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Upcoming Metal Releases: 3/24/19 — 3/30/19

magic circle

Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of March 24th to March 30th, 2019. Release 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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FalaiseA Place I Don’t Belong To | ATMF Records | Atmospheric Black Metal | Italy

This Italian atmo-black metal duo returns with their third full-length, a melodic and melancholic inward reflection of an album. A Place I Don’t Belong To bursts with blast beat ascents and doomy/ambient descents across its runtime; constantly shifting upward and downward, this album journeys itself through dense emotion and heartfelt riffing. Definitely a “softer” listen compared to the glut of eviscerating black metal out there, it’s nice to be soothed every once in a while.

East of the WallNP Complete | Translation Loss Records | Post-Metal | United States (New Jersey)

East of the Wall have been at it for a while now, and the band has seen much in the way of musical evolution. The latest iteration of their sound bleeds true on NP Complete, an obtusely jammy and subtly technical delight. The band maintain an artistically off-kilter feeling, adding robust amounts of tension and anxiety to otherwise smooth, sometimes jazz-infused musicianship. Under a broad definition of post-metal, East of the Wall would surely fit, but that would discount the rock-‘n’-roll which lives at NP Complete‘s core.

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WhitechapelThe Valley | Metal Blade Records | Deathcore | United States (Tennessee)

One of deathcore’s most effective and enduring groups, Whitechapel have been bursting eardrums and stomping faces with unfailing consistency since 2006. On their latest album The Valley, Whitechapel have elected to stick with the mid-tempo, breakdown-heavy approach of their last two records, but with a few decided twists. The primary difference in their sound comes from the addition of clean vocals, the first ever use of such by the band. One track on the album is accompanied solely by extremely heartfelt melodies from Phil Bozeman (whose singing voice is surprisingly refined) providing a melancholy interlude to the album’s crushing brutality. While The Valley is not Whitechapel’s most compelling release to date, it does succeed in contrasting heavily against their older material without abandoning their long-established style.

— Thomas Hinds

Magic CircleDeparted Souls | 20 Buck Spin | Doom Metal | United States (Massachusetts)

Presenting the same Sabbathian vintage heavy metal sound of their first two albums but with a newly expanded musical scope, Massachusetts doom warriors Magic Circle have returned again with their hard-rocking third album Departed Souls. Infusing a broadened range of musical influences including prog, 1980s speed metal, and even some slower funereal moments, the record marks a major progression in the group’s sound and is undoubtedly their most eclectic release to date. With soaring tenor vocals, chunky riffs, and moments of lush psychedelia provided by Fender Rhodes, tablas, and acoustic 12-string guitars, Departed Souls is a timeless work of heavy music that will win over fans of both modern doom metal and 1970s classic rock.

— Thomas Hinds

Devin TownsendEmpath | HevyDevy | Progressive | Canada

Feature-writing extraordinare Langdon Hickman nailed it with his Devin Townsend coverage over the last few weeks leading up to the release of Empath — check out his thorough analysis covering three eras of Townsend music: early work, Strapping Young Lad, and later work. Later this week, we’ll be launching our interview with Townsend himself, plus Langdon’s full review of Empath — by now, Devin Townsend is a household heavy metal name, and this album could be signaling in a new direction for the Canadian mad musical scientist.

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Sutekh HexenSutekh Hexen | Sentient Ruin | Blast Metal, Noise | United States (California)

Celebrating a decade since inception, raw-as-fuck black metal project Sutekh Hexen releases its self-titled effort. This is the first full-length since 2012 (fourth overall), meaning a whole lot probably went into this effort. And indeed, Sutekh Hexen screams with all the abstract horror and indefinable noise the outfit is known for. From anything between absolutely deafening jet-engine noise to near-silent ambiance, this album takes to challenge many musical tenets with a sprawling reach into the void.

EllendeLebensnehmer | Art of Propaganda | Black Metal | Austria

From Jenna’s full album premiere of Lebensnehmer:

Lebensnehmer carries on Todbringer’s legacy by mastering the art of the gradual build. The album’s intro features piano strokes that blossom into orchestral-like grace into until the rip of guitar begins to cut through like a slow-motion arrow through fog. Blast beats are introduced, but they refrain from building a soundwall; rather, mid-tempo drumming serves as the palatable backdrop for gripping guitar contributions. “Liebkosung des Eiswinds,” the sixth installment in the eight-track journey, is ripe with starry synth marked with arrhythmic chimes. Ellende has taken us one step further into the astral plane, but unlike other dark expressions who have led us down such a path, this one doesn’t end in a sinister place. A vaguely trap-style beat is interjected to solidify Ellende’s place as a progressive-minded project that isn’t afraid to wander into different realms, which are ultimate left with the polite piano strokes with which it came.

TotaledLament | Profound Lore | Blackened Hardcore

Combining the unadulterated hatred of brutal atmospheric black metal with the misanthropic no-fucks-given attitude of hardcore punk, newcomers Totaled, formed in 2017, have finally unleashed their unforgiving debut record Lament. Like a hailstorm of warbling and erratic electricity, the album’s static chaos abruptly shifts between blast beats and d-beats, rapidfire tremolo picking, and slow, grimy breakdowns. Ceaselessly pulverizing throughout its eight tracks, Lament’s journey into abject nihilism stands as a remarkably refined first release from this impressive new group.

— Thomas Hinds

Applaud the ImpalerOv Apocalypse Incarnate | Unique Leader | Technical Death Metal, Deathcore | United States (Virginia)

Totally eviscerating, hyper-produced death metal you’d expect Unique Leader to sign. Ov Apocalypse Incarnate won’t win any awards, but damn, it’s a blast — there’s a lot of tech-death out there flowing in the same vein, but Applaud the Impaler excel with technicality and the infusion of deathcore for distinctive twists. Also, the vocals steer away from traditional death metal growls, too, edging on hardcore territory even. Worth a listen if deathcore isn’t your thing, but you’ve always loved the intensity anyway.

VltimasSomething Wicked Marches In | Season of Mist | Death Metal | Portugal

A strikingly high-profile supergroup comprised of David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel), Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen (ex-Mayhem) and Flo Monier (Cryptopsy), Vltimas have come together from remote corners of the extreme metal world to craft a fresh presentation of classic blackened death on their debut album Something Wicked This Way Comes. Utilizing the most effective elements from each member’s previous work, Vltimas presents a sound that perfectly balances the raw savagery of 1990s black metal with the grotesque, technical stylings of first-wave technical death metal. Though its members possess nearly 90 years of combined experience in the realm of metal, Something Wicked This Way Comes is not in the least bit stale or derivative, but rather every bit as contemporary as any of today’s old-school inspired groups.

— Thomas Hinds

West of HellBlood of the Infidel | Reversed Records | Metal | Canada

Formed in West Auckland in 2002, power-thrashers West of Hell have since released only one studio album, 2012’s Spiral Empire. After seven years of silence, the high-energy, 1980s style group will present their second full-length Blood of the Infidel, a faithful successor to their debut and an expansion of their nostalgically enthralling sound. With blistering progressive thrash riffs, whirlwind volcanic guitar solos, and soaring falsetto from Chris “The Heathen” Valagao, West of Hell holds nothing back on their latest record, delivering a sound that is novel and relevant despite its thoroughly old-school structure.

— Thomas Hinds

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