Better brush up on your Finnish, because if the next seven days of heavy metal releases suggest anything (NSA: "No comment."), we're already too late to elude the coup. All Finn everything. So, start cramming Rosetta Stone lessons, since we'll need to appease our new masters.

Okay, maybe we're going overboard, but quite a few of the eggs this week are emblazoned with siniristilippu. On the Anticipated side alone, Dark Descent Records drops off two death metal humdingers freshly dredged from the swamps, while a Hooded Menace removes its cowl to expose a doom-adoring James Bernard, scoring terror with stretched-to-the-brink, Brobdingnagian strums.

Speaking of the gargantuan and elongated, we may have buried the lede with salmiakki: Behemoth plus Sunn O))) & Ulver can be held in your mitts mere hours from now. That's big news for a lot of 'heads: Metal releases in our neck of the soil don't get much bigger in the unit-pushing sense than Behemoth, one of the rare entities to unify the mainstream/underground divide with the ease of an elevator. And, if your heart beats with thinkpieces, same goes for the exploratory sonic effery of the newest collabo to dream with drones. Indeed, Ulver gets the high-wattage hummers to give up the gain for relative pastoral tranquility.

Finally, Of Note is neat, counting Mantar's two-man pandemonium, Pryapisme's prog packed with the same incongruities as a shark's stomach, and, well, Noam Chomsky among its points of interest. In fact, that last word with a tail-pinned suffix is always the best way to tag this feature: Interesting. Or, should we say, mielenkiintoinen?

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

— Ian Chainey


New metal releases for the week of 2/2/2014 – 2/8/2014. 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 Tuesday unless otherwise noted. Blurbs and designations are based on available promotional material and perceived buzz.


Anticipated Releases:

Behemoth - The Satanist | Nuclear Blast | Blackened death metal
These Polish beasts return for their tenth full-length after a five year lay off from the studio. Joined by new guitarist Seth from Nomad, Behemoth make no concessions for a mass audience that has since embraced them, continuing to fuse Krisiun-ian blasts with symphonic bombast. Special shout-out to singer/six-stringer Nergal for beating leukemia.


Corpsessed - Abysmal Thresholds | Dark Descent Records | Death metal
Applying the Convulse-inducing pressure of a trash compactor, Corpsessed give the doom of prior projects a new fleetness. Features current and former members of Tyranny, Wormphlegm, and Cardinals Folly.


Exmortus - Slave to the Sword | Prosthetic Records | Death/thrash
Chunky, melo-leaning shredding from this battle-tested Californian quartet.


Grand Magus - Triumph and Power | Nuclear Blast | Heavy metal, doom
The Swede crooners keep-on-keeping-on their hooky path with this heavy metalized variation of Clutch's rollicking catchiness. A sound befitting of a band with Spiritual Beggars bloodlines.


Hooded Menace - Labyrinth of Carrion Breeze | Doomentia Records | Death/doom
Finnish vets of a million projects (Ruinebell, Vacant Coffin, Claws, to index a few) infect Hammer horror and classic, all-caps DOOM with a slow-moving strain of Impetigo. The actual release date is up in the air, so we'll say the 7th to be safe.


Lie in Ruins - Towards Divine Death | Dark Descent Records | Death metal
Corpsessed's Dark Descent wingmen favor a gritty buzz for their OSDM barrage. On the same Finnish family tree as Desolate Shrine.


Prostitute Disfigurement - From Crotch to Crown | Willowtip | Brutal death metal
The unfortunately-named Dutch destroyers squee with a tech-y Malignancy. Fifth album and first since reforming in 2010.


Sunn O))) & Ulver - Terrestrials | Southern Lord Recordings | Drone, ambient, avant-garde
Sunn and Ulver go Philip Glass if conducted by Morton Feldman, stretching out three tone poems for this near-murmur of a mantra.


Of Note:

Brain Dead - Indoctrinator | Self-released | Thrash
Thrashers from LA County's Valley wield their axes in the manner of old Anthrax.

Mantar - Death By Burning | Svart Records | Blackened sludge
This German guitar/drums duo devastates, finding the weight of Amenra in a box marked “black metal.”

Metal Noam - Avram | Mountastic Records | Blackened thrash
Vhol-y trad n' trems with Noam Chomsky samples? Yeah, exactly that. A Witch Mountain member incites anarchy on the skins.

Morowe - S | Witching Hour Productions | Black metal
Members of Furia and the Polish Massemord experiment on black metal structures recast with post-hardcore timbres.

Pryapisme - Blastbit Rococollider | Apathia Records | Prog metal, 8bit
A remix EP that goes full Nintendo courtesy of these genre-jumping French freaks. Find the original material here.

Shrapnel - The Virus Conspires | Candlelight Records | Thrash
Modern thrash reminiscent of early Darkane covering later Exodus.

Sithu Aye - Pulse | Self-released | Djent, shred
Provided you weren't turned off by last week's djent taste test, here's the cream of the scene.

Sodom / Hirax - Hellion Rising / Water Boarding | SPV GmbH | Thrash
Two thrash legends trade cuts to celebrate Euro distributor SPV's 30th birthday.

Stam1na - SLK | Sakara Records | Thrash
Since this became an impromptu Finnish extravaganza, here's a bonus blurb regarding a more popular act from the land of all of the lakes. Stam1na slather modern thrash in synths and pump out videos often cresting 500k views. The other release earning all of the Euros will be Whispered's Shogunate Macabre, which is, not kidding, melodeath obsessed with Bushido. Yeah, Suomi samurai. This is their promo pic. Finland!

Svarttjern - Ultimatum Necrophilia | NoiseArt Records | Black metal
In the Demonoir-era 1349 mold. Midpaced, though they can still race. Two Magister Templi players fill the ranks.

Vindensång - Alpha | Archaic Lore Productions | Black metal
Depressive black metal re-imagined with post-rock reveries.


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