Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of November 15th to November 21st, 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.


Surprise Releases + Things We Missed


Lord Drunkalot -- Heads & Spirits | Independent | Doom Metal | Croatia

Stoner metal, despite its name, often branches off stylistically based on the band's consciousness-impairing drug of choice -- you get one guess which way Lord Drunkalot leans. Inebriation runs in the very veins of this album, from the concept-linked album art to the core of it: swaggering, fun doom that may have had a few too many.

I'm all for audible traces of drunken revelry -- we don't get nearly enough of that in doom metal, but it's what makes tracks like Reverend Bizarre's iconic "Doom Over the World" so captivating and what pushes this album into greatness: belligerence and slight instability make for great vocal deliveries. Tack that on to clever songwriting and a knack for fun riffs, and this one's a winner.

--Ted Nubel

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Upcoming Releases


Diamond Head -- Lightning to the Nations 2020 | Silver Lining Music | Heavy Metal | United Kingdom

I'll defend a lot of things Diamond Head has done -- including Borrowed Time weirdly yoinking songs from the original Lightning to the Nations, the entirety of Canterbury, and even some of their modern albums -- 2016's self-titled was pretty good. But re-recording their debut album? I'm not a fan. The covers are interesting, I suppose, but would have been fine on their own as an EP.

--Ted Nubel

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Tombs -- Under Sullen Skies | Season of Mist | Black Metal + Death Metal + Experimental Metal | United States (New York)

The new Tombs album Under Sullen Skies is finally here, and, well, it's Tombs in all their blackened, postmodern glory. Expect what you expect to hear -- tons of atmospheric blasts and steel-dissolving vocals -- but this time around, the band has opened up the taps and reached farther and wider than ever before. The album also features guest appearances from Integrity, Six Feet Under, Black Anvil, Psycroptic… it goes on. Clearly, a lot went into Under Sullen Skies, and from the sound of it, it delivers.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Fuck the Facts -- Pleine Noirceur | Noise Salvation | Grindcore | Canada

From Jon Rosenthal's track premiere of "Ailleurs":

After five long years, it feels good to say Fuck the Facts is back. The experimental (though they say otherwise below) grindcore band pushed the genre toward its limits, incorporating elements of drone, shoegaze, noise, and more into their intense, pummeling grindcore, only to essentially disappear following 2015's Desire Will Rot. Now returning with a new full-length, titled Pleine Noirceur, we find the band at their most scathing and challenging -- the grind is faster, the atmospheres are larger, and the in-your-face attitude is all the more palpable. The world is a dark place, and we need bands like Fuck the Facts to remind us of the intensity we as people can bring into it.

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My Dying Bride -- Macabre Cabaret | Nuclear Blast | Melodic Death + Doom Metal | United Kingdom

After the incredible success of their most recent album The Ghost of Orion (which is really an incredible album), My Dying Bride are already back with a new EP. If you heard the new album, you should really know what to expect, though the band leans a little heavier on the gothic end of their sound this time around, going so far as to include a chamber orchestra version of "Your Broken Shore."

--Jon Rosenthal

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Contrarian -- Only Time Will Tell | Willowtip Records | Progressive Death Metal | United States (New York)

We've covered Contrarian before, and definitely fell in love with the band's ultra-prog take on technical death metal -- the band eschews that more traditional and marketable "tech-death" feel for something most surely rooted in progressive music. For that reason, Only Time Will Tell elevates itself to that brainy, cerebral listening style that works wonders for curing your mind after all those hours you spent listening to stoner doom earlier.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Liturgy -- Origin of the Alimonies | YLYLCYN | Experimental Black Metal | United States (New York)

Hunter-Hunt Hendrix proves, yet again, to be chock-full of surprises and art. Her latest effort under the Liturgy banner carries the name of the opera she worked on last year -- Origin of the Alimonies presents what sounds like a culmination of two outputs from the same wellspring of inspiration. We're a great distance now from the early Liturgy albums, though they are still absolutely great, it's incredible and warming to see HHH bring her artwork to a progressive and expanded new forefront. This album is a goddamn trip, it sounds like none other than Liturgy, and it's probably the best piece of art to emerge from the project since its inception.

--Andrew Rothmund

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Ilsa -- Preyer | Relapse Records | Death/Doom Metal + Crust | United States (Washington, D.C.)

Man, this is nasty. In a good way, of course --the crushing mid-paced tempo of the band's doomy death metal riffs let the extra-fat drums linger in your ear with each hit. Like thick sludge poured into a concrete tomb, it's an inescapable combination, with the only relief being tinges of melody that seep through the cracks.

--Ted Nubel

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White Magician -- Dealers of Divinity | Cruz del Sur Music | Heavy Metal | United States (Michigan)

The album art's passing resemblance to a certain famous Blue Öyster Cult album is perhaps not a total coincidence -- this Michigan band's unusual take on traditional heavy metal brings in some of that same proto-metal flair and a penchant for infallible weirdness (see: their promo photos). This is, however, an album that draws its strength from its rough edges, rather than coming off as super-polished rock -- you can feel the band's energy and enthusiasm sizzle right off of the 1980s-demo-tape-mix and multi-part vocal harmonies.

--Ted Nubel

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Eternal Champion -- Ravening Iron | No Remorse Records | Epic Heavy Metal | United States (Texas)

Four years after their debut hit the shores of the world, Austin's own epic heavy metal warriors Eternal Champion return with the triumphant Ravening Iron. No dramatic shift in sound or style here, so fans of the last album will find this new work like a well fitting steel gauntlet, which isn't to say the album isn’t notable. “Worms of the Earth” is a thrashing and dark piece sure to tap into everyone’s inner desire for vengeance, while the title track swirls in hook-laden melodicism culminating into an astral plane guitar solo and rousing war-wearied army marching choruses. Ravening Iron is another conquest for Eternal Champion providing them ample material to summon future live audiences to raise their tankards of mead toward the gods and bang their heads in worship of life.

--Joe Aprill

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Farer -- Monad | Tartarus Records | Doom Metal + Noise | The Netherlands

From Ted Nubel's full album premiere:

Farer uses abrasive noise as a tool of immersion: the impersonal, machine-like tonalities that span the album erode mental defenses and create cracks for their emotionally-charged dirges to ooze through. When the album starts, having only the bleak monochromatic album art and the introductory hisses as context, Monad seems just as bleak and cruel as the sharp-edged structure on the cover. As the album progresses, however, hidden warmth and depth reveal themselves: a fire burning within the flinty heart, perhaps, expressed through brassy atmospheric tinges and warmer bass tones joining the fray.

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Shepherd -- First Hand EP | Destruent Records | Doom Metal + Rock | United States (Colorado)

Right off the bat you'll understand the main selling point here: Shepherd's doom is some soul-seeking stuff, crafting massive journeys out of huge tone and powerful, reverb-laden vocals. However, what you might not be prepared for is the band's shift into heavy rock territory and their use of tight, controlled chuggy riffs to move the music's focus from the spirit to the body.

We happen to be streaming the whole EP right now, but the player below will give you a few singles to listen if you need your interest piqued first.

--Ted Nubel

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Hjelvik -- Welcome to Hel | Nuclear Blast | Blackened Heavy Metal | Norway

Ex-Kvelertak frontman Erlend Hjelvik's solo offering hearkens musically back to classic heavy metal with the ethos and disposition of early black metal, all wrapped up in a Viking metal package with plenty of peculiar and engrossing riffs at its disposal that separates itself handily from the pack.

--Ted Nubel

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Avandra -- Skylighting | Layered Reality Productions | Progressive Metal + Rock | United States (Puerto Rico)

This album sounds like being struck by happy lightning which then vaporizes you into joy-aerosol.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Æolian -- The Negationist | Black Lion Records | Melodic Death Metal | Spain

From Ivan Belcic's full album premiere (plus a super in-depth interview with the band on the environmental themes within the album):

The Negationist offers a cohesive and measured take on the genre, brimming with leads and melodies from not only the guitar but occasional strings as well, and accented with plenty of blast-beat passages and impassioned yowls. Mournful acoustic guitar interludes see Æolian reaching to folk influences to round out their chosen palette.

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The Sombre -- Shapeless Misery | Brucia Records | Doom Metal + Death Metal | The Netherlands

From Jon Rosenthal's premiere of Shapeless Misery:

Sonically, The Sombre is a means of Mories rediscovering the sound of those early days. The project's second album Shapeless Misery is an archaeological dig, finding a genuine example of something "from the past" and bringing it to the present. De Jong's melodic, heavy (crushing, really) approach brings about images of early '90s English doom metal's drama. With all the "new old American school" death/doom flooding the market, it is nice to hear someone still has an ear for melody and dramatics.

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Witchwood -- Before the Winter | Jolly Roger | Progressive Rock | Italy

If there's one thing that's eternally true about heavy metal, is that there's not enough goddamn flute in it. Fortunately, progressive rock still has our backs -- on Before the Winter, Witchwood brings plenty of flute, plus a huge proto-metal/prog-rock sound that feels right at home with Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep in the not-quite-metal-but-certainly-not-just-rock vein of hard-hitting strangeness.

--Ted Nubel

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Jordan Reyes -- Sand Like Stardust | American Dreams Records | Ambient + Country + Electronic | United States (Illinois)

An interesting trip through ambient soundscapes with, simultaneously, a synthwave feel and a country/Americana vibe -- created by the pleasant fusion of lap steel, synthesizers, trombone and more. Drone-ish, yeah, but the sense of multilayered wonder I get from it is more in line with Tangerine Dream's early works.

-- Ted Nubel

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