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Upcoming Metal Releases: 3/15/20 — 3/21/20

Upcoming Metal Releases

Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of March 15th to March 21st, 2020. 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.

MalokarpatanKrupinské ohne | Invictus Productions + The Ajna Offensive | Avant-Garde Black Metal | Slovakia

From Langdon Hickman’s premiere of “V brezových hájech poblíž Babinej zjavoval sa nám podsvetný velmož”:

Malokarpatan is a finely shaped band, and their major stated influence of Master’s Hammer can be felt keenly all over these tracks. Malokarpatan knows well that from Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Rainbow up to that powerful first wave of black metal bands, progressive rock has always been a powerful presence within their chosen source material. And while they’ve always contained progressive flourishes beneath the beautifully primitive and raw playing, here they allow a finer filigree and polish that underscores what great composers and players they are.

HyborianVolume II | Season of Mist | Doom + Sludge | United States (Missouri)

Blisteringly fast sludge that feels like a fusion of doom and thrash metal, played by a road-hardened trio and pared down to the essentials — hell, the drummer doesn’t even use a double kick, but you wouldn’t guess that from the speed this album charges ahead at. Volume II is a concept-driven follow-up to the band’s first album (Volume I, of course) that tunes up the vocal approach and production to better convey their live intensity in recorded format.

— Ted Nubel

White StonesKuarahy | Nuclear Blast | Progressive Death Metal | Spain

We all know Martin Mendez from his 20+ years in Sweden’s Opeth, but there is more to this man than being the bassist in one of metal’s biggest acts. In his first solo outing under the White Stones moniker, Mendez takes his years as a music fan, be it death metal, jazz, funk, or folk music alike, and transmits his creativity into something new, groovy, and interesting.

— Jon Rosenthal

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Master Boot RecordFloppy Disk Overdrive | Metalblade | Electronic | Italy

Despite liking synthwave, darkwave, and a ton of other potentially metal-adjacent electronic music, I never was able to get into Master Boot Record. I think the overt computer themeology plus the 8-bit feel never won me over. That doesn’t mean Floppy Disk Overdrive isn’t something to write home about, though. Clearly, a lot goes into this music, and it has a wild and experimental edge that few genre-bending projects nowadays can nail.

— Andrew Rothmund

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GriftBudet | Nordvis Productions | Folk + Black Metal | Sweden

From Andrew Rothmund’s premiere of “Vita arkiv”:

There’s eternal beauty in that which softens your mind, even within the realm of black metal and its oftentimes harsh, devastating aesthetic. It immediately sounds bad to label anything in heavy metal as supple or soft (metal being traditionally pretty damn hard, of course), but it’s that distinction or antithesis which transforms some metal into something which feels… beyond. That’s what folk-rock poet Erik Gärdefors’ project Grift is all about: weaving delicate threads of melancholy into the near-invincible framework of black metal, and then not blasting it through your head like a bullet but rather offering it to your mind on a platter.

LuciferIII | Century Media Records | Heavy + Doom Metal | England + Germany

Even before we were labelling it “heavy metal,” rock bands in the 1960s and 1970s were creating music with thick, engrossing tones and dark, thoughtful lyrics that still can crush the skulls of the open-minded these days. Lucifer, imbued with the potent traditions of this era, would fit right in with acts like Blue Öyster Cult, Jethro Tull, and Rainbow, leveling the stage with hard-rock-meets-doom that packs all the juiced-up fuzz their weighty name demands.

— Ted Nubel

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SwevenThe Eternal Resonance | Robert Andersson | Progressive Metal | Sweden

We should all recognize the name Sweven from avant-death metal heroes Morbus Chron’s near-perfect closing note, so the next step from creative center Robert Andersson was bound to bring interesting textures and bizarre riffage to a confused world. Given Sweven‘s scope beyond metal, it was only fair that its namesake look even further past death metal’s “rules” in favor of true, strange creativity. Is it death metal? No, not really. Is it progressive? As all get-out. Is it anything really recognizable? No. Is it good? Yes. Very yes.

