Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of October 25th to October 31st, 2020. Releases reflect proposed North American scheduling, if available. Expect to see most of these albums on shelves or distros on Fridays.

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

Send us your promos (streaming links preferred) to: editors@invisibleoranges.com. Do not send us promo material via social media.


Carcass -- Despicable | Nuclear Blast | Melodic Death Metal | United Kingdom

First off: have you listened to Carcass before? If not, don't listen to this, listen to Heartwork and Necroticism. Are you already a Carcass fan? You've come to the right place. This is outrageous. I mean, there really hasn't been a dull moment in their discography (even I came around on Surgical Steel), but this feels so much fresher and full of vigor. The chugging, melodic heat found on Despicable is Carcass fully reborn. Let the melodic death metal bells ring.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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John Petrucci -- Terminal Velocity | Sound Mind Music | Progressive Metal + Shred | United States (New York)

From Langdon Hickman's review:

You can tell that this is the heart music of John Petrucci, something touching and affirming and emotionally real to him, and that sense of firm and real emotional connection in him translates capably into the songs themselves. This is only amplified by the reunion on tape between him and Mike Portnoy, players who came up as kids and forged lifelong careers together before parting ways a decade ago. While finally unleashing Mike Mangini on Dream Theater's last record finally demonstrated what a monstrously capable drummer they picked up after Portnoy left, there is still an undeniable and potent chemistry between Petrucci and Portnoy that is unparalleled.

...

Bliss of Flesh -- Tyrant | Listenable Records | Black Metal + Death Metal | France

One big uninterrupted slab of blackened death metal -- Bliss of Flesh's Tyrant feels heroic and mighty without the pretense. Great driving music. Great power-walking music. Great "show this band to your friends" music. Great goddamn music.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Romasa -- Insufferable Cave of Rotting Aspiration | Hand of Death Records | Sludge Metal + Crust | United States (Louisiana)

These titans of fuck-you-up heaviness return now with something so vile and compromising that, well, I can only recommend it to those with dead-serious palates. Romasa echoes the insane density of atmospheric sludge but brings things up to a more aggressive pace with crust energy. What else is there to say -- other than that this is absolute filth in the best way imaginable.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Botanist -- Photosynthesis | The Flenser | Avant-Garde Black Metal | United States (California)

Stay tuned later this morning for an interview with the Botanist mastermind as well as a new single prior to the album's Friday release. All hail hammered dulcimer.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Wytch Hazel -- III: Pentecost | Bad Omen Records | Heavy Metal | United Kingdom

Wytch Hazel, on top of being an enjoyable traditional metal band, puts an unusual spin on things by focusing their lyrics mostly on Christianity, but giving it the same epic, mythical treatment as doom greats Trouble did, making it entertaining to listen to regardless of beliefs -- well, as long as you believe in the power of the riff, I guess.

-- Ted Nubel

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Jahbulong -- Eclectic Poison Tones | Go Down Records | Stoner + Doom Metal | Italy

From Ted Nubel's track premiere of "Under the Influence of the Fool":

Jahbulong's guitar tone is something of an inversion: no guitar, only fuzz, seeking out weaknesses in speakers to exploit and sizzle out from. The drumming remains hypnotic and sparse, but crucially bolsters the plodding rhythm with well-applied hammer-blows. Creamy leads work their way in afterwards with gentler dynamics, but there's always a hint of a crackle, a threat of a flare-up into everything-set-to-eleven that keeps the listener on alert.

While Jahbulong are an instrumental stoner-doom band and that label bears its own stigma and cynical tropes, they avoid all that by approaching the genre with respect for its fundamentals -- as well as a healthy dose of creativity.

...

Mr Bungle -- The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo | Ipecac Recordings | Thrash Metal + Avant-garde Metal | United States (California)

While I'm really not a fan of the re-recording thing (looking at you, Diamond Head), there is some additional material here that wasn't on the original version. Plus, the context here is interesting -- this is a re-release of a demo that the band has stylistically departed from, and the re-release hype saw the band making some high-profile tour stops just before the pandemic really hit.

-- Ted Nubel

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Stälker -- Black Majik Terror | Napalm Records | Speed Metal | New Zealand

High-velocity, high-frequency speed metal that sounds like it's right off a forgotten box of cassettes somewhere in a dusty garage. I dig how the filthy bass is an equal partner in the mayhem to the guitars here, driving the mid-range grit of the music.

--Ted Nubel

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Begräbnis -- Izanaena | Weird Truth Productions | Funeral Doom | Japan

Seriously doomed funeral doom from Japan, with minimalist percussion and maximalist atmosphere. The gurgling, low-pitched vocals hit just right for the genre, and the guitars are an ever-present dirge.

Check out my full-album premiere for a stream.

--Ted Nubel

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Them -- Return to Hemmersmoor | Steamhammer/SPV | Heavy/Power Metal | United States + Germany

Starting life as a King Diamond tribute band, the general thrust behind Them is pretty obvious: unadulterated worship of King Diamond's bombastic, horror-storytelling approach to heavy metal. However, the vocals have become a lot more clean-focused on this record, as well as musically veering more heavily towards straightforward power metal than the more mid-tempo and rhythmically intricate material of King Diamond, so it's not a one-to-one-clone (though honestly? I'd be fine with that). I generally dig the music here, and I believe that the ground covered by King Diamond has plenty of room for retracing, but I do feel like the storytelling aspects are more like somebody's increasingly byzantine Dungeons & Dragons campaign than a horror tale.

-- Ted Nubel

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Draconian -- Under a Godless Veil | Napalm Records | Gothic Doom/Death Metal | Sweden

A masterclass in death/doom metal with extremely gothic overtones. Check back in a few days to hear this one in full.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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Svartsyn -- Requiem | Carnal Records | Black Metal | Sweden

A sense of evil permeates Requiem. The tighter, riffier bits hammer home the band's ability to deliver beyond just atmospherics, but on the whole: this shit is creepy.

-- Ted Nubel

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Yaotl Mictlan -- Sagrada Tierra del Jaguar |Independent | Black Metal | United States (Utah)

Black metal, somehow, always sounds badass when you mix in other stuff. Yaotl Mictlan successfully blends indigenous, pre-Hispanic musical elements into black metal, creating a mix of menace and mystery that feels pretty novel. It avoids feeling like a tacked-on gimmick by just being straight-up good black metal, too.

-- Ted Nubel

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Psychonaut 4 -- Beautyfall | Talheim Records | Black Metal + Rock | Georgia

The blend of black metal and rock here creates the perfect depressive valley to sink into: moving and passionate, so that you can feel good about feeling bad.

-- Ted Nubel

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Arkheron Thodol -- Rituals of the Sovereign Heart | Naturmacht Productions | Atmospheric Black Metal | United States (Montana)

A good friend referred to this kind of music as "antler metal," which I find rather fitting, at least more than the perennial "nature," "grey," or "green" metal tags. Arkheron Thodol is a conservative, but still rather nice example of atmospheric, neofolky metal -- a more black metal vision of the Pacific Northwestern bands which preceded them.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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Austin Lucas -- Alive in the Hot Zone | Cornelius Chapel Records | Americana + Alt-Country | United States (Indiana)

What are we doing covering an alt-country album at Invisible Oranges? Anything we want, really, but this has purpose. Former Rune and Twenty Third Chapter vocalist (he's also written for us) Austin Lucas's career as a country singer has been a long one, and the quality found within the twanging Alive in the Hot Zone presents Lucas to the world as a seasoned, accomplished songwriter. I know there are a lot of "but country bad" opinions out there, but shut up and listen to this.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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