Body Count – Bloodlust (Century Media, 2017)

Back in 2014, Body Count emerged from eight years in the shadows with all guns blazing in the form of Manslaughter; one of the year’s best metal albums, not to mention one of the year’s biggest surprises.  It was a bludgeoning yet precise aural assault that deftly mixed mosh-ready riffage with lyrics that were by turns over-the-top violent, darkly humorous and delightfully un-PC.

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The Dark Prison Massacre – Deformity of Human Consciousness (Pathologically Explicit Recordings, 2017)

Those of you that follow the brutal/slam death metal scene are likely well aware of the fact that Asia has been positively killing it for the last few years.  While many of the continent’s most celebrated acts hail from Japan (Vomit Remnants, Gorevent, Infernal Revulsion, Medic Vomiting Pus, etc), neighboring China is no slouch either, as evidenced by Deformity of Human Consciousness, the second album from Tianjin’s The Dark Prison Massacre.

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Internal Bleeding – “Final Justice”

I had been looking forward to writing about Internal Bleeding’s new single “Final Justice,” but given recent events, I now find myself doing so with a heavy heart.  On April 20, 2017, IB’s drummer and founding member William Tolley died while serving his community, battling a two alarm blaze as a fourteen year veteran of the Fire Department of New York, who had previously assisted with the September 11, 2001 rescue efforts as a volunteer fire fighter. “Final Justice” is to my knowledge his last recorded work with the band.

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Vomit Remnants – Hyper Groove Brutality (Unique Leader, 2017)

Ever since releasing the underrated classic Supreme Entity back in 1999, Japanese brutal death metallers Vomit Remnants have been something of an on again / off again band; Metal Archives lists their years active as 1997-2001, 2001-2005, 2015-present. This might explain why it took them nearly two decades to record and release a follow-up in the form of this year’s Hyper Groove Brutality, but rest assured it was more than worth the wait.

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Nyogthaeblisz – “Ordnance for Adamic Holocaust and Cosmocidal Entropy”

Normally I’m not one to make a big deal out of teaser tracks, but for Texas-based black metallers Nyogthaeblisz, I’m more than willing to make an exception.  The band’s current label Hells Headbangers (who seem uh, hell-bent on on defying the metal PC police this year) recently premiered “Ordnance for Adamic Holocaust and Cosmocidal Entropy” from their long awaited debut full length Abrahamic Godhead Besieged by Adversarial Usurpation and from the sound of things, the album will be everything fans have been waiting for.

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Sepultura – Machine Messiah (Nuclear Blast, 2017)

I can think of few bands that have managed to battle their way back from the edge of oblivion the way Sepultura has, yet get so little credit for doing so.  It’s no secret that following a major lineup change, the boys from Brazil spent several years in the wilderness, but what isn’t talked about is their defiant return to relevance after many had written them off.  Their comeback began as early as Dante XXI, but with 2011’s crushing Kairos they regained much of their lost footing, and by the time the woefully underrated The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart rolled around in 2013, Sepultura were once again firing on all cylinders.

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