Recommended New Releases – Wolves In The Throne Room, Sia, Judas Priest

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Wolves In The Throne Room – Celestite
Its filmic, grandiose textures recall Eno and Glass in equal measure and, to be fair to the Weavers, what they lack in originality here they make up for in commitment. A huge amount of work has clearly gone into making this track alone a detailed, in-depth work of artistic expression from the pair. When it would have been easy for them to just turn in a half-baked set of Seventies electronica tributes, Wolves in the Throne Room have just about managed to give these five tracks enough of their own character, mainly through sheer attention to detail. Read the full review on Drowned In Sound

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Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
1000 Forms of Fear seems pitched like a comeback, channeling the darkness Sia has found in fame, addiction, and personal loss in recent years into a batch of crescendoing power anthems that find her both wallowing in and overcoming a variety of setbacks. Lead single “Chandelier” epitomizes the album’s gray area between total despair and something that sounds like hope. Opening with the line “Party girls don’t get hurt” sung over a finger-snap beat and a hollow-sounding marimba line, the song builds to a hook that juxtaposes a triumphant melody with an ominous lyric capturing the wild abandon of an alcoholic about to hit rock bottom. Read the full review on Slant Magazine

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Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls
Redeemer of Souls quells all fears. This is Judas Priest as they haven’t been heard in nearly 25 years; not since Painkiller has the band had this much power, this much energy, or this many hooks.

“Dragonaut” opens the album with a catchy, sing-along style, more reminiscent of their mid-‘80s pop charting era than anything they’ve done since Rob Halford’s return to vocal duties in 2003. This is far from the only song on Redeemer of Souls to draw on styles and themes from their extensive back catalog. In many ways, the album serves as a reclamation of those things that were always at the heart of Judas Priest’s music, even when buried under the heavy progressive fog on Nostradamus or the sequenced sheen of Turbo. This is a band where melodies, hooks and sing-along choruses are key. Read the full review on Pop Matters