Upcoming Metal Releases 4/16/2017 – 4/22/2017
Here are the new metal releases for the week of April 16, 2017 – April 22, 2017. 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 Friday unless otherwise noted or if labels and artists get impatient. Blurbs and designations are based on whether or not I have a lot to say about it.
See something we missed? Goofs? Let us know in the comments. Plus, as always, feel free to post your own shopping lists. Happy digging.
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 after this is published will not be covered. This week: .
Virus – Investigator | Karisma Records | Avant-Garde Rock/Metal | Norway
Honestly, I shouldn’t even have to write about Virus – you should all be just as enamored as I am. Carl-Michael Eide’s clattering, but still lyrical continuation of Ved Buens Ende’s early future-sight moves forward still. In the shadow of last year’s Memento Collider, the trio of Carl-Michael, Plenum, and Einar Sjursø offer two more songs in their distinct, avant-rock style, paired with one of the coolest music videos I’ve seen in a long time.
“The cover of their new record, Fail·lure looks almost like a scarecrow. Scarecrows are almost as old as the practice of agriculture themselves, and evoke atavistic fears. Like the fairies of superstition, they are supposed to always be watching. Like all religious beliefs, they don’t do what they’re meant to (scare away grain-feeding birds, preserve an afterlife). These fears, stemming from superstition and observing the vastness of nature, come from that same brain case that Farsot poked at six years ago.
These observations are relevant because Farsot are still poking around these essential themes. They’re using their music to ask large questions, and explore large contradictions. The difference is that now their music sounds more ornate and experimental. Album opener “With Obsidian Hands” doubles down on all of these elements, by the band’s own admission.”
Arkheron Thodol – Thaw | Independent/Digital | Atmospheric Folk/Black Metal | United States
On the surface Arkheron Thodol sound like any other nature-oriented black metal band. Hell, I certainly thought that was the case, but, as it turns out, this Montana-based unit is so much more. Sure, they’re pastoral, but there is a lot to unpack – intricately composed chord progressions, haunting, clean-sung passages, massive gait, and an aggression which is often lacking in forested metal. Though punctuated with elements of standard “modern” United States black metal, there is a multifaceted nature to Thaw which helps maintain a high level of interest. A lengthy audio clip from The Twilight Zone’s “The Obsolete Man” in “Gnosis” elicited a surprisingly emotional reaction from me, to boot.
Phrenelith – Desolate Endscape | Dark Descent Records/Me Saco Un Ojo/Extremely Rotten Records | Death Metal | Denmark
Though primarily known for their work in the dripping, brutal Undergang, the new Danish masters of death metal cast their sights to and master the past in Phrenelith. Though superficially cavernous and Lovecraftian, Phrenelith’s “strictly old-school” approach is rigid in structure and moves with a catchy, unbridled momentum (oh, and keep an eye out for the quietly released Chimaerian Offspring EP, while you’re at it).
Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon | Profound Lore Records | Technical Death Metal | United States
It’s technical death metal and it’s about space – I’m pretty sure most will stop reading there. To be honest, though they perform a great live show, Artificial Brain’s debut never really “clicked” with me, and I think it will take a bit for Infrared Horizon to grow on me.
Ancient Ascendant – Raise the Torch | Candlelight Records | Death Metal | England
This is death metal which grooves for sure, but the most interesting aspect is definitely the unique, thoughtful guitar work, though sometimes it “jangles” and rings just a bit too much atop the heavy root work.
Coltsblood – Ascending into Shimmering Darkness | Candlelight Records | Sludge/Doom Metal | England
The tag says sludge/doom metal, but this is surprisingly close to the putrid, death metal-inspired ire of the newly reformed Iron Monkey’s heyday. Always nice when a band with such a banal tag catches me off guard like this.
Cemetery Urn – Cemetery Urn | Hells Headbangers Records | Death Metal | Australia
As it turns out, death metal from Australia isn’t just some aberrant cave emanation. Sharp, distinct, and clear, the spastic and furious sounds of Cemetery Urn’s third album more effectively mirror the works of Immolation and Perdition Temple than their murky countrymen.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Cloud Rat/Crevasse – Cloud Rat / Crevasse | Halo of Flies Records/Contraszt | Grindcore/Powerviolence | United States / Germany/Netherlands
Never faltering in their quest to craft the most adventurous, bucking, and wildest grindcore on the planet, Cloud Rat’s second split this year (this month, in fact, as I appear to have missed a split with newly-reactivated Moloch) shows no sign of stopping. Paired with the vicious “trans-state” powerviolence of international unit Crevasse, this isn’t so much a split as it is a means of leveling cities.
Justin Walter – Unseen Forces | Kranky | Kosmiche/Ambient | United States
We all grew up watching those aged, warped reel-to-reel documentaries in primary school, and I fondly remember the equally warped, soothing cloud which was their soundtracks. Justin Walter more than adequately mimics this bubbling, oozing sound of disintegrating, sun-frizzled nostalgia.
Toby Driver – Madonnawhore | Flenser Records | Slowcore/Singer/Songwriter/Avant-Garde | United States
People generally namecheck maudlin of the Well as a death metal band, which always struck me as a half-truth. Some of that band’s (and even Driver’s current work with Kayo Dot) most violent moments occurred when they were at their quietest. Stretching those sparse, harmonious elements into a singer/songwriter album, though I would lovingly refer to this particular style of pop minimalism as “slowcore,” Toby Driver manifests yet another head of stylistic mastery on the hydra which is his body of work.
“Even in assuming lighter textures, Les Discrets evokes landscapes of misting rain, fog, streetlights and towering steel. […] It’s kind of a tribute to the 80’s, New Order or Depeche Mode: its catchy feel, the synth bass line, the overall feel. I love that song so much.”
Guerilla Ghost – Suicide Notes of the 21st Century | Triple Eye Industries | Hip-Hop/Rap | United States
Bet you wouldn’t expect rap coverage other than dalek on this site, huh? Wrong! Forged from the Wisconsin punk and experimental scenes are the experimental sounds of hip-hop duo Guerilla Ghost. While appealing to dalek’s more atmospheric conceits, Suicide Notes of the 21st Century more closely resembles the bile and edge of early horrorcore. I believe a notable artist recently namedropped Dr. Octagon in an Invisible Oranges feature not too long ago, to which this album bears a familial resemblance.
FROM THE GRAVE
Selvans – Lupercalia | Fólkvangr Records | Symphonic Folk/Black Metal | Italy
People seem to think that “symphonic” means “lame and unworthy of listening.” Maybe listen to Selvans’s debut, especially now that it’s available on tape. This coincides with a special release of the Hirpi live CD and compilation from Avantgarde Music
Casket Huffer – Gospels of Scum | Hibernation Records | Death Metal | United States
Ridiculous death metal which skips the murk in favor of rendering their nightmares in as high definition as possible. Now available on vinyl.
Obelyskkh – The Providence | Exile on Mainstream Records | Psychedelic Stoner/Doom Metal | Germany
Stoner/doom metal doesn’t tickle my fancy as it once did, but they aren’t all bad. Somewhere between Om’s first two albums (which I still love) and the grit of early Electric Wizard, Obelyskkh toes the line between heavy minimalism and slow-burning groove.
Goldenpyre – In Eminent Disgrace | Signal Rex | Death Metal | Portugal
Hey, enough about Portuguese black metal, right? As it turns out, there are still extreme metal bands from that section of the Iberian peninsula who remember how to play interesting, weird riffs.
Tehom – The Merciless Light | Blood Harvest | Death Metal | Sweden
With all the clear, sharp death metal this week, here’s something a little more old school and murky which “emanates from the pit.”