There’s lots of good metal albums being released this summer. So many good ones in fact, there are a few great albums that might get lost in the shuffle. Every sub-genre and style seems to be debuting some new song every day and deserve your attention. From national acts like Prophets of Rage to locals like Venomous Maximus, there’s hardly a dull pick in the bunch. We’ve compiled a cross section of locals and nationals that receive our highest recommendation. Best part is most have upcoming Houston show dates to boot.
GOATWHORE Vengeful Ascension, Metal Blade Records
New Orleans’ natives Goatwhore have made some compelling albums in the past and continue to write music that will ever hold a place of favor among fans of satanic blackened death metal. Through tunes like “Apocolyptic Havoc” and “Bearing Teeth for Revolt” Goatwhore have proven they can write some killer tracks. Their new album is no exception. “Abandon Indoctrination” and “Those Who Denied God’s Will” make for some sonically piercing pieces of music. With vocals that sounds like a cross between Lemmy Kilmister and black metal’s Cultes des Ghoules, the raspy, razorblade voice of L. Ben Falgoust II is easily one of the best aspects of the whole Goatwhore musical aesthetic. Opening track “Forsaken” and title track, “Vengeful Ascension” remain the strongest even after a handful of listens.
White Oak Music Hall, September 25 with Venom Inc., Toxic Holocaust, The Convalescence
MUTOID MAN War Moans, Sargent House
Having recently stopped in Houston with Helm’s Alee, the Mutoid boys remain at peak performance and treated the audience to live samplings of their latest May 2017 release, War Moans. Tracks like, “Melt Your Mind" and “Bone Chain” are quick, power-driven tunes with bold, witty arrangements. “Micro Aggression” is an explosion of riffage while “Headrush” is fast and crushing. Yet, for all that talent packed into one glorious album, the best track remains “Kiss of Death.” It’s the kind of rock song that boldly flexes the best muscles of the band without being ostentatious. Make no mistake, Mutoid Man may appear to be average pranksters having a good time, but they’re music clearly unmasks them as geniuses.
MELVINS A Walk With Love & Death, Ipecac Recordings
Perhaps one of the most anticipated releases of the year, the Melvins are releasing their first ever double album, A Walk With Love & Death. Nine tracks make up the first album, Death, which are straightforward Melvins tunes and a film score, Love, is the remainder of the double release. The film tracks are atmospheric, noise-inspired instrumentation pieces with only one actual song, “Give It To Me.” The material on Death is solid Melvins with interesting guest collaborations from Le Butcherettes' Teri Gender Bender on “Cactus Party,” The Dog’s Anna Waronker on the popishly upbeat “What’s Wrong With You” and the Pixies’ Joey Santiago as an extra guitarist. The entirety of Death is compelling even at the first listen. “Euthanasia” is doomy and haunting, reminiscent of some heavier Melvins cuts, while “Black Health” is slower, heavier and oddly funky. “Flaming Creature” and “Sober-dellic” are slow, melodic and weirdly gorgeous pieces that feel like a slow march to greatness. But, what else would you expect from this pivotal, post-grunge, alchemist, mad-genius grouping?
Warehouse Live, September 11 with Spotlight
HELL’S ENGINE, 7" Split, God’s Candy Records, Self Destructo Records, Speed Freak Records
A Houston punk staple, Hell’s Engine is releasing their first vinyl in late July. “There was a lot of interest from some labels, so we did a three way split to get the album out.” bassist Roo Olivarez explains, “It will be released on Self Destruction Records, Gods Candy Records and my own record label, Speed Freak Records.” While the split was helpful in off-setting costs, it also allowed for the band to make some sweet tunes. There will be more shows and releases later this summer from Hell's Engine with Killer Hearts, Electric Frankestein and The Hip Priests.
Dan’s Electro Guitar Bar, July 1st with Bayou Vimana, Dead Stuff
BLOOD BETWEEN US, Let It Kill You, Third String Records
Texas City natives, BBU maybe the surprise metal act to rock Houston in 2017. Like a left hook sucker punch, this young, tight, 5-piece group is making music that gaining notice everywhere that no one could have foreseen. Hardcore elements, time changes, and interesting guitar work make for a band that should be watched.
Walter’s, August 27 with Bungler, Lifelink, Numb Generation, Vessets, Town Destroyer and All Smiles
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SCALE THE SUMMIT, In A World Of Fear, Scale The Summit Record Label
One of Houston’s best kept secrets, STS quietly became a national heavyweight while no one was looking. Soon to be tour mates with master guitarist, Marty Friedman as direct support, STS isn’t interested in opening doors because they’ve already loaded in, sound checked and taken center stage. With a musical head space that is the kind of progressive, atmospheric, instrumental intricacy without all the trite, aggro imagery. Scale the Summit makes music that speaks for itself.