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Editor’s Choice June 2017

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This will be my last Editor’s Choice as Editor In-Chief at Invisible Oranges.

Christ it feels strange to type that, but I’ve nearly typed it many times.

One week from today I will turn in my keys to the office of this fine establishment. I will miss doing this very badly. When I joined this site I had a list of potential projects about three Microsoft Word pages long. I have now reached the end of that list, and those projects are either now public on this site, or unable to be completed to my satisfaction. And besides, as our founder Cosmo Lee said when I interviewed him, I like it when there’s a new Batman.

First and foremost I want to extend my thanks to all of you readers, those who were commenting with me in the early days of the site, and those who joined while I was scribbling alike. Second, I wish to extend my thanks to the writers, photographers and designers who made this site what it is. Give them all a round of applause.

In this post you will find the last of my picks as editor, plus staff lists for the best albums from the first half of 2017. It seems ridiculous to do this now when so many amazing records are just on the horizon, home runs by Tau Cross, Cormorant, Decrepit Birth and of course Paradise Lost, but those are for a different hands to write than mine.

ColdfellsColdfells
ImmolationAtonement
KreatorGods of Violence
Life of AgonyA Place Where There’s No More Pain
Locust LeavesA Subtler Kind of Light
MemoriamFor the Fallen
PillorianObsidian Arc
Run the JewelsRTJ3
UlverThe Assassination of Julius Caesar
VallenfyreFear Those Who Fear Him

-Joseph Schafer

Kendrick LamarDamn
AsiraEfference
Power TripNightmare Logic
Pain of SalvationIn the Passing Light of Day
Wear Your WoundsWYW
John FrumA Stirring in the Noos
SamphaProcess
Falls of RaurosVigilance Perennial
ElderReflections of a Floating World
Earth ElectricVol. 1 Solar

Runners up for the “metal is a closed circle” folks:

AseetheHopes Of Failure
PallbearerHeartless

-Ian Cory

This year’s musical sense started of slow, at least as far as quality versus volume. These last few weeks have definitely brought about some great records which have warranted multiple listens and broke me out of my “Jon only listens to five albums when he doesn’t check out new stuff” rut. The rest of the year has some great releases in store, too. Can deal. The first three of these are definitely my top favorites, but the rest are just kind of jumbled.

Planning for BurialBelow the House
UlverThe Assassination of Julius Caesar
Mount EerieA Crow Looked At Me
Circle of OuroborusRuumistähdet
OzamaRio de Basura
WodeServants of the Countercosmos
Abigor/Nightbringer/Thy Darkened Shade/Mortuussplit (but just for the Abigor and Thy Darkened Shade tracks)
HelheimlandawarijaR
OxbowThin Black Duke
Charnel WindsVerschränkung

Looking forward to new records from: Pyrrhon, Spectral Voice, Heaven In Her Arms, Yellow Eyes, the 2nd installment of the Wigrid discography boxset series, and maybe new The Elemental Chrysalis and Abigor albums.

-Jon Rosenthal

BrònЗарђала Круна
Ex EyeEx Eye
HavukruunuKelle Surut Soi
Ingurgitating OblivionVision Wallows In Symphonies Of Light
IsenordalShores of Mourning
Mind MoldMind Mold
SvrmЗа смертю
TanakhUnwilling
Viscera///3 | Release Yourself Through Desperate Rituals
White WardFutility Report

What a year so far. As the world burns, so does the fury of heavy metal’s underground. Perception-bending music is in style: “mind-molding” stuff like Mind Mold, or Viscera///. Darkness abounds itself, like with Tanakh or Ingurgitating Oblivion. Don’t pass on the super-passionate atmospherics of Bròn and Svrm. Be swooned by saxophone with White Ward and Ex Eye. Charge up with Havukruunu, tune out with Isenordal. And be prepared for new releases from False, One Master, and Pyrrhon.

-Andrew Rothmund

In alphabetical order, here are the ten records that have stuck with me the most thus far this year, though there are probably at least half a dozen more (Necrot, Pharmakon, Power Trip, Coldfells, Ascended Dead, Dynfari, etc.) that could have just as easily appeared here instead. There’s been a lot of good music thus far in 2017.

