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Upcoming Metal Releases: 2/16/2014 – 2/22/2014

No need to pad the piece this week, since we’re slammed harder than Onyx umpiring a Pogs tournament during a dunk contest. So, let’s cut right to the chase: It’s a heck of a time for grind and death of all faces. Artificial Brain pulsate thanks to tech-death upgrades, Gridlink say goodbye with more licks than a starving St. Bernard, and Soreption engineer their reactor to power a calculator multiplying probable down-stroke factors. Of course, if the aggressive and clinical ain’t your thing, Cynic will help you…breathe in…and Slough Feg shun the digital veil to feel the ol’ sun on their skin. And, that’s only a drop of this list’s elixir, friends. Gems? Yeah, enough to crash Bejeweled.

Of Note is a scroll and a half as well, bulging at the seams with the equivalent quality of its bigger bro. However, not all of it is metal. Therefore, if you’ve been hunting for palette cleansers that don’t step too far outside the hall, it’s a terrific breakroom. Empty Flowers‘s drawl is revised and reshaped by ridiculously talented hands, Junius bend rock like they’re measuring gravitational redshift, and Nebelung treat folk as if it was a baroque action flick, always building in stately intensity. Sure, the metal is there (Funeral Moth! Symptom!), it’s just a nice respite for the weary traveler. And by that, we mean whoever is riding shotgun.

Additional note: Quite a few albums we’ve previously highlighted are finally hitting Stateside shops, including Bodyfarm (death metal), Sahg (psych doom), Sarke (proggy black metal), Vahrzaw (blackened death), Aurvandil (black metal), and Down Among The Dead (Rogga J. death metal). If you thought we were fibbing, the proof has finally been plopped in the pudding. Eat up.

See something we missed? Goofs? Let us know in the comments. Plus, as always, feel free to post your own shopping lists. Happy digging.

— Ian Chainey

New metal releases for the week of 2/16/2014 – 2/22/2014. Release dates are formatted according to proposed North American scheduling, if available. Expect to see the bulk of these records on shelves or distros on Tuesday unless otherwise noted. Blurbs and designations are based on available promotional material and perceived buzz.

Anticipated Releases:

Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation | Profound Lore Records | Death metal
Nerdy and nimble, these New York blasters absorb the technological distinctiveness of Gorguts and then widdle for the weird. Members and ex-members of Revocation and Biolich.

Benighted – Carnivore Sublime | Season of Mist | Death metal
On their seventh LP, the French brutalizers get greater mileage out of their borks and brees than similar slammers set to party shuffle.

Cripple Bastards – Nero In Metastasi | Relapse Records | Grindcore
This long-running Italian quartet is keen to underline the suffix of their style on full-length number eight. Plus, hey, it’s a fine time to link this. As if there’s ever a bad time.

Cynic – Kindly Bent To Free Us | Season of Mist | Prog
Once a tech-death deity, Cynic’s third album vibrates with the focused prog-fusion that was elemental to the post-projects helmed by returning members Sean Reinert and Sean Malone (Gordian Knot, Portal, Aghora). Still, this is Paul Masvidal’s show: He examines the spirit as he did on the last two Cynic EPs.

Gridlink – Longhena | Handshake Inc. | Grindcore
Mind-melting turbo grind enjoying a unique ear for melody. Their third and fitting farewell brings together the bloodlines of Hayaino Daisuki, Discordance Axis, Kill the Client, Noisear, PLF, Phobia, and Human Remains. Also marks screamer Jon Chang’s howling finale. Want to know more? Here’s Chang in his own words.

Impure Wilhelmina – Black Honey | Hummus Records | Post-metal
Swiss ‘core explorers enter into the Breach with this streamlined, though no less inventive set. Has links to Rorcal and Vuyvr.

Slough Feg – Digital Resistance | Metal Blade Records | Heavy metal
Nearing their 25th birthday, San Francisco’s trad stalwarts offer warm odes to analog on their ninth LP.

Soreption – Engineering The Void | Unique Leader Records | Death metal
Sweden’s quartet of mechs fine-tune the staccato, all-pistons-firing chuggery of Decapitated.

Of Note:

Aborted Fetus – Private Judgment Day | Comatose Music | Brutal death metal
Perfectly planned for the Olympics, these Russians tickle a piggy using bassy breakdowns that cause fluid excretions.

