MANDATORY JAMS: NEW HEAT FOR THE WEEK OF 9/15

A hefty offering of synthwave, a dose of deathcore and some epic, otherworldly death metal for good measure anchor this week’s shortlist.

The diversity within heavy music is arguably the healthiest it has ever been. A byproduct of that continued growth is the eroding dated gatekeeping ideals, genre lines and community divides. What that means is, a wealth of great music that all compliments each other – only moving the culture forward.

This week’s selections of new singles further reiterates that. We go from synthwave to death metal to doo-wop all in the same list. Check the entries that made the cut for this week’s Mandatory Jams.

TO THE GRAVE – “ANESTHETIST” (UNIQUE LEADER RECORDS)

Aussie deathcore devastators To The Grave have unleashed their six-track Offcuts EP – a collection of tracks that didn’t quite align with the unbridled mayhem of their early 2023 LP, Director’s Cuts. Though equally intense, the tone of the presentation offers a bit more levity with a presentation that dares to have some fun with their brand of brutality. A prime example of that comes with the band’s take on Enter Shikari’s “Anesthetist”. Complete with accents of synth, punchy choruses and big breakdowns, To The Grave combine the party and the pummel.


SIERRA – “POWER” (VIRGIN RECORDS FRANCE)

Making a strong first impression as a special guest on Carpenter Brut’s 2022 masterclass, Leather Terror, French synthwave prospect Sierra has launched her studio debut with A Story of Anger. Appearing in kind, Carpenter Brut has again teamed with Sierra only this time to kick off her album campaign with the release of the appropriately titled “Power”. Loaded with mammoth synth and a pummeling pulse, the single underscores a cinematic quality where synth can be savage.


BLOOD INCANTATION – “OBLIQUITY OF THE ECLIPTIC” (CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS)

Extreme outliers Blood Incantation have followed their universally acclaimed 2022 ambient endeavor Timewave Zero with an equally outworldly 12″ Maxi single Luminescent Bridge. Showcasing the collective’s brilliant balance of ethereal and extreme, Side B is a near ten-minute instrumental odyssey that expands on Timewave’s far-reaching ambition. Side A however, is a nine-minute death metal epic the band seems to craft with ease. Strap in, Blood Incantation will ratchets up the intensity with on an interstellar level.


TWIN TEMPLE – “BE A SLUT” (PENTAGRAMMATON RECORDS)

Just how good is Twin Temple? Well, their latest single previewing their forthcoming God Is Dead LP teleports us all to world that harkens back to when icons like The Ronettes, The Vandellas and The Marvelettes ruled.The provocative anthem celebrates individuality and doing whatever you want. With that, the track does the opposite of slutshaming while advocating one of the core tenants of their Satanic gospel. Add to the equation the fact that a Satanic doo-wop group is currently on tour with Danzig and Polish black metal heroes Behemoth – you get some idea of just how damned good Twin Temple is.


CROSSES – “LIGHT AS A FEATHER” (WARNER RECORDS)

The tandem of Shaun Lopez and Chino Moreno continue their stretch of effective releases with the latest preview of Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete.The highly-anticipated album is due out next month and thus far has been showcased with heaters like “Invisible Hand” and now a pair of singles in “Ghost Ride” and “Light As A Feather”. The team tastefully competently communicate their synth and new wave influences in a modern era – balancing classic and contemporary in the one fell swoop. On “Light As A Feather” we also get to see Shaun Lopez’s directorial chops on a single that soars.