6 New Metal Albums for a Cathartic Purge

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The Body & Dis Fig

Two months into 2024 and I’m still not sure I’ve shaken off all of the bad vibes left over from 2023. On paper, a new year is a clean break, but that’s never quite how it works, right? It’s more like an extended hangover, and you kind of just slowly and gradually rehydrate yourself and get back to the usual. But for a variety of reasons, I felt like I needed a little bit of primal scream therapy to finally cleanse last year’s debris from the soul. So with that in mind, my picks for the best metal albums of February comprise a sextet of records that specialize in visceral, intense expressions of raw intensity. Turn them up and exorcise those demons.

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 metal February - Oldspeak

Oldspeak – Oldspeak

Oldspeak vocalist Jason Watkins previously provided Dayton, Ohio sludge metal group Mouth of the Architect with one of their defining characteristics, namely the array of synths and samples that gave their atmospheric sound an added depth. His new outfit Oldspeak is cut from a similar cloth, pairing epic slabs of sometimes melodic, typically menacing sludge metal in the vein of Neurosis (and Mouth of the Architect, naturally) with electronic textures that elevate it from intense to terrifying. It’s a familiar but potent sound, the kind of debut that never relents throughout its 39 minutes and delivers one of the most harrowing listens of this still young year.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

best metal albums of February - Fange

Fange – Perdition

The release of HEALTH’s Rat Wars at the end of 2023 seemed, at least in my goth-coded brain, to signal that a wave of goth-industrial darkness was about to wash over 2024 in the best way. Which has been true for the most part—many of my favorite records out now or on the horizon being those that tap into vintage leather-and-steel sonics (and sometimes with a touch of late-’90s trip-hop as well). But French band Fange have been here all along, honing their Godflesh-informed blend of thick, sludgy guitar riffs and machine-pulse beats, pounding and pummeling their way toward triumph. Their eighth album in 10 years, Perdition, showcases both a refinement of their signature industrial-metal sound as well as a continuation of their reliably punishing sensibility. Yet where their influences—from Broadrick to Jourgensen—most often pursue the repetition of grind until the bottom falls out, Fange always aim toward melodic transcendence, finding a spectacular climax amid an exercise in punishment.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

best metal albums of February - Knoll
Total Dissonance Worship

Knoll – As Spoken

Memphis deathgrinders first caught my attention with the release of their sophomore album, 2022’s Metemperic—a complex tangle of riffs and dissonance that felt like Krallice played at double the speed. The songs are a bit longer on their follow-up to that scorching set of incendiary grindcore, but the intensity hasn’t waned a bit. Their tonal palette is considerably more diverse on As Spoken, however, delving deeper into burly bouts of sludge, noise-laden Full of Hell-like scrape, and raw, death-metal chug. There’s nothing particularly simple or straightforward about Knoll’s approach, especially given how often they switch it up, but they invariably deliver a final product that’s caustic and corrosive.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

Dark Descent

Spectral Voice – Sparagmos

Colorado death doom metal group Spectral Voice released their debut album Eroded Corridors of Unbeing back in 2017, introducing themselves with a breathtaking showcase of guttural darkness that honed in on a mystical branch of metal’s slowest-moving menace. It’s taken seven years for a follow-up to emerge, but the result is no less spectacular a platform for psychedelically harrowing doom. The songs are long and slow, the atmosphere is cavernous, the vibes are bad—yessirree, this is death doom! There’s no real question about that, though Spectral Voice sufficiently shake things up to keep its fetid rivers from ever growing too stale. Take, for instance, second track “Red Feasts Condensed Into One,” which opens a lengthy doom dirge with a blast of black metal, or the gothic shimmer of “Sinew Censer,” juxtaposed against a raucous death metal chug. Death doom isn’t known for moving at a turbocharged pace, and if it took seven years to get here, that’s fine—Sparagmos provides just the blow to the abdomen a great work of low-end misanthropy should.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Rough Trade (vinyl)

best metal albums of February - meth. Shame

meth. – Shame

When I interviewed meth.’s Seb Alvarez last month, he observed how the band’s tendency toward stretching out a two-and-a-half minute metalcore song with an extended noise wall created a visceral response from their audience: “It was really interesting to see people react to that, because some people would stay the whole time and I’d just be like ‘How the fuck are you doing that’ and sometimes it would weed out the whole room. And it’s like, this hurts them.” Their sophomore album Shame is their way of transforming that gut-wrenching application of noise into something powerful, but still musical. It’s fair to say they’ve left metalcore behind them somewhat, instead reshaping their sound into a colossally intense form of noise rock. It’s avant garde and antagonistic, as well as deeply, perhaps uncomfortably personal, Alvarez addressing his own struggles with mental health and alcoholism as the group tears through some stunningly gnarly sounds. Shame is a massive step forward for the band, and they’ve held absolutely nothing back in their effort.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

The Body Dis Fig Orchards of a Futile Heaven
Thrill Jockey

The Body & Dis Fig – Orchards of a Futile Heaven

Even more impressive than The Body’s ability to write and record as much music as they do is just how high their hit ratio is. In more than two decades as a band, Lee Buford and Chip King have released seven albums of their own, a number of EPs and splits, and a much longer list of collaborative albums, including standout moments with Big|Brave and Uniform. Their first collaboration with Felicia Chen, aka Dis Fig, Orchards of a Futile Heaven, is one of their best in any category, a crushing yet melodic hybrid of punishing industrial metal and eerie electronics, made all the stronger through Chen’s expressive vocals. Her contributions bring an added emotional and melodic dimension to The Body’s music that makes it simultaneously more accessible and mysterious. Of course, this isn’t the first time that The Body have teamed up with a standout vocalist; they’ve featured Lingua Ignota’s Kristin Hayter on past records, after all. But this is something different, a more fluid collaboration that carries the band’s sense of apocalyptic terror but in a more captivatingly immediate package.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

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