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The Best Metal of April 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.

 

Hi! I’m Casey. Here are ten great new albums of the metal persuasion that you should listen to. Use the links below for April’s metal playlist, or listen to them here, and then tell me what you think on Twitter, I’m @Lynchtacular.

Now go, live deliciously.

Listen now to the Unwinnable Metal Playlist April 2017

 

METAL ALBUM OF THE MONTH
Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
The mighty Mastodon returns to their concept album roots with Emperor of the Sand, the Atlanta, Georgia quartet’s 7th studio full length release in 17 years, this time exploring the horrors of cancer with lumbering riffs and cosmic excursions (naturally). Emperor tempers the brawn of Leviathan with the prog leanings of Crack the Skye, while chasing their more recent obsession with writing the perfect 3 minute metal song. While hundreds of carpetbaggers have cribbed their sound over the years, none can touch their myriad vocal frontline, with everyone in the band equally sharing lead vocal duties except guitarist, Bill Kelliher (who wrote a majority of the music for the record).  Come for a kick in the teeth, stay for the hooks, and of course, Brent Hinds’ one of kind, finger-licking-good Southern picking style.

LISTEN: “ROOTS REMAIN”; WATCH: “SHOW YOURSELF”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

 

BEST METAL OF APRIL 2017
Pallbearer – Heartless
MELODIC NEO SLUDGEDOM
Heartless represents a hefty step forward for this Little Rock, Arkansas quartet. Not only is it their best produced, most thoughtfully written record to date, the lyrics explore deeper issues than they have previously 2 records. The combine with a showcase of classic metal/rock arrangements that together create a heady urgency that drives this heavy album from the hooky opener “I Saw the End” to the heaving 12-minute plus closer, “A Plea for Understanding”.

WATCH: “I SAW THE END”; LISTEN: “THORNS

 

Lich King – The Omniclasm
OLD SCHOOL NEO THRASH
These guys churn out some of the most adept modern throwback thrash today. Lich King’s 6th full length release in 10 years, The Omniclasm channels classic Vio-lence and Slayer with a mountain of riffs, killer production, and a totally fitting sense of humor to boot.

LISTEN: “PRESCHOOL CESSPOOL”; LISTEN: “WEAPONS HOT

 

Royal Thunder – Wick
FLEETWOOD ROCK
I dare you to listen to Royal Thunder’s singer/bassist Mlny Parsons’ husky croon and not immediately imagine what Fleetwood Mac would sound like as a hard rock stoner band. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

WATCH: “APRIL SHOWERS”; WATCH: “THE SINKING CHAIR

 

Nightrage – The Venomous
EURO DEATH GRUFF
These guys mete out barbarous rock straight up, with fat metal riffs, huge choruses and non-English screaming galore, giving them a lot in common with current metal-rocker underdogs, Kvelertak.

WATCH: “THE VENOMOUS

 

Kadinja – Ascendancy
ADHD SUPER DJENTCORE
Fueling the arms race of the modern prog death djent scene, this French quartet delivers production pyrotechnics and a full on guitarpocalypse across 10 spastic tracks. Totes for the instrumental version too.

LISTEN: “’TIL THE GROUND DISAPPEARS”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM (INSTRUMENTAL); LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

 

Gruesome – Fragments of Psyche
DEATH CHUCK SCHULDINER HOMMAGE
A legit homage to first wave death metal, Gruesome digs up the decades-old sound and vibe of Death’s classic Leprosy and Spiritual Healing era material, making it feel like 1990 all over again.

LISTEN: “FRAGMENTS OF PSYCHE”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

 

Demon Head – Thunder in the Fields
NEO GOTHWAVE
Somebody has a serious crush on classic Misfits-era Glen Danzig (I mean, who doesn’t?), giving Demon Head a Elvis-like edge over every other stoner revivalist act there today.

WATCH: “MENNESKEÆDEREN”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

 

Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perenial
MODERN MELODIC BLACK
Like Alcest and Deafheaven before them, Fall of Rauros dabbles in subverting blackened traditions with pensive melodic arrangements, recalling the loud/quiet genius of early Mouth of the Architect.

LISTEN: “WHITE GRANITE”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

 

Paleons – Hyperborean
INSTRUMENTAL NEO SPACE STONER
Puff puff pass.

LISTEN: “THE CIRCLE OF ETERNITY”; LISTEN: FULL ALBUM

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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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