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Upcoming Metal Releases: 3/31/19 — 4/6/19

Upcoming Metal Releases

Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of March 31st to April 6th, 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.

Send us your promos (streaming links preferred) to: Do not send us promo material via social media.

Things We Missed Last Week + Surprise Releases

Spectral LoreNo Excuses for Fascist Sympathy [Book of Sand Cover] | Black Metal | Greece

My favorite one-man black metal artist surprise-released a cover track — his first overtly “political” statement under the Spectral Lore name as well. While further such statements may or may not resurface within this project, “No Excuses for Fascist Sympathy” says plenty by title alone. Besides, the track of course rips (and is a fair interpretation of the original, well-layered with Spectral Lore’s distinctive seamlessness), and maybe this is a sign we’ll see new Spectral Lore material soon. Project mastermind Ayloss clearly has had enough of fascist ideologies polluting his genre with their vile, scummy mantras and music.

MysticismArcane Forest Rites | Atmospheric Black Metal | United States (New Mexico)

Void Ritual’s mastermind Daniel Jackson’s other project Mysticism landed with its debut full-length last Wednesday — it’s chock full of emotively atmospheric blasting and somber, balladic choruses fit for any foray into the forest. Mysticism accomplishes its sound without blackgaze threads (neither a positive nor a negative), but remains polished and digestible with high intensity but moderate aggression. Album closer “Ashen Winter” is a winner, too, especially for those of us who prefer that winter will never end.

SadnessCircle of Veins | Post-Metal + Black Metal | United States (Illinois)

Huge, lush, heavily atmospheric blackened post-metal tunes to destroy the illusory waning of depression even as the temperature rises and they days lengthen. Despite the throes of winter departing us, life’s challenges still remain in all their veracity. Stay tuned later this morning for a deeper dive into Circle of Veins — this one is definitely worth a listen for fans of everything from blackgaze to DSBM.

Upcoming Releases

Mord’A’StigmataDreams of Quiet Places | Pagan Records | Avant-Garde Black Metal | Poland

The synth-infused black metal beauty of Mord’A’Stigmata goes into hyperdrive on the project’s fifth full-length Dreams of Quiet Places — with psychedelic elements present but not overbearing, this album earns its avant-garde tag through dense, heady atmospherics that compel alternate states of mind without too much force. Dreams of Quiet Places is more of a black metal lullaby than a command, really, so sinking into this album’s depths is actually quite effortless.

1349Dødskamp EP | Season of Mist | Black Metal | Norway

Named after the year in which the black plague wiped out two thirds of Norway’s population, thus ending the nation’s Golden Age, 1349 has long frightened listeners as one of Scandinavia’s most well-known depressive suicidal black metal outfits. After five years of silence, however, the group will return with Dødskamp, a two-track EP presenting a sound that is markedly different from their older work. Its first and titular track, named after a painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, was created as part of a collection of pieces commissioned by the Munch Museum with the aim of having each musical artist give their own unique sonic interpretation of a Munch work of their own selection. Its second track is simply a live version of “Atomic Chapel,” a track from the band’s 2010 full-length Demonoir. Although it only contains five minutes of new material, the Dødskamp EP will undoubtedly come as a major delight to devoted fans of the band.

— Thomas Hinds

AntropomorphiAMerciless Savagery | Metal Blade | Death Metal | Netherlands

When it comes to pure, unadulterated dungeon-crawling death metal filth, few have been in the game as long as unforgivingly brutal Dutch outfit Antropomorphia. Formed in Tilburg, Netherlands in 1989, the group’s upcoming release Merciless Savagery marks the group’s fifth full-length album and their thirtieth anniversary as a band (though they took an extended hiatus from 1999 to 2009). Rife with heart-racing double bass, unsettlingly visceral breakdowns, and ferociously guttural vocals, these nine tracks of relentlessly brutal grinding death metal prove that Antropomorphia is still as savvy as ever within the contemporary landscape of the genre they helped to pioneer.

— Thomas Hinds

Suffering HourDwell EP | Blood Harvest Records | Blackened Death Metal | United States (Minnesota + Colorado)

Suffering Hour rips, and I’ve seen them live to confirm this fact. This new Dwell EP sees the already-technical band breaking their boundaries to offer something even more nuanced and complicated. What I like about Suffering Hour’s technicality, actually, is its subtlety: there’s nothing overpowering the band’s brand of blackened death metal except for, well, straight-up blackened death metal itself. The Dwell EP represents Suffering Hour at its most authentic and present yet.

