Best Album: 'Blossoming Decay' by Noisem

Noisem got a lot of well-deserved attention when its (excellent) debut album “Agony Defined” was released on A389—after all, it’s rare for a band to come out of the gate with such a cohesive, assured record. It’s even rarer for a thrash-metal band to follow up a record like that with one that isn’t just diminishing returns. Thankfully, Noisem’s sophomore LP, “Blossoming Decay,” has bucked that trend and doubled down on the promise of its first. There are vast technical chops on display, of course, but more important is the skillful song-writing. The group has always had an obvious enthusiasm and deep knowledge of metal that came before, mixing various strains together and innovating in a way that seems natural and not on trend, but with this release they have moved forward while transitioning the lyrical content from normal metal fare to more personal, mature themes—and in the process, becoming a band that can really stand up as notable artists in the international metal scene.

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