1. No Fun At All – Grit
10 years on from their previous release, you could say there was a little bit of pressure on this album to not totally suck. First listen, I was relatively impressed, by the third it was up there as one of my favourite albums of theirs. It has all the fire and hooks that brought them to prominence ‘back in the day’, with an added air of vulnerability and retrospection that really strikes a chord.
2. Alice In Chains – Rainier Fog
Another solid effort from these guys. They’re always trying a few new things, while still having it undeniably sounding like Alice in chains. Riffs aplenty, vocal harmonies on point, as always, an all round solid rock album.
3. Cold Ground – Destroy The Illusion Of Peace
This is one corker of an album. These guys had solid beginnings with their first couple of releases, but have stepped things up infinitely on this one. Passionate lyrics, some of the best riffs I’ve heard in a long time, and a groove that keeps on giving. A must for punk and hardcore fans alike.
4. Rivers Of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name
I’d never heard of these guys before my mate posted about them and, to be honest, I was just expecting to hear another generic death metal band. Wow, was I wrong? This album is chock full of everything that makes metal great. The drums along are epic, ranging from up tempo, blast beats, and double kick that’d revive you from a coma. The whole album is laced with atmosphere, which I just love, whether it’s in combonation with the huge riffs or in the quieter parts of the album. Great ebbing and flowing of intensity and calm, and any metal band that makes saxophone solos feel oh so right deserves some major praise.
5. The Prodigy – No Tourists
I was particularly underwhelmed upon my first listen or two, much to my buddy’s disbelief, who is an even bigger fanboy that I am. After a few rotations I was on board, though. I’m all for albums/songs being growers, those ones often becoming favourites. Overall, it’s another solid effort in a diverse discography.
Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
Pennywise – Never Gonna Die
Greyhaven – Empty Black