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Upcoming Metal Releases: 12/9/18 — 12/15/18


Here are the new metal releases for the week of December 9th — December 15th, 2018. Release dates are formatted according to proposed North American scheduling, if available. Expect to see the bulk of these records on shelves or distros on coming Fridays unless otherwise noted, or if labels and artists get impatient.

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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Venom — Storm the Gates | Spinefarm | Black Metal | United Kingdom

Venom needs no introduction, but their latest full-length effort represents ten years of the Cronos/Rage/Dante trio (and nearly 40 years as an outfit altogether). It’s an impressive achievement for any band — and Venom continues to release swaths of straightforward, blackened metal. With Storm of the Gates, there’s ample celebration of old-school Venom, but plenty of new angles to explore as well. It’s a tough balance that seasoned bands need to nail: honoring past works, but not recreating them. With honed (but reflective) edges, Venom shan’t be stopped. Stay tuned later this week for a review of Storm the Gates, and then next week for an interview with the band.

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Comatose Vigil A.K. — Evangelium Nihil | Non Serviam Records | Doom Metal | Russia

From Jenna’s premiere of “Evangelium Nihil”:

While many funeral doom artists seem to tackle the shambling that walks the earth above, Comatose Vigil A.K. fearlessly explores what lies below. With orchestral keyboards announcing the entrance of a demon into its ruling circle of hell, Evangelium Nihil’s chilling embrace suggests that clinging to life at all costs is a wise course of action. iEzor serves as the guide through the fiery pits of bellowed blasphemy. His message goes a bit haywire as radio frequency crackles through his pulpit microphone mid-track, but eventually, organized chaos is restored with symphonic sacrilege. Interestingly, this hellscape is achieved without explicit appeals to the dark lord himself. Instead, this slow swim through thick lava accomplishes what it needs to with steady cymbals and a few well-placed screeches of torture. Overall, while the light of this vigil’s candle has come close to burning out, it has apparently evaded the oxygen at the surface to remain as searing hot as ever.


Dirge — Lost Empyrean | Debemur Morti | Atmospheric Sludge | France

Densely layered but alight with groove, the French quartet’s upcoming seventh full-length carries forward the band’s penchant for thick but jammable layers of riffing, drumming, and screaming. Lost Empyrean is as much sludge as it is pure atmosphere: here, the 50/50 balance diminishes the unwieldy aggression of the former and highlights the sonic depths courtesy of the latter. This record forgoes any onslaught or assault for a more subtle, passive approach — Lost Empyrean helps guide you into the appropriate headspace. These are the perfect tunes for midnight meditation.

Ferum — Vergence EP | Everlasting Spew | Death Metal | Italy

Here’s a nasty debut EP from morbid death metallers Ferum. From their uncontrolled blasting to more methodical chug-‘n’-plugging, this Italian outfit nails as many death metal perspectives as possible. “Gritty” is an apt word to describe the Vergence EP (especially the expressive vocal performance), despite the smoothness of its delivery and production. EPs are usually too short to cohere a full-on exciting narrative, but Ferum works well with limited space here. A full-length (fingers crossed) will showcase whether this band’s grit extends to audacious death metal storytelling, too.


Witte Wieven / Reizeger — Vlucht split | Babylon Doom Cult Records | Black Metal | Netherlands

Emotive, moving, beautiful black metal from two outfits from the Netherlands. Both bands offer heavy atmospherics, dense layering, and triumphant ascents/descents — this split is only one track per band, though, so we’ll have to enjoy what we have. We’ll be back later this week with a full stream prior to the official release.

Stargazer / Ysengrin — D.A.V.V.N. split | Nuclear War Now! | Doom / Death Metal | France / Australia

Esoteric reverberations from dark places via lenses of doom and death metal, respectively. Stargazer and Ysengrin offer up twisted, unusual visions which are sure to delight. Stay tuned later this week for a full stream.

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