Bonus: stay tuned for a full review coming soon.

— Jon Rosenthal

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IIVIIGrinding Teeth + Zero Sleep | Consouling Sounds | Meditative | United States (New York)

From Andrew Sacher’s premiere of “Sun and Solace” over at BrooklynVegan:

IIVII, the project of A Storm of Light leader and former Neurosis visual artist Josh Graham, will follow his 2017 album Invasion (and 2019 EP Obsidian) with a new double album, Grinding Teeth / Zero Sleep, on March 20th via Consouling Sounds. Josh says, “Grinding Teeth and Zero Sleep are individual albums that work together, exploring the grey areas between black and white, light and dark, life and death, good and evil, truth and fiction.” Grinding Teeth has some pretty exciting guests, including Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Sarah Pendleton (SubRosa), Jo Quail, Dana Schechter (Insect Ark, Swans), Benjamin Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan), and more.

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NITEDarkness Silence Mirror Flame | Creator-Destructor Records | Heavy Metal | United States (California)

The caveat-discarding, elevator-pitch-ready description of this band is simple and intriguing — what if Iron Maiden had harsh metal vocals? There’s more to NITE than that, but it’s one of the core questions that created the band and a quick way to pitch it to potential listeners. Going further than just slapping black metal vocals on top of adrenaline-injecting riffs, NITE casts a corrupting shadow on heavy metal that’s worth more than a quick glance.

— Ted Nubel

Dawn of OuroborosThe Art of Morphology | Naturmacht Productions | Black Metal | United States (California)

Evocative black metal with both an aggressive edge and a wonderful soft spot. The Art of Morphology blasts like the universe is exploding, then retreats into clean-sung choruses which feel lush and infinite. There’s a lot of new black metal out there, of course, but Dawn of Ouroboros seem to be charting their own unabashed path through black metal’s ever-wide range of possibilities.

–Andrew Rothmund

High Tone Son of a BitchLifecycles: The EPs of HTSOB | Tee Pee Records | Stoner Metal | United States (California)

From Jon Rosenthal’s premiere of “Silhouette”:

Epic in scope and sorrowful in character, “Silhouette” sets itself apart from other “stoner metal.” This song isn’t about emulating Black Sabbath at their most baked or stealing riffs from other bands — no, High Tone Son of a Bitch opts for the creative and interesting route here, fueling themselves with the weight of human emotion and the horrors of colonialism for a memorable, unique song. “Silhouette” won’t take you down the same roads as other stoner rock’s sun-baked sounds, rather, it will make you feel, a rarity among High Tone Son of a Bitch’s peers.

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Fool’s GhostDark Woven Light | Prosthetic | Indie + Ambient | United States (Kentucky)

Beautiful. Did not expect this at all. Just listen. Trust me.

— Andrew Rothmund

Neck of the WoodsThe Annex of Ire | Pelagic Records | Progressive Death Metal | Canada

From Ivan Belcic’s premiere of The Annex of Ire:

Neck of the Woods have since been hard at work refining their approach, pushing the progressive elements even further while still ensuring that each track bangs and slams as hard as it should. Vocalist Jeff Radomsky is back with his throaty howl, enunciating every syllable while fueling each with barely contained ferocity. And when bassist Jordan Kemp slips into the warmth of his upper register, these notes ripple and shimmer with charisma. His solo in the title track, delivered over an acoustic breakdown that both seamlessly stems from and segues into crushing obliteration, is one of the record’s most memorable moments, and his stylistic presence is a considerable portion of the band’s sonic character.

TethraEmpire of the Void | Black Lion Records | Doom | Italy

Monstrous, undulating doom from these Italian masters. Empire of the Void plods and churns just like you’d expect, but with an added dose of clear heft and lucidity. I love doom metal that doesn’t drown in itself, chewed up by its own dense atmospherics. Here, Tethra break through the dirge of their somber approach with a powerful emotional edge that rings true and bleeds effortlessly.

— Andrew Rothmund

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