Upcoming metal releases: May 2012

Pseudogod's Hells Headbangers debut: should rule hard.

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More bad metal exists than good. This is a sad fact, a symptom of our universe; possible proof that if there is a God, he hates us. This monthly guide exists to lighten your load as a wanderer in search of richly goods; it’s a signpost and a starting point, nothing more. Use it how you like, but make sure to do your part: the metal economy needs your hard-earned blood money to survive. Support good metal!

— Aaron Lariviere

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SHOULD RULE HARD

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Daaaaaawnbringer! If ever there was proof the soul exists, that it can be heard in divine compositions and otherworldly playing, that an intangible spirit can steal your breath and force your head to bang: it lives on the new Dawnbringer album. A natural sonic extension of Nucleus, the new record pairs a hero’s quest to murder the sun with riffs so perfectly direct they feel instantly familiar, instantly timeless. A mid-album power ballad threatens to alienate curmudgeons, but the choice feels fucking ballsy in context. The Giant sees Ahab return to the depths of haunting nautical doom. Clean guitars drift to the current of a powerful baritone vocal; suddenly the pressure drops, forcing the air from your lungs; an ocean’s worth of riffs comes crashing like a tidal wave. Anhedonist do death in slow motion—songs spiral into darkness, forever. No light, no hope: no complaints. Russia offers its most vicious export in the form of Pseudogod, whose Hells Headbangers debut delivers alternating black/death blasts and two-chord killing riffs. And if you’re into transmutational alchemy and continental sprawl, be sure to pick up the new Horseback.


Ahab – The Giant [Preorder]
Anhedonist – Netherwards [Buy Now]
Dawnbringer – In the Lair of the Sun God [Preorder] / [Stream on Pitchfork]
Horseback – Half Blood [Preorder]
Pseudogod – Deathwomb Catechesis [Buy Now]

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Ahab – Studio Teaser

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Anhedonist – “Estrangement”

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Horseback – “Ahriman”

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Pseudogod – “Azazel”

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MIGHT RULE HARD

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May has so much potential it’s mindblowing. I’ll keep these short, for sanity’s sake. Aldebaran joins the Profound Lore roster, stretching time in service of cavernous funeral doom. Cattle Decapitation gets seriously weird when they add clean, thrashed-out vocals on top of unusually epic death/grind. Long forgotten German death ‘n’ rollers Crack Up get the reissue treatment for their ’98 album, Heads Will Roll. It’s an obscure encapsulation of a strange point in time, and hey, they cover Turbonegro. Another worthy reissue: Electrocution’s 20th Anniversary Edition of Inside the Unreal rescues a lost death metal classic from the abyss of time. Fun fact: Electrocution singer Alex Guadagnoli recorded demos with Sepultura after Max quit, only to be vetoed by Roadrunner. Angles and strange detours abound on Emptiness’s Dark Descent debut—think powerful, Immolation-style weirdness from members of Enthroned.

Let’s kick into hyperspeed: Ides of Gemini make “doom-pop” a thing; Mekong Delta are still alive, still thrashing proggily; and Mongrel’s Cross do that Australian black/thrash thing as well as you’d expect from a Hells Headbangers band. Mutilation Rites play big, Brooklyn-style black metal with some warmth around the edges. Finnish prog is outside my wheelhouse but Oddland convincingly blend Gojira and Gentle Giant riffs with manly clean vocals, if you can believe that. And Sabaton are all pomp and circumstance, sugar-coated hooks set against martial, historical-themed power metal. Wino’s back in Saint Vitus, but you probably knew that already. Lillie: F-65 is his first full length Vitus album since 1990; early tracks are promising. Superchristsees Chris Black in yet another project worth hearing, this time spun towards filthy rock and roll. Vetter is a last minute deep-crate find from Norway: a stew of noise, doom riffs, and clean vocals grounded in raw black metal—heady stuff.

Fans of crust can choose from two distinct flavors this month: You’re probably already familiar with Embers‘ hybrid of crust, doom, and black metal–their debut finally gets a physical release this month. And Southern Lord continues its transformation into the preeminent supplier of crusty hardcore with the latest release from Martyrdöd,
which takes the melodic blueprint of Tragedy and pushes to blackened extremes: looks to be killer.


Aldebaran – Embracing the Lightless Depths [Preorder] / [Stream Track on Facebook]
Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity [Preorder]
Embers – Shadows [Bandcamp] / [Info]
Crack Up – Heads Will Roll [Preorder]
Electrocution – Inside the Unreal [Facebook]
Emptiness – Error [Preorder]
Ides of Gemini – Constantinople [Preorder]
Martyrdöd – Paranoia [Preorder] / [Stream track "Köttberg" at Pitchfork]
Mekong Delta – Intersections [Preorder]
Mongrel’s Cross – The Sins of Aquarius [Bandcamp]
Mutilation Rites – Empyrean [Preorder] / [Interview & Streaming Tracks at Brooklyn Vegan]
Oddland – The Treachery of Senses [Preorder] / [Stream Track at Heavy Blog is Heavy]
Sabaton – Carolus Rex [Preorder]
Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65 [Preorder]
Superchrist – Holy Shit [Preorder] / [Bandcamp]
Vetter – Vetterkult [Preorder] / [Bandcamp]

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Cattle Decapitation – “A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat”

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Crack Up – “Money Will Roll Right In” (from the preceding album)

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Electrocution – “Rising of Infection” (un-remastered original version)

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Embers – “Forsaken”

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Emptiness – “Error”

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Ides of Gemini – “Starless Midnight”

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Mekong Delta – “The Healer” (snippet)

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Mongrel’s Cross – “Rabid Inception”

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Oddland – “Above and Beyond”

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Sabaton – “Carolus Rex”

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Saint Vitus – “Let Them Fall”

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Vetter – “Brattefross”

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MORBIDLY CURIOUS

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If history is any guide (it is), you can count on Six Feet Under to invent new ways to disappoint with each new release. But I can’t help myselF . . . look at that cover art! A preliminary listen reveals solid riffs and predictably awful vocals mixed on top of everything else, to the detriment of everything else. Sounds like SFU!

Six Feet Under – Undead [Preorder]

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Six Feet Under – “Formaldehyde”

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