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Upcoming Metal Releases 7/1/2018-7/7/2018

Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods - Artwork

Happy grilling and fire day.

Here are the new metal releases for the weeks of July 1, 2018 – July 7, 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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Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods | Nuclear Blast | Black Metal | Norway
It’s Immortal, but more importantly it’s Demonaz‘s Immortal. Gone are the cock-rockisms more suited to his former bandmate Abbath’s solo project, instead picking up in the bygone era of At the Heart of Winter, Blizzard Beasts, and Battles in the North. Now returning to guitar (after a lengthy bout with tendon-related issues), Demonaz taps into the vault of “what should have been.” Don’t get me wrong, teutonic thrash Immortal is important, but hearing the immense fury of this now-ancient guitar style is as emotive as it is incensing. Any true fan will raise their fist high and well up with strong, adult tears with lore callbacks “Gate to Blashyrkh” and “Mighty Ravendark” (!!!!), to boot. Much like with Satyricon last year, Northern Chaos Gods is an unexpected tour de force, masters of their craft so suddenly becoming the dark horse.

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Moenen of Xezbeth – Ancient Spells of Darkness | Nuclear War Now! Productions | Black Metal | Belgium
From my premiere of the full album:

This kind of primitive black metal is all about balance, finding a space between the putridity of ragged tone, with bass so fuzzy it becomes almost incoherent and guitars mixed so far back that they simply become part of the bass’s overwhelming distortion, and the unexpected spiritual upheaval of spine-tingling, airy keyboards. This is the other side of the early 1990s, drawing down the moon in a flurry of third-generation dubbed tapes traded from one end of the planet to the other. Music which functionally rotted into an atmospheric oblivion defined the hyper-underground in this era, and continues its nightmarish undercurrent thanks to the efforts of bands like Moenen of Xezbeth.

Though this isn’t the most original music in the timeline of black metal, excellent meditations on this oft-ignored, dessicated portion of the genre’s evolution find themselves extremely welcomed, even lauded, and rightfully so. Originality isn’t the point here, and it would be silly to try and imagine bands like this even attempting to sound modern. Moenen of Xezbeth, and, by extension, their side project Perverted Ceremony, keep the black flame of the very-early 1990s alive through sloppy, unkempt perfection. May it ever be.



Runespell – Order of Vengeance | Iron Bonehead Productions | Black Metal | Australia
From my premiere of “Blood Martyr”:

Less than a year after Runespell’s debut, a second full-length effort rises as yet another testament to black metal’s endless war of chilling atmosphere. Much more tragic this time, Order of Vengeance still carries the same chilling ferocity as its predecessor, but with longer melodic ideas and complex instrument interplay. Songs like “Blood Martyr” carry an unexpected kinship with the Finnish “dark metal” scene of the early 1990s, especially in the lyrical bass playing and subdued, near-somber atmospheres.

If Unhallowed Blood Oath took place on the on the battlefield in the war against light and warmth, Order of Vengeance was the period of mourning and plotting thereafter. It is a war that will never be won, and summer with reign on, but it will only ignite the hatred and retribution which fuels Runespell.

Siege Column – Inferno Deathpassion | Nuclear War Now! Productions | Death Metal | United States


The Observatory/MoEShadows | Independent | Experimental Rock | Singapore/Norway



With the End in Mind – Unraveling; Arising | Temple of Torturous | Post-Black Metal (mostly post-rock) | United States
This is the farthest reach of “post-rock black metal.” It sounds like the build-ups in every post-metal song which go absolutely nowhere. I don’t understand why people like this so much. If there was any sort of resolution in these overlong songs, maybe the wait would be worth it, but Unavailing; Arising sounds more like Uninspired; Asinine than anything else.

Lucifer – Lucifer II | Century Media Records | Stoner/Doom Metal | Germany/England
It’s retro, that’s for sure.

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