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Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of February 23rd to February 29th, 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.

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Upcoming Releases

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Beneath the Massacre -- Fearmonger | Century Media | Insanecore | Canada

Ultimate music. Ultimate mastery. Fearmonger is two things: 1) proof that Beneath the Massacre, despite the huge gap between releases, hasn't waned in the slightest, and 2) that deathcore and tech-death are now pointless. Seriously, how on goddamn Earth did anyone get this good at their instruments? And it's not just that. Beneath the Massacre weave pure savagery into an addictive mix of groove and melody, never detracting, though, from the fact that Fearmonger is heavy as fucking fuck. This is bonkers music, of course, no escaping that fact, but once this melts your face, it's hard to readjust to, uh, tamer sounds. Stay tuned for later on for a Beneath the Massacre interview about this sledgehammer of an album.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Tombs -- Monarchy of Shadows EP | Season of Mist | Black Metal | United States (New York)

Tombs doing the Tombs thing, also known as ripping. This Monarchy of Shadows EP was penned as a precursor to an upcoming full-length; until then, though, we're left with these gnarly black metal tracks sure to delight both fans of polished and raw variants of the genre. Tombs fits right in that sweet middle-ground where they execute basically flawlessly.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Dark Fortress -- Spectres from the Old World | Century Media Records | Melodic Black Metal | Germany

Another slab of crystallized evil from the German stalwarts, Spectres from the Old World is probably not going to be a huge surprise for longtime fans based on the band's trajectory, but it ruthlessly executes on its premise anyway. There's a good amount of variety between the blast beats and worked into the lyrical subjects -- while not exactly straightforward, there's no contrived pretenses here either.

-- Ted Nubel

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Insect Ark -- The Vanishing | Profound Lore | Horror Metal | United States (New York)

Music for your brain. The Vanishing is doom-trodden and angular and creepy and mystical in all the right ways. I'm calling it "horror" metal not because it would work well as a horror movie soundtrack (it just might), but because it really instills that anxious discomfort which, counterintuitively, translates into an enjoyable but tense listen.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Fluisteraars -- Bloem | Eisenwald | Black Metal | Netherlands

This Dutch trio is back now with their third full-length, their first in half a decade. Bloem definitely displays the band's penchant for ultra-atmospheric black metal that doesn't get too lost in the clouds, so to speak. This five tracks feature pained vocals, great interludes, and almighty blasts, all cohereing nicely without overstaying any welcome or overblowing itself. This is black metal not to die for, but to die to.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Wishbone Ash -- Coat of Arms | SPV/Steamhammer | Progressive Rock | United Kingdom

A notable band from the early years of progressive rock and heavy metal, Wishbone Ash is still putting out records with some consistency (their last was 2014), and they're still worth checking out. Fans of Ashbury and Iron Claw, both bands from similar origins but with far less modern offerings, should find some tunes here to their liking -- old-soul progressive rock, even if it's been given a modern production that feels a little strange given the songs' content.

-- Ted Nubel

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Violet Cold -- Noir Kid | Blackgaze | Azerbaijan

Violet Cold is 100% blackgaze done right, and personally, I far prefer this blend (along with An Autumn For Crippled Children's earlier work) than some of the bigger-name acts in the scene right now. Noir Kid is no exception, featuring spaced-out vocals and monstrously thick atmospherics to literally drown your ears in wet noise. All for it, especially on cold, late nights.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Hot Graves -- Haunted Graves | Redefining Darkness Records | Blackened Death +  Crust | United States (Florida)

Let's put aside the initial questions about what makes a grave "hot," and what conditions might lead to said heated burial place becoming haunted -- are you a fan of d-beats? If so, stop reading, just check out the embed. For the unbelievers: this is a mixture of death, thrash, and black metal merged with hardcore and crust punk that yields a prodigious amount of chunky beats ripe for neck-abusing headbanging, plus a snare mixed so as to feel placed about six inches from your head. The result: an energy-packed stomp through a cemetery for which the hot-pink-and-white color scheme has never felt so appropriate.

-- Ted Nubel

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INNO -- The Rain Under | Time to Kill Records | Doom + Gothic | Italy

I'm not really feeling this one, personally, but then again, I've far less explored INNO's corner of the metal universe than others. I'm sure there's something to appreciate here, though, especially considering the bomb vocal performance.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Church of Disgust -- Consumed by Slow Putrefaction EP | Maggot Stomp | Death Metal | United States (Texas)

You know the drums in a death metal release are good when you hear the kick drum on its own for a brief second, and you briefly wonder if somebody's slamming a baseball bat into a flesh-packed trash bag. The rest of the music is also thematically fitting, serving out heaps of rotting riffs with a satisfying appropriation of mid-pace grooves.

-- Ted Nubel

Check out a stream of the title track over at Metal Injection.

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Neaera -- Neaera | Metal Blade | Death Metal | Germany

Textbook death metal with some thrashing moments for flavor. Neaera's self-titled is jam-packed with vigor and oomph, and I like that. The band aren't afraid to get a little breakdowny, either, for the sake of pacing and syncopation, but it's not cheesy in any way. This is angry driving music, actually, so be warned if you're hot-headed in the car and you put this blaster on.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Intronaut -- Fluid Existential Inversions | Metal Blade Records | Progressive | United States (California)

Kind of a meh-sandwich, this one. I mean, I feel like this band's heyday has come and gone. Then again, Fluid Existential Inversions has some pretty chill vibes to it, so maybe I'm just looking for something that isn't there, like old Intronaut.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Regarde Les Hommes Tomber -- Ascension | Season of Mist | Black Metal | France

Holy shitballs.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Psalm Zero -- Sparta | Last Things Records | Doom + Avant-Garde | United States (New York)

Perhaps the most interesting, if maybe the hardest to digest, release this week. Psalm Zero shares members with Kayo Dot, too, but that band's music goes down much easier. I don't mean to say that Sparta's knife-hearted vocals and proggy dirge are "hard to get" but rather that they require some patience. The builds and moments here are slow-moving, lethargic even, but to great artistic effect.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Drown -- Subaqueous | Prophecy | Funeral Doom | United States (Portland)

Previously known as Slow, Drown is another offspring of Tchornobog mastermind Markov Soroka, and Subaqueous is a masterful execution of his "aquatic doom" vision -- it turns out that funeral doom and drowning go really well together, and the way that the textures and tones on this record reference and reinforce the lyrical themes is really something spectacular. Stay tuned for my full review of the record later this week.

-- Ted Nubel

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Kvaen -- The Funeral Pyre | Black Lion Records | Black Metal | Sweden

We'll be coming at you later this week with some Kvaen goodness; for now, check out the three songs streaming already. Emotive but edgy black metal that goes melodic as fuck right when it needs to.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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