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Upcoming Metal Releases: 10/20/19 — 10/26/19

Upcoming Metal Releases

Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of October 20th to October 26th, 2019. Release reflect proposed North American scheduling, if available. Expect to see most of these albums on shelves or distros on Fridays.

See something we missed or have any thoughts? Let us know in the comments. Plus, as always, feel free to post your own shopping lists. Happy digging.

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AlcestSpiritual Instinct | Nuclear Blast | Black Metal + Shoegaze | France

From Thomas Hinds’ interview with Neige:

Spiritual Instinct presents a marked return of the more bleak, hard-hitting elements within Alcest’s sound while also maintaining the heartfelt melodicism upon which you typically focus. What experiences, personal or otherwise, have spurred this recent shift back into darker, more jagged territory? What do you intend to convey with the more confrontational timbres present on this record?

I think I just really wanted to translate my more anxious and angry and dark emotions into this project because I usually try to always make a sound that is very dreamy and uplifting and otherworldly, but this time I had a lot of heavy things to carry and put out, you know? So when I started to write the first song I could feel that I needed to put something out that would be… sometimes with music we say catharsis, and this was a really cathartic record for me. For the first time in a really long time I felt like I really had something to put out of myself.

Dawn Ray’dBehold Sedition Plainsong | Prosthetic Records | Black Metal | United Kingdom

UK-based trio Dawn Ray’d are back after their well-received debut The Unlawful Assembly two years back. This time around, expect the same ferocity and measured intensity of the band’s black metal delivery, plus a mature boost in dynamics and grit. While Behold Sedition Plainsong definitely shines through its own atmosphere, it’s not claustrophobic or overblown in any way.

— Andrew Rothmund

MayhemDaemon | Century Media | Black Metal | Norway

Mayhem is back. No, really. Though I haven’t been one for their recent output, Daemon is proof that these stalwarts still have a bit of fight in them. Hearkening back to the intensity of Wolf’s Lair Abyss, this ripping new album’s time capsule existence quickly positions itself as one of the great Mayhem albums. It seems like an odd thing to say, what with their early material being so definitive of the black metal genre, and yet, here in 2019, we have a new Mayhem album which might not reinvent the wheel, but it sure as hell sharpens it into a horrific weapon of destruction. Stay tuned for a special interview later this week.

— Jon Rosenthal

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CloakThe Burning Dawn | Season of Mist | Black-‘n’-Roll | United States (Georgia)

Proudly bearing the torch of black-‘n’-roll’s mystic flame, Atlanta-based occultists Cloak will soo unleash their sophomore full-length The Burning Dawn, a work of nine haunting anthems hailing all things esoteric. A perfect companion for autumn’s crepuscular chills, the record sees Cloak deftly blending the diminished tonalities, atmospherics, and grisly harsh vocals of black metal with fuzzy hard-rock hooks and infectious southern grooves. Although this aesthetic fusion may at first seem like blasphemy to diehard traditionalists from either style, the undeniable musicianship present on The Burning Dawn should have broad appeal for enthusiasts from across the metal spectrum.

— Thomas Hinds

RunemagickInto Desolate Realms | High Roller Records | Death Metal + Doom Metal | Sweden

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be bludgeoned with the blunt end of an axe? Look no further. Runemagick’s older-than-old-school death/doom metal solely exists to dole out pain, and it does so in spades.

— Jon Rosenthal

BotanistEcosystem | Aural Music | Green Metal | United States (California)

From Ivan Belcic’s premiere of “Red Crown”:

Ecosystem showcases Botanist’s most well-rounded sound to date. Even in the album’s frenzied pitches, the dulcimer breathes and glows, the bass gives warm and grounding affirmation, the drums are crisp yet unobtrusive, and the vocals, both clean and otherwise, meet the instruments on a level plane. The thick haze of distortion which previously cloaked the dulcimers now recedes to the barest wisp. Ecosystem allows each element of this truly unique band to shine, echoing the record’s collaborative origins.

Earth and PillarsEarth II | Avantgarde Music | Black Metal | Italy

I’ve long been an Earth and Pillars fan, desperately attached to the extremely abstract atmospherics the project peddles in. These mysterious Italians have always pushed hard against that thin boundary between very atmospheric black metal and, well, pure noise. Now with Earth II, arguably their most emotive work to date, Earth and Pillars have crafted something so viciously abstract but with such flat-out beautiful texture and nuance. I could wax poetic on this all day long, really, but stay tuned later this week for thoughts from someone much more eloquent than me, our very own Langdon Hickman.

— Andrew Rothmund

The Great Old OnesComicism | Season of Mist | Black Metal | France

We’ll be unleashing something awesome for The Great Old Ones very soon. The band’s prior full-length from two years back showed significant development of their thick, Lovecraftian sound. Now, with Comicism, there’s even more focus on the depth of atmosphere and thickness of their resolutely strong sound-walls. Great fodder for any mind looking for solid, passionate black metal with narrative.

