I want to shift gears a bit on the blog and go through a handful of preview songs for upcoming albums. Some of these works have set release dates and a few others aren’t even named yet, but the acts have released singles to build hype for their new efforts. I’ll start doing this on a semi-regular basis, as I find myself with more songs than time or space presently allows. These will genre-hop through just whatever is on my radar at any given time.
Guns N Roses – Hard Skool
This is the second track from an apparent upcoming EP and the first new GnR music to feature Slash and Duff since the early 1990’s. I wasn’t in love with Absurd, the first song we got and probably a leftover from the maligned Chinese Democracy era. This song is a lot better though I won’t fall all over myself for it either. The verses drag a bit but it gets to some classic GnR in the chorus. I don’t know if this song was also one of many Axl has laying around from his protracted recording sessions or if there was more collaboration between the reunited band members.
This new EP will be more of a curiosity for me than anything but it’ll be interesting to hear what Guns N Roses has to offer the world decades after their prime.
Limp Bizkit – Dad Vibes
I wrote earlier this year about Limp Bizkit and some shifting attitudes toward them, perhaps a retro appreciation for their era and at least some calming of the hatred they’ve endured over the years. Now they’re bringing new music for the first time in a decade, perhaps the truest test of how long their 2021 renaissance will last.
I never was a real fan of the band and even if I can look back on my past hatred for them as a bit blind, I probably won’t be beating down the door of my local record store to pick this up on release day. But this song is pretty cool. It’s short, chill and still Limp Bizkit. I can appreciate it. If nothing else, it reminds me that Fred Durst and I are both getting older, and that’s ok.
Swallow The Sun – Woven Into Sorrow
I ran across this on social media last week when the song was released. Woven Into Sorrow is the lead single from the band’s new effort Moonflowers, which comes out November 19 on Century Media Records.
I’ll be honest – Swallow The Sun is one of the many bands I have heard of, but not heard. I just haven’t got to them in all my years of metalheading. Well, I’m happy to say that I’m on board now.
Woven Into Sorrow is some excellent gothic doom, or symphonic doom or whatever subset of doom a person might call this. This song is about as sad as it gets and moves into a harsh vocal passage toward the end that blends well with the song’s tone. I will absolutely be checking out the new album when it hits.
Marissa Nadler – If I Could Breath Underwater
Marissa is not an artist I’d even heard of until last month when she announced her new album The Path Of The Clouds. As it turns out she has been around a long time and has a back catalog absolutely worth checking out, a very dreamy pop-folk style, if that’s a real thing.
This song, the album’s second single, is an absolute dreamscape, gently floating into itself or perhaps everything. I’d say that this isn’t a style of music I’d normally gravitate toward, but perhaps it’s more fair to say it’s a style that I’ve just now found space to appreciate. This is another release I’ll be checking out when it hits, which in this case is October 29th.
Converge – Blood Moon
Huh, it’s new Converge. I haven’t listened to them a lot over the years but I’ll give them another spin, they’re historically very noisy and I like noise and …
… oh, hello Chelsea Wolfe, wasn’t expecting to see you here.
So this new Converge album Bloodmoon I is a collaborative effort between the band and indie queen Chelsea Wolfe. Various configurations of this lineup has performed as Blood Moon in the past and now a full album of work under the Converge banner will be realized November 19th.
I’ve only had one listen to the song so far and I’ll be playing it again, that’s for sure. This is creepy, haunting and fantastic. I guess this collaboration isn’t as unlikely as it seems, given their past live performances. But it wasn’t something I was really aware of and this song came totally out of nowhere for me. I guess that’s why we do this.
Slow Crush – Hush
2021 will go down as the year I got into shoegaze. It wasn’t a sound I’d ever really messed with besides the stuff Alcest or Deafheaven have been doing over the years. But I went full in this year after the right circumstances came together to allow me to enjoy this kind of stuff.
Slow Crush are newer to the scene, having come on in 2018 with the excellent Aurora. This song is the first single from the album Hush, out October 22nd.
This track has been out for a few months now and I’ve been jamming to it pretty regularly. It’s a beautifully done atmospheric song that absolutely nails the shoegaze pattern of leaving the music, including vocals, together to be found in layers or enjoyed as its whole. I won’t be missing this release later in October.
Hypocrisy – Chemical Whore
This is the lead single from the death metal veterans’ new album Worship, available on November 26th, appropriately Black Friday in the United States. This marks their first release in nearly 9 years as leadman Peter Tagtgren has been exploring other creative avenues through the past decade.
This excellent mid-tempo monster highlights the horrors of drug overuse, more the pharmaceutical kind than the street kind. It comes with a great video and the album should be another win for a band that have been racking up great albums since 2004. Hypocrisy is always an auto-buy for me.
Emma Ruth Rundle – Return
It’s time for the main event as far as I’m concerned. The artist I just talked about earlier this week is releasing her much-anticipated new album Engines Of Hell on November 5th. Emma has stated that this record is a sparse affair, informed by major transformations in her personal life over the past few years.
Return absolutely fits the description and is a movement away from contrast in noise and melody that marked ERR’s prior effort. This song is haunting, minimal and seems very deliberate in its delivery. It’s almost scary what the rest of the album might be like – without the use of her extensive collection of effects pedals to mask the more harrowing moments, Engines Of Hell might rip the listener’s soul right out. I’d say I’m ready but I might very well not be.
That’ll do it for this first round of upcoming releases. I’m sure I’ve forgotten more than one thing, and in the future I’ll try to tidy these up a bit and focus on the next month’s upcoming records. I left a few out that I’ll have time to get into a bit down the line. While many fans turn their attention to considering the ever-important question “What is the album of the year?” it’s worth remembering that there are other contenders to come.