Wow, what an unexpectedly rich source of great music January was. I honestly can’t remember a January that had so many metal releases that were this good. I’ve chosen five of the best below, and none of them are to be missed…
Epigone is such an epic album of shade and emotion. It gathers itself gradually and inexorably, building strength before exploding and howling with storm-strength power and cinematic grandeur. Wilderun are on their own path, and they are untouchable when it comes to this sort of orchestral progressive metal.
I was hoping to like the new Enterprise Earth album, but The Chosen blew me away with its strong songwriting and creative diversions. Its heart may be a deathcore one, but the band have bigger ambitions than that. It’s long, but satisfying, and more than worth the time investment.
A similar statement to the above could also be made of Fit for an Autopsy’s new ripper Oh What the Future Holds. Here’s yet another band that have a deathcore foundation, but whose ambitions have taken them beyond the restrictions of that narrow genre. This is a band that continues to impress.
There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road by Wiegedood surprised me by its sheer brutal intensity and change of stylistic direction from the band’s previous work. This is surely one of the harshest black metal releases that will be unleashed this year, but its scathing delivery is backed up by songwriting that sees it transcend its extremity. Shockingly good.
A complete change of pace; 40 Watt Sun’s Perfect Light is a lengthy album of highly emotive, melancholic, mostly-acoustic post-doom, and it is stunning. Flawlessly rendered by an artist that can craft powerfully affecting songs with ease, I didn’t expect to fall for this as hard as I have done, but it’s so good that it refuses to be ignored.