[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Spiralism - Chakras (Inverse)
This is one of those records that doesn’t fit nicely into a tidy category. The Finnish quartet incorporates elements of progressive rock, psychedelia and sludge into their strong debut album. At times, it’s difficult to even classify this as a metal album, especially when they’re going off on an exploratory synth part, but they always manage to bring it back to a heavy riff. The best comparison I can come up with is some of the later material from fellow countrymen Amorphis, but with sludgier vocals.
Spook the Horses - Rainmaker (N/A)
I guess I’m still not hip enough to understand all of this post-whatever stuff. This quintet out of New Zealand apparently plays “post-hardcore”, but it sounds like metal to me. The sophomore album is extremely atmospheric, but it’s still just five dudes cranking out riffs and pounding on the drums. The vocals are definitely in the shouted, hardcore arena, but their pretty sparse on the album overall. The mellow parts are good background music, but the crushing parts are worth the wait.