Amoeba – Counterweight | Self-released | Death metal
Ruthless French blarghing, snapping strings with speedy riffery.

Ass To Mouth – Degenerate | Selfmadegod Records | Death/grind
Despite the porno pen name, the Poles sit closer to other domestic gory grinders such as Squash Bowels or later Dead Infection.

Black Shape Of Nexus / Lazarus BlackstarLazarus Blackstar / Black Shape Of Nexus | Alerta Antifascista Records | Doom, sludge
Two scale-tippers bat boulder-heavy tunes back and forth. Lazarus Blackstar (UK) do pallbearer sludge. Black Shape of Nexus (Germany) doom with a drawn-out drone.

Ceaseless Torment – The End They Bring | BWK Records | Thrash
Finnish foursome boasting the force of classic Sodom while avoiding the easy rehash.

Coffin Dust – This Cemetery, My Kingdom | Unholy Anarchy Records | Death metal, thrash, grindcore
A throwback to the tomb raiding days of Repulsion. That said, Coffin Dust own a more OSDM make-up.

Embryonic Devourment – Reptilian Agenda | Deepsend Records | Death metal
Quirky conspiracy nuts from California, doing their death metal not unlike Dim Mak.

Empty Flowers – The Air You Found | Translation Loss | Post-hardcore, rock
Empty Flowers (ex-Cable) go the remix route with career-spanning reworks from James Plotkin, Kevin Hufnagel, and J.K. Broadrick to name a few.

Flotsam and Jetsam – No Place For Disgrace: 2014 | Metal Blade Records | Thrash
Speaking of re-dos, Flotsam and Jetsam have re-recorded the entirety of their 1988-released second album, uh, because…

Funeral Moth – Dense Fog | Weird Truth Productions | Funeral doom
Both bewitching and unsettling, Japan’s Funeral Moth are an easy sell to any Corrupted doomers. Ex-Coffins and Congenital Hell.

Fuoco Fatuo – The Viper Slithers in the Ashes of What Remains | Iron Tyrant | Death/doom
Slow-mo debut from these Italians possessing a taste for the esoteric.

Graveyard Ghoul – The Living Cemetery | Final Gate Records | Death metal
B-flick obsessed OSDM from Germany. Recalls the days when death metal was still an extension of thrash.

Gum – But Woman Monkey | Boue Records | Sludge
Eyehategod-ian bong loaders from Florence. Contest: Attempt to parse the album title.

Helmsplitter – Enraptured by Suffering | Horror Pain Gore Death Productions | Death/thrash
Swede-y death grooves fused with charred bridges.

Jim Matheos – Halo Effect | Burning Shed | Avant-garde, experimental
Fates Warning/Arch / Matheos guitarist Fripps and Fenneszs through eight soundscapes. Unexpected.

Junius – Days Of The Fallen Sun | Prosthetic Records | Alt. rock, space rock
Hard to pindown, post-a-lot-of-things Bostonians land with a woosh, dropping off their first release in three years.

Megascavenger – At the Plateaus of Leng | Chaos Records | Death metal
Brynjar Helgetun (Axeslasher, Crypticus) and Rogga Johansson (Down Among the Dead Men, Johansson & Speckmann, Ribspreader) compare phone-book-sized CVs while providing the instrumental bed for a bevvy of death metal stars.

Metal Inquisitor – Ultima Ratio Regis | Massacre Records | Heavy metal
Fourth for these Germans who do metal like it’s The Village for the true.

Nebelung – Palingenesis | Temple of Torturous | Folk
Woodsy folk with a dark bleakness bringing to mind Tenhi, Wardruna, and Kveldssanger.

Omnivore – Omnivore | Unspeakable Axe Records | Death/thrash
Italian thrash-fest featuring bonkers bellowing.

Omotai – Fresh Hell | The Treaty Oak Collective | Sludge
Houston four-piece of proggy barn-burners recommended for fans of Baroness.

Puteraeon / Revel in FleshImperial Anthems No. 13 | Cyclone Empire | Death metal
An OSDM convention between these Swedish and German crews.

Symptom – Caverns of Katabasis | Craneo Negro Records | Death/doom
Appropriate title for this solo death metal spelunker from Portland. Wins the album art award for the week.

TrenchRot – Necronomic Warfare | Unspeakable Axe Records | Death metal
In the city of brotherly love, there is no law. Philly-located thrower of bolts. Includes members of Crypt Sermon.

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