Your best source for what’s new, undiscovered and unholy in metal.
Battle Jacket – \?ba-t?l\ \?ja-k?t\
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.
This month we celebrate Baroness, who says goodbye to longtime guitarist Peter Adams and welcomes new guitarist Gina Gleason. Pete joined the band in 2008 and was central in shaping the band’s sound across the Blue, Yellow and Green, and Purple records. Gina is a guitarist’s guitarist who made her name fronting a killer Metallica cover band called Misstallica, as well as playing in Cirque De Soliel’s Michal Jackson: One show for years.
This month is heavy on heartsy, heady, off-kilter releases. Pro-tip: watch the videos, some of them are BONKERS this month (Igorrr, we’re looking at you). And be sure to tell me what you think over on Twitter, I’m @Lynchtacular.
UNWINNABLE METAL ALBUM OF THE MONTH
Khemmis/Spirit Adrift (Split) – Fraught With Peril
20th CENTURY DOOM DIRGE
OK, this isn’t a new full-length album; it’s a two-song split from two of my favorite bands from 2016 – Khemmis and Spirit Adrift. These two acts get more done with two songs than some bands do with two albums. It helps that this pair of doom-soaked tracks reinterpret early 20th century-inspired American folk-dirges. More please.
BEST METAL OF JUNE 2017
Mutoid Man – War Moans
PUNK SPAZRIFF WAIL
Three albums in, and this super group of Converge, Cave In and All Pigs Must Die members are no longer just a side project. Thrashier cuts like “Headrush” and “Irons in the Fire” totally rule, as does the super catchy “Open Flame,” while weirder songs like “Wreck and Survive” prove why Mutoid Man is a band to keep your eyes and ears on.
Anathema – The Optimist
Imagine Mr. Beast-era Mogwai with a female singer. In other words, it has a palpable sense of place and takes its time getting to where it’s going, even evoking the spirit of Metal Hearts without going as sparse or downtempo.
Chon – Homey
INSTRUMENTAL HACKEY SACK PROG
Speaking of unbridled joy, the dude bro chill homies of prog jam metal are back with an all-new statement about friendship, skating, and chilling.
Gaytheist – Let’s Jam Again Soon
ECSTASTIC REALIST CELEBRATION
Combining the best band in metal with viciously triumphant revelries celebrating the good and bad in life, Gaytheist play with an unbridled joy and abandon that most self-serious metal acts could take a lesson from.
LISTEN: “AVENGED SEVEN-MINUTE ABS”
Ghost Toast – Out of This World
INSTRUMNETAL EXPLORATION PROG
Coming in a close second behind Gaytheist for best band name this month (but worst album art), Ghost Toast trade in moody, present, heady instrumental prog from Debrechen, Hungary.
Petyr – Self-Titled
TONY HAWK’S SON STONER FU MANCHU RAD
You know we’re getting old when Tony Hawk’s little boy is all grown up and playing in a stoner doom sludge band out of San Diego. And they’re pretty sick, bro.
LISTEN: “STAIRWAY TO ATTIC”
Igorr – Savage Sinusoid
NEXT LEVEL WTF
I defy you to find a point of view in metal today more fresh and unconventional as Igorrr. If you’ve ever dismissed metal as just dudes in spiked leather singing about dragons and tits, watch the Garrick J. Lauterbach-directed video “Opus Brain” video and think again.
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