Best Albums: Entombed AD, Spoon, Angus & Julia Stone, Nachtmystium

This week’s best albums

– After a layoff and lineup changes, Entombed returns as “Entombed AD,” issuing its 10th LP with LG Petrov’s famous bellow, groove-filled death-metal riffs, and clever string interludes.

– Though it had nothing left to prove, Spoon uses its latest to show an exciting new form of a veteran act, one packed with enthusiasm and vivid production.

– Australian brother-sister duo Angus & Julia Stone return with greater vocal interaction, pretty choruses, and dynamic folk-rock instrumentation.

– For its final album, Nachtmystium finds strength in a more grounded nature, offering another psychedelic black-metal LP about addiction and pain.

Honorable mentions

John Zorn / Zion80: Adramelech: Book of Angels, Volume 22 (Tzadik)

Twin Peaks: Wild Onion (Grand Jury)

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Interview: Salem metalcore vets Converge send home the guests for an explosive new album

This content appears in ALARM #40. Subscribe here to get your copy!

Converge: All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph, 10/9/12)

“Sadness Comes Home”

Converge: “Sadness Comes Home”

Being one of the most consistently devastating and innovative hardcore bands on the planet doesn’t come easy. In fact, it requires countless hours of hard work, a highly disciplined work ethic, and a level of stamina that even the youngest punks in the game can’t always muster.

For nearly 20 years, Salem, Massachusetts-based metalcore titan Converge has continually pushed its intense sound to new and progressively head-spinning extremes, hammering out 90-second explosions of speed and energy on one track, while delving into a gut-wrenching mixture of emotion and melody the next. Though expectations are best left wide open when approaching a new album from the group, two things remain constant: it’ll never be half-assed, and it most certainly won’t be boring.

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Converge offers all-star Entombed cover on new Napalm Death split

Holy smokes! ALARM’s fan-boy meter is registering off the charts, and for good reason: hardcore quartet Converge is covering Entombed’s classic “Wolverine Blues” on a new seven-inch split with pioneering grindcore outfit Napalm Death. And it gets better, because the cover includes guests in the form of Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates, Disfear), Aaron Turner (Split Cranium, Mamiffer, ex-Isis), and members of The Hope Conspiracy and Trap Them. Calling it “epic” seems like an understatement.

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The Metal Examiner: Miasmal’s Miasmal

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Miasmal - MiasmalMiasmal: Miasmal (Dark Descent, 4/15/2011)

Miasmal: “Toxic Breed”

[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/06-Toxic-Breed.mp3|titles=Miasmal – Toxic Breed]

Based in the metal-rich city of Gothenburg, Miasmal offers a punk-ish perspective on the classic Swedish death-metal sound. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Swedish bands like Dismember, Unleashed, and Entombed borrowed heavily from Scandinavian hardcore bands such as Anti-Cimex and Bastards, as well as mainland European thrash bands like Sodom and Celtic Frost. As such, the distinctions between metal and punk in Scandinavia are blurrier than they are in some other regions. Miasmal’s music falls on the hardcore-ish end of the death-metal spectrum, which comes as no surprise given that guitarist and vocalist Pontus also plays in Martyrdöd, a crusty hardcore band.

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The Metal Examiner: Morbus Chron’s Creepy Creeping Creeps 7″

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Morbus Chron: Creepy Creeping Creeps 7"Morbus Chron: Creepy Creeping Creeps 7″ (Detest / Me Saco Un Ojo, 9/12/2010)

Morbus Chron: “Creepy Creeping Creep”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/01-Creepy-Creeping-Creep.mp3|titles=01 Creepy Creeping Creep]

In 2010, long-haired Swedish young-adult males are still releasing melody-infused death metal, and they’re still donning denim and puffy sneakers for their graveyard promo shots. In 2010, this music is still engaging, especially when it is executed as cleverly as Morbus Chron‘s debut seven-inch.

Detest Records has made a name for itself by releasing compelling vinyl offerings of death metal that very well could have been conceived in 1989. Morbus Chron does not buck this trend. Earlier this year, the band received a much-coveted shout-out from Fenriz of Darkthrone on his “Band of the Week” blog, and it also graced the pages of the Vice Magazine blog. Although its demo was slightly under-formed, this EP, though short, demonstrates a keen song-writing instinct.
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The Top 10 Hellacopters Songs

Since their formation in 1994, Stockholm’s The Hellacopters have run a stylistic rock gauntlet from early days of garage-punk drawing from the likes of The MC5 and Motorhead to their recently more accessible mix of classic rock and power pop. In the process, they have become one of Scandinavia’s most prolific and noteworthy rock bands of all time. Read More

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