Top five albums to look for this week

Scott Murphy, News Editor

Artist: At the Gates

Album: At War With Reality

Label: Century Media Records

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

At the Gates shocked the metal community when they announced the release of a follow up to their swansong Slaughter of the Soul, a cornerstone in melodic death metal that has remained highly relevant in the two decades since its release.

The following clash of opinion between starry-eyed fans and eye-rolling cynics has solidified At War With Reality as the most anticipated metal release of the year.

It will certainly be a challenge to follow up such a classic album, but considering the band’s discography, it seems likely that they will still have something substantial to say with their return.

Artist: Grouper

Album: Ruins

Label: Kranky Records

Genre: Ambient Folk

Liz Harris may have chosen to name her main creative project after a hideous fish, but the music that she crafts is pure bliss. Her focus on lo-fi acoustic beauty leaves the listener with a feeling of haunted optimism.

Ruins will continue Harris’ trend of being an emotive singer-songwriter that is unwilling to compose within the tropes of the genres that she explores.

Artist: Mono

Albums: The Last Dawn & Rays of Darkness

Label: Temporary Residence Limited

Genre: Post Rock

Few names carry as much weight as Mono’s in the world of instrumental rock, as the band’s take on post rock has proven just how emotionally rich the genre can be.

The band decided this year to further develop their legacy over a decade into their career by releasing their seventh and eighth albums simultaneously, both with a consistent artistic and sonic concept. The Last Dawn & Rays of Darkness are both Mono at their finest, showcasing what has made the band so celebrated while also exploring new territory.

Artist: Pianos Become the Teeth

Album: Keep You

Label: Epitaph Records

Genre: Post Hardcore

As bad a rap as the term “screamo” receives, this subgenre of post-hardcore has recently seen an uptick of young (and talented) bands labeled as “the wave.”

Along with friends Touché Amoré, La Dispute, Defeater and Make Do and Mend, the music of Pianos Become the Teeth has become a defining voice within screamo that has given the genre some long-awaited credibility.

Their infusion of post rock into this style will surely mark Keep You as another strong step in their budding career.

Artist: Run the Jewels

Album: RTJ2

Label: Mass Appeal Records

Genre: Hip-Hop

When experimental rapper/producer El-P enlisted the help of southern rapper Killer Mike to create the super group Run the Jewels, no one anticipated just how solid the final product would be. And just a year after the release of their acclaimed self-titled debut, the duo have unleashed their sophomore project, RTJ2, which amplifies everything that has made them such a beloved new voice in underground hip-hop.

Guest highlights include an exceptional guest verse from Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine fame, additional percussion from Travis Barker of blink-182 and co-production from Boots, frequent collaborator with Beyoncé.