Planet Thickness, Happy Birthday to Opera by ZEUS!, Released 2/19/13

ZEUS! is so unbelievable heavy it’s almost unmusical. Which is not to say there’s no melody or that it’s not catchy (their Opera LP is all of this and more). Just that, when you hear this Italian duo play together, you don’t think of a band. You think of power, mountains, strength, force. It’s an elemental sound here: hard-driving, merciless like weather, and thick as a planet.

With just vocals, drums, and bass (and Justin Pearson of The Locust and Deaf Club on track #2), Luca Cavina and Paolo Mongardi have created their own futuristic yet timeless rebirth and conjoining of metal and hardcore. The result is its own beast—beautiful, gloriously overdriven, and a sweet thing to put on headphones and rinse your mind out with.

Adam Gnade, author of The Internet Newspaper and After Tonight, Everything Will Be Different