Black CiliceBanished From Time
DélétèrePer Aspera Ad Pestalentiam
Falls of RaurosVigilance Perrential
IsenordalShores of Mourning
JordablodUpon My Cremation Pyre
Show of BedlamTransfiguration
Suffering HourIn Passing Ascension
Triumvir FoulSpiritual Bloodshed
Unaussprechlichen KultenKeziah Lilith Medea (Chapter X)
WoeHope Attrition

-Clayton Michaels

Ruins of BeverastExuvia
Power TripNightmare Logic
Locust LeavesA Subtler Kind of Light
PallbearerHeartless
John FrumA Stirring In The Noos
EmptinessNot For Music
Fall of RaurosVigilance Perennial
VallenfyreFear Those Who Fear Him
Craven IdolThe Shackles of Mammon
WalpyrgusWalpyrgus Nights

-Jason Roche

Pain of SalvationIn the Passing Light of Day
UlverThe Assassination of Julius Caesar
SchammaschThe Maldoror Chants
NeedHegaiamas
Falls of RaurosVigilance Perennial
Kepler TenDelta-V
Imber luminisNausea
VintersorgTill Fjälls Del II
Bestia ArcanaHolocauston
Unleash the ArchersApex

-Kevin Zecchel

Without further ado, here’s the editor’s choices for June, 2017:

Dying Fetus are better at marketing than making music, at least most of the time. The best thing about their upcoming record Wrong One to Fuck With, besides its on-point title, is this stupendous basketball jersey. But what about the music itself? The title track to the record is a furious, punky moshfest that lives up to the band’s high-water era with Jason Netherton, at least in terms of playfulness.

Similarly, Trapped Under Ice were always adept at the moshy side of hardcore. The band’s been too-long absent since 2011’s Big Kiss Goodnight, but this year’s upcoming Do It shows off a band that’s honed its craft while out of the spotlight. FYI I am TUI till I die, guys.

Featuring members of Twisted Tower Dire, and While Heaven Wept, North Carolina’s Walpyrgus unsurprisingly deliver an epic take on traditional heavy metal. Vocalist Jonny Aune soars on thermals provided by white-hot guitars. The eminent listenability of their debut, though, does surprise me. I don’t love Twisted Tower Dire or While Heaven Wept, because I find those bands usually a little long in the tooth but short in the hook. A hefty dose of Misfits worship, and maybe even a hint of 80s Ramones, keeps songs like “Dead Girls” lean, mean, and entertaining.

I don’t usually put a lot of stock into drone music, although I know some people lust after it. This collaborative album by [B O L T] and bilbo, though, ignites my imagination. It feels as though I’m listening to the soundtrack of a very experimental horror film that is playing just outside of my field of vision. Something with art deco robots and also maybe tentacles. I wish I could turn my head, but maybe it’s better that I cannot.

Alasce, France’s Klang sound a lot like Trap Them. Crunchy, moshy, I dig. Then the vocals come in. Emotive cleans stand off against more predictable grunting. It’s all a bit rough, but puts me in a similar headspace to Burst, and that’s always a good thing.

File likewise under odd French metal-hardcore fusions. Yurodivy play with the heavier ends of sludge and post hardcore. That is to say they remind me of Refused and occasionally The Ocean. They have something those bands do not, though: one of the most gnarly bass tones I have ever heard.

It’s almost a shame that A Perfect Circle are back in action. Their kind of unclear proggy, goth alt rock metal hybrid has been played with enough times that a few bands are quite adept at it. Ukraine’s Septa are one such band. The individual pieces of their music, the clean guitar arpeggios and pushing-so-hard singing remind me of an embarrassing part of my youth that now I kind of remember with nostalgia. The songs, though, are really very good. Remember when Klone released their album Dreamer’s Hideaway in 2012 and you wished every song was as good as “Rocket Smoke”? This is the record you were hoping to hear.

Sweden’s The Sign records are re-releasing albums by TID, one of the sort-of unknown acts that funnelled musicians into an early incarnation of Ghost. Cruising through their bandcamp, however, led to Siberian. In broad strokes an atmospheric sludge record, the band’s Through Ages of Sleep swings madly from mood to mood, and makes for a rollicking listen.

Boston’s Crowfeeder would not have sounded too out of place on their hometown’s former heavy-hitter record label, Hydra Head. The duo roughly find the sunny side of sludge with a hefty dose of blue notes. Most musicians would take this template and come up with a lacklustre Baroness clone. No Flowers, though has a little edge to it, they don’t sacrifice noise for hooks. The two-member band configuration is pretty common in the Pacific Northwest, but Crowfeeder’s sunnier disposition suits the configuration well.

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