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Upcoming Metal Releases: 3/18/18 – 3/24/18


Jon is off this week. Andrew, here, filling in for the time being.

Here are the new metal releases for the weeks of March 18th – March 24th, 2018. 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 the coming Fridays unless otherwise noted or if labels and artists get impatient.

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

As a little bit of a challenge, include your own opinion about anything you want to add. Make me want to listen to it!

Please note: this is a review column and is not speculative. Any announced albums without preview material will not be covered. Additionally, any surprise releases which are uploaded or released after this column is published will be excluded.

send Jon your promos at Do not bother him on social media.


Mournful Congregation – The Incubus of Karma | 20 Buck Spin | Funeral Doom | Australia
When the masters speak, you listen. It’s been nearly two decades since their first full-length Tears from a Grieving Heart, making The Incubus of Karma feel like a particularly special landmark for the band. We’ll be bringing you a full review of the album later this week; suffice it to say that The Incubus of Karma may be Mournful Congregations most evocative (but well-rounded) expression to date. Doom lovers from all shapes and shadows should be able to discover all sorts of gems within its cavernous framework.



The Absence – A Gift for the Obsessed | M-Theory | Technical Melodeath | Florida, USA
The Absence emerged during the mid- to late-2000s as a more technical alternative to the swamp of spongy, soundalike melodeath from that era. In many respects, they succeeded, with 2007’s Riders of the Plague leading the charge (though 2010’s Enemy Unbound faltered slightly). It’s been eight years since that last full-length, until now: A Gift for the Obsessed seeks to revive the juicy and suave guitar-led melodies of yore, but with modern twists. Here’s the big reveal: it doesn’t. The new album is carbon-copy melodeath, and at some points might as well be a slightly improved variant of current-day Arch Enemy.

Ungfell – Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz | Eisenwald | Black Metal | Switzerland
From Jenna’s premiere of “Die Hexenbrut zu Nirgendheim”:

Spanning both comprehensive history books and metal discographies alike, Zurich’s Ungfell stands in stark contrast with musical monochromatism. Don’t get us wrong, the greats are honored, but it’s apparent that one-manner Menetekel (with the help of session drummer, Vâlant) takes a polytheistic view of godly forefathers. For every beat blasted back to Mayhem, there is one marked “D” for Discharge; for every forewarning of folk purity, there is feedback waving to Eyehategod.In just three short years, Ungfell has managed to encapsulate 30 years of extreme metal in what will make four releases come March 23rd.

Nightmarer – Cacophony of Terror | Season of Mist | Blackened Death Metal | Florida, USA

It seems so easy to namedrop Deathspell Omega (as this band does), and for good reason: it’s so (too) easy to copy their formula. Not that Nightmarer plays replicator on Cacophony of Terror, but it’s obvious which French bands of recent fame have influenced their overall sound. What Nightmarer brings, though, is a decisively more metalcore (or even deathcore?) take on the ever-blackening realm of mind-churning, dissonant death metal we all seem to love. Whether anyone remembers this music for longer than a few days shall be answered soon enough.


Spiritual Front – Amour Braque | Prophecy | “Nihilist Suicide Pop”| Italy
I’ll be honest: I don’t listen to much “nihilist suicide pop.” But from what I hear, and at least as far as Rome’s Spiritual Front goes, there’s an undeniably profound emotional appeal. Amour Braque isn’t music for your death per se, but perhaps the moments leading right up to it. The hope is, ultimately, that you’ll decide against the Forever End and choose to stick around for more pop music. Pop is, after all, defined by its energy, and Spiritual Front certainly don’t fall flat. So while the content itself may be dismal (or even dreary), the package is alive and full of meaning and purpose. It’s nice to have your final moments, but it’s also nice to have them more than just once.

Sol Invictus – Necropolis | Prophecy | Neofolk | England
From Jon’s premiere of “Set the Table”:

Now, when listening to the upcoming album Necropolis, Wakeford sounds almost mournful, even at his most humorous. The music itself is sparse, communicating abstract folk pop sensibilities as textures rather than strictly-focused hooks. There is no musical adversarialism nor the angular harshness which punctuated the somber nature of this new era — Sol Invictus circa 2018 more closely resembles a marche funebre than Wakeford’s bellicose character. It is a beautiful effort, one which fully defines the Sol Invictus timeline up to this as a dynamic, humanlike life, with Necropolis as the nostalgic, reminiscing storyteller.


Dark Buddha Rising – II EP | Neurot Recordings | Psychadelia + Drony Doom | Finland
Say hello to a brand new EP from bore-masters (I mean drone-masters) Dark Buddha Rising, who apparently love to take their sweet time conjuring up dark, demonic riffs from beyond all reason and knowing. Fully dependent on the cocktail of psychoactive substances coursing through your veins, their II EP either cuddles you into a soft, warm sleep or eggs on further (and deeper) intoxication. None of this is to say that the EP warrants chide, or even disregard. Rather, we must admit one sure fact: some music is just made for intoxication, whatever the brand. Cheers to you, my friend.

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