10 Metal Albums To Watch For In April


April. Spring.

A time when young minds turn to love and the warm weather brings the cockles of our hearts into a better place. Man, I hate those people. For the rest of us April means the sun is coming so it’s time to go underground and listen to the new heavy records offered onto us! As we do every month, Crave Online has stepped up to give you ten kick ass metal records to check out in April.


High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis

eOne Music

Release Date: April 3rd

As I said in my review of De Vermis Mysteriis, this is a game changer for High On Fire. While never slouching on their unique brand of doom and thrash, De Vermis Mysteriis illuminates a whole new ability for High On Fire as songwriters. Producer Kurt Ballou takes the heavy bastard sound of the band and gives it a new clarity resulting in more dynamics and more overall ass kicking. De Vermis Mysteriis isn’t just a must have album for 2012, it could be the most important album of the band’s already impressive career.


Killing Joke – MMXII

Spinefarm Records

Release Date – April 3rd

Read our review

My statement on this new Killing Joke record is made clear in my review, but if you missed it, let me clue you in. Once again a band that has become synonymous with brilliance in the arena of recorded sound has stepped up to the plate. MMXII is Killing Joke’s ode to the coming year and the possible ramifications of the Mayan prediction. While not taking the doom and gloom idea that the world will end, Killing Joke explores the changes that could see a new world dawning for humanity. As always the song writing is above reproach and vocalist Jaz Coleman delivers a chilling batch of thought provoking lyrics. The original line up of Killing Joke is still a formidable power against sloth and tedium in music.


Pelican – Ataraxia/Taraxis EP

Southern Lord Records

Release Date – April 10th

The long awaited follow up to 2009’s masterful We All Come To Need, Ataraxia/Taraxis is a four song triumph from a band that’s constantly evolving with their sound. Taking cues from melodic rock and doom, Pelican mix in elements of acoustic folk, electronica and ambient soundscapes to create a modern folk record with an epic feel. Few bands could bring the same passion and inspiration to an EP that they do to an full length. That’s what makes Pelican so different. Everything they do is an artistic statement and a musical step forward.


Job For A Cowboy – Demonocracy

Metal Blade Records

Release Date – April 10th

Filled with raging riffs and political fire, Job For A Cowboy return with a throat crushing album of death metal that brings in a bit of the grind and the thrash to make a poisoned broth brimming with chunks of broken glass. My review for the album (found here) illustrates not just how Job For A Cowboy has overcome personal drama to record a powerful new collection of tunes, but also how the ugly sound of the band has evolved into a new creature of disdain and disgust. Filled with shredding solos, bombastic drums and harsh vocals, Demonocracy will win new fans for Job For A Cowboy as well as keeping their bloodthirsty old supporters happy. Well, as happy as they can be.


Municipal Waste – The Fatal Feast

Nuclear Blast Records

Release Date – April 10th

For four albums the boys of Municipal Waste have helped remind us exactly why the trash metal sound is so fucking necessary. Now, with their Nuclear Blast debut The Fatal Feast, the band that returns head banging to its rightful place in the world of heavy music, has reached new heights of thrash debauchery. You just can’t step to the riffage on this album and I defy anybody not to listen to The Fatal Feast without running around their home banging both head and fist in unison. I also love that Municipal Waste don’t take themselves so seriously. The heavy genre has become strife with bloated self importance. Municipal Waste and The Fatal Feast is the perfect thrash pin to bust that balloon up.


Prong – Carved Into Stone

Entertainment One Music

Release Date – April 24th

Prong is back! Did you hear me? I said Prong is back! So make with rejoicing! This is a band that not only brought us classic records like Force Fed, Beg To Differ, Prove You Wrong and The Cleansing, but also helped to bring forth the modern industrial movement. Some argue that the later Prong records weren’t as good as the earlier offerings, but that really isn't the point. Prong have always brought forth something new for our listening pleasure and they always do what they want. Carved Into Stone returns the band to a thrashier vibe, with more pure heavy riffs and grooves happening than some of their past industrial offerings. If you dig forward thinking heavy music that doesn’t sacrifice the purity of a great riff, then get ready to bust a serious nut over Carved Into Stone.


16 –Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds

Relapse Records

Release Date – April 24th

16 have always been one of the most underrated bands of all time. Masters of thick and heavy riffs, the band also mixes in a certain amount of self-loathing with the perfect dash of bitterness to create a more modern extreme sound. This is the thinking mans heavy band and Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds is no exception. The pure heaviness of the record will capture the heart of the most disconcerting metalhead, but it is the overall feeling of emptiness and despair that will win over the more sensitive fan. 16 is what would happen if The Smiths had been born pissed off metal kid. That kind of intelligent introspection mixed with great songwriting and pure pissed off rock fury is why 16 should be a whole hell of a lot bigger than they are. Lets hope people finally get it with Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds.


Torche  – Harmonicraft

Volcom Records

Release Date – April 24th

It’s always hard to figure Torche out because they are their own unique tangent. Heavy as a sack of lead but still laden with pop sensibilities and prog-rock ideals, Torche are like Rush if they had been hardcore kids that loved Slayer. The new album Harmonicraft is a beat of a record, something closer to their genius record Meanderthal than Songs For Singles.  Line up changes aside, guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks brings another set of oddly catchy and yet musically dynamic songs with Harmonicraft. This a layered record but a subtle one. As soon as you find yourself lulled into simple enjoyment, Torche bust out a melody or off-the-cuff guitar part that rattles your skull. Anybody that claims heavy music is boring will eat those words heartily after hearing the musical nailbomb that is Harmonicraft.


Wolfbrigade – Damned

Southern Lord Records

Release Date – April 24th

Hey so I was curious. Just wondering y’know, thinking out loud and all. What would the apocalypse sound like?  If the world came crashing down beneath a wave made up of the entire ocean that had ten thousand demons surfing on it and preparing to chomp on the souls of humanity. How would that sound Oh, right, it would sound like Wolfbrigade and their fuck-you-and-die album Damned. Heavy as the end of true love, fast as the bullet that explodes your skull and ugly as all those horrible feelings of loathing and self-doubt that make life unlivable, that’s what Damned is. This is an album that is as musically dense as it is fast. A wall of riffs that leaves only part of your body undamaged, a part that’s squashed into goo by the drums, Damned is the monster of the month as far as pure power goes. Holy Christ in wheelchair this album kills me.


Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol

Century Media Records

Release Date – April 24th

British gothic doom rock/metal band Paradise Lost return this year with Tragic Idol, a new collection of doom tunes that the band claims to be more melodic than 2009’s Faith Divides Us-Death Unites Us but still keeping with the heavy. Truth be told I don’t much care for Paradise Lost, but I respect what they do. The band’s mix of heavy doom riffs with melody and the dramatic elements of Goth have given them a serious fan base, one that will rejoice in the coming of Tragic Idol. If you dig epic tunes that are centered on a doom core and branch into melody and ripping guitar solos, then you’ll be seriously amped for Tragic Idol.