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Metal: New albums from The Erkonauts and Of Mice & Men, and The Ruiner are taking this metal thing very literally

Formed in 2014, The Erkonauts are an eccentric foursome playing a high octane style of their very own, blending modern power, execution and production with subtle vintage analog tones. They toured worldwide from 2014-16 before releasing their debut album last year, and now they’ve entered Downtone Studio with Drop from Samael in the producer chair to begin work on their second album, I Shall Forgive.
 
Of Mice & Men have announced their new album, Defy, for a Friday January 19, 2018 release – which gives you plenty of time to get to know the new material before their appearance at Download Melbourne in March. You can hear the single ‘Warzone’ all over the place right now. The video lives up to the title. “For us, this new album encapsulates and showcases our desire to return to an aggressive, live-oriented sound, and 'Warzone' is of the heaviest tracks on the album,” vocalist/bassist Aaron Pauley says.
 
Prog guitar god (and honorary Aussie by virtue of touring with Plini a whole bunch) Aaron Marshall will release his third Intervals record, The Way Forward, on Friday December 1. It’s the follow-up to 2015’s The Shape of Colour, and the lead track ‘Touch and Go’ is online now. Those who caught Marshall’s co-headlining tour with Plini a while back really wanna hear this. “I’m really excited to begin sharing music from this album with everyone,” Aaron says. “'The Way Forward' is a really interesting literary concept to me in the context of this record. While I explored some new ground with these songs, I managed to find those elements by way of acknowledging my past.”
 
The Ruiner have come up with a really cool way of releasing their latest record: sheathing the damn thing in metal. To backtrack a second, The Ruiner were established in 2013 to play a one-off show as a tribute to legendary death/grind/stoner band Christbait (1989-1996), under the name Dirtypunkmutha. After much arm-twisting, two of Christbait's original members decided to get the project off the ground as a proper band. Featuring Craig Westwood (Christbait, Dern Rutlidge, Budd), Jason Vassallo (Christbait, Dread), Jason PC (Blood Duster, Dern Rutlidge, Birdcage) and brothers Adam Stokes (Legends Of Motorsport, Pillow) and Ben Stokes (Pillow, Tailbone, Piggy), the band blends heavy and dark doom riffs with hard stoner grooves. And their new self-titled album came out a few months ago but the vinyl version is available for pre-order in a special limited edition rusty metal jacket with hand plasma-cut logo. It’s limited to 150, and shipping on Monday January 22.