— Andrew Rothmund

Chained to the Bottom of the OceanTell Me What You See Vanishing and I Will Tell You Who You Are | Sludge | United States (Massachusetts)

From Thomas Hinds’ premiere of “Genesis of the Daffodil”:

By the band’s own admission, they are heavily inspired by the sound and aesthetics of Louisiana sludge titans Thou; even their name derives from one of Thou’s best songs. The comparisons are inevitable but shouldn’t be a focal point. Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean are clearly not a cover band, though the covers they do choose to record have a less punky approach to songwriting than their bayou brethren. In any case, “Genesis of the Daffodil” begins with deliberate death march riffing, interspersed with brief respites of feedback while the drummer sounds like his sticks are made of granite. About halfway through the song, the bottom falls out while a lone, barely distorted guitar plucks out a quiet riff until the entire band crashes back to earth and turns said riff into a veritable mountain.

Fit for an AutopsyThe Sea of Tragic Beasts | Nuclear Blast | Death Metal | United States (New Jersey)

I loved the shit out of this band back in the day, and it’s nice to see they haven’t lost any of their especially aggressive touch when it comes to deathcore-adjacent death metal. The Sea of Tragic Beasts checks off all the hyper-modern death metal boxes while also breaking the downs at perfectly opportune moments, just for the shit of it. It avoids sounding overly chuggy or annoying in that way, a huge plus for this style of death metal which often gets conflated with its more -core orientations.

— Andrew Rothmund

Rings of SaturnGidim | Nuclear Blast | Deathcore | United States (California)

The Internet’s favorite alien-themed technical deathcore act is back again with Gidim, their fifth studio album and the successor to 2017’s Ultu Ulla. With Rings of Saturn continuing to draw their album titles from ancient Sumerian cuneiform mythos, the term Gidim refers to the shades or spirits of the deceased, thought to be created at the time of death and taking on the memories and personality of the dead person. Guitarist Lucas Mann has explained that the group’s latest effort is “a callback to Rings of Saturn’s roots,” with fan favorite parts of Dingir and Lugal Ki En considered for inclusion and expansion. Blistering atonal solos consisting of inhuman arpeggios and twisted digital dissonance rain down upon the listener as mechanically precise triggered percussion batters ears relentlessly. Though it rings true to the classic Rings of Saturn sound, Gidim also serves as the next evolutionary step in the group’s grotesquely interstellar catalog.

— Thomas Hinds

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SeleniteMahasamadhi | Seance Records | Doom Metal | Austria

From Jon Rosenthal’s premiere of Mahasamadi:

While Traunmüller’s previous works have operated under a blackened umbrella, Selenite offers something new, something different in what is a massive oeuvre which spans decades. A funeral doom project, Selenite’s majestic, harrowing sounds expound upon the sadness and longing found within Traunmüller’s discography and expands them into a desolate landscape. Mahasamadhi‘s reflective, exalted doom metal uses its tempo (read as: slow, even lugubrious) as a means of exploring atmosphere and melody, growing upon itself and becoming truly mammoth.

VastumOrificial Purge | 20 Buck Spin | Death Metal | United States (California)

After four years of silence (excluding last year’s outstanding split with Spectral Voice), Bay Area underground death metal monstrosity Vastum returns with Orificial Purge, the long-awaited follow-up to their acclaimed third record Hole Below. This new album represents a marked evolution of the group’s signature blend of sinister atmosphere, punishing brutality, and lyrical and visual imagery that explores the connections between “perversion, mortification, and an abyssal mysticism of sin.” Plodding, mid-paced dirges and dungeon-crawling death-doom riffs are woven seamlessly into lacerating melodic dissonance and celestial grandeur, all bolstered by a pummeling rhythm section. A refined work and a fascinating expansion of their already formidable sound, Orificial Purge is a triumphant, attention-worthy return for Vastum.

— Thomas Hinds

ProfetusThe Sadness of Time Passing | Avantgarde Music | Funeral Doom | Finland

Pure, unadulterated death and the mourning which comes after. Finland is known for its funeral doom, what with the originators of the style (Thergothon, duh) originating from there, and Profetus is cream of the crop funeral doom. Expect tragedy, expect darkness, expect the slowest tempos one could fathom.

— Jon Rosenthal

Sunn O)))Pyroclasts | Southern Lord Records | Drone/Doom | United States (Washington)

Infamous doom/drone/noise monolith Sunn O))) is back in the spotlight once again with Pyroclasts, the outfit’s second full-length studio album this year and 17th overall. The group’s latest offering provides a more minimal take on their classic realm of cascading distortion and sizzling ambience; extrapolated from a warm-up routine performed by all musicians present during the sessions for their April 2019 album Life Metal and laid to the very same tapes that held that record, Pyroclasts originated as a method by which to connect, liberate the creative mind, and greet each other through the practice of sound immersion. Featuring guest musicians Tim Mydett on baritone guitar, T.O.S. on Moog Rogue, and Hildur Guðnadóttir on electric cello, the album serves as the sister album or “shadow” to Life Metal, a reflection by which the listener may consider the latter from a new perspective.

— Thomas Hinds

Hour of PenanceMisotheism | Agonia Records | Death Metal | Italy

These Italian masters of brutal death metal are back with their eighth full-length — an achievement indeed worthy of brutal praise. While none of the founding members are in the band currently (though guitarist Giulio Moschini has been active in Hour of Penance since 2004), there’s something about this band’s signature sound which rings true across all of death metal, not just the brutal variants. Misotheism expounds on this sound with an extra-crispy blackening which suits everything so damn well.

— Andrew Rothmund

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