Five Hard-Rock and Metal Albums to Kickstart Your Summer

Photo courtesy of Serj Tankian/Facebook

Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings

Maybe the hot weather reminds bands of sweaty mosh pits or maybe it’s just the fact that the summer swelter is the closest thing to feeling like you’re in Hell, but many metal bands wait to release their best riffs until you can fry an egg on the sidewalk. Since we’re facing a deluge of releases coming from all the heavy subgenres this year, we’ve collected together the most anticipated hard-rock and metal albums coming out that we hope will get your head banging. That is, if you’re able to move it away from your fan.

1. Baroness, Yellow & Green

Three years after releasing the critically acclaimed sludge-metal album Blue Record, the Georgia-born quartet is flipping the script. Full-on singing has replaced screaming, intricate guitar textures are given equal time to shit-kicking riffs and there are more than a few pop melodies on the double-album Yellow & Green. Color us impressed with the way the group takes risks. Due out July 17 on Relapse Records.

Stream “March to the Sea”:

2. Gojira, L’Enfant Sauvage

The title of the French groove-metal group’s new album translates to “wild child,” and on their fifth LP, they sound like they’re out for blood. The title track is a carefully paced, almost industrial-sounding salvo that finds vocalist-guitarist Joe Duplantier singing, screaming and scraping his pick against his guitar strings. It’s a sign of far wilder things to come. Due out July 31 on Roadrunner Records.

Stream “L’Enfant Sauvage” below:

3. Serj Tankian, Harakiri

Inspired partially by reuniting with his bandmates in spastic-rock anarchists System of a Down, that group’s frontman made his most punk-rock record to date and titled it after the Japanese word for honorable suicide. The thing is, he sounds more alive than ever as he whispers and wails on lead single “Fuck, Let’s Figure It Out” and even a satire about “Reality TV.” Due out July 10 on Reprise Records.

Stream “Harakiri” below:

4. Nachtmystium, The Silencing Machine

Never ones to rest on their laurels, Chicago-area black metallers Nachtmystium are stretching the definition of the genre once again on full-length No. 6, The Silencing Machine. While their last couple albums showed off how well minor-key metal could mesh with the prog-rock of Pink Floyd, they’re spicing up the sound with noise and industrial electronics this time. Due out July 31 on Century Media.

Stream “Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams”:

5. Testament, Dark Roots of the Earth

After reuniting their classic lineup, thrash legends Testament put out a comeback record in 2008. Now, after touring relentlessly since then, they’re in top form on new album Dark Roots of the Earth. More than just a meat-and-potatoes thrash record, Dark Roots shows the variety of what Testament can do, from slow burners to ballads to guitar-hero epics. This is no nostalgia act. Due out July 31 on Nuclear Blast Records.

Sorry we can’t seem to find any new Testament to preview. Check back soon!

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