Truckfighters: V (Fuzzorama Records)
Sweden's Truckfighters are one of the most revered stoner rock bands out there at the moment with an impressive back catalogue and a reputation as one of the best live bands in the genre. Two years after 2014's Universe this fuzzed out three piece return with their aptly titled fifth album V. Truckfighters don't stray too far from the riff driven fuzzy sound they have established on previous records but this album has a much looser almost jam session feel to it.
There is very much a Tool vibe and a grunge influence displayed on songs such as The Contract and on the mammoth opening song Calm Before The Storm as well as Truckfighters trademark riff assault on Hawkshaw and The 1. This is easily the most mature record by Truckfighters to date which whilst carving a path forward doesn't betray the roots of the band. Fans of the band will lap this album up as will fans of the desert/stoner rock genre. 7/10
Re-Armed: The Era Of Precarity (Saarni Record)
Finland's Re-Armed return with their third album The Era Of Precarity and pick up where they left off with another album chock full of apocalyptic themed catchy death/thrash anthems. The Era Of Precarity wastes no time in getting things going. Including the atmospheric yet epic intro Nova Ordo Seclorum we are subjected to a barrage of twelve sharp and aggressive songs all of which are at a nice duration and are varied enough to retain your interest throughout.
The albums run from aggressive yet hook driven thrashers such as Through The Barricades and Riot Act, the mid-paced groove heaviness of Evolve Cycle and Cursed Beyond Belief to the all-out speed assault of Three Headed Beast. Re-Armed seem to improve album to album with this their most accomplished and enjoyable work to date. Although not groundbreaking it is a vastly enjoyable 44 minutes of speed and aggression with enough hooks and melody to make a lasting impression. 8/10
Veilburner: The Obscene Rite (Self Released)
Veilburner are not a band for the faint of heart or for those with a short attention span. This two piece from Pensylvania mix a number of musical styles together which results in a sound that is chaotic, confusing and at times damn frightening. As a first time listener of this band it was certainly an interesting experience. Veilburner at their core play black metal in the vein of bands such as Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord. Add into the mix some death metal, industrial, prog and psychedelic sounds and you have Veilburner. They are also very reminiscent of some avant garde black metal bands such as Arcturus and Dodheimsgard.
Even with such a plethora of different sounds going on this album is still cohesive but maybe not so memorable. This is an album that demands several listenings for it to really click. The performances on the album are incredible with all instruments handled by Mephisto Deleterio and vocals by Chrisom Infernium with a range from black metal screams, guttural death metal growls to some impressive clean vocals. With so much going on even in the space of a single song this can be overwhelming for the average listener and this album will only appeal to those who like their music complex and challenging. 7/10