In the spirit of the staff suggestions featured in record shops and old-school video stores (RIP), we share our Vault Picks. It’s a chance to venture beyond Indy Metal Vault’s premieres and reviews for a glimpse into other recent releases the staff have been jamming in their secluded lairs. From extreme underground oddities to non-metal recommendations and guilty pleasures, unlock our newest bevy of Vault Picks below.
Released on March 22nd, 2019
I know this is a metal site, but the heaviest album I’ve heard all year is not metal, and it comes from a band featuring King Coffey, former drummer of the legendary Butthole Surfers. Following up 2017’s equally excellent Laredo, Matamoros is an album so utterly loud and abrasive that it feels like it can’t be contained. Drenched in feedback and clipping distortion, this will be a rough listen for many, but it’s a strong contender for my favorite album of the year. If you’re into 90’s Trance Syndicate and Amphetamine Reptile bands, I think you’ll be right at home with this.
Releases on October 18th, 2019
Nick already reviewed this one, but it really is the album I’ve been listening to the most over the course of the last week or so and I’m completely enraptured. Xoth specializes in a quasi-Decrepit Birth style of “The Sound of Perseverance era Death on steriods” but with less emphasis on mindbending technicality and more on Mithras/Sarpanitum style screaming leads and monstrous riffs. The black metal portion of their typical tag is really understated, relegated to some tremolo riffs here and there. But the truth is that the overwhelming majority of this is highly melodic death metal played at lightning speed, and it kicks way more ass than it has any right to kick.
Arc of Ancients
Released on October 18th, 2019
Dismemberment have a great new track streaming: “Once Forsaken” off of their second full-length album Arc of Ancients. This is the first Dismemberment release in five years, likely because guitarist and frontman Luke Shively has been busy playing bass for Incantation’s live shows since 2015. This new track reminds me of Heartwork-era Carcass but with an emphasis on riffs that reminds me of Horrendous. Plus, the solo in the song is brilliant. Support our brothers from Ohio and get ready for this new Dismemberment release!
Released on August 23rd, 2019
Yeah yeah, I already talked about the lead single “Me” back when it came out. Look at it this way; you need to view this as something to appreciate for Taylor Swift’s vocal style, poetic writing, and the drops of emotion. A good one to start with is “Paper Rings” because it greatly reflects what made ‘80s pop music so monumental. The keys, the melodies, and of course, the catchiness are very apparent. The title track feels so genuine, and I also think “The Archer” is a standout. “Soon You’ll Get Better” is a warm softee that feature The Dixie Chicks, and man does it hit the feels! But there are tons of songs on this to talk about, and since I can’t ramble here, I’m just gonna suggest going against your metal street-cred and trying it. Also, there’s plenty to dig instrumentally too, such as synth passages, horns, and soothing melodies. This album is fantastic, and I really wish this type of pop record was more common. They’re out there, you just have to know where to look.