It's been a fairly quiet month around here at the Töp, at least in terms of
blog activity. Durf has been navigating a cross-country move while Mick and
Tom have been all to busy sulking over the horrid starts to their Chicago
Bears and New York Giants' seasons. With no energy left to give, there were no
squabbles about stolen tracks this time around. Hopefully, October will see
them being more at each other's throats once again.
As a reminder of what this post is all about : Affectionately named after the
Converge album, this monthly post will feature a collaborative playlist
pinpointing tracks from this year that have been in heavy rotation for us. You
may see some end up on our year-end lists. Some you won't. But rest assured
they'll make for some eclectic listening. We'll try to keep the tracks as
recent as possible, but you can at least bank on them being from this current
year. Each of us will present 6 tracks because three 6s = well... you know.
Der Weg Einer Freiheit - "Morgen"
Hype train all aboard! 2017's Finesterre blew me away, so to say I have high expectations of Der Weg Einer Freiheit's upcoming album, Noktvrn, is an understatement. Look no further if you like seeing "post", "atmospheric", or "progressive" in front of your "black metal" genre tags.
Cynic - "Mythical Serpents"
It's a bit bittersweet to hear new Cynic after the tragic passings of both
Sean Reinert and Sean Malone. Their contributions to what defined Cynic are
undeniable, but with Paul Masvidal still at the helm you can rest assured that
essence is still being kept intact. "Mythical Serpents" balances a seductive
repetition along with adventurous guitar solos that feel akin to what they did
on the Carbon Based Anatomy EP.
Rivers of Nihil - "Focus"
I've enjoyed Rivers of Nihil since the beginning, but their evolution since
their first album is quite staggering. Genuinely interesting and tons of fun
to listen to at the same time, The Work is easily their most
progressive outing yet.
Emma Ruth Rundle - "Return"
As you would probably expect, the new track from ERR will have you busting out
the Kleenex. Everyone needs a good cry now and then, right?
Mono - "The Auguries"
Pilgrimage of the Soul, Mono's latest album, comes across as a much
more reserved effort overall as compared to the band's typical formula of
juxtaposing soft, flowing passages with ear-piercing waves of distortion. That
being said, there's still plenty of pleasant sublimeness to go around here
that's worth your time.
Mastodon - "Pushing the Tides"
I know. Mastodon might not be the most inspired pick, but I'd be lying if I
said the chorus in "Pushing the Tides" hasn't kept me coming back again and
again for more.
Shy, Low - "Umbra"
Post-rock/metal that gets deep into the atmosphere and feels. Also, like Mick said, I'm moving across the country this week, so my time is shot and my descriptors of these songs can be generously described as "half-assed." So just listen to them, because they're good.
Trna - "Shining (feat. Gaerea)"
Atmospheric instrumental black metal that gets an inspired vocal kick in the teeth by way of Portuguese masters Gaerea.
Lamp of Murmuur - "Lustgate Towards Your Cruel Dominions"
Really didn't get the hullabaloo around this band when their first album dropped, but this one rules and I understand now.
Worm - "Empire of the Necromancers"
I had never heard of this band until their promo showed up, and now I can't stop listening to their humid, festering death/doom. I haven't loved a guitar tone this much since Pallbearer's "Dancing in Madness"
Vauruvã - "Baféu Vara Fronteiras"
This song came out of nowhere with a beautiful and brilliant stylistic shift from the rest of the album, and as such I can't stop thinking about it.
Slight Layers, Predictions - "Montpellier Blues"
Improvised, jazzy guitar-driven blues. Listened to this driving through Nebraska yesterday and it made driving through Nebraska bearable.
Dream Unending - "In Cipher I Weep"
Combine the death metal forces of Tomb Mold and Innumerable Forms and you get Dream Unending. This combination plays borderline funeral doom metal with plenty of the death metal evil to keep it infecting your your mind for the months to come.
Colony Drop - "The Guillotine"
Seattle based thrashers by way of Wolverine Blues-era Entombed are here to lop off heads and take names doing so. If you like gang vocals and furious riffs, then this track is for you and short enough to blast through over and over again. Brutalitopia sucks!
Lucifer - "Bring Me His Head"
International rockers, Lucifer have had an incredibly quick turnaround to their forthcoming Lucifer IV. The album drops in late October but this is the lead single from the new one. As per the usual the guitar riffs explode on contact, Johanna Sadonis' vocals are superb and Nicke Andersson's battery work is incredible. If you like to rock out, then give it a spin.
Knife - "The Hallowed Chamber of Storms"
German speed metal crew, Knife blaze a path forged with the blood of many bands that played with a frenetic pace in the 1980's. Barely taking a breath during this near 3 minute rager, Knife are a no-frills affair with enough speed, frenzy and nostalgia to shake a stick at.
Unto Others - "Just a Matter of Time"
Unto Others' sophomore release, Strength is exactly what fans of Mana wanted as a follow up to that excellent debut. Gabe Franco's vocals evoke the most excellent level of gothy darkness and the riffs and drum work are more evidence of just how much of a well-oiled machine Unto Others have become. Dark, brooding heavy rock music doesn't get much better than this.
Carcass - "Wake Up and Smell The Carcass, Caveat Emptor"
Torn Arteries has been out for a little while now and it has taken root as another massive success for this legendary act. This just happens to be my favorite track, which could double as a Swansong b-side because it rocks out loud and doesn't really care much for your judgement. A fitting track for an album already residing near the top my list for 2021.
- Mick, Durf, Tom