Juicy jams from the month of July.
Infera Bruo – In Conjuration
by Shawn Miller
An immediately enjoyable atmospheric black metal album sure sounds like an oxymoron, but Boston’s Infera Bruo have created just that. In Conjuration, The band’s sophomore full-length, focuses on sweeping atmospheres, second-wave-tinged trem-riffing and jarring dissonance amid breathy melodies. What makes this album so unique is Infera Bruo’s sprawling, non-linear song structures, which slither without sounding spasmodic. In Conjuration is the best atmospheric black metal album to hit the streets in 2015 thus far; hands down.
Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang
by Joshua Bulleid
Despite having one of the worst album titles (and album covers) of any year, Lamb Of God’s Sturm Und Drang is an undeniable effort from one of metal’s most valuable players. Although the record might be a bit more uneven than I’ve given it credit, It’s first four tracks remain possibly the best four tracks of any album I’ve heard this year; which more than makes for the few missteps that follow, which themselves can be commended for shaking things up a bit and giving the band’s seventh album a certain flavor all of its own. For all its meandering, Sturm Und Drang remains short, sharp and to-the-point, and any album I found myself compelled to listen to on repeat for the first few weeks of its release can’t be all that bad; can it?
Immortal Bird – Empress / Abscess
by Neil Bird
Chicago’s Immortal Bird manage to take their hybrid of styles to the next level on their debut, full-length, Empress / Abscess. The mix of harsh vocals on top of death, black and grind-influenced musicianship make this one of the more abrasive records of the year, while also managing to throw in enough melody and groove to keep everything listenable and worthy of many repeated spins.
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution
by Nathan Hare
Locrian’s new album is their most accessible album to date—mostly because their previous records were so inaccessible. That’s not to say that Infinite Dissolution is an easy listen; the band’s penchant for writing noisy, droning blackened soundscapes is still very much intact, it’s just more cohesive this time around. Infinite Dissolution is more meditative than abrasive, but it’s still incredibly bleak and unsettling. The vocals are sparse but focus on the inevitability of extinction, which is appropriate for the lonely, apocalyptic atmosphere the album conjures. Infinite Dissolution may be about the fragility of our existence, but it’s also immensely rewarding.
Year Of The Goat – The Unspeakable
by Ailo Ravna
With The Unspeakable, the Swedish occult rockers Year Of The Goat steer their vessel towards the cosmic horrors dreamed up by H. P. Lovecraft. Here, the band spin tall tales and exceedingly catchy hard rock numbers with a distinctly psychedelic edge—building further upon the grandiose sound established on Angels’ Necropolis, The stellar songwriting is elevated by the soaring vocals of, frontman, Thomas Sabbathi, who sings and bellows his heart out throughout the album. Mark your calendars; the Year Of The Goat has arrived.
This time last year: