It's been such an insanely great year for metal so far that I haven't said much, both because I might jinx it and because it's hard to know where to start. But at this point it doesn't matter if I wield the most fearsome jinx in the universe, because there's already such an embarassment of great 2007 metal that it doesn't even matter if everybody else lays eggs for the rest of the year.
The one release which you must check out, even if the stuff only interests you casually, is Laethora's March of the Parasite. Laethora is from Sweden and they play death metal, which is like saying "they're from Iowa and they eat pork," but they balance their audible love for the old-school with a few novel twists. First, there's a little whiff of early Katatonia in their melodic interludes (also known as "the slow parts"). Second, they're not above the occasional passing doom riff - not doom in the Southern Lord dick-measuring-contest sense*, but in the Sabbath/Purple/Pentagram sense. This puts them in a weird spot, since doom riffs are like augmented blues riffs, and the most death metal is openly antagonistic toward blues structures. Baroque, not blues - that's the death metal pedigree. But Laethora dooms it up when they feel like it, and they double-kick 'til they get sick of it, and they even drop in little gothy/NIN intros 'n' outros when the mood suits them (check "The Scum of Us All" for pretty much all of these tendencies in play at once). What's more, the band, or their producer at least, has enough sense to keep the guitars sounding like guitars instead of overprocessed blurs; metalcore guitars have all but obliterated actual guitar tone from the scene, and it's nice to actually hear a dirty pickslide or a proper "Eruption"-squeal rearing its head like the alien outta that one guy's chest. Add to all that some absolutely crushing riffs an audible love of the proper HxCx - chantable chorus! fist-pump cues! dude screamin' "you fucking bastards!" real high! - and you have a record that has captivated and encouraged me for over a month now. Their pedigree, if it matters to you, includes members of Dark Tranquility, which ought to seal the deal for anybody who's still got his finger on the trigger.
*all respect to Southern Lord, obviously, we are not haters, but anybody who says he doesn't know what I mean is lying
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