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Upcoming Metal Releases: 3/22/20 — 3/28/20

Upcoming Metal Releases

Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of March 22nd to March 28th, 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.

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Surprise Releases + Things We Missed

HypnochronHypnochron | Stoner Metal | USA (Illinois)

Among the tags for this album: “satan” and “marijuana.” They’re both here in spirit, I’d say, but as this is instrumental, you’ll have to let your imagination bring them into the picture. To help that along, the band (after a six-year hiatus) helpfully provides five tracks packed with bizarre samples, laconic red-eyed grooves, and snaking pentatonic riffs with a driving bite.

— Ted Nubel

Upcoming Releases

CandlemassThe Pendulum EP | Napalm Records | Doom | Sweden

Following 2019’s The Door to Doom, this EP is made up of cuts that didn’t make it onto last year’s album. I found the selection interesting, as there’s some pretty fresh riffs to be found here (and The Door to Doom had some filler-tier tracks in my opinion), but the songwriting ranges from “disjointed stapling-together of riffs” to “masterclass doom compositions” like “Porcelain Skull.” They haven’t lost their doomy weirdness, anyway — the minute-and-a-half “Aftershock,” consisting only of a bass solo, proves that.

— Ted Nubel

SolothusRealm of Ash and Blood | 20 Buck Spin | Death Metal + Doom | Finland

Here’s some gorgeously morbid and morose theater for our current state of unease and discomfort and anxiety, etc. — Solothus’ Realm of Ash and Blood enjoys the typical blend of doom’s plod with death metal’s edge but successfully amplifies both to the extremes. The album is a lot at once, not necessarily a noise overload but an emotional or dramatic one, and that’s just what you want in this subgenre, and right now. Especially right now.

— Andrew Rothmund

Temple of VoidThe World that Was | Shadow Kingdom Records | Death Metal + Doom | United States (Michigan)

Roughly summarized as riff-heavy death-doom, Temple of Void has always had a foul mysticism embedded in their efforts, and The World that Was takes that to higher planes. Without any cheap gimmicks or on-the-nose pretenses, there’s a sense of otherworldly obeisance behind every twisting, invasive riff. Come Friday, venture into the creepy, yet alluring chasm the album art portrays and uncover its secrets for yourself.

— Ted Nubel

Omega InfinitySolar Spectre | Season of Mist | Black Metal | Australia

From Andrew Rothmund’s premiere of “Saturn”:

The main rub of Omega Infinity is the project’s penchant for an unyielding onslaught of mechanical, almost robotic riffage, of course with the howls and cries of Xen layered over top. The result is not a programmatic listen; instead, Tentakel P.’s songwriting bleeds through the unified assault of the overall sound to offer interesting dynamics (which unfurl over the album’s entirety and not necessarily any one or two songs). “Saturn” feels, well, Saturnal, equal parts mystery and beauty, unreachable yet evident all the same — this theme is spread across Solar Spectre, giving each celestial landmark (i.e. song title) its own intrigue.

SkepticismAlloy + Aes EP | Svart Records | Funeral Doom | Finland

Funeral doom masters Skepticism’s 2008 album finally gets a proper reissue by the always-quality Svart Records, but the real treat here is the inclusion of the 1999 Aes EP.

— Jon Rosenthal

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WakeDevouring Ruin | Translation Loss Records | Death Metal + Grind | Canada

Prepare to be annihilated.

— Andrew Rothmund

WuWRétablir L’Eternité | Prosthetic Records | Progressive | France

From Ted Nubel’s interview with the band and premiere of “En Souvenir Des Jours Que Nous N’Aurons Pas Vécus”:

This band creates cinematic progressive music that blows minds but still sticks around afterward. Any of the layers of Rétablir L’Eternité are solid enough on their own, and generally rather ear-wormy, but when interlaced and presented as a whole, the result is nearly overwhelming. It feels like the duo is stacking genres and moods atop one another to find the optimal superposition — so, in “En Souvenir Des Jours Que Nous N’Aurons Pas Vécus,” you’ll hear a rock-driven rhythmic motif, developed following an initial saxophone-led lament. Then, after establishing an uneasy harmony with Lamont’s downcast melodies, that same pattern eventually collides with tremolo-picked, neoclassical guitar lines. Weird, but in a good way.

Magic SwordEndless | Joyful Noise Records | Synthwave | United States (Idaho)

Nerdy synthwave is just about what we all need right now — it has a solid track record for improving moods. Their new album is loaded down with a ton of retro goodness and catchy beats to focus on, instead of… anything else.

— Ted Nubel

VelniasScion of Aether | Eisenwald | Black Metal + Doom + Neofolk | United States (Colorado)

From Jon Rosenthal’s interview with guitarist/vocalist PJV premiere of Scion of Aether:

Finding a center between black metal, doom metal, and neofolk is a hard bargain, one which is fraught with aimlessness and mimicry, but Velnias has always forged a path all their own, dating back to 2007’s Pacing the Cyclic Nether EP. The duo of PJV and AJS found their center long ago, and so their crushing, atavistic sounds, too, take their time to make themselves known. Scion of Aether is the result of eight long years of composing, touring, and hardship, and its slow birth gives way to subtlety, growth, and a naturalistic bent only known to those who wander.

TelepathyBurn Embrace | Svart Records | Post-Metal + Sludge | United Kingdom

So-called “cinematic sludge” with no vocals? Actually, it works, and Telepathy’s Burn Embrace is another in the band’s line of exceptional experiments. This is their third full-length, so they’ve got the basics well hammered out by now: big movements, huge surges, and plenty of acceleration and deceleration as these songs’ lack of vocals begins to fade into the distance. A righteous jam from a righteous band.

