Upcoming Metal Releases 5/8/2016-5/14/2016
What a week it’s been – office-related frustration led to an impulsive application to graduate school, which resulted in a pretty quick acceptance. What does this mean? Nothing to you, really. I’ll still be here come late August, but back in school! Exciting. Unrelated: anyone else hear the new Nifelheim song yet? Those guys know how to write a song.
Here are a handful of metal and related releases slated for release between May 8th and 14th, 2016. There are probably things missing – tell me about them in the comment box below.
Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust | Season of Mist | Avant-Garde Technical Death Metal | Canada
I’ve referenced “over the top” quite a bit over the past year here at Invisible Oranges, and yet I’ve attributed it solely to the most brutal death metal or the most ridiculous black metal. Gorguts’s self-indulgence, however, belies a different definition of “over the top.” They always have—band mastermind Luc Lemay’s idiosyncratic (and eventually scholarly) technicality driven composition style pre-dates Gorguts’s earliest demos. Reaching a head with the impenetrable, noisy Obscura (RIP Steeve Hurdle), Gorguts’s subsequent works worked with a stronger subtlety—the smooth From Wisdom to Hate sounds like a completely different band from 2012’s thick, academically composed Colored Sands (granted, both albums do feature a different backing band, but that is beyond the point). The thirty-three minute, single track epic (again, self-indulgence is key) Pleiades’ Dust further clearcuts the area surrounding Gorguts—in a genre filled with pretenders and imitators, Gorguts stands alone. Though this lengthy song’s dissonant forays into the avant-garde should be jarring and unsettling, and they certainly are, to a degree, but the three-headed beast of Luc Lemay, Kevin Hufnagel, and Colin Marston maks a compelling argument that dissonance can be performed with fluidity and grace, echoing the lyricism of Schoenberg’s reclamation of the classic Austrian school of composition and George Crumb’s “macrocosmic” tone palette. Yes, such a lengthy bout of ridiculous, over the top, crazed, heady technicality is cumbersome—I know it takes me more than one session to listen through Pleiades’ Dust—the ever-shifting Gorguts further manifests itself as death metal’s most unique, special act.
Fun note: Gorguts guitarist Kevin Hufnagel has a new “double EP” coming out on Friday, but, at his request, you’ll be hearing from me about it in a week.
From my full premiere of “Wistful”:
“Recent Season of Mist signee Sylvaine, otherwise known as solo musician Kathrine Shepard, taps into that punctuated, now “classic” sound. Wistful, which features Alcest and Amesoeurs mastermind Stephane “Neige” Paut on drum duties, bridges the catchy, melodious, and sweeping pop sounds of shoegaze with black metal’s bittersweet despair – a colorful, sunlit haze of swirling sound and nostalgic buzz. Owing just as much to bands like The Chameleons and even Third Eye Blind (and I’m sure I will catch flak for citing the latter) as much as the aforementioned Alcest and Amesoeurs, Sylvaine’s lush, upbeat-with-a-downward-glance “blackgaze” is this genre’s necessary pop revival….and that’s just it. That is what was missing. Blackgaze is at its strongest when pop sensibility and thick atmosphere are mixed in equal parts. Here’s to hoping more artists will find inspiration Sylvaine’s brief trip to a recent past and follow in her footsteps. We deserve that much.”
The Morningside – Yellow | BadMoonMan Music (Solitude Productions | Melodic Death/Doom Metal | Russia
The Morningside’s return was met with both excitement and distress in the Rosenthal camp. Though I still regularly listen to The Wind, The Trees and the Shadows of the Past regularly, the rest of their discography failed to capture me. I still tried my damndest to enjoy Moving Crosscurrent of Time and Letters from the Empty Towns (TreeLogia doesn’t count), but nothing quite captured the infectious gothic rock doom metal of their debut until now. Yellow is a memorable reminder that The Morningside is at their strongest when bridging the gap between Katatonia’s first two eras – the post-punk influenced death/doom of their impetus with the punctuated equilibrium of Discouraged Ones‘s alternative rock misery. Though definitely a reminder of their grandeur, The Morningside’s latest still lacks in specific spots – the bluesy atmosphere seems dialed in and penultimate song “Clocks”‘s clean-voiced ballad breaks the album’s consistency.
From Joseph’s premiere of “Ordeal”:
“Much of Bringer of Drought comes across as airy as well as arid. Song passages bleed into one another in obtuse ways on this album, which is what makes the scorched-earth groove of Ordeal, so effective in the context of the album as a whole. It sounds like what you’d play over a slow-motion film of the Hoover Dam collapsing.”
