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Upcoming Metal Releases: 2/10/19 — 2/16/19

vanum ageless fire

Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of February 10, 2019 – February 16, 2019. Release reflect proposed North American scheduling, if available. Expect to see the bulk of these records on shelves or distros on Fridays unless otherwise noted.

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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VanumAgeless Fire | Profound Lore | Black Metal | United States (New Mexico)

Still hot on the heels of 2015’s Realm of Sacrifice, a debut black metal album which still holds a significant amount of water, Vanum returns now with their sophomore full-length effort Ageless Fire. This new release sees Vanum broadening their scope but also honing their attack: these riffs hit harder and faster, but end up feeling even more dynamic than those on the debut. Lofty, layered atmospherics keep Ageless Fire in the clouds, but harrowing barks and straightforward blasts bring things back down to earth.

EndonBoy Meets Girl | Thrill Jockey | Pure Chaos | Japan

The uncontainable, unclassifiable, and oftentimes unbelievable Japanese outfit Endon are back with Boy Meets Girl, the soundtrack to “an imagined horror film about love.” If love is the feeling of feeling everything at once, then so too does Endon scribe wild, all-encompassing scribblings on our minds’ eyes. This band, and certainly this new album, challenges the notion of coherency without really rejecting it either; in doing so, though, Endon’s scope becomes limitless in its fever-dreamy, postmodern existence. Stay tuned for our interview with the band coming later this week.

Coltsblood/Un — Split | Blackened Doom Metal | United Kingdom; United States (Seattle)

Two 20+ minute blackened doom monsters courtesy of Coltsblood and Un. This split aims to tear the fabric of time apart: doomy, methodical undulations give way to blackened assaults on the Coltsblood track, while Un remains ever-morbidly bleak across their section. Splits like this work extremely well when both bands arrive at the same table, but from different avenues — such is the case here, of course.

The MunsensUnhanded | Sailor Records | Doom Metal, Black Metal | United States (Colorado)

Seldom do I call out a band’s name as a point of confusion (e.g. technical deathcore band Slice the Cake) — suffice it to say, though, that “The Munsens” does not immediately call to mind psychedelia-infused black and doom metal. But on Unhanded, the Denver trio’s debut full-length, the band navigates the stoner-style waters for both subgenres exceptionally well, failing to fall into the trappings of, for instance, excessive fuzz and hyper-repetitive riffing. The result is a dynamic and heady album which sets expectations up-front then totally destroys them. Stay tuned later this week for a full album premiere.

HexvesselAll Tree | Century Media | “Psychedelic Forest Folk Rock” | Finland

Here comes Hexvessel’s fourth album All Tree, the continuation of this ensemble’s “psychedelic forest folk rock” and likewise probably the most soothing thing you’ll hear all week. All Tree dances with the raw sounds of beauty and devastation (the vocal performances here are especially rapturous) but never feels overly fanciful. Hexvessel pour themselves out into dark fairytales and atmospheric diversions, making All Tree both a trip and a journey.

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SaorForgotten Paths | Avantgarde Music | Atmospheric Black Metal | Scotland

Andy Marshall, the solo mastermind behind Saor, had set a new bar for himself with the 2016’s comprehensive and powerful Guardians. Now, his upcoming fourth full-length Forgotten Paths looks to showcase everything newly learned and understood from the past three years. All the way from the first track’s immediate blasting to the outro’s mellow send-offs, Forgotten Paths seems to hit every note Marshall is capable of summoning under the Saor concept. As atmospheric black metal which can both enthrall and enchant, Saor has again proven his primacy.

KaleikrHeart of Lead | Debemur Morti | Black Metal | Iceland

This Icelandic black metal duo formed back in 2016 but is already charting lofty new psychedelic territories with the genre. It’s not just the mind-scrambling album artwork, either (though it’s a fairly accurate depiction of Kaleikr’s rather invigorating music) — the band’s penchant for emergent grooves, playful guitarwork, and moments of outright chaos shines throughout Heart of Lead. Check back later this afternoon for an exclusive full stream premiere.

HerodSombre Dessein | Pelagic Records | Progressive Sludge | Switzerland

From Chris Butler’s premiere of “Fork Tongue”:

“Fork Tongue” comes out of the gate swinging with mammoth Meshuggahian riffs before settling into an absolutely crushing groove reminiscent of the long-forgotten group Admiral Angry. The intensity of this passage is thrilling: it has the energy and simplicity of hardcore without dipping its toes into any more core-relevant cliches. Understanding the importance of pacing, Herod’s rhythm section gives listeners a brief moment of reprieve before returning full force with more grooving eight-string riffage. As a bonus, the track also features a guitar solo by Bill Steer of Carcass.

Funereal PresenceAchatius | The Ajna Offensive | Black Metal | United States (New York)

Comprised of four behemoth 11+ minute tracks — each their own distinctive organization of old-school black metal and new-school abstraction — Achatius definitely demands patience and resolve. The payoff, though, is sincere: winding through Achatius‘s complex web of instrumentation never feels the same twice, and you’ll enjoy being lost in its gargantuan framework. These jams are sinister, forthright, and all-powerful. We’ll be back later this week with a full-on review.

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