On their fifth full-length album, Baltimore’s premiere death-metal crew display symptoms of progression, the nonstop assault of their previous efforts replaced with moments of atmosphere and melancholy. Sure, tracks like “Gallows Humor” and “Sentinels” bring the relentless pounding metalheads expect from Jason Netherton & Co., but the first five tracks—each, one movement of a single epic song—split their blast beats with emotionally-driven breakdowns and melodic guitar solos, and the band’s signature political outrage is communicated through demonic symbolism and metaphor. The result might initially irk diehards, but should ultimately leave them far from miserable. CHRIS KROVATIN
Check out “The Calling” from The Killing Gods.