Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of February 21st, 2021 to February 27th, 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.

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


Upcoming Releases


Melvins -- Working With God | Ipecac Recordings | Sludge + Etc. | United States (Washington)

Damn, these guys have made a lot of music -- this is their 24th full-length, at a minimum (and higher if you count collaborations). It's still worth listening to, impressively, full of both weirdness and sludge.

--Ted Nubel

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Epica -- Omega | Nuclear Blast | Symphonic Metal | Netherlands

These songs might have more hyphens in their titles than they have riffs.

--Ted Nubel

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From Jon Rosenthal's video premiere for "The Three Flames Sapphire":

Über den Sternen acts as a bit of a foil, but also a companion to its predecessor, fusing the darkwave elements which defined Turn of the Tides with the whimsical Romanticisms which defined Empyrium's first era. The result? A uniquely morose and ethereal experience, one where Stock looks back on his earlier works (from before Thomas Helm joined) with a mature nostalgia and reverence, something which is only appended with Helm's unique, powerful voice.

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Paranorm -- Empyrean | Redefining Darkness Records | Progressive Thrash Metal | Sweden

From Ted Nubel's track premiere of "Critical Mass":

Today, the modern form of [thrash metal] isn't always what I'm looking for, but Sweden's Paranorm is onto something: as much as their upcoming album Empyrean is a whirling, steely ripper, it's also just simply fun. Their use of thrash's vicious pacing paired with inventive and technical lead work proves to be pretty irresistible. [...] It's not a stale retreading of the past: rather, the band's progressive edge is only sharpened further by their obvious respect for the fundamentals.

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Furia -- W śnialni | Pagan Records | Black Metal + Experimental | Poland

There's something about black metal that, no matter how weird it gets (I believe this is self-described by the band as "nekrofolk," which is up there!) it can still jam insanely hard. Though large swaths of this are dialogue, sound effects, and sheer insanity, they bolster the excellent riffs at the heart of it for a thoroughly worthwhile ride.

--Ted Nubel

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Black Sheep Wall -- Songs for the Enamel Queen | Silent Pendulum Records | Sludge + Post-Metal + Post-Hardcore | United States (California)

Weird and thick music that wraps around your head and squeezes, like a trash compactor. Stay tuned for more on this one!

--Ted Nubel

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-16- and Grime -- Doom Sessions Vol. 3 | Heavy Psych Sounds | Doom + Sludge Metal | United States + Italy

-(16)- and Grime are the third duo in Heavy Psych Sounds' new split series to bring the riffs, and they do so masterfully. Across three songs, two of which are from -(16)- and one from Grime, both artists cover everything you'd ever want in the sludge realms. From guitar harmonies reminiscent of the galloping styles of Khemmis, to thick, 100+ degree weather sludge riffs, Doom Sessions Vol. 3 has it all. Now go pop an edible and wait an hour or two before hitting play.

--Greg Kennelty

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Spelljammer -- Abyssal Trip | RidingEasy Records | Stoner + Doom Metal | Sweden (Stockholm)

From Chris Rowella's track premiere of "Lake":

Returning from a five-plus year hiatus, Stockholm’s Spelljammer make quick work to show their dominance in a stoner/doom/fuzz scene that grows more crowded by the year. The band’s new full-length Abyssal Trip—out this month via RidingEasy Records—is a holy mountain of riffs, thunderhorse rhythms and tune-in-drop-out vibes. Comparisons to fellow countrymen Monolord are unsurprising, but Spelljammer are their own entity; there is an aggressive, abrasive edge to some of their songs that give them a bit more bite.

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Here's another entrant into the incredibly niche and incredibly precious subgenre "heavy metal that's literally indistinguishable from what was being released in 1980" -- the guitar tones and subtle lo-fi touches make the band's adventurous metal delightfully historic. That being said, it's excellent regardless of temporality, with top-notch melodic sensibilities and valiant riffing.

