Albums Of The Year So Far Part One: Featuring While She Sleeps, Black Breath, Bury Tomorrow And More
The Metal Hammer team are posting our Top 5 Albums Of The Year So Far! First up, it’s Metal Hammer Web Monkey, Podcast Host and News Guy Merlin.
5. Bury Tomorrow - Union Of Crowns
As I mentioned on the Podcast, the reason I’m digging this album so much is because it’s been years since a band has nailed what 21st century metalcore should sound like so damn well. We were spoiled with Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, early Shadows Fall and more in the early part of this century, and it looked like the genre was completely exhausted, dried up and overflowing with middle-of-the-road bobbins. This album proves that metalcore can still sound as vibrant and relevant now as ever, and the choruses are made for huge crowds. If you’re at Hevy this weekend, do not fucking miss this band. Check out the band’s Lionheart single below and feel that groove come in around the 0:40 mark. Epic.
4. Anathema – Weather Systems
How do you follow up one of the best albums of recent years? By evolving into an even grander, even more multi-layered beast. Filled with hauntingly beautiful melodies, heart-wrenching vocal lines and sumptuous choruses, Weather Systems pulls you down and under into the Liverpudlians’ ever-shifting mix of emotional landscapes. Just beautiful.
3. 3 Inches Of Blood – Long Live Heavy Metal
There are a few bands whose (almost always misguided) detractors make me want to throw a punch or two, and 3IOB definitely fall into that category. Forget about bickering whether this band take their craft seriously (they do) or if they take the piss out of our world (they don’t); Long Live Heavy Metal has all the markings of a straight-up classic heavy metal record. This is the album I want to hear Judas Priest making in 2012. No offence to any Russian monks n that. Altogether now: “YOUR MIND IS FULL OF SIIIII-HIIIIIIN!”
2. Black Breath – Sentenced To Life
Until my number one showed up I had serious trouble believing that this would be bettered this year. From Trap Them and Gaza to Kvelertak and Wolves Like Us, there’s an endless (and brilliant) line of filthy, thrashy, crusty, punked-up metal bands smashing their way through the underground, and few pull it all off better than Black Breath. 2010 debut Heavy Breathing was one of the albums of that year, and Sentenced To Life is even better. Just listen to this Megadeth-meets-Trap Them car wreck of a song and tell me it doesn’t make you want to smash bottles over heads.
1. While She Sleeps – This Is The Six
And then came Sleeps. I was warned by Scuzz mainman and former MH Podcaster Beez that While She Sleeps were sitting on a monster, but after what I felt was a good but not spectacular debut with The North Stands For Nothing, I was not prepared for this whatsoever. This is such a stunningly multi-layered and yet still relentlessly fierce and endearingly catchy take on contemporary metal that it by default makes almost everything else released this year feel out of date already. This is the sound of a band about to take over the world, and not only is it a takeover that anyone with a working pair of ears and half a braincell should support, but it’s from one of our own. The album drops August 13, and it’s a monster. Get ready.
Stay tuned for more Top 5 picks from the rest of the Metal Hammer Podcast team and top Hammer scribe Dom Lawson.