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March Micro-reviews, Part 1

. . .

Let’s be honest: there’s more metal out there than any one site can cover. With our small (but dedicated) staff, Invisible Oranges is squeezed even harder than other metal sites to try and cover just one percent of the albums that come out in a month.

To bring you more metal reviews without exhausting ourselves, we’ve decided to run a monthly column or two, or three, of brief, easily digestible reviews. They’re like Chicken McNuggets, except that they really are all killer, no filler! And hey, if you can form opinions about important and complicated world events from 30-second news clips, why can’t we use just a few sentences to review an album?

Also, we just wanted a chance to rip off Robert Christgau.

What follows is an alphabetical list of releases starting with A through M. N through S and T through Z will publish later this week.

— Richard Street-Jammer

. . .

Biipiigwan – God’s Hooks
Dark, satisfying, noisy goodness. I think this is a reissue. — Aaron Lariviere

Caliban – I am Nemesis
DevilDriver for Euros, with clean vocals. Impressively bland. I dub thee: EURODRIVER. — A. L.

Cannibal Corpse – Torture
What the hell, Cannibal Corpse!? You weren’t relevant between 1994 and 2004, but you’ve just released your fourth great album in a row. It’s like you want me to call myself a Cannibal Corpse fan or something! — RSJ

Desecravity – Implicit Obedience
Ever wanted to hear Immolation fast-forwarded? Outsource your desire to Japan! The riffs seem ‘backwards’, but it’s tough to tell through the blasts and helicopter double bass. Desecravity have songs in ’em, but not on this album.
—Doug Moore

Desecravity – Implicit Obedience
This is a solid debut that might grow on me. Like a Mitsubishi Zero of old, it drove out of the Rising Sun (of obscurity) and caught me by surprise. As 2012 tech death goes, my gypsy fortune-teller powers tell me this won’t be as good as Psycroptic’s new effort. — RSJ

Dodecahedron – Dodecahedron
Holland infringes on France’s creepy-crawly black metal territory. Less wobble and more punch here than with most of their peers—the genes are alien, but the form is human. Screaming into a vocoder is a good idea! —D.M.

Drudkh – Eternal Turn of the Wheel
About as exciting as the Wheel of Time books, which is to say: not very. — A.L.

Funerus – Reduced to Sludge
Like the title: sludgy, excellent death from Jill and John McEntee. Slower and more riff driven than Incantation, with thick thick thick production. Altogether excellent. — A.L.

Goatwhore – Blood for the Master
Good cheap fun, but has a surprising amount of staying power. WHO NEEDS RE-THRASH WHEN YOU’VE! GOT! GOATWHORE! — RSJ

Graveyard – Altar of Sculpted Skulls
Good so far as HM-2 bands go; at least they’ve got the riffs and vocals to make it halfway original. Not to be confused with Swedish hard rock Graveyard, though these guys sound “more Swedish” and, for me, more badass. — Rhys Williams

Huata – Atavist of Mann
Straight outta Brittany, Huata worship at the altar of Electric Wizard and Church Of Misery. Tight songwriting, cool arrangements, and unholy sludge tones give debut LP a big leg up on its doomy competition. Remember: there’s no such thing as too much bass wah. — Chris Rowella

Iron Mask – Black as Death
Balls out, totally shameless power metal from Belgium. More than a whiff of cheese, but they’ve got the songs and the chops to back it up. — A.L.

Kolga – Demo 2012
Seidr guys try hand at being more atmospheric than heavy; result is shimmery blackened post-metal, almost like a Nordic Pelican (only not boring half of the time and with kvlt vocals). If you can find it, don’t sleep on it. — R.W.

Macabra – Blood-Nurtured Nature
Death metal the likes of which I can barely describe, due to unmemorable execution and songs. Rough around the edges, but dull. — A.L.

Meshuggah – Koloss
Streamlined, pulverizing, and less tech than usual. Surprisingly organic, and stronger for it. — A.L.

Meshuggah – Koloss
Yes! Sweden’s grooviest nerds return with an album that eschews some of their prior technical nerdery. Sounds like a mix of everything from Contradictions Collapse to Obzen. It’s not a step forward in terms of progression, but it’s a step forward in terms of songwriting quality. — RSJ

Mortician – Mortician
German traditional/power metallers finally release their debut 25 years after forming! Most bands would be dead long ago. Mortician’s alive and kicking, and their debut is no dead body, either! Raise your fist and worship metal!

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