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Upcoming Metal Releases 6/3/2018-6/9/2018


Here are the new metal releases for the weeks of June 3, 2018 – June 9, 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. 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.

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.

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Abstracter – Cinereous Incarnate | I, Voidhanger Records/Sentient Ruin Laboratories/Vendetta Records/Tartarus Records/Daymare Recordings | Death/Black/Doom Metal | United States
From Andrew Rothmund’s premiere of “Ashen Reign”:

[A] sinister execution of doom, death, black, and sludge metal. Much of the content will feel “close” — threads of Dragged Into Sunlight, Primitive Man, and even diSEMBOWELMENT — but the lens is bespoke. Especially dismal and in despair, and incessantly so, Cinereous Incarnate captures the nuance to the often nebulous tag “dark.” While this is ultimately just one angle (or vision) on darkness, as any band would be limited, Abstracter offers expansive, blossoming, multi-genre underground metal which encourages airy headspaces and, if you’re so inclined, deep contemplation.

Lago – Sea of Duress | Unique Leader | Death Metal | United States
From Andrew Rothmund’s premiere of “A Broken Barrier”:

With just the right amount of claustrophobia, Lago invent their own brand of oppressing (but ultimately freeing) atmosphere. Production matters for sure — Sea of Duress sounds purposely (but quite successfully) bleak — but the key to atmosphere is so much more. Songwriting, for instance, matters a great deal: on “A Broken Barrier,” it’s tempo shifts, discordance, and transparent transitions which foster fertile ground for atmospherics. Meanwhile, significant layering — like on the song’s monstrously chugging outro, and with the vocals throughout — adds the all-important elements of dimension and headroom. The album is busy for sure, but never overbearingly so; nor does it overcomplicate itself. Technicality, here, is omnipresent but slightly occluded.

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Yob – Our Raw Heart | Relapse Records | Doom Metal | United States
From head editor Ian Cory:

Yob’s use of time has always been deliberate. Their music is taxing by necessity. In order to properly hypnotize the listener, each Yob song needs a precise combination of repetition and immense volume. By virtue of their long career, Yob have developed a skill for finding that balance. Even when their songwriting falters, this ability to nail listeners to the floor with waves of sound has never wavered. Our Raw Heart‘s greatest achievement is that it uses this skill empathetically, not just as a tool for altering consciousness but also conveying a vivid emotional arc.

That arc is not always a pleasant one. The album’s first single “The Screen” is a deeply comfortable crawl of a tune that makes much more sense in the context of the full record. Though it is far from the only punishing track on Our Raw Heart, its tension is surrounded by some of Yob’s most vital melodies on songs like “Beauty in Falling Leaves” and the title track. Even these moments of tenderness are tempered by a prevailing discomfort. Near the end of “Ablaze,” Yob take an explosively colorful chord progression and crank up the brightness until the song burns out. Whether this group of songs works for you aesthetically, Our Raw Heart finds Yob at the top of their game as far as expression is concerned.

Zeal and Ardor – Stranger Fruit | Independent/Digital | Delta Blues + Black Metal, but separately | United States
I still don’t quite understand the deal with Zeal and Ardor. The artist behind the project is definitely adept at making convincing old-timey, reverent spirituals, but he never actually mixes them in with the black metal. These are things Zeal and Ardor continues to place side-by-side instead of finding a way to smush them together. A blues part, followed by a black metal part, followed by a folk part, and so on. The most creative music takes its influences and creates something new from it, not a Rothko presentation of the color palette.

Deathwards – Towards Death | Invictus Productions | Black/Thrash Metal | Unknown
Deathwards is supposedly comprised of various black and thrash metal veterans, and it shows, but in a different way. Fans of Piggy’s off-kilter riffing and a more intensely blackened edge will find a fierce joy here.


ZU93 (ZU and Current 93) – Mirror Emperor | House of Mythology | Experimental Neofolk | Italy/England
Italian noise jazz rockers Zu and quiet neofolk oddity/poet David Tibet don’t seem like two things which would mesh, and I honestly wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this album when it was first announced. Imagine my surprise when it turns out Zu simply assumes some approximation of the holy, subdued Current 93 backing band sound. Parts even sound rather Cashmore-esque, but through a noir lens. Mirror Emperor is a strikingly beautiful, unexpected album worthy of any Current 93 fan’s perusal.

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Ulver – Shadows of the Sun | House of Mythology | Trip-Hop/Electronica/Drone/Ambient | Norway
It’s hard to believe Ulver’s tribute to the COIL sound is now ten years old, but, more importantly, it’s exciting to see House of Mythology give Shadows of the Sun a proper wax treatment. This one has always been impossible to find without breaking the bank into little pieces.


Caveman Cult – Supremacía Primordial | Larval Productions | Black/Death (“War”) Metal | United States
More war metal. I understand how people can be really into this style, but it doesn’t really seem like it goes anywhere. Bands like Caveman Cult simply explode into existence, keep exploding at a constant rate, and then disappear. Find me a war metal band with dynamics and I’ll show you a surprised face.

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