Well, well, well. It’s that time of the year, folks. That time when music publications are obligated to put out some sort of mid-year “Best Of” list.
This year, instead of doing some long-winded top 50 whatever list, we decided to take this opportunity to simplify things and highlight five underrated albums we really think you need to check out if you haven’t already.
Now before you guys get all up in our ass over what the idea of “underrated” is, let us explain our thinking. Pretty much, our concept of underrated is if we walked up to you and a group of friends and asked, “Hey, have you guys checked out the new ____ yet? It’s incredible,” and your response was “Who?” or maybe “I didn’t even know they were still a band anymore,” that’s what we consider underrated – the idea that more people should know about how fantastic something is instead of the new Kanye or whatever else.
Anyway, to check out five deliciously heavy records we think need a little more time in the spotlight, look below.
Rolo Tomassi - Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It
While we’d absolutely love to claim that we’ve been fans of Sheffield act Rolo Tomassi since they released the Diplo-produced LP Cosmology way back in 2010, we must admit we actually didn’t discover this band until like a week ago – shocking, we know. Pretty much serving as the inspiration for this whole entire list, we have made it our personal mission to inform the masses about this jaw-dropping Holy Roar Records release. From front to back, this 10-track record will take you on a spiritual journey completely changing the way you look at “heavy” music and how it’s constructed.
Notable Tracks: “Rituals,” “Balancing the Dark,” “Alma Mater”
Limbs - Father’s Son
In case you weren’t the biggest fan of Underoath's new comeback record as the band decided to shy away from certain sounds, don’t fret as we have something to fill the void. Released via UNFD back in April, Limbs’ debut album Father’s Son is an extraordinary heart-racing record combining throwback vibes with modern instrumentation – which makes sense considering the record had pre-production done by Underoath’s Tim McTague and was recorded by Saosin’s Beau Burchell. Whether you’re looking for a track that’s a phat pit-ripper (”Abba”), a mid-2000′s banger (”Weep”) or even a Radiohead-like track (”Sacrament”), Limbs’ latest has it all.
Notable Tracks: “Father’s Son,” “Abba,” “Weep”
Greyhaven - Empty Black
Generally, when someone tells us a band sounds like a combination on Every Time I Die, Dillinger Escape Plan and Norma Jean we tend to roll your eyes as those three bands are usually the goto for every upcoming heavy band (”Check us out if you like ETID, Dillinger and Norma Jean!”). However, after just one listen to Greyhaven’s astonishing debut Empty Black, we’re not afraid to admit that these dudes are actually a legit combination of some of the most influential acts in heavy music. Combining infectious vocal hooks with punishing and killer musicianship, Greyhaven will have you singing along while you also snap your neck in two from headbanging so hard. See “Echo and Dust Pt.1″ if you don’t believe us.
Notable Tracks: “Sweet Machine,” “Echo and Dust Pt.1,” “Ten Dogs”
Cancer Bats - The Spark That Moves
If you happened to blink (or smoke too much) around late April, there’s a very good chance you may have missed out on the release of Cancer Bats’ face-melting surprise LP The Spark That Moves. Shocking listeners by pulling a Beyoncé (or Avenged Sevenfold) and dropping their new 11-track album out of nowhere, Cancer Bats proved two things: One, after 12 years, Liam Cormier and company still know how to stir things up and two, clearly they still don’t give a shit about doing what’s expected. Shout out to the Toronto four-piece for keeping things fresh all these years later.
Notable Tracks: “Gatekeeper,” “Brightest Day,” “Space And Time”
Gatherers - We Are Alive Beyond Repair
This one goes out to all the thinkers out there – you know, the ones who want to bang their head but also have an intellectual experience as well. Coming in as our second Equal Vision band to make the list, Gatherers’ new record is a stunning piece of art (and we actually mean it when we say “art”) finding influence from things like personal loss and domestic abuse to visual art and classic literature. While We Are Alive Beyond Repair may not be for everyone (especially all those heavy music purists out there) as it doesn’t center around breakdowns and “blehs,” for those open-minded listeners who are able to connect with it, you may never listen to music the same way again. You’ll see what we mean after watching the video for “Infinity & Gloom.”
Notable Tracks: “Every Pain In Monochrome,” “The Floorboards Are Breathing,” “Infinity & Gloom”