--Ted Nubel

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Feral Light -- Ceremonial Tower | Independent | Black Metal + Rock | United States (Minneapolis)

From Jon Rosenthal's track premiere of "Cold Ground":

Ceremonial Tower is a definite departure from what one would expect for something so limited. Ferocious and with an audio fidelity sorely lacking from the black metal underground, this newest Feral Light release shows new growth for the band beyond last year's Life Vapor. Utilizing controlled discordance in conjunction with atypical melody lines and a thick, tonal lower-end, the duo of Andy Schoengrund and Andy Reesen's distinctly modern, "dissonant" take on black metal doles out ferocity in vast amounts, lacking any sort of restraint. The underground has been infiltrated, and limited cassettes aren't for the unlistenably raw anymore.

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Christopher Steve -- Taken by the Tide | Independent | Doom-Folk | United States (Indianapolis)

Spirit Division vocalist Chris Latta's foray into the solo space, sans bandmates (except for some guest contributions) and (per the Bandcamp notes) sans pants. I consider this "doom-adjacent," which doesn't mean that it sounds like doom as much as it feels like it -- the acoustic guitar and clean vocals are tapping into the same undercurrents that field the amplified missives of doom metal, only here the nuances of the performance are less likely to be buried by walls of fuzz.

--Ted Nubel

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Cave of Swimmers -- Aurora | Independent | Doom Metal + Progressive | United States (Miami)

Infectiously hard-rocking doom metal: the currently streaming single "Double Rainbow" locks in with a punchy groove and excellent vocal/guitar cohesion, soaring to the height of its subject matter in an extremely relistenable fashion.

--Ted Nubel

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Sunnata -- Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth | Independent | Doom Metal | Poland

Hypnotically persuasive, but not in a monotonous way -- it's a state of mind that the band evokes through a dynamic take on doom.

--Ted Nubel

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I think that everyone was as nervous as they were excited when Scald announced that they'd reformed and were working on more material. After all, they'd been broken up since their original vocalist died in the '90s, and the projects the remaining members did together afterwards bore little resemblance to Will of Gods Is a Great Power. It helped though that their new vocalist was Procession's Felipe Plaza, and the first reunion show was supposed to be magical (though I sadly could not attend).

The first new material since the band came back takes the form of a 7" on High Roller Records that contains just a single new original song, "There Flies Our Wail!" It's not quite as reflective as you might expect from their previous material, and has a couple surprises that I won't spoil—but it's a hell of a lot better than I was afraid of, and the B-side's re-recording of "Eternal Stone" with Felipe on vocals is worth the cost of admission alone. Many reunions leave a lot to be afraid of, but at least so far, Scald is not one of them.

No public stream for this one yet -- but we strongly encourage you to go listen to Will of the Gods is a Great Power in the meantime.

--Brandon Corsair

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From Jon Rosenthal's track premiere of "On Purity And Death":

Chilling to the bone thanks to both a thick layer of excellently composed keyboards and harsh-toned, constant-minor-chord riffing, Xeper's music is a monument to the mid-to-late '90s, no doubt influenced by songwriter Guh.Lu's time as a session live member of bands like Setherial, Gorgoroth, and Throne of Katharsis. Even so, there is a character to Xeper's music which sets them apart from pure worship music, and the more modern intensity found within is refreshing in the face of emulatory black metal.

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Thundering Hooves -- Vestiges | F H E D Records | Blackened Metal | United Kingdom

Described by the band as "blackened metal," Vestiges weaves black metal, death, and doom into a foreboding sound. But, it feels less like, say, black/death/doom, than black/death-doom, which proves either that heavy metal subgenres have truly gone too far or that punctuation plays an unexpectedly important role in genre classification. In either case, this is evil and weird, reveling in darkness in all of its forms, so focus on that.

Released independently in January, but it's getting a physical release this week.

--Ted Nubel

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Vulgaris -- Asundre | Independent | Blackened Heavy Metal | United Kingdom

Harsh, yet epic at the same time -- the raw drum tones and acerbic production don't erode the mighty leads that ride the blast beats.

--Ted Nubel

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