New Noise New Releases: Amon Amarth, Liminal Shroud, Psycroptic

Three years might not seem like an excessive amount of time for a band to release a new studio album. But thanks to you-know-what (COVID, cough, 19), Amon Amarth are back after their longest break between records, with The Great Heathen Army. Stockholm’s iconic death-metal vikings are so pleased with their new effort, in fact, that they assembled arguably the strongest metal tour of the year (with Carcass, Obituary and Cattle Decapitation).

In this week’s edition of New Noise New Releases, we share Amon Amarth’s full-throated enthusiasm for The Great Heathen Army. We also put our hands together for new records by Liminal Shroud and Fearsome.

Pick Of The Week

Artist: Amon Amarth

Title: The Great Heathen Army

Label: Metal Blade

RIYL: drinking beer from a horn you keep strapped to your waist

Best track(s): “Oden Owns You All,” “Dawn of the Horsemen”

Why it rules: Like Thor and Odin, the immortal gods at whose alter Amon Amarth kneel, the 30-year-old band shows no sign of aging on their 12th record. The band sets the table with two tracks sure to appease fans of that undeniable, throttling Amon Amarth sound. But after that, Great Heathen Army takes a turn for the better. Rather than pursuing a commercial sound, as they did in recent years to the dismay of Amon Amarth purists, the Swedes opt for adventure instead. The try their hand at folk metal (“Heidrun”), welcome Saxon’s Biff Byford for a rare collaboration (on the aptly named “Saxons and Vikings” and close with a chilled-out mini-epic (“The Serpent’s Tail”). Like commanders on a battlefield, Amon Amarth keep their troops on their toes — to Über-satisfying results.

In a nutshell: With a sound as muscular as Thor’s biceps, Amon Amarth conquer with a new record strong enough to level a village.

Buy on Bandcamp


Artist: Liminal Shroud

Title: All Virtues Ablaze

Label: Willowtip

RIYL: Nux Vomica, Falls of Rauros

Best track(s): “Mists Along Florencia”

Why it rules: In the mere five years since their inception, Canada’s Liminal Shroud have already delivered more fresh takes on black metal than bands two, three or four times their age. Kicking off the record with a black-metal blitzkrieg (“Hypoxic”), the band takes a breather with a post-rock-turned-crust saga (“Mists Along Florencia”). Side B is devoted to an epic on an even larger scale: “Transmigration I- Pelagic Voids” and “Transmigration II- The Cleansing Ash.” The perfectly named couplet indeed comes across as the soundtrack to a soul passing into another body after death—and captures Liminal Shroud in all their glory. They may be young, but this band don’t waste any time screwing around on All Virtues Ablaze. Liminal Shroud have already figured themselves out, and it’s a privilege to bask in their glory.

In a nutshell: An eye-opening, enrapturing listen by Canada’s most promising young black metal band.

Buy on Bandcamp

Don’t Sleep On …

Artist: Fearsore

Title: Bloedwyrx

Label: Dead Sage

RIYL: Panopticon, Dååth

Best track(s): “Sky Devourer Forest Fire Urge”

Why it rules: Ever get lost in a forest and find yourself stuck there after the sun goes down, not sure you’ll make it out alive? Fearsore targets that sense of dread, grabs hold of it like a branch, and examines every crevice over the course of five songs. While the record could probably be classified as an EP (it runs just 27 minutes long), Bloedwyrx presents a coherent and self-contained story that doesn’t need more chapters than it already has.

In a nutshell: A creepy-crawly debut by an oblique band that dares you to look over your shoulder.

Buy on Bandcamp

Other Notables

Datura4 – Neanderthal Jam (Alive)

Dogbreth – Believe This Rain (Phat ’N’ Phunky)

• New Noise band profile

Dust Star – Open Up That Heart (Lame-O)

Einherjer – Norse and Dangerous (Live … From the Land of Legends) (Napalm)

Glass Animals – Dreamland: Real Life Edition (Republic)

 New Noise news article

Grave Bathers – Rock ’N’ Roll Fetish (Seeing Red)

Heavy Gus (feat. members of the Lumineers, Blind Pilot) – Notions (BMG)

The Interrupters – In the Wild (Hellcat/Epitaph)

• New Noise cover story reveal

Kal Marks – My Name Is Hell (Exploding in Sound)

Kaye – Neon God EP (Red Lily)

• New Noise news article (from 2018)

Kids That Fly – Melodramas for the Space Age EP (self-release)

Lincoln – Repair and Reward (discography reissue; Temporary Residence Limited)

• New Noise news article

Master – The Human Machine and The New Elite reissues (Hammerheart)

Mercy Union – White Tiger (Mt. Crushmore)

• New Noise review of 2018’s The Quarry

Odd Circus – Deus EP (Good Idea Music)

• New Noise video premiere (from 2021)

Psycroptic – Divine Council (Prosthetic)

• New Noise album review

Soulfly – Totem (Nuclear Blast)

New Noise news article

Tim Bowness – Butterfly Mind (Burning Shed)

Tool – Fear Inoculum three-disc, 180-gram vinyl re-release (RCA)

• New Noise news article (from 2021)

Windhand – Levitation Sessions (The Reverberation Appreciation Society)

• New Noise news article

Worthitpurchase – Truthtelling EP (Citrus City)

Next week’s highlights: Halo Effect’s Days of the Lost (Nuclear Blast), Osees’ Foul Form (Castle Face), Aronious’ Irkalla (The Artisan Era)

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