In this week's installment of Mandatory Jams, the spectrum of styles range from emerging trap metal to pioneering purveyors of prog. The collection of music offers yet another diverse snapshot of the current culture of heavy music.
Here are this week's picks.
Scarlxrd - "Red Light."
Aggressive trap, swag metal specialist Scarlxrd has returned with his menacingly movable banger in Red Light. Transitioning fluidly from rapid delivery verses to lung-emptying screams, the genre bending sensation is sure to turn some heads with this one.
Pupil Slicer - "Wounds Upon My Skin"
The London-based trio just confirmed the news that they signed a deal with Prosthetic Records. Described as mathcore, the band's brand of erratic, tempo-shifting aggression would be impressive as a five-piece but the fact that this cacophony comes from just three members is fucking NUTS. Crank this.
Angelus Apatrida - "The Age of Disinformation"
Spanish thrash phenomenon Angelus Apatrida are primed to take the global heavy music audience by storm with deft ability to keep their riffage classic and their presentation contemporary. Their self-titled album arrives February 5th but in the meantime, "The Age of Disinformation" is the kind of tracks that marries timely lyrical angst with old school thrash heft.
Black Sheep Wall - "New Measures of Failure"
There are songs, then. there are journeys. Given the second track from Black Sheep Wall's forthcoming Songs For the Enamel Queen is some 13-plus minutes of distorted ebb and flow, the track would be understated if it was called a song. Showcasing instances of ambient hardcore, murky sludge, and trippy post rock, "New Measures of Failure" is a resounding success.
Our Eternity - "Bloodstained"
With the pandemic shutting down stages, side projects are flourishing. Such is the case with the new project formed by Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King and Chris Wiseman of Shadow of Intent and Currents. The duo's debut in "Bloodstained" is a bruiser of a track sets the pace to pummel and does not stop.
Disentomb - "Broken Under Your Symbol of Atonement"
Australian death metal outfit Disentomb have resurfaced with the first new material since their 2019 LP, The Decaying Light. Blast beats, guttural vocals, and frenzied fretwork, combined with the atmospheric accents throughout make for a modernize version of a classic, time-tested sound.
Jarhead Fertilizer - "Silence the Narc"
The musical equivalent of a rusty knife, the balance of guttural grind and decimating death is strong with the emerging Maryland prospects in Jarhead Fertilizer. The bruising, one-minute introduction in "Silence the Narc" is fundamentally brutal in both craft and context.
Liquid Tension Experiment - "The Passage of Time"
When Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater, and Tony Levin of King Crimson come together, the result could be nothing less than prog perfection. Set to release their first album in 22 years as LTE, the reintroduction of the project comes in the form a seven-minute masterclass of musicianship.