6 Great New Metal Albums from Some of the Best Bands in the Game

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Every month I start the process of writing this metal column with the best of intentions, seeking out the best under-the-radar or rising independent metal records. That sometimes includes a heavyweight, like last month with Judas Priest, but for the most part, the idea is to discuss bands that probably aren’t already festival headliners. (And considering how dismal the state of mainstream metal is, as Eli Enis laid out on Stereogum, it’s pretty safe to say I wouldn’t enjoy that, anyway.)

But when I looked over the list of releases I loved from metal bands in April, one thing was undeniable: A lot of ringers brought out their best last month. While this doesn’t necessarily contradict my stated goal of highlighting the best independent and underground metal, it also comprises bands that are known quantities to a degree, as well as bands I’ve written about a lot in the past. But you know what? Let’s just go ahead and own it. This month, the MVP class gets a victory lap. Or maybe more like an all-star game. (Use whatever labored sports metaphor you like.)

These are the best metal albums of April, from six of the best bands in the game.

Note: When you buy something through our affiliate links, Treble receives a commission. All albums we cover are chosen by our editors and contributors.

best new metal albums of April - Couch Slut
Brutal Panda

Couch Slut – You Could Do It Tonight

New York’s Couch Slut has always been on that blurry, bloody line where noise rock and metal collide in a chaotic mess of dissonant screech and churn. Which is exactly why I love them; back when I first heard their gnarly, sludgy riffs paired with truly upsetting lyrical narratives and sickly saxophone on 2017’s Contempt, I knew this was a band for me. You Could Do It Tonight offers a reminder of the kind of wreckage they’re capable of unleashing, and they do so with both a misanthropic antagonism and a sense of humor. Smack in the middle of the album is a spoken-word, free-jazz address from the President of the B-Side, for instance. There’s a love song to a dive bar, a song about getting fired from a haunted waterpark, and a lot of absolutely brutal punches to the gut in musical form. Only this album is remarkably catchy by the group’s standards—in fact, “Wilkinson’s Sword” is simply catchy, period. (“Downhill Racer” maybe less so, but let’s not mistake it for anything other than what it is: An absolute banger.) Like the best noise rock albums, it’ll leave you a bit seasick by the end of it, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to take the ride again.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

Glassing new album Other Side of the Mirror

Glassing – From the Other Side of the Mirror

We recently ran a list of the best post-rock albums of all time, which celebrated a hard-to-define genre, advocated for some under-the-radar favorites, and spurred some good-natured but rousing debates. Included in that ambitious undertaking were some notable inclusions in what we might call “post-metal”—heavy music that often showcases the characteristics and exploratory nature of post-rock, yet never forgoes the thunderous power that ultimately makes metal what it is. Austin, Texas’ Glassing might not have the name recognition or influence of a band like Isis, but they’ve been on an upward ascent for the better part of a decade, honing their compositional skills and awe-inspiring atmosphere to stunning new heights on From the Other Side of the Mirror. Following the outstanding Twin Dream, that’s saying a lot, but the group fills their fourth album with moments of beauty and meditative stillness as much as seething intensity. They go hand in hand, and the band are expert at both extremes, but the fusion of the two has never seemed so fluid and graceful.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

best new metal albums of April - Full of Hell
Closed Casket Activities

Full of Hell – Coagulated Bliss

Full of Hell are a unique group in that their collaborations and splits actually outnumber their studio albums sans collaborators (in fact, they released two very good tag-team LPs just last year). But their first album as just Full of Hell in nearly four years is an excellent reminder of why they’ve remained one of the most consistently exciting bands in grindcore. Sometimes they lean a little more toward metalcore, sometimes they get a little ugly with deathgrind, sometimes they just slather everything in eardrum-puncturing noise. But no matter what, it’s always thrilling to hear how they adjust the ration. On Coagulated Bliss, they still sound ultimately, fundamentally, like Full of Hell. But damned if this isn’t fun in a way that FoH records rarely are. I wouldn’t call it Hell ‘n’ roll or anything so crass (or would I?!), but the grooves cut deeper, the hooks are bigger and brighter, and even when their antagonism comes in the form of a noise rock scrape like “Doors to Mental Agony,” it’s more about the song than the shock to the system. It takes only a few seconds of Coagulated Bliss to conclude that Full of Hell’s intensity and urgency remains at an all time high, but it feels less like a scream of agony from the depth of the soul and more like a fun, if somewhat violent, night out.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Rough Trade (vinyl)

big|brave a chaos of flowers review
Thrill Jockey

Big|Brave – A Chaos of Flowers

In my review of the new Big|Brave album, I addressed the idea that, however tangentially Big|Brave were connected to metal in the past—despite being colossally heavy—they’ve been consciously incorporating a lot of sounds and textures that are decidedly not metal. Not doom, not post-metal, but music that’s rooted in folk and ambient and other music in which riffs and overwhelming, deafening peals of guitar aren’t sacrosanct, or even present. As such, about half of A Chaos of Flowers comprises the group’s most atmospheric, even quietest material. The other half, though, still offers a shock to the system that only Big|Brave can provide, whether through the bluesy groove of “not speaking of the ways,” the massive feedback-laden crunch of “quotidian: solemnity,” or the subtle escalation of “moonset.” How we classify music like this is far less important than the impact it has on the listener, and well, this listener is floored.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

Inter Arma New Heaven review

Inter Arma – New Heaven

I can pinpoint the moment I knew that Inter Arma’s new album was going to be an absolute beast: May 26, 2023. The group played a headlining set at Cobra Cabana in Richmond, their home city (and my adopted home city), and debuted a new song whose name, at the time, I didn’t know. But there was a momentum and intensity to it that eclipsed nearly anything the group had done before. It seared with a kind of cosmic terror, and reminded me a lot of intergalactic metal head-trippers Oranssi Pazuzu, who are also one of my favorite contemporary metal bands. That song was “Violet Seizures,” and indeed it’s one of the best songs on New Heaven, as well as one that’s representative of the intensity and focus of the group’s fifth album. They’ve tightened up on what are typically longer dirges, instead honing in on a razor-sharp application of dissonant riffs and all-consuming power. I’m not going to do the controversial thing of saying this is the best album right after it’s released (especially since Paradise Gallows set such a high bar), but I will say that Inter Arma are the best they’ve ever been.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

Necrot Lifeless Birth review

Necrot – Lifeless Birth

The members of Necrot underwent a series of injuries or health issues since the release of 2020’s Mortal, the likes of which most certainly made the creation of its follow-up a challenging and uncertain prospect at best. But the finished product is not just a testament to the human spirit of endurance and will, but to Necrot’s own ability to keep growing as musicians and songwriters even when faced with (thankfully) temporary physical setbacks. Lifeless Birth isn’t a stylistic departure from the California trio’s previous records so much as an expansion, still rooted in their signature raw, unpretentious death metal roar but with even sharper hooks to work with and more memorable melodies. Make no mistake: these seven songs still offer everything you could possibly want in a no-frills death metal record. Only, yeah, there are a few frills—primarily through Luca Indrio’s guitar playing, which showcases a few more show-stopping melodic flourishes throughout. But more than that, this is a record that captures three dudes playing death metal like they fucking mean it, and I can’t help but smile when I hear it.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Rough Trade (vinyl)

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