Upcoming metal releases: June 2012

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June Gloom hits Southern California every year like a smothering curtain, bumming out millions of people until summer finally arrives and we can all go surfing, or sunbathing, or whatever it is people like to do in the summer. Call me crazy: I prefer the grey. Grab yourself a few of these new releases and carve out your own little slice of gloom.

— Aaron Lariviere

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SHOULD RULE HARD

Candlemass are . . . done?! According to the band—and I never trust these announcements (see: Ministry)—Psalms of the Dead is the end of the line so the band can focus on “touring”. (I don’t trust them to tour either.) But the new album is classic doom done right—organs bleed into Sabbath riffs lending a welcome throwback charm to the record, and it is good. If these guys are truly done, they will be missed.

Billy Anderson gives Witch Mountain a proper filth-bath, scuzzing up the already scuzzy riffs and vocals, pushing into darker, rougher territory. Profound Lore continues its winning streak: we reap the fruits of their labor.

Confidence goes a long way in metal, and Ihsahn’s brimming with the stuff at this point. Eremita delves further into prog with even more horns and left-handed hooks. This style might be a hard sell from a lesser talent, but Ihsahn knows what he’s doing—and he’s only getting better.

Deathspell Omega has a new EP. The name of the lead single is “Abrasive Swirling Murk”—which is all I know, and all that needs to be said.

Candlemass – Psalms of the Dead (6/5) [Preorder]
Deathspell Omega – Drought EP (6/22) [Preorder]
Ihsahn – Eremita (6/19) [Preorder]
Witch Mountain – Cauldron of the Wild (6/19) [Preorder]

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Witch Mountain – “Beekeeper”

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Ihsahn – “The Paranoid”

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MIGHT RULE HARD

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Fans of eclectic black metal rejoice! (Fans of death metal: be sad.) Bosse-de-Nage dredge up ghosts of ’90s screamo on their Profound Lore debut while maintaining their mystique. Brume d’Automne share members with Forteresse and sound like it—all clattering hellfire and Quebecois indignation. Darkspace takes the emptiness of space as inspiration and sonic blueprint—featuring Wroth/Wintherr of Paysage d’Hiver, the new EP is a re-recorded demo—judging by their last three albums, it looks promising. Where Dødkvlt storm through angular black metal with occasional clean breaks (and kick ass at it), Skagos flip the ratio—they bookend the single-track of their Anarchic EP with a lengthy stretch of clean singing and atmospheric pulse—both are strange, both are strong. And Gnaw Their Tongues continues to excoriate with mindfucking noise with his latest archival release, an unreleased album from 2009 available on Bandcamp for $2. Do it.

Blast from the past! The original Hydra Head supergroup resurfaces from nowhere—Isis, Cave In, and Converge dudes reconvene to blow the dust off the ape-obsessed/noise-worshipping collective known as Old Man Gloom. In the old days music journalists described them as “experimental hardcore”; nowadays we call it sludge. The old stuff was ahead of its time and the new stuff still feels new. Neat trick, that.

I’m not as versed on latter-day Rush as I could be (should be?), but the new single sounds really well done. It’s very . . . Rush-y. Rush-ian? I’m guessing you either find that impossibly exciting or you already stopped reading once I mentioned Rush.

Bosse-de-Nage – III (6/26) [Preorder]
Brume d’Automne – Brume d’Automne (6/12) [Info/Streaming Trailer]
Darkspace – Dark Space -1 (6/6) [Preorder]
Dødkvlt – III: Domîni Ascensionem (6/6) [Preorder/Info]
Gnaw Their Tongues – Eschatological Scatology (6/6) [Buy now/Stream]
Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage (6/26) [Preorder]
Kreator – Phantom Antichrist (6/5) [Preorder]
Marduk – Serpent Sermon (6/5) [Preorder]
Merrimack – The Acausal Mass (6/22) [Preorder]
Old Man Gloom – NO (6/26) [Preorder]
Rush – Clockwork Angels (6/12) [Preorder]
Skagos – Anarchic EP (6/21) [Buy now/Stream]

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Dødkvlt – “Abysmal Mausoleum”

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Old Man Gloom – “To Carry the Flame”

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Rush – “Headlong Flight”

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SWEET REISSUES

You might notice there’s no new death metal in this list. You might be depressed about it. I say unto you: Look to the past to fill the void in your heart. Gorefest reissue their second and third albums in a single 2-disc set—both are minor classics of Euro death, well worth owning. False is stronger overall with killer harmonized leads spicing up definitive mid-tempo Dutch death metal; Erase is weirder, with slower songs fixated on Prong-like grooves set to ultra-dry production.

Wormed are legendary in brutal tech-death circles (imagine the sweatpants-to-cargo-shorts ratio in those circles—eesh!) for their sole full-length, 2003’s Planisphaerium. It’s hard to listen to, but that’s the point—it’s alien and unrelenting to the extreme.

Fainter hearts (like mine) will dig the Morbid Saint reissue, which sits on the fence between thrash and ’80s death. Back in the day, these guys were perennial openers for Death; their reunion set at MDF a few days ago was supposed to be incredible—general rippingness abounds on the album, here’s hoping they grace us with a new one.

Speaking of Death: if you want to hear a bunch of kids inventing a genre as they go, check out the Mantas reissue to hear Chuck Schuldiner’s rough-but-pure beginnings in his pre-Death trio with Rick Rozz and Kam Lee.

Gorefest – False / Erase (6/5) [Preorder] (Note: The mp3 version is not remastered)
Mantas – Death by Metal (6/19) [Preorder]
Morbid Saint – Spectrum of Death (6/19) [Preorder]
Wormed – Planisphaerium (6/5) [Preorder]

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Gorefest – “False”

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Morbid Saint – “Lock Up Your Children”

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Header image by Funeral French.