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Upcoming Metal Releases: 1/20/19 — 1/26/19


Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the weeks of January 20, 2019 – January 26, 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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MonoNowhere Now Here | Palegic Records | Instrumental Rock | Japan

Going on 20 years, Japanese instrumental rock outfit Mono is poised to follow up on 2016’s Requiem for Hell — so, they’ve birthed Nowhere Now Here, an electronics-infused furtherance of their already dynamic, multi-instrumental sound. Here, and as always, vocals would make no sense in light of the screaming instrumentation and soaring atmospheres. Notably, Mono’s line-up has changed for the first time on this album with the introduction of a new drummer. The resulting package is as cohesive (and enthralling) as ever. Check out a full stream of the new album over at BrooklynVegan.

Swallow the SunWhen a Shadow is Forced into the Light | Century Media | Melodic Doom, Death Metal | Finland

Encompassing two poles at once — trudging, ultra-smooth doom and cinematic, balladic peaks — Finnish group Swallow the Sun’s new album When a Shadow is Forced into the Light delivers itself as a “full package” of moving emotion. The band is getting close to celebrating their two-decade anniversary with no sign of tempering or sound-deadening — in fact, this new album feels as germane and organic as ever. Indeed, When a Shadow is Forced into the Light is perfect for those slow descents into the special lucidity of nighttime.

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JudiciarySurface Noise | Closed Casket Activities | Punk/Hardcore | United States (Texas)

Texas’s Judiciary formed in 2013 and built up a following off the strength of a demo, an EP, and a split with Mortality Rate, and now they’re finally releasing their debut album Surface Noise this week. It’s the kind of chunky, metallic hardcore you’d expect from a band on Closed Casket Activities (also home to releases by Vein, Harms Way, Incendiary, and more), with some fiery thrash solos to boot. You’ve heard this kinda thing before, but Judiciary do it super well.

— Andrew Sacher

JégzivatarMisanthropia | Northern Silence | Atmospheric Black Metal | Hungary

Here is some atmospheric black metal which breaks a few genre tenets: shorter songs, and minimal keyboard usage. The result is something more concrete and hard-hitting, but without forgoing the lofty headspaces which make Misanthropia so enthralling. Guitar leads take on a special focus, seeming to soar into the skies as the music surges beneath; this isn’t to forget the slow-burn growls and screams from project mastermind Adrian Pénzes.

Together to the StarsAn Oblivion Above | Northern Silence | Black Metal, Blackgaze | Sweden

An Oblivion Above stands as a strong debut in a heavily saturated subgenre of black metal. Here, Together to the Stars undulates heavily on wide-ranging wavelengths of depressive, vocal-driven choruses and ascending blasts across four feature-length tracks and one shorter penultimate interlude leading into album closer “Sanctuary.” The final track may very well be the album’s strongest, banking on all the narrative built theretofore, and exploding into heartbreaking denouement before succumbing to a quiet, gentle death.

AltarageThe Approaching Roar | Season of Mist | Blackened Death Metal | Spain

Welcome back to the unbelievably thick, churning blackened death metal of Altarage. The Approaching Roar is the outfit’s third full-length since 2016, and there’s no sign of decay in the band’s absolutely furious style. “Sinister” might be the best word, although there’s something glossier and more suave in Altarage’s delivery here. Nevertheless, this particular brand of blackened death seeks to encompass you fully — perhaps even make you claustrophobic — rather than outputting that “blossoming” feeling some other bands shoot for. What you end up with is a sonically dangerous (and adventurous) 42 minutes of head-pounding devastation.

Vessel of IniquityVoid of Infinite Horror | Sentient Ruin | Black Metal | United Kingdom

From my premiere of “Mother of Abomination”:

Black metal continues to challenge listeners with its penchant for abstract, densely layered noise but also its extreme diversity when it comes to manifesting the horrific echoes of sinister interior places. The concept of flattening comes into play sometimes, though, which can mask black metal’s true sonic variance: it’s the idea that excessive abstraction across the style ends up breeding too much similarity between otherwise independent artists. This perceived lack of differentiation is less apparent to avid black metal listeners (as it would be for any subgenre, really) than newcomers to the arena. So, it’s doubly important to highlight black metal which both owes itself nearly completely to abstraction but also, almost as if by magic, its ability to be emotionally and aesthetically digested by those looking to dabble closer to the most hectic “fringes” of this wildly amorphic form of artistic expression. And such is the case with the upcoming sophomore full-length Void of Infinite Horror from one-man “aural annihilation entity” Vessel of Iniquity.

Vile ApparitionDepravity Ordained | Blood Harvest Records | Death Metal | Australia

Old-school death metal which kicks ass. You know what you’re getting here: thick riffing, guttural vocals, punishing snare hits, and enough dirty distortion to scramble your mind. Just listen. Just rock.

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