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Upcoming Metal Releases: 1/12/20 — 1/18/20

Upcoming Metal Releases

Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of January 12th to January 18th, 2019. Releases 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.

Send us your promos (streaming links preferred) to: Do not send us promo material via social media.

Surprise Releases + Things We Missed

Dragged Into SunlightTerminal Aggressor II | Prosthetic Records | Blackened Death Metal + Noise | United Kingdom

There’s been some drama between Dragged Into Sunlight and Prosthetic Records — namely, the band accuses the label of unprofessional behavior and sketchy business tactics involving the release of their next album. Then, last week, the album dropped unexpectedly, and the band has stated that Prosthetic Records’ move did not involve any consultation and will not involve any compensation. However this boils down, there’s no two ways about it: Terminal Aggressor II is an absolute monolith. Roughly 25 minutes of ambient noise builds up to an almighty explosion at the end worth every second.

— Andrew Rothmund

Upcoming Releases

GarganjuaToward the Sun | Holy Roar Records | Doom Metal | United Kingdom

From Andrew Rothmund’s premiere of “To Ascend (Awakening)”:

When it comes to doom, I expect gigantic music — not just in sound or sheer weight, though, but in that more indescribable room-filling, head-invigorating way. I think it comes down to balance: doom that isn’t such an awful plodding dirge that you feel dragged along, but doom not so stoned out that it can’t spell its own name. Also important is the element of beauty, because what’s more beautiful than tragedy? Doom is ultimate tragedy, or at least the emotional manifestation of tragedy. When you’re doomed, there’s no way out; the beauty lies in the simplicity and the ease of receiving an answer on the life-defining question of whether you’ll make it through. And if you’re not, you better have the best goddamn soundtrack for the way out. Enter Garganjua‘s third full-length Toward the Sun

Odious MortemSynesthesia | Willowtip | Death Metal | United States (California)

If the mesmerizing cover art for Synesthesia doesn’t get ya, then the twisted and contorted death metal brilliance residing within surely will. Odious Mortem hasn’t released an album since 2007, a healthy amount of time for sure. What the band has found in this horrific future, though, is something special and wonderfully engaging: gnarly, undulating death metal with proggy vibes and a whole ton of fuck-you-up. Enough of what I have to say, though, stay tuned later this week for a full review of Synesthesia from our death metal resident Langdon Hickman.

— Andrew Rothmund

Porta NigraSchöpfungswut | Soulseller Records | Black Metal | Germany

In a reversal of the usual trajectory for many experimental black metal bands, Porta Nigra started off swinging in directions away from the black metal core to the point of dubbing themselves “decadent dark metal,” with an aesthetic tribute to the overindulgence of late 19th Century bohemian life. However, on album three, Schöpfungswut, the band has reversed trajectory for at least one album to embrace fully their roots in the Scandinavian and their native German black metal scenes. While avalanches of blast beats followed by torrents of tremolo picked riffs are expected and well met, there’s still a distinctive flair delivered in vocals rarely distorted beyond comprehension, at least for anyone who can speak German, with spoken-word and clean singing abound. Another matter that Porta Nigra excel upon is expertly crafted lead guitar work and play with heart wrenching melody. While fans of the avant-garde may feel the need to wait for Porta Nigra’s next release, the band still supplies a real joy of an album that taps into black metal’s uncanny ability to take the listener on an emotional sonic journey.

— Joseph Aprill

Mark MortonEther EP | Rise Records | Acoustic | United States (Virginia)

As one-half of Lamb of God’s guitar front, many people associate Mark Morton’s name with bombastic triplets and hollowed-out Mesa Boogie chugs. But as last year’s debut release of Morton’s solo material (Anesthetic) showed us, there’s so much more to this guitarist than what just one band has led us to believe. The Ether EP takes the journey one stop further, featuring additional collaborations like Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage and two cover songs (The Black Crowes and Pearl Jam), all dressed with lovely acoustic guitar playing.

