dimension, with densely layered vocal dirges and heaving Fu Manchu-esque riffing for days.

LISTEN: “OSIRIS”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora
EXTREME MELODIC DEATH
It’s hard to believe Darkest Hour has been around for 20+ years, especially considering their 9th studio album, Godless Prophets, is so insanely heavy. They show no signs of slowing down across 12 bruising tracks of craziness.

LISTEN: FULL ALBUM; LISTEN: “THOSE WHO SURVIVE

Felix Martin – Mechanical Nations|
INSTRUMENTAL 14 STRING GUITAR LATIN WTF?
Super rad 14-string guitar tapping for fans of Animals Are Leaders but with a Latin flair. Felix is the sort of dude that would seriously just jam all day with Plini or Chon. All day, brah.

WATCH: “FLASHBACK

Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light
HEAVY DRONE ROCK
If Deftones were a genre, Junius would be 3rd wave Deftones, with some Gojjira styling thrown in for good measure. Hooky, dark, and doomy, Eternal Rituals is a dark vision of post-rock post-metal heaviness.

LISTEN: “A MASS FOR METAPHYSICIANS”; LISTEN: “THE QUEEN’S CONSTELLATION”; WATCH: “CLEAN THE BEAST

King Woman – Created in the Image of Suffering
DARK GOTH RO
Kristina Esfandiari’s reverb-soaked torrent of vocals defines King Woman’s signature sound, it’s hanging calls haunting a charging wall of fuzzed out guitars, creating a smoky 80’s goth, stoner crawl.

LISTEN: “UTOPIA”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

Within the Ruins – Halfway Human
NEO TECH DEATH
American deathcore purists Within the Ruins’ fifth studio full-length finds them in razor sharp form, mixing steamrolling djenty beaters with poppier melodic but heavy interludes that sound equal parts Chiodos and core.

LISTEN: “OBJECTIVE REALITY

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Casey Lynch is editorial director of Square Enix where he works on Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Hitman and more. His first metal show was Anthrax, Testament and Metal Church in 1987. Djent with him on Twitter @Lynchtacular 

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