Happy weekend! It’s almost December! It’s almost 2019! Hopefully you’re not having too terrible of an existential crisis at my pointing it out. I’m just choked that I live in a snowy dark corner of Canada and all of the great tours are passing us by (looking at YOU, VNVNATION), and it’s dark at 5…

Anyway. Metal ahead!

Striker – Play to Win

First up this week, we’ve got fellow Canadians Striker! Their new album, Play To Win is probably best described as good thrashy fun with a side of NWOBHM. Th guys are killer players, and the music is lots of fun to bang your head along with. If you’re just here for the riffs, this is a fantastic album and you should stop reading here. On the lyrical side, I found it hit and miss. Some songs such as “Head First” and “On The Run” work really well – they’re simple but catchy. Overall, though, a lot of the songs feel vague – album opener “Heart of Lies” is political, but the lyrics are a lot of generic stuff about not feeling free and being lied to. It should be powerful, but it instead comes off as toothless. At least tell us what you really think, guys.

Like I said, though, musically it’s great and still worth checking out. Play To Win came out October 26 via Record Breaking Records. You can check out “Born To Lose” here:

The Mon – Doppelleben

Second pick this week is The Mon, created by Urlo from Ufomammut. Their debut LP, Doppelleben, is drone done right. It’s not fast or technical (at least playing-wise) – in fact, most of the record is slow with a capital S – but each part is masterfully designed, and the record has an powerful ambience. It’s the sort of record that will be either really not your thing or give you major music goals. My personal favorite tracks are probably “Hedy Lamarr”, “Hate One I Hate”, and “Doppelleben”, all of which have a slow, eerie (almost Blade Runner-esque) feel to them. If that sounds like your jam, definitely pick this guy up.

Doppelleben came out November 8 on Supernatural Cat Records. You can check it out here:

https://themon.bandcamp.com/

KOSM- Cosmonaut

Rounding out the weekend, we’ve got some Canadian progressive metal courtesy of KOSM. The Vancouver band has released their first record, Cosmonaut, and they were kind enough to send us a copy to spin. There’s some nifty stuff going on here riff-wise and rhythmically, and vocalist Jessie Grace has both a strong singing voice and a solid growl. My one gripe is that other than the rhythmic changes, there isn’t a lot of variance to this record musically – for  a prog album, it feels very ‘safe’ musically – no key changes, and very little in the way of real changes to the songs and structure as the record progresses. Overall, it’s very technically competent, but not very adventurous. There’s a lot of good things here, though, so I’m looking forward to seeing how these guys build on a solid foundation.

 

Cosmonaut came out November 16. You can check it out here: https://kosmofficial.bandcamp.com

 

Stay warm, folks (or cool, if you’re in Australia). See you next week!