Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of January 31st, 2021 to February 6th, 2021. 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.

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Upcoming Releases


The Ruins of Beverast -- The Thule Grimoires | Ván Records | Black + Doom + Gothic Metal | Germany

The Ruins of Beverast, the creation of lone composer Alexander von Meilenwald and perhaps the grandest jewel in the pantheon of German black metal, returns with its sixth full length in The Thule Grimoires. The project has long kept fans guessing at what direction their sound will take next and last album, 2017’s Exuvia, surprised most of all with its sonically overwhelming atmosphere and ritualized performances, akin to a hallucinogenic spirit journey with the music playing the role of shaman. So it was no surprise to again be intrigued when coverage of lead single “Kromlc'h Knell” emphasized connections to long-buried goth metal legends Type O Negative. Such a comparison isn’t unfounded, given the inclusion of near-baritone clean vocals, Beatles melodies wrestled into gloomy melancholy, and probably the overall vibe the green tinted album cover conveyed as well.

These elements can be felt at times throughout the album—even the aforementioned single’s subsequent track “Mammothpolis” has a crescendo that would fit well the Drab Four’s more galloping paces—but make no mistake that The Ruins of Beverast is using that and other experiments as shadings upon the black/death/doom metal core at the heart of the project. After all, this album also features some of the fastest bombast seen in a while by this project as heard in the first half of opening track “Ropes into Eden” and the majority of “Polar Hiss Hysteria,” which bring to mind far more their extreme metal heritage. Longtime fans will again relish experiencing an old friend refusing to travel the same path, while fresh faces will delight at hearing a work so evenly balanced in pummeling heaviness and comforting darkness.

--Joe Aprill

...

Cult of Luna -- The Raging River EP | Red Creek | Post-Metal + Progressive Metal | Sweden

As longtime masters of atmospheric, sludgy post-metal, Cult of Luna continues doing that and doing it well here, with Mark Lanegan guesting on vocals on one track. Sticking with the "EP" label despite a 38-minute runtime is an interesting choice, but the band frames this release as essentially a transitional release to usher in a new existence -- a perfect fit for the format. It's also the first release on their own label, Red Creek.

--Ted Nubel

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Korpiklaani -- Jylhä | Nuclear Blast | Folk Metal | Finland

Jylhä picks up the pace from the last Korpiklaani album and the ventures into non-metal are... interesting, to say the least, but how much you like it is still primarily going to hinge on how much you appreciate folk metal in the first place.

--Ted Nubel

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

Intent is key when discussing metal, especially when one gets into the more difficult-to-define nooks and crannies of genre ontology. On one hand, Alkerdeel is slack-tuned, slow, and crushing. On the other, there is a definite black metal aggression: something minimal and primal, set aside from sludge's deliberation and blues-forward melodicisms.

...

Cara Neir -- Phase Out | Independent | Progressive Black Metal | United States (Dallas)

A black metal album about being sucked into an 8-bit video game, with chiptune accents and tonalities to match. Might sound weird, but it works really well, and bridges the gap between classic videogame soundtracks and black metal -- not that far of a distance, as it turns out.

--Ted Nubel

...

I’m glad these guys finally got online—it used to be next to impossible to get people to check them out because they kept all their stuff physical-only. Denmark’s Deiquisitor are a suffocating assault most reminiscent of bands like Immolation or Drawn and Quartered that take everything a lesser band would put into promotion and put it into kickass riffs instead. This year, they’re back with a ripping little 12” mLP that’s well worth your attention, and unlike that early demo stuff, this time you can check it out on Bandcamp. Fast, raw, and punishing stuff for sure—don’t miss Deiquisitor!

--Brandon Corsair

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If you asked me a year ago who the best of the various Hellenic black metal (the old sounds of early Varathron and Rotting Christ if you’re not aware) revivalism bands was, I’d have said Caedes Cruenta, and they’re back now with their first album since 2014’s Ερείπια ψυχών. Though the new album is somewhere around half re-recorded songs (seriously guys—you can’t rerecord songs from old albums and call it a new one!) there’s some fun new stuff to dig into if you’re a fan of these Greek killers and their influences.

--Brandon Corsair

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Black Hole Deity -- Lair of Xenolich | Everlasting Spew | Death Metal | United States (Birmingham)

Otherworldly death metal where the instrumentals match up exactly with the concept. Song titles like "Railgun Combat" are given the violent treatment they so dearly deserve: abstract leads wail away on top of exacting drums and trench-clearing riffs.

--Ted Nubel

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AGE ⱡ TOTAL -- AGE ⱡ TOTAL | Soza / Collectif 5024 | Progressive Doom Metal | France

Extremely heavy, in the sense that the spacious riffs hit with the momentum of a brick wall, but enlightening all the same: each collision leaves the listener thoughtful, not bloodied. This is a collaborative doom effort from members of two French groups — Endless Floods and Greyfell — and the result is immense. The skilfull interweaving of synthesizers and nuanced vocals push this beyond plenty of similar offerings.

--Ted Nubel

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Froglord -- Save the Frogs | Swamp Records | Doom + Sludge Metal | United Kingdom

That this immediately sounds like something burbling out of a swamp is a testament to the band's commitment to the concept, I think -- Froglord really does want to save the frogs, and the proceeds from this bluesy, vile jam are going directly to that. These songs know how to keep a sludge groove rolling, picking up mire and muck as they go with cleverly busy drumming and vicious riffs.

--Ted Nubel

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Heave Blood and Die -- Post People | Independent | Post-Metal + Krautrock + Other | Finland

Heave Blood and Die steps even farther away from what their name might make you think they sound like with this release -- post-metal, krautrock, and alternative rock create an airy psychedelic trip feeling more than anything else. It's rather far sonically from their more aggressive origins, and yet, that same fury still lurks underneath it all the same.

--Ted Nubel

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Ever been so committed to your aesthetic that you used that weird Gothic character set instead of plain text so all your Bandcamp URLs came out as just dashes? That's the space that Erythrite Throne and Ullr operate in, wrapped deep in shadowy layers of mystery, and this split is a great introduction to both acts (both fairly new but with plenty of material to digest if you're so inclined). Lots of synth-boosted, atmosphere-focused black metal here, offering a swirling void to sink into.

--Ted Nubel

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A mean and nasty goregrind split joining two Pennsylvania bands together -- just about 15 minutes long where every second is packed with grindy mayhem. Serotonin Leakage, taking goregrind to its ultimate philosophical apex, doesn't even bother titling their songs. This is something you listen to as a whole, jamming it down your hungry maw in one go.

--Ted Nubel

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High-velocity, pissed-off thrash. Not always something I'm a fan of, but the sheer density here makes the quick and nasty riffs pretty compelling, dosed with short bursts of technicality here and there without losing momentum.

--Ted Nubel

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