There's a whole bunch of hot trends and/or coincidences in this month's metal roundup. To wit: (1) Two albums by hypothetically frightening post-hardcore noise-art bands from the early '80s (one from each coast) who went away for a while, then came back after they'd inspired plenty of metal people. (2) Four albums (or EPs, maybe? -- that line has always been fuzzy) with six or fewer songs, including two by doom bands with "Altar" in their names, both of which were released on Shadow Kingdom Records. (3) Two albums (by Larman Clamor and Abrahma) from the equally nifty Small Stone label. (4) Three albums by bands who clearly like Aerosmith a whole lot. (5) Two albums by bands who clearly like ZZ Top a whole lot, one of which happens to be ZZ Top. (6) At least two albums that are more than long enough to make up for the short ones. And (7) at least five albums by bands with women in their lineups. They're all loud, too, so take your pick!