6 Great New Metal Albums to Kick Spring Into High Gear

Avatar photo
Frail Body

This spring very nearly got off to a lousy start when Blood Incantation announced they were coming to an end. That is, until you notice the date on which they made the post. Most of their fans weren’t fooled, either, though if it were true, it wouldn’t be the first time; Unwound took their then-final bow on April 1, 2002. (And then reunited 20 years later, as it would turn out.)

With that brief moment of disappointment quelled, spring 2024 seems to offer only green shoots as far as metal is concerned, with March in particular offering some of the absolute best sounds in heavy music this year (and wait until you see what’s happening later on in April!). The only thing that the best metal albums of March 2024 have in common is that they’re all amazing, essentially. We’ll save the thematic throughlines for another month—these are the best metal albums of march.

best metal albums of march 2024 - Slimelord

Slimelord – Chytridiomycosis Relinquished

Leeds, UK death-doom outfit Slimelord chose absolutely the best possible name possible as murky, mucky purveyors of riff-driven filth. Slimelord: The very word conjures images of disgusting supervillains capable of terrorizing the populace with their supernatural goop. Of which the band themselves evoke with acumen and aplomb via their debut album Chytridiomycosis Relinquished (and I see they’ve also learned a thing or two from the Carcass School of Naming Things). As death-doom goes, there’s nothing overtly avant garde about Slimelord’s approach—the group maintain a steady balance between steady, slow-moving menace and eruptions of outright terror, but their sense of atmosphere and melody are dialed in and showcase a band with both skill and direction to spare on their first full-length, which finds them joining the venerable 20 Buck Spin roster. It’s not an unusually long release, but the complexity and stunning harmonies of a song like “Gut-Brain Axis” more than prove that it’s an epic one.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

best metal albums of march 2024 - Coffin Storm

Coffin Storm – Arcana Rising

Black metal legends Darkthrone recently announced that they’d have a new album on the way—always a release worth anticipating, but the group’s founder/drummer Fenriz has also just released the debut album with his old-school doom metal band, Coffin Storm. In this outfit, which also features Apollyon and Bestial Tormentor of Lamented Souls, Fenriz takes over vocal duties, showcasing his best melodic singing, belting with grand drama over a dark and mystical chug that nods to classic Saint Vitus or Candlemass, or for that matter, recent Darkthrone. Arcana Rising is vintage doom worship of the highest order, a tribute to an era in which ghoulish atmosphere and catchy melodies went hand in hand—and the songs themselves more than stand on their own, whether via haunted crunch in leadoff track “Over Frozen Moors” or the 10-minute cemetery fog sprawl, “Open the Gallows.”

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

Skeletal Remains Fragments of the Ageless review
Century Media

Skeletal Remains – Fragments of the Ageless

I keep waiting for death metal to lose steam after what feels like a decade of continued creativity and, for that matter, a newfound appreciation from new generations as well as those that in years past might not have fully been on board. The latter might eventually wane, as well as the press attention given to it, but in terms of the sheer number of incredible death metal records being released in any given year, that hasn’t retreated in the slightest. California death metal stalwarts Skeletal Remains are one of the most consistently excellent of the bunch, yet where groups like Tomb Mold and Blood Incantation push death metal into strange and cosmic realms, this group remains committed to staying firmly grounded in filth. Fragments of the Ageless is their fifth record, and it showcases the sound of a band that’s dialed in and sharpened to lethal precision. There’s not enough prog showmanship or djent-isms for them to technically qualify as tech-death, but make no mistake, they’re technically proficient to an astonishing degree, not a hair out of place even when it feels like their intense array of riffs and rhythmic gallop could wreak havoc upon anything in its path. Whether carving out a groove or kicking up into a gallop, Skeletal Remains pull it off with mastery and efficiency.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Rough Trade (vinyl)

best metal albums of March 2024 - Prisoner
Persistent Vision

Prisoner – Putrid Obsolete

Back in February I caught Prisoner live in an art gallery in Richmond—an admittedly precarious place to hold a metal show, and I spent much of headliner Terror Cell’s set in a defensive position, trying not to be clobbered in the face by the guitarist’s headstock (mission accomplished, phew). During Prisoner’s set, however, I was far more mesmerized by their layered, crushing, intricately harrowing sound, which intertwines sludge, crust punk, black metal and industrial for something that winds up feeling viscerally evil in a way that devil horns and pentagrams never could. It’s fitting that the group hails from Richmond, a city with a long history of great metal—from Gwar’s high-entertainment shock-rock to Windhand’s thick clouds of doom. Prisoner’s on an entirely different trip, however, channeling noise, dissonance and a shot of pure punk adrenaline into one of the most thrilling explosions of sound I’ve heard in some time.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

Judas Priest Invincible Shield review

Judas Priest – Invincible Shield

It’s something of a blessing that several of the greatest heavy metal bands to ever let a power chord ring are still delivering the goods, as Rob Halford once sang. I don’t necessarily begrudge any band for hanging it up after four decades or more (or in the case of Slayer, I suppose, coming back to get that paper). But just a few years after another stellar record from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest make their return to remind us of their enduring brilliance. Invincible Shield is a logical successor to 2018’s outstanding Firepower, but brings with it a touch of the pop immediacy that made 1986’s Turbo a classic (despite some unwarranted backlash at the time). Then again, when didn’t Priest know their way around a hook? On a purely visceral level, Invincible Shield hits all the right marks: furious riffs, relentless energy, airtight songwriting and a spectacular vocal performance throughout from a now 72-year-old Halford. But more than that, it sounds and feels like a band in the midst of a hot streak; they’re not the same band they were 40 years ago, literally and figuratively, but the spirit of Priest remains as strong as ever, and they sound like they’re having a blast doing it. As Langdon Hickman put it in our review of the album, “it stands comfortably shoulder to shoulder with the golden periods of ’70s Priest and ’80s Priest, no mean feat for any group.” Amen to that.

Listen/Buy: Spotify | Amazon (vinyl)

Frail Body Artificial Bouquet review
Deathwish Inc.

Frail Body – Artificial Bouquet

An album recorded by Jack Shirley, released on Deathwish Inc., and featuring a stunning hybrid of screamo and post-metal is going to inevitably garner comparisons to a titanic record from a little over a decade ago—we don’t have to talk about that right now. But if Frail Body’s sophomore record does share something significant with that monolith of a metal record, it’s an undeniable sense of beauty and vision coursing through its unrelenting assault. Artificial Bouquet is a singular record, one of the best I’ve heard in any genre this year, a work of intricacy and nuance despite the fact that vocalist Lowell Shaffer is screaming with brimstone in his lungs. These 11 songs are stunning and scorching in equal measure, bridging the gap between a new wave of screamo and more graceful instrumental elements that put it in a category of its own. There are a lot of metal records on the horizon from amazing bands, and the bar’s likely to inch higher, but from where I’m sitting, a better album within the sphere of heavy music has yet to be released this year.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Rough Trade (vinyl)

Treble is supported by its patrons. Become a member of our Patreon, get access to subscriber benefits, and help an independent media outlet continue delivering articles like these.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top