IsotopeIsotope | Crust + Hardcore | United States (California)

Metal and hardcore’s overlap on the Venn Diagram of All Things Heavy continues to increase in size and deepen in color. I absolutely love rip-roaring, crusty hardcore like Isotope: no frills, no filler, just hard and fast punches to the gut with straightforward riffing, and classic guitar solos even. This is pit music — music for movement and release — but also plays nicely through headphones as get-‘er-done work tunes or through your car stereo while you blast down the highway (at completely legal speeds of course).

CaecusA Parting Current | Death Metal | United States (Illinois)

Hailing from Champaign, Illinois, underground death metal voyagers Caecus have returned after a three-year hiatus with their intrepid sophomore full-length A Parting Current, the long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s epic The Funeral Garden. Ornamenting their unique style of blackened death metal with virtuosic flourishes of prog and tech-death, Caecus have further defined their fantastical aesthetic with another incredibly well-composed odyssey into the creative frontiers of extreme metal.

— Thomas Hinds

WormwitchHeaven That Dwells Within | Prosthetic | Crust Punk + Black Metal | Canada

Once again manifesting their whimsically archaic brand of frostbitten evil, Canadian black-‘n’-roll/crust-punk crossover group Wormwitch has now unveiled their second full-length record Heaven That Dwells Within. After making considerable waves in the underground black metal scene with their 2017 debut record Strike Mortal Soil, Wormwitch began to embark on widespread tours across North America, steadily honing their novel combination of styles to great effect, as this accrued experience has resulted in a hauntingly slimy new endeavor, a record that showcases the group in their gritty prime.

— Thomas Hinds

ExumerHostile Defiance | Metal Blade | Metal | United States (New York)

Exumer’s 1986 debut Possessed by Fire and then Rising from the Sea a year later proved the group to be Germany’s answer to Dark Angel‘s hyper-manic style. When they broke up in 1991, Exumer could have been a mere thrash metal footnote; however, original bassist/vocalist Mem Von Stein and guitarist Ray Mensh had other plans: they rebooted the band in 2009 and have thus far released three albums since 2012 on Metal Blade, culminating in Hostile Defiance. The new album is unapologetically old-school, still solidly in the Teutonic thrash mode, and still aping California thrash. Only now, the chunky riffs are reminiscent of Exodus — the sinister “Dust Eater,” the gang chorus of “Raptor,” and the double-time title track would have sounded perfect on Fabulous Disaster. It’s a frenetic, furious assault that transcends the nostalgia tag by kicking so much ass it doesn’t matter what decade it came out. Stick around for the two covers that close the disc: a relatively faithful rendition of Entombed’s “Supposed to Rot” plus a turbo-charged take of “He’s a Woman — She’s a Man” from the Uli Jon Roth-period Scorpions.

— Brian O’Neill

Ceremony of SilenceOútis | Willowtip | Blackened Death Metal | Slovakia

Thick, soupy, dense, and unforgiving: Oútis asks for a lot as a debut album from a new band, but it sure as hell delivers too. Far more technical and involved than its hazy atmosphere initially lets on, this album is actually a veritable trove of black metal and death metal delights, blended together with a bespoke attitude. Normally, production value matters very little with respect to an album’s overall musicianship; here, though, the bass-heavy and cavernous feel of Oútis is emphasized nicely by the way it sounds.

Waste of Space OrchestraSyntheosis | Svart Records | Psychedelic | Finland

Featuring members of Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising, this outfit is sure to be one hell of a trip. And Syntheosis is a trip indeed: across its wildly abstract landscapes, listeners ascend and descent on waves of blackened, synthy, doomy goodness with enough groove to keep your heart going. This album spans the gamut from total noise to nearly complete ambiance; Syntheosis is actually far more grand and sprawling than its somewhat experimental nature would lend belief to.

Town PortalOf Violence | Art As Catharsis | Post-Metal | Denmark

From Aaron Maltz’s premiere of “Archright”:

Those familiar with Town Portal’s last two albums will find more of the pleasing same throughout their latest effort Of Violence. They excel in efficiency, knowing not to add more than what the moment needs, and move on from savory grooves when appropriate; they are in no hurry to finish and you have no right to rush them. Drummer Malik Breuer Bistrup sits in the pocket for days, jovially keeping a steady tempo throughout meter and riff diversity. Guitarist Christian Henrik Ankerstjerne looks for beautiful note sequences rather than complex note choices, and chooses not to shred your face off in the journey. Bassist Morten Ogstrup Nielsen straddles the free spirit of the guitars and the machine like accuracy of the drums. He searches for the untouched sounds between them without neglecting rhythm. All three players combined form a much more tame and harmonic Dysrhythmia.

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