MetalMatters May 2021

MetalMatters: The Best New Heavy Albums of May 2021

Lockdowns are slowly easing, the heatwave is getting closer, and May fully delivered with an abundance of heavy releases.

Terminalist – The Great Acceleration (Indisciplinarian)

Terminalist call themselves a “sci-fi hyper thrash” band, a seemingly silly term, which upon hearing their debut album turns out to be quite a fitting description. The Copenhagen quartet play a style that is indeed “hyper” as it takes all the best there is in thrash—the grooving, buzzing riffs, the bubbling energy, and the righteous fury—then augments it ad absurdum. The riffs here are heavier and bigger, the rhythms change faster and possess more intricate forms, while the vocals are brought to extremes on both ends of the human range.

The Great Acceleration thus ends up being a thrilling ride during which progressive, twisty thrash (“Relentless Alteration”) breaks down and reassembles as tasty grooves (“Terminal Dispatch”), only to find itself transmogrified into filthy black metal complete with frolicking leads and solos (“Invention of the Shipwreck”). Awesome stuff recommended for everyone, but especially fans of Necropanther, Havok, and the like. – Antonio Poscic 

Yautja – The Lurch (Relapse)

To really understand what Yautja are about, you need to blast their latest album The Lurch so loud as to overload your speakers, with windows open wide, broadcasting the power trio’s message urbi et orbi. Edging between grindcore and sludge, the Nashville-based band are as menacing, relentless, and surgically precise as the Predator alien they take their name from.

But beneath the instantly evident and felt rage and themes of social decay, Yautja manage to incorporate instrumental feats so complex that you might as well call their style “technical sludge metal.” It’s hard to believe without hearing how this massive, distorted, and pummeling sound—as is customary for the genre—can at the same time be played with such virtuoso gusto. On The Lurch, riffs contort in dissonant shapes as if Derek Bailey or Glenn Branca joined Crowbar, and drum patterns fold into impossible structures unaware of the linearity of time. – Antonio Poscic 

Yoo Doo Right – Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose (Mothland)

The connections between avant-rock trio Yoo Doo Right and CAN don’t stop with the Montréal group’s name, borrowed from the legendary krautrockers’ 1969 song. Rather, they stretch in all directions and intersect in a shared spirit born out of experimentation and cyclical motion embedded deep in the artist’s soul. Their debut LP Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose often sounds breathtakingly monumental. Towering monoliths of roaring riffs crash against swarms of restless rhythms. However, it consistently maintains a certain airy dexterity of creation and being.

The result is a style that merges the fuzziness of psych-rock (think Acid Mothers Temple) and the affecting, endless crescendos of post-rock with a shoegaze-like sense of volume as the ultimate stimulus. Replacing the tired focus on pure atmosphere-building cherished by some of their peers with strong songwriting, they infuse their compositions with tension and subtly unfolding melodies, while familiar tropes flesh out a creation that’s distinctly their own. – Antonio Poscic