Mandatory Jams: New music for the week of 2/12

A month and a half into the new year and already there have been plenty of great tunes that have surfaced in the sphere of heavy music. The nuanced culture of metal means that whatever your flavor, there is always something fresh being released from quality bands big and small.

This week's collection again speaks to the kind of variety that exists under the umbrella of heavy music. Speed, shred, sludge, the we aim to cover the entire spectrum in a quick 10 track cheat sheet.

Crank these.

Enforced - "Curtain Fire" (Century Media Records)

It makes sense that such an audio assault is coupled with themes of warfare tactics and combat strategy. Thrash metal outfit Enforced utilize frenzied fretwork, pulverizing drums, and menacing vocals in what translates to blitzkrieg, an unrelenting barrage of sound that works well in relaying the inspiration of the track. Following the release of "Malignance" and "Hemorrhage", off their March 12th LP, Kill Grid, the Virginia crossover collective are already asserting themselves as a band to watch in 2021.

God Is An Astronaut - "Adrift" (Napalm Records)

The emphatic opening track for the band's 10th LP, 'Ghost Tapes #10' "Adrift" serves as a signature of the post-metal, experimental rock prowess of the Irish four piece that are celebrating two decades of mastery. A vivid, emotive example of heavy music's diversity, "Adrift" is the kind of offering that showcases how aggression can be articulate.

The Drowned God - "I Met You" (Solid State Records)

Intended to translate as a cross section between Oathbreaker, Converge, and Deafheaven, the Philly-prospects in The Drowned God deliver a potent meld of hardcore release with the sinister stylization of black metal. "I Met You" introduces the band's March 26th Solid State effort, Pale Home, which explores the weighty narrative involving paranoia and the afterlife. Inventive in theme and sound, The Drowned God are earning their hype.

Stepson - "Deeper Sleep" (Sharptone Records)

The Brisbane brood of Stepson manage to make a hell of an introduction with this one. The lead single from the band's Sharptone Records LP, 'Help Me Help You' is an infectious showing that flexes real angst in an almost danceable way. A dynamic package of punk swag with hardcore heft, the crossover potential for Stepson suggest their stock will rise and fast.

Cabal feat. Jason Evans of Ingested - "Innocent Blood" (Long Branch Records)

Copenhagen metal cohorts Cabal opted to assert the legs their brand of brutality by revising the first song the band ever released in "Innocent Blood". Marking the fifth anniversary of their debut EP, Purge, the menacing murk of the track translates just as fresh as it did upon it's initial release. Retaining that kind of relevance during an era of very limited shelf life is a testament to Cabal's craft.

LGND Feat. Andrew Tkaczyk of The Ghost Inside - "Spite Me" (Rise Records)

An absolute sledgehammer of a song. LGND is spearheaded by vocalist Chad Ruhlig, pooling a collaborative collection of musicians and producers. For this particular entry, Andrew Tkaczyk of The Ghost Inside joins the effort, which makes complete sense in that the track hits so hard. Combined with Ruhlig's vocal command, "Spite Me" is undeniable from start to finish.

Mork featuring Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone - "Svartmalt" (Peaceville Records)

Emerging Norway black metal contingent Mork have offered a powerful introduction with the track "Svartmalt" from their forthcoming Peaceville release, Katedralen. Enlisting Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone, the suffocating char of black metal is an all consuming inferno that decimates everything in it's path.

Youth Code & King Yosef - "Looking Down" (Self Released)

The highly-anticipated collaboration EP A Skeleton Key in the Doors of Depression between King Yosef and Youth Code debuted another banger in "Looking Down". Adding to the excitement ushered in by the introductory, "Burner," the cadence of the track is both pummeling and infectious.