Sxuperion – Cosmic Void | Bloody Mountain Records | Atmospheric Black/Death Metal | United States
Bloody, dripping with occulted starlight, and strong, Sxuperion’s atmospheric blackened death metal resembles Hate Forest’s mechanical power had their gazes been more extraterrestrial than hereditary.
Cracked Vessel + Gidim – CV + G | Crippled Sound Recordings | Black Metal/Punk | United States
Two of Chicago’s youngest entries to the underground team up in a vicious, brief collaboration. Though Gidim’s punky stomp holds the foreground, duo Cracked Vessel’s post-hardcore sensibilities leak through at crucial moments, balancing the primitive display with lovingly composed dynamism.
Kvelertak – Nattesferd | Roadrunner Records | Black Metal/Arena Rock/Punk | Norway
The band so ridiculous, so catchy that Metal-Archives still refuses their intro into its hallowed halls (it’s true) continues further down the “Scorpions in corpsepaint” rabbit hole they dug a decade ago. I wonder if I’ll chip another tooth seeing them this time around. It will have been worth it.
Grand Magus – Sword Songs | Nuclear Blast Records | Heavy/Doom Metal | Sweden
Viking-themed doom metal exists in two extremes – magnificent and emotional or almost unlistenably corny. Unfortunately, and this seems to be the case with every Grand Magus album to which I’ve listened, this drifts toward the latter, sounding more like a cookie cutter power metal album at half speed rather than Ereb Altor’s more passionate moments.
Interment – Scent of the Buried | Pulverised Records | Death Metal | Sweden
Funny a band so relatively active (and who ultimately broken up in) the early 1990s ended up releasing two full-lengths of bonafide broken-seal time capsule old school death metal in the 2010s.
Blakk Old Blood – Greed | Clavis Secretorvm | Black Metal | Switzerland
Blakk Old Blood/Black Devotion – Blakk Old Blood / Black Devotion | Clavis Secretorvm | Black Metal | Switzerland/United States
As evidenced by their use of two K’s in “blakk,” Blakk Old Blood is old, old, old school black metal. Greed furthers Blakk Old Blood’s adventures into the Seven Deadly Sins (I’d recommend checking Wrath out, too), and they hearken back to the glory days of Mortem, Treblinka, and Urgehal. Simple, effective black metal, traditional enough to please any purist but energetic and melodic enough for any newer fan. Their approach is matched with Black Devotion’s blackened death metal chaos, which might not carry the same sort of immediacy as Blakk Old Blood’s piercing might, but still holds its own overall.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Planning for Burial/Stress Waves – Planning for Burial / Stress Waves | Nostalgium Directive | Post-Rock/Slowcore / Coldwave/Post-Punk | United States/Australia
Pure, stagnant misery. Having shed his metallic self long ago, Planning for Burial’s Thom Wasluck builds his half of this split on morose guitar loops and quiet electronics – somewhere between Trentemoller’s cold, autumnal electronics and Timonium’s lush slowcore. Stress Waves is new to me, and echoes the perfect emptiness of early coldwave – some might remember Alcest’s Neige namedropping Asylum Party, which is a prime example of the genre – but with a washy haze draped atop it. These two fit together nicely, but I need a new Planning for Burial full-length album instead of another split!
FROM THE GRAVE
Novembre – Materia | Peaceville Records | Melodic Death/Gothic/Doom Metal | Italy
So we have a new Novembre album, but have you ever checked out Materia? This one was a little divisive, namely due to the distinct lack of “heavy” doom metal parts. This is pretty straightforward gothic metal, but it’s catchy. Really catchy. I generally have “Aquamarine” stuck in my head at least once a week.
Suffocation – Effigy of the Forgotten | Listenable Records | Technical Brutal Death Metal | United States
If you’ve never lost your goddamn mind to “Infecting the Crypts”, you’re either a liar or something is very, very wrong. I recommend correcting that error immediately.
DevilDriver – Trust No One | Napalm Records | Groove/Melodic Death Metal (apparently) | United States
DevilDriver is still a band? Metal-Archives says they’re supposedly a mix of groove and melodic death metal, but this still sounds like basketball jerseys and cargo shorts in the gas station parking lot.
WHAT WE MISSED
Wounds/Ärid – Trepidation From the Western Hills | Eerie Silence | Black Metal/Black Metal | United States
More raw weirdness from the Appalachian hills. I don’t keep up with super limited tape labels like I used to, but I make an effort to maintain a solid stock of Eerie Silence releases.
Trautonist – Trautonist | Wolves and Vibrancy/Pest Productions | Black Metal/Post-Rock
Remember how Lantlos used to sound before getting super “urban” (read as: he decided to use jazz chords sometimes)? Trautonist is another great, enjoyable example of a genre I’d all but given up on. Chalk up another point for multi-instrumentalist E, who you might remember from Vargnatt and Impavida.