Picks: Judas Priest, Actors, Motormouth

Every week we recommend three new releases from the world of rock, metal, punk and hardcore. This week is a bit special, because rarely have we had such variation in our selection or such strength of quality across all three albums. Heavy metal. Goth. Grindcore. Let’s do it…

Judas Priest
Firepower
Sony Music Entertainment UK
[Spotify]

Like the rest of the metal world we’ve been blown away by Firepower, the new album by legendary pioneers Judas Priest. Much has been made of the performances of Rob Halford and Richie Faulkner, and of the enormous contribution of producer Andy Sneap, and we agree with it all. But what matters is this: with riffs like this, in such abundance, a record is undeniable. Lead single ‘Lightning Strike’ is ably backed up by the title track, ‘Evil Never Dies’ and ‘Necromancer’, but ‘Children Of The Sun’ is the song that really gets our horns up. Ooh er.

ACTORS
It Will Come To You
Artoffact Records
[Spotify]

Every now and then we come across a darkwave album we’ll talk about for the rest of the year. ACTORS, from Vancouver, have popped up with the best we’ve heard so far and it’s a debut to boot. It Will Come To You has everything you could possibly want from goth-laced post-punk. The bass lines are irresistible, the hooks are massive, yet the veil of darkness never slips. From the stabbing guitars of ‘Slaves’ to the brilliant and gloomy early ’80s synthpop of ‘Bury Me’, the Trojan horse of this record is its subtle variety. We’ll be coming back to this one a lot.

Motormouth
Error
Church Road Records
[Bandcamp]

Offer us a grindcore band made up of Employed To Serve’s Sammy Unwin and Leng Tch’e duo Olivier Coppens and Jan Hallaert, and we’re likely to bite your hand off. That’s Motormouth, folks, and Error is fucking magnificent. ‘Ear Torture’ is a fantastic example of the band’s tendency to switch from frenetic grind to toe-tapping riffs, and it’s that knack for a groove that pairs so gloriously with the abrasive grindcore attack to give Motormouth its spine. The highlights are too many to specify so just listen to the whole thing and enjoy yourself. Go on. Go. You won’t regret it.

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