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Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of April 19th to April 25th, 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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Surprise Releases + Things We Missed

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Black Curse -- Endless Wound | Sepulchral Voice Records | Black Metal + Death Metal | United States (Colorado)

Where the hell did this come from? I recall the Maliblis demo from a few years ago (Maliblis eventually gave way to Black Curse), but it didn't hit quite like this. Featuring members of Spectral Voice, Blood Incantation, and Primitive Man, it is obvious just how heavy this is, but even then, Endless Wound caught me off guard. This is the perfect mixture of black and death metal without having to veer into the incoherence of war metal. Get into this.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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Upcoming Releases

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Ulcerate -- Stare Into Death And Be Still | Debemur Morti Productions | Death Metal | New Zealand

Holy hell, I need to sit down. Ulcerate has always been the master of that weird mix of post-metal and tight, ridiculous technical death metal, but this is their first apex in a long, long time. Rife with fresh, new ideas and a rediscovered sense of muscle-bound aggression, Stare Into Death And Be Still ranks itself up with Everything is Fire and The Destroyers of All as one of the crown jewels in Ulcerate's discography. Don't believe me? Prepare to have your sinuses caved in.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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Cirith Ungol -- Forever Black | Metal Blade Records | Heavy Metal | United States (California)

Metal at this point is used to long buried bands finally making their return, but few have approached the 29 year absence fans of proto-doom and epic metal trailblazers Cirith Ungol have experienced. After the band’s 2016 return to the the stage, anticipation of new material began swirling and started to boil over with the release of 2018’s single “Witch’s Game" and last year’s double live album I’m Alive. Then, anticipation became reality when the band's fifth full-length Forever Black was announced for release in 2020. On the new album, Cirith Ungol still has full confidence behind what made them great in the first place. Every song on the album shines as a future fan favorite, but tracks like “Legions Arise” and “Before Tomorrow” are bound to make heshers headbang and chant the choruses back to the band from guard rails across the world. Alongside are compositions like the epic “Stormbringer,” recalling one of Ungol’s favorite themes in Michael Moorcock’s albino anti-hero Elric of Melniboné, while a song like “Nightmare” conjures the band at their darkest reminding why indeed they’re credited for influencing doom metal. Come on and join the legion!

Bonus: stay tuned very soon for my Cirith Ungol interview feature about the new album.

-- Joseph Aprill

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Barishi -- Old Smoke | Season of Mist | Post-Metal + Progressive | United States (Vermont)

From Andrew Rothmund's premiere of "Entombed in Gold":

Vermonters Barishi got my attention very quickly with their debut Endless Howl EP back in 2015 — I still hold those four songs in the highest esteem possible as basically flawless post-metal with delicious proggy twists to boot. The problem arises when you love something just so much that subsequent iterations of the concept are destined to underwhelm. And I’ll be honest, I think that EP poisoned my mind with its unabashed greatness, because I didn’t vibe fully with Barishi’s debut full-length Blood From the Lion’s Mouth the year after. No worries anymore, though, all is well now: the band is back with a follow-up full-length Old Smoke representing a significant maturation and evolution in sound and approach. It’s difficult to compare new Barishi to old Barishi now, which is a very good sign when it comes to a progressive band always… progressing.

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Katatonia -- City Burials | Peaceville Records | Progressive Metal/Rock | Sweden

After a brief, concerning hiatus, the legends are back at it. Dialing back the more progressive elements of The Fall of Hearts, the more straightforward City Burials recalls when Katatonia first delved into the heavy, sombre, metallic rock genre in which they currently tread.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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Trivium -- What the Dead Men Say | Roadrunner Records | Thrash Metal | United States (Florida)

It's my fault, I suppose, for sort-of ignoring Trivium since 2006's The Crusade -- I guess those were different times, back then, when I listened to different music. Clearly a lot has happened since then, both to my musical tastes and to Trivium (I recall so many "what the fucks" when it came to 2008's Shogun, haha). Anyway, this new album What the Dead Men Say is not my jam, I won't lie to you. But I can hear why it's good, and why fans of modern-era Trivium might actually dig it. Worth checking out, definitely, even if you're just curious what this storied band sounds like today.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Dämmerfarben -- Des Herbstes Trauerhymnen MMXX | Northern Silence Productions | Folk + Atmospheric Black Metal | Germany + United States

Now, I've been a Nostarion (the person behind this band) for a long time at this point. Be it Throndt, Idhafels, Dystertid, or countless others, this multi-instrumentalist's journey through Romantic, folky black metal has been a