Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of March 14th, 2021 to March 20th, 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


Agent Steel -- No Other Godz Before Me | Dissonance Productions | Speed Metal | United States

1985: Agent Steel releases the seminal speed metal record Skeptic's Apocalypse, heavily leaning into conspiracies as subject matter.
2020: Agent Steel posts a vocal-only track on Facebook to "prove" that the vocals on their latest album aren't autotuned, thus completing the cycle by becoming the subject of a conspiracy theory themselves.

Frankly, no idea what to expect here, but if you're excited for it, maybe just avoid the band's social media presence entirely... forever.

--Ted Nubel

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Batushka -- Царю Небесный | Witching Hour Productions | Black Metal | Poland

From Greg Kennelty's full album premiere:

Coupled with guest appearances from several musicians from regional folk groups and orchestra and an equally-cold looking cover art piece designed by long-time collaborator Maciej Szupica, Царю Небесный simply has more weight to it than previous releases. While I’m sure there will always be Литоургиiа-era purists crying for a return to the band’s original duo, Царю Небесный is an undeniable new landmark for the band that should quiet most of those voices.

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Mare Cognitum -- Solar Paroxysm | Extraconscious Records | Black Metal | United States (Portland)

From Andrew Rothmund's track premiere of "Antaresian":

This extreme and atmospheric music, both sharp and evocative, helps illustrate how disproportionately minimal our true significance is to our perceived significance -- losing yourself in its churning descents and lofty accelerations amounts to a hefty but sobering pleasure of replacing your self-perception for a grander and more powerful one.

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Devin Townsend -- Devolution Series #1 - Acoustically Inclined, Live In Leeds | Century Media Records | Progressive Metal | Canada

The ever-prolific Devin Townsend is rolling out a series of live and quarantine albums, starting with Devolution Series #1 - Acoustically Inclined, Live In Leeds. The album was previously only available as a series of videos and through the deluxe version of Empath, which is a shame because we all need more Devin Townsend in our lives. Especially when it's Townsend belting out the classics over nothing more than an acoustic guitar. Plus, who doesn't need a chilled-out rendition of Townsend performing Strapping Young Lad's classic "Love?" in their life?

--Greg Kennelty

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Erra -- Self-Titled | UNFD | Metalcore | United States

Erra returns after three years with what might be their most diverse album yet. Fresh off Sumerian and the Sumerian-core sound, and now signed to UNFD, Erra brings a much more diverse set of songs to the table. Which is great, considering how talented the band is and how solid (and well-received) their first two albums were. Equal parts catchy and technical, with a very generous helping of heaviness thrown in there, the new Erra album might be their best yet.

--Greg Kennelty

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Dvne -- Etemen Ænka | Metal Blade | Progressive Sludge + Stoner Metal | United Kingdom

Doomy, progressive post-metal + sludge that's thrillingly adventurous. Further proof it's worth hitting: Andrew Rothmund sent me this one more than once just to make sure I checked it out.

--Ted Nubel

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Estuarine -- Nyarlathotep | Independent | Experimental + Technical Death Metal + Grindcore | United States

Stay tuned for more on Estuarine, later this week!
From Andrew Rothmund's track premiere of "Hooves of Oblivion":

[Estuarine] is back, and as gnarly as ever, with a huge change: all the songs on their upcoming album "Nyarlathotep" (out next month) feel like spastic reverberations from the prior, lengthier work, almost like accelerated feverdreams from an already all-encompassing experience. The album indeed comprises a selection of these explosive and technical forays into deathgrind, still avant-garde but less obviously so.

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Amammoth -- The Fire Above | Electric Valley Records | Stoner+Sludge+Doom Metal | Australia

From Ted Nubel's track premiere of "Walk Towards What Blinds You (Blood Bong)":

While, perhaps counter-intuitively, quality stoner doom can be written without mentioning or consuming marijauana, there's a certain slice of the genre that not only revels in doing both, but becomes all the better for it. These bands' sinister ceremonies of amplification uncover bacchanal revelations and insane concepts that could only exist within chambers full of hazy smoke and pointlessly overpowered amplifiers.

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Herzel -- Le dernier rempart | Cruz del Sur Music | Heavy Metal | France

Heavy metal can mean a lot of things, and there are plenty of old sounds that just don’t pop up often anymore. Herzel exemplify that those old sounds are never dead while also making it clear how important a distinctly personal sound and approach can be. Le dernier rempart is gloriously melodic, uplifting, and progressive (in the sense of Warlord or Fifth Angel, that is), with a calmly triumphant sense of class that most bands could never pull off. This album right here is living proof that a band can be regressive without being overly derivative, and that “unique” doesn’t have to mean circus riffs and experimentalism. Very, very high recommendation.

--Brandon Corsair

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Lunar Shadow -- Wish to Leave | Cruz del Sur Music | Heavy Metal | Germany

Lunar Shadow's most significant departure from heavy metal yet, into the realms of gothic and post-rock—and it really seems to suit them. I Wish to Leave cultivates a strong, gloomy atmosphere through its vocals and pacing, and then supercharges it with stellar guitar work.

--Ted Nubel

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Changeling/Everlasting Light -- Split | Quarter Records | Black Metal | United States

This split is packed with emotive and doomy black metal from Minneapolis' Changeling (whose latest full-length, "III," we premiered last year), as well as Everlasting Light from the Quad Cities. Changeling provides an expansive, atmospheric first half of the split, contrasting nicely with the murkier and bludgeoning tracks from Everlasting Light.

--Ted Nubel

Stream the whole split over at Moshpit Nation.

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Z-Cocoon -- Dark EP | Independent | Stoner Rock + Alternative | Canada

Z-Cocoon (PKA Pink Cocoon) has followed a release strategy a lot closer to hip-hop than what the underground metal scene prefers: staggered singles and music videos trickled out over half a year or so, leading up to an EP release. The connection to other realms of music doesn't stop there: while Z-Cocoon is firmly grounded in blues-heavy stoner rock, it also shows an awareness of other sides of rock and hip-hop that often the sub-genre completely walls itself off from. Little things like short interjections from the backing vocals, a willingness to put vocals ahead of guitars, and a thick-as-fuck kick drum sound -- tweaks like that combine with the Sabbathian riffs and dynamic vocals for a pretty addictive listen.

--Ted Nubel

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Cosmic Reaper -- Cosmic Reaper | Heavy Psych Sounds | Doom Metal | United States (Charlotte, NC)

Big, heavy riffs drenched in reverb and topped with solos. While the band also knows how to use the clean channel on their amps, those fuzzy monstrosities are the key selling point here. Riffs on a galactic scale—abandon hope of a return trip.

--Ted Nubel

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Postvorta / Riah -- Riahpstvrt | Trepanation Recordings | Post-Metal + Doom + Experimental | Italy

This split features a track from both acts on their own and then a collaborative track: an unusual, but very cool use of the format that gets them a pass on the rather cheeky split name.

Postvorta specializes in traumatic, cinematic walls of sound, whereas Riah wields a bit cleaner, post-rock approach. The collaborative track, which you can stream now and is more of a song suite, takes both bands' sonic profiles and melds them into some really heavy stuff. I love splits like these, even if they often represent one-off instances that won't bear further fruit: the chance intersection of two talented groups uniting to create something really novel.

--Ted Nubel

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Decomposed -- Laid to Waste (Re-issue) | Me Saco un Ojo + Dark Descent Records | Death + Doom Metal | United Kingdom

There is a narrative of ‘90s English death metal that favors gothic doom and furious hellishness from former punks, but some bands fell outside of that mold and Decomposed is one of them. Though not entirely dissimilar from some of their gloomy peers (early Paradise Lost particularly isn’t THAT far off), Decomposed loved instrumentals, furious riffage, morbid melody, and harsh contrasts between primitive raging and mournful, slow doom.

Largely because Decomposed never broke out and broke up the same year that their first album came out, there has never been an easy way to get a hold of most of their pre-album material (or, admittedly, Hope Finally Died… itself, which is still direly in need of a vinyl reissue). Fortunately, Me Saco Un Ojo and Dark Descent Records have stepped up to the plate with this direly-needed 2LP anthology of the Decomposed demo material. Not to be missed!

Note: No public streams of the reissue yet, but here's one of the demos it comprises.

--Brandon Corsair

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