The Best And Worst New Metal Album Releases This Week

A press shot of Hammerfall taken in 2016

Hammerfall - Built To Last

“Hammerfall know what they’re doing – and how to do it better than most. This is their 10th studio album, and the ability to go right across the power metal spectrum is very much in evidence.” Read the full review here.

Sick Of It All - When The Smoke Clears

“2016 marks the 30-year milestone for this crucial New York hardcore band, and what better way to celebrate than with five new tracks and a limited edition 60-page art book? Unsurprisingly, the music is Sick Of It All tried and true with energetic songwriting, empowering lyrics, gang shouts, and the strong, crackly vocals of Lou Koller leading the frontline.” Read the full review here.

Attila - Chaos

“Seven albums in, and Attila still haven’t realised they’d be a better band without frontman Chris ‘Fronzilla’ Fronzak and his tiresome quest to be the most offensive man in metal. That’s not to say that their music has the power to outshine him; their electro-metalcore, save for some passable riffs, sounds firmly stuck in the MySpace era.” Read the full review here.

Dark Tranquility - Atoma

“As one of the godfathers of the Gothenburg sound, you just can’t deny the impact that Dark Tranquillity had on the face of metal music when bursting onto the scene back in 1989. Some 27 years of service, 10 albums, and many imitators later, and the Swedes are still going strong as they unleash album number 11.” Read the full review here.

Red Sun Rising - Polyester Zeal

“Ohio quintet Red Sun Rising define their sound as being “a new alternative” to today’s rock, but with sufficient nuance to guarantee the kind of longevity akin to diverse influences ranging from The Beatles to Soundgarden. With the re-release of 2015’s Polyester Zeal, they’ve melded modern-day alt-sensibilities with classic rock.” Read the full review here.

Starkill - Shadow Sleep

“It’s been eight years since Starkill formed out of symphonic black metallers Massakren, shedding the corpsepaint to release an altogether more polished affair with their fretboard-burning melodeath debut Fires Of Life. The Chicago crew have been edging towards the more commercial end of extreme metal since, and album number three only furthers that trend.” Read the full review here.

Hierophant - Mass Grave

“Not to be confused with New Jersey funeral doom miserablists, this Hierophant hail from Italy and play a sludgy form of bludgeoning modern death metal on steroids. The band’s fourth full-length shows them sharpening into a more tightly knit unit of blunt force trauma-inducing brutality.” Read the full review here.

Hoath - Codex III: Crown Of The Mind

“The first official album Hoath guitarist Shatraug appeared on was Horna’s Hiidentorni back in 1997 – the first in a long list of more or less ephemeral projects, all dedicated to the harsh, lo-fi and strictly underground creed of Finnish black metal. So by tackling a more death metal-inspired direction for once with growled vocals instead of the usual shrieks and Transylvanian Hunger-esque minimal riffs, his latest venture – alongside Satanic Warmaster live drummer vHolm – is a welcome departure, even if the occult and mystical lyrical content still follows along the same lines.” Read the full review here.

The Best New Metal Album Releases This Week

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