— Andrew Rothmund

IgorrrSpirituality and Distortion | Metal Blade | Experimental + ??? | France

Complete and total weirdness expressed through blast beats, chiptunes, growls, and pretty much whatever else you can think of. In the most enjoyable-yet-uncomfortable way imaginable, this is unpredictability encapsulated.

— Ted Nubel

Loose SuturesLoose Sutures | Electric Valley Records | Fuzz Rock | Italy

Loose Sutures feels perfectly fit for a cassette release — just digital and vinyl for now, but we can hope. With mouth-pressed-to-the-microphone vocals clattering off the walls of the mix, boomy drums and giant riffs, there’s a surly attitude here that would be most at home playing from an oversized boombox.

— Ted Nubel

Michael ValleraWindow In | Denovali | Ambient + Drone | United States (Illinois)

Chicago-based guitarist Michael Vallera has been mystifying the local scene for some time now through his work under the Coin and Cleared monikers (the latter of which features Locrian drummer Steven Hess — totally worth looking into), but it’s his solo work which is the most enthralling in his discography. His third album, Window In is velvet smooth, picturesque drone for the long, isolated days ahead.

— Jon Rosenthal

IristOrder of the Mind | Nuclear Blast | Heavy Metal + Progressive | United States (Georgia)

Capable of blistering speed and punishing torpidity, the chief constant with Irist is their ferocity — slipping away from easy classification in favor of challenging and dynamic song structures that channel the furor, this is for fans of sludge metal and extreme metal both. Expect Order of the Mind to put your own noggin through the paces.

— Ted Nubel

Little AlbertSwamp King | Aural Music | Hard Blues | Italy

From Ivan Belcic’s premiere of “Swamp King”:

On Swamp King, Piccolo displays much of the same restraint in his pacing and musical choices that lent Feast for Water so much power, and the album’s title track is a clear illustration of these talents. Piccolo’s lushly layered vocals are compelling and refined, but make no mistake, Swamp King is a guitar record. With that in mind, it’s still a minute-long introduction and two complete vocal cycles until we reach the album’s first full-on guitar solo at three minutes. Little Albert knows how to make you wait, and when he delivers, he delivers in spades. The opening note of the “Swamp King” solo alone is stankface-inducing enough to set the tone for what he’ll bring on the rest of this intensely viscous record.

DodenbezweerderVrees de toorn van de wezens verscholen achter majestueuze vleugels | Iron Bonehead | Black Metal | Netherlands

From Jon Rosenthal’s premiere of Vrees de toorn van de wezens verscholen achter majestueuze vleugels:

The brainchild of M, otherwise known as Gnaw Their Tongues’s (et. al.) Maurice “Mories” de Jong, Dodenbezweerder’s terror is no stranger to de Jong’s brand of nightmarecraft, but Vrees de toorn van de wezens verscholen achter majestueuze vleugels is different in its abstraction. A wall of noise-laden sound, Dodenbezweerder is cruel and crushing in its strange, crackling weight. Though we already know Mories to be a multifaceted creative force, Dodenbezweerder’s approach completely dissects his approach and makes something new: a new nightmare. Vrees de toorn van de wezens verscholen achter majestueuze vleugels: fear the wrath of the creatures hidden behind majestic wings.

MamaleekCome and See | The Flenser | Black Metal + Post-Metal | United States (California)

Both dreamy and oppressive, this genre-bridging and highly esoteric release captures everything I love about oddball tunes that still hit home. Come and See enjoys both moments of angular distortion and melodic harmony, but it’s the interplay between those two states which really sells Mamaleek on this seventh album of theirs.

— Andrew Rothmund

Walk Through FireVår Avgrund | Wolves and Vibrancy Records + Bloated Veins | Doom | Sweden

From Jon Rosenthal’s premiere of “Den Utan Botten”:

Much like their name, Walk Through Fire is a trial of pain — their funereal misery painted in monochrome and despair. With a dense plod and massive gait, “Den Utan Botten”‘s droning sludge metal draws from metal and Modern classical music alike, the band citing Estonian Minimalist composer Arvo Pärt as a primary influence (more on this can be read below). Though, where Pärt’s pulsing music concentrates on the holy place between notes, Walk Through Fire’s despairing ooze fills its surroundings with hatred and, well, fiery misery. This is music for the contemptful and those who feel erroneous in life. This is hatred, both inward and outward.

Listen to “Den Utan Botten” here.

Aodon11069 | Wilowtip Records | Black Metal + Post-Metal | France

From Ted Nubel’s premiere of 11069:

Even when the drumming and guitar work are relentless, there’s always an overarching rhythm to nod along to, and the furious screams overlaying the riffs are wielded as percussive emphasis. Musically intermixed between classic black metal riffing and spacier dissonance, melody is evident in the compositions, but not overwhelming — brief interludes punctuate the more extreme sections, letting layered guitar leads reverberate briefly alongside minimalist drums.

Black ViceThe Alchemist’s Vision | Crown & Throne Ltd. | Black Metal | United States (Texas)

From Jon Rosenthal’s premiere of “Emergence”:

Texans Black Vice are a psychedelic black metal nightmare. Taking the tenets of riff-driven mania and imbuing it with an atmospheric, tentacular bent, this four-piece’s take on the tried and true genre takes “atmosphere” and replaces it with monochromatic incubus. This swirling, blasting, melodic form of black metal is familiar, but at the same time feels alien and new. Following a smattering of EPs, demos, and a split with Haunter, we find Black Vice truly coming into their own with this new release.

Listen to “Emergence” here.

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