— Andrew Rothmund

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Rage of SamediBlood Ritual | Argonauta Records | Doom Metal | Germany

Just like the depraved almost-human figures that populate the outlandish cover art of Blood Ritual, Rage of Samedi must have gotten into some real weird stuff to come up with this sound. At times sounding like a doomed take on melodic death metal, the dual guitars interweave melodies to create a dejected majesty that the rhythm section takes on a wild ride across all kinds of tempos. While immediately recognizable as doom metal, it doesn’t sound like a bit like their named influences, leading me to conclude there’s supernatural forces at work.

— Ted Nubel

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SvarttjernShame is Just a Word | Soulseller Records | Black Metal | Norway

I was introduced to Svarttjern a few years ago during my first trip to Norway, seeing them open for the first day of Blastfest in the city of Bergen. They left a memorable mark in not only playing (and looking the part of) what I craved in seeing, “True Norwegian Black Metal” on home turf, but the singer was constantly salivating down his chest and rubbing it all over himself like a pig in mud. So, how appropriate that some perversion seeps in on the band’s fifth album, Shame Is Just a Word, which should be even less of a surprise given three-fifths of the band are current members of the perpetually deviant Carpathian Forest. Musically, what awaits is a great deal of rocking in the gutter, piss-and-vinegar mid-period Darkthrone and Craft paired with the blackened thrash of Aura Noir. Everything on the album is headbang worthy, but track “Melodies of Lust” particularly stands out in casting an ominous chill down the spine while all ambiguity of an old-school thrash influence is destroyed with a black hearted cover of Exodus’s eternal song “Bonded by Blood.” Svarttjern delivers an album true to Paul Baloff’s no-poseurs allowed mantra while just as likely to scare away a few vanilla folk for being a bit too kinky to take.

— Joseph Aprill

The OsedaxMeridians | Sludge + Doom Metal | United States (Virginia)

This sludge-drenched doom release from independent act The Osedax asks for a bit of a warm-up period, but once it finds the right vibrations, it hammers everything home to astounding resonations at incredible frequencies. Meridians plods along and churns through leagues of dizzying riffs of decay and suffering, of course, but the band never forgets to bring it all back together great, distinct climaxes.

— Andrew Rothmund

Listen to “White Horse / Tempest” via Pure Grain Audio.

Body Void + Keeper — Split | Tridroid Records + Roman Numeral Records | Doom Metal | Country

From Jon Rosenthal’s premiere of the Body Void + Keeper split:

Though they operate on two sides of the same coin, Body Void and Keeper’s own doomed practices exist on the furthest opposite reaches of this plane. Body Void, for instance, is a massive wall of absolute hatred. There is no need for dynamics, really (though there are some quieter passages), or even emotions other than disgust and loathing — this is the music of abhorrence and the horror which fuels it, and Body Void’s “Androgyne” is a perfect example of the darkness found within emotive doom. Keeper, on the other hand, is a much gloomier beast. Still heavy, without a doubt, but there is an emotive undercurrent to their two songs. The band’s first material in five years (the last of which was an incredible split with the recently resurrected Old Witch), Keeper’s “Trial & Error” and “Twenty” prove that the distance between bandmates and the inactivity between releases mean nothing when it comes to quality. Where Body Void’s music is physically crushing, Keeper’s is internal, if even difficult, and wonderful. In this case, doom is more than a 40-letter word. D∞m.

Stream the split in full on the premiere page.

L’Homme AbsurdeBelong | Black Metal | Russia

Belong, the third full-length from Russian outfit L’Homme Absurde, is black metal done right: balanced aggression, plenty of riffs, and tons of saturated atmospherics that remain heavy while not making you feel like you’re drowning. This album isn’t one to shove itself into your brain; rather, Belong takes a more subtle and gentle approach, vying for your attention via your heartstrings instead.

— Andrew Rothmund

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