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Albums of the Week – August 7, 2012

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New format for a new world—witness the birth of the latest incarnation of our Upcoming Metal Releases series, to be presented weekly in a focused blast of new metal (not nü-metal) goodness. From here on out we’ll spotlight one album each week, along with the traditional handful of MIGHT RULE releases you’ve come to expect. More posts means more time to focus on bands and less of a beastly read once a month. Without further ado . . .

— Aaron Lariviere

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Saccage = “pillage” in French, according to Google Translate. Sounds about right. This one came out of nowhere, spitting and clawing and drunkenly stumbling its way to the top of the pile. Death Crust Satanique jumps from chunky thrash on opener “Motörcrust” to blackened crust on “Merci Pour Tout Satan” (“thanks for everything, Satan”), but they tear through it with heart. The guitars pull a neat trick where they push ahead of the beat then alternately drag the tempo while the drums pound away underneath, injecting tension into otherwise straightforward thrashing. At the end of the day, the only question that matters: does it rip? It fucking rips.

Saccage – Death Crust Satanique (8/5) [Buy / Bandcamp]

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Saccage – “Motörcrust”

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Funny that the first week of our weekly format is pretty fucking dead in terms of new releases—next week, in comparison, is chock full o’ gold. If nothing else, it’s a perfect excuse to dig a little deeper, shine some light into the darker corners of the summer releases, see what comes scuttling out.

Brutal death—that’s what Deadly Remains do. Nothing but. Chugging, grinding, shifting, blasting, death, death, death. The band rips right along and the vocals wear you right down. Bass drops dot the killings riffs like massive exclamation points—subtlety has no home here. I wouldn’t listen to this often, but it does exactly what it’s supposed to.

It’s a little odd that Agalloch aren’t the only band releasing Faust-inspired EPs this year: Dutch black metal duo Laster beat them to the punch a few months back with the digital release of Wijsgeer & Narreman, which comes out on CD this week. Traditional minor-key riffing played loose and pure—no awards for originality, but it satisfies the need.

Zatokrev breathe fire into a tired genre (sludgy/doomy post-metal) through force of will alone. Songs are long, big things full of strummed sludge chords that slam into thick black metal riffs, punctuated with wailing leads and bursts of rabid drumming. The songs follow the post-metal template of “ebb, flow, explode” but there’s enough songcraft to lift the material above the murk. Good find on the part of Candlelight.

Deadly Remains – Severing Humanity (8/7) [Buy]
Laster – Wijsgeer & Narreman (8/1) [Free Download at Bandcamp]
Zatokrev – The Bat, The Wheel and a Long Road to Nowhere (8/13) [Buy]

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Zatokrev – “Goddamn Lights”

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Space Mirrors‘ bio boldly positions the band as “International Superstar Space Metal / Prog Rock”. Surprisingly, Shakira does not play in Space Mirrors. Rather, they feature an international lineup of known-to-space-rock-nerds-only pseudo-superstar members from Russia, Italy, UK, USA, and Denmark. There’s a vague Hawkwind connection somewhere, so that’s something. The song below is edited down from a 22-minute odyssey—considering its origin, it’s not that bad.

Space Mirrors – In Darkness They Whisper (8/1) [Bandcamp]

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Space Mirrors – “Through the Dream Lands (Radio Version)”

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