Here at Revolver, we're always on the hunt for great new music — indeed, it's a big part of our jobs. With that in mind, here are the tracks released this week in metal, hard rock, hardcore and beyond that have been on heavy rotation at Revolver HQ. For your listening pleasure, we've also compiled the songs in a Spotify playlist, below, which will grow each week.
Skeletonwitch - "Fen of Shadows"
Describing the themes of Skeletonwitch's new single "Fen of Shadows," the band's recently-minted frontman Adam Clemans proffered up the following optimistic aphorism: "If you look within, you will always find light, passion and dedication." That the Ohio thrash legion express such a sunny outlook through its sonic polar opposite — chilling, ruthless blackened thrash metal, culminating in a surprisingly catchy chorus — testifies strongly to Skeletonwitch's penchant for mixing fun and fury. What Clemans lacks in the exaggerated delivery of his predecessor Chance Garnett, he makes up for with raw power, holding fast to the bottom-end while his bandmates speed onwards and upwards towards the light.
Zeal & Ardor - "Waste"
To say that we are eagerly awaiting Zeal & Ardor's new album Stranger Fruit, due in June, would be an understatement, and the two singles released thus far from the record have only heightened the anticipation. Where the LP's lead cut, "Gravedigger's Chant," resembles a gospel-metal funeral march (a theme underscored in its accompanying video), this week's offering "Waste" assumes the form of a brutal, no-holds-barred black-metal ripper, its weeping riffs and relentless blast beats conjuring the timeless fury of Norwegian forebears like Mayhem and Darkthrone.
At the Gates - "Daggers of Black Haze"
Kicking off with a cathedral-worthy piano and pipe organ combo, "Daggers of Black Haze" is the latest from legendary Gothenburg melodic death-metal troupe At the Gates. The track hits like The Wild Hunt–era Watain, using melodies to push the mid-tempo, tremolo-picked black-metal-infused effort forward. It's a far cry from Slaughter of the Soul–style bludgeoning, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, and in this case it's good. Really good.
Wound Man - "Mr. Nice Guy"
The latest in the ongoing parade of Justin "DFJ" Detore bands (Sumerlands, Mental, Rival Mob, Mind Eraser, Magic Circle, etc.) is Wound Man, a Slap-a-Ham style powerviolence outfit that alternates between sludge destruction and 1,000 bpm blasting hatred. The Prehistory 7-inch on Iron Lung arrived today, and the opening track — the totally not-nice and, in fact, unrepentantly nasty "Mr. Nice Guy" — warrants its purchase alone.
Mortuous - "Bitterness"
With current and former members of Exhumed, Repulsion, Atrament and others included in its ranks, the San Jose death-doom band Mortuous is the textbook definition of a supergroup, albeit one limited to the deepest, dampest underground. And yet, "Bitterness" — the latest single from the legion's forthcoming debut Through Wilderness, out in June via Tankcrimes — finds the seasoned vets coming across as ravenous upstarts, unleashing riff after gnarled riff with the bestial determination and prodigious technical skills of a band brimming with fresh blood. A promising prelude, to say the least.
Self Defense Family - "Have You Considered Punk Music"
Having evolved past their early days as the Revolution Summer–influenced incarnation of the group End of a Year, Self Defense Family have dedicated themselves to the weird and the jarring over their prolific career, a left-field inclination typified by their newest single "Have You Considered Punk Music," from the forthcoming album of the same name. The song takes its time to create an atmosphere of soft, post-punk reflection for the group, but also a hint of unease as the instrumentation drowns out vocals from Patrick Kindlon. Its accompanying music video takes a look at a calzone shop through an extremely existential and funny lens, the perfect perspective for the off-kilter band.