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Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of December 1st to December 7th, 2019. Release 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.

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Surprise Releases + Things We Missed

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Astral Altar -- A∴A∴ | Black Metal | United States (New York)

Wow, this is a lot. Black metal is no stranger to saturation, abstraction, and noise-walling your mind to smithereens, but this New York outfit cranks as much out of the formula as humanly possible. Not the static or white-noise that you hear on rawer releases, either, A∴A∴ amounts to thick swaths of textured, nuanced noise with undulating intensities and all that postmodern shit. Personally, I'm really digging what I'm hearing here, this wanton maximization of the genre, and can't wait to see what else might come from this project in the future.

--Andrew Rothmund

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Hvøsch -- Lovelorn | Perfect Aesthetics | Black Metal | Russia

I missed this last week when it landed; Lovelorn is that perfect blend of floor-gazing blasts and mind-shearing vocals that tons of bands try to nail but few actually achieve. The only downside here is that we're given only four tracks of this lush goodness -- seeing this band's talent drawn out over a new full-length would be delightful. Until then, definitely sinking into this more aggressive variant of gaze-adjacent black metal, feeling good.

--Andrew Rothmund

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Misertus -- Outland | Blackgaze | United Kingdom

This Misertus project from the UK has been prolific: Outland is the third release since August. Whereas the two bands above land squarely within black metal's still-wide realm, the blackgaze niche that's been recently carved therefrom has begun to bulge (and blossom) with projects like this. Super-feely, in that triumphant and desperate sort of way, Outland banks less on the forthright aggression inherent in metal's blackening and more on the raw intensity being conveyed. So, it's a bit more abstract, less harsh, but emotive all the same.

--Andrew Rothmund

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Upcoming Releases

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Marijannah -- Istanah | Cursed Tongue Records | Stoner Doom | Singapore

I'll be honest: I'm not much of a stoner doom (or stoner music in general) fan. I love weed, don't get me wrong, but I think something about music primarily focused on weed is a little… contrived? Maybe not, and besides, what's wrong with a musical ode to the plant with the most splendid effects? I think what I'm really saying is this: a lot of stoner doom sounds alike. The more of it I listen to, though, the less those similarities make themselves present. Istanah is one of those rare stoner doom albums that, well, I really enjoy and am thankful for, opening my mind a bit more to a genre I have preconceived notions about.

--Andrew Rothmund

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Sun of the Sleepless + Cavernous Gate -- Split | Prophecy Productions | Black Metal / Death/Doom Metal | Germany

Empyrium mastermind Markus Stock is a gothic doom metal talent in his own right, but his Sun of the Sleepless project shows his true mastery of a more ancient, melodic, folk-infused form of black metal. When paired with Helrunar-related death/doom crusher Cavernous Gate, this split positions itself as one of the more varied, professional collaborative releases of the year.

--Jon Rosenthal

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Golden Ashes -- The Golden Path of Death Acceptance | Gnaw Their Tongues | Black Metal | Netherlands

Well, what a week for super-abstract black metal. With Astral Altar and Hvøsch above, Golden Ashes rounds things out with a more middle-of-the-road approach, banking on both hyper-intense noise-walls and clear nuance and structure to form a very listenable wavelength of noise. The Golden Path of Death Acceptance might be brief, but it's downright awesome. And, should we expect any less from Maurice de Jong? Of course not!

--Andrew Rothmund

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Trépas -- L'héritage du monde | Sepulchral Productions | | Canada

From Jon Rosenthal's premiere of L'héritage du monde:

A melancholic and melodic affair, the collaborative effort behind L'héritage du monde presents itself as something both beautiful and at the pit of despair. Though cut from the same cloth which gave the world other Quebecois black metal greats, the slightly folkish and more obscured approach found within this album sets it apart. Instead of the pride which defines Trépas’s scene brethren, L'héritage du monde is an album marked by a deep sorrow and introspection, one which offers an inward glance into the artist’s own emotive creativity.

Stream the full album over on the premiere page.

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Fen -- The Dead Light | Prophecy Productions | Black Metal + Post-Metal | United Kingdom

As the sixth full-length by this trio in almost two decades, we're sure to receive the slow-dissolve, impassioned gaze they've helped make popular. And sure enough, The Dead Light delivers, probably the best Fen to date. Their approach has become bigger, sharper, and ultimately more touching; maybe the end result is more polished, in a certain sense, but at no detriment that I can fathom.

--Andrew Rothmund

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The Old Dead Tree -- The End | Season of Mist | Dark Metal | France

Moody, pained, and explicitly dark metal from France, The Old Dead Tree live up to the image their name conjures. The End, with its balladic undertones and quite excellent clean vocals, probably seeks to destroy you from the inside-out, not the outside-in like most metal albums. I especially love these big, beautiful choruses that don't give a shit about expanding to gargantuan proportions only to be smashed into dust. Dramatic, cinematic, just my style.

--Andrew Rothmund

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Helleborus -- Saprophytic Divinations | Redefining Darkness | Black Metal | United States (Colorado)

Here's the second album from the Colorado-based Helleborus, a band steeped in blackened hypnotics and lots of powerful synth. Saprophytic Divinations definitely intrigues me more than the band's debut, especially as it exists in a minority of black metal albums which actually feel well-paced and patient enough to become truly sinister. Instead of blasting the entire planet to bits, Helleborus meticulously disassembles it, and with a bit of finesse to boot.

--Andrew Rothmund

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Vomit Fist -- Omnicide | Blackened Grindcore | United States (New York)

Masters of short-form destruction, with utter annihilation sometimes taking just one minute, NYC's Vomit Fist write music which hits you square in the face like a vomit-covered fist. It's been five years since Forgive but Avenge (still one of my favorite album titles ever), but the band has been busy honing their craft for an even sharper, fiercer attitude and style. If not-overwrought grindy trash goodness is your thing, this band is definitely for you.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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From the Grave: Reissues and Re-Releases

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Isenordal -- Shores of Mourning | Prophecy Productions | Blackened Doom Metal | United States (Washington)

A superbly lovely blackened doom album. I discovered this band at Northwest Terror Fest 2017 (they were the opening act), and a few attendees around me actually came to tears during the set, which is impressive for a metal band first, but doubly so for being a mid-afternoon performance to open an entire three-day festival. I was close to crying, myself: the surging, dual-vocal, multi-instrumental power of Isenordal is not to be underestimated. The album is being re-released by Prophecy on CD and vinyl (this one will sound especially amazing on vinyl, by the way).

--Andrew Rothmund

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Acrimony -- Tumuli Schoomaroom | Burning World Records | Stoner Doom + Rock | United Kingdom

The year was 1997, and I was, well, nine years old. Even so, had I heard Tumuli Schoomaroom at that age, it's so universally good that I'd have probably liked it anyway. Who knows, but a sure thing is sure: this album was dank, and in all the right ways.

--Andrew Rothmund

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