This week serves up a bit more excitement than the last, with a delightfully-broad selection of new releases that are guaranteed to please most of the warring genre factions in your home.
Kirk Windstein’s Dream In Motion sees the iconic sludge dealer notch new emotive highs with his solo debut. It’s almost difficult to consider that it’s taken him this long to go his own way, given the number of projects he’s undertaken over the year, but it’s well worth the wait. On Dream In Motion, the “Dark Lord of the Southern Riff” combines his the otherworldly heaviness of his trademark style with vocals and lyrics that tap into a deeper level of melancholy and vulnerability than previously explored, and the results are superb. Crowbar and Down fans are sure to approve.
Midnight, Blasphemer and Konvent have all captured my attention as well, but I think the one other release of special note comes from Annihilator. When people talk about extending the Big 4 one or two more slots, the debate constantly rages over Testament, Exodus or Overkill. But I’d argue that in the past fifteen years, Annihilator has kept pace, if not overtaken all three of those bands in terms of quality of new material. Jeff Waters continues to showcase a heroic talent for writing the kind of riffs that urge drivers to push the gas pedal through the floors of their vehicles. He’s largely stayed true to his vision, though at times, his debt to Dave Mustaine obscures his own titanic creativity (see Lip Service on the new one). But overall, Ballistic, Sadistic serves up a maelstrom of crunchy, neck-snapping thrash that will keep the party raging long into the night. Check out Armed To The Teeth, Psycho Ward and Riot, then break out your Chuck Taylors and get down!
Annihilator – Ballistic, Sadistic (Silver Lining)
Blasphemer – The Sixth Hour (Candlelight)
Blue Oyster Cult – Cult Classic Re-Release (Frontiers)
Blue Oyster Cult – Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014 (Frontiers)
Breaking Benjamin – Aurora (Hollywood)
Davey Suicide – Rock Ain’t Dead (Out Of Line/InGrooves)
Defiled – Infinite Regress (Season Of Mist)
Dirty Shirley – Dirty Shirley (Frontiers)
Hazzerd – Delirium (M-Theory)
Jorn – Heavy Rock Radio II: Executing The Classics (Frontiers)
Kirk Windstein – Dream in Motion (eOne)
Konvent – Puritan Masochism (Napalm)
Marko Hietala – Pyre of the Black Heart (Nuclear Blast)
Midnight – Rebirth by Blasphemy (Metal Blade)
Mortiis – Spirit of Rebellion (Omnipresence)
Necro Di Marte – Immoto (Season of Mist)
Revolution Saints – Rise (Frontiers)
Surgical Strike – Part of a Sick World (Metalville)
Temperance – Viridian (Napalm)
Thy Catafalque – Naiv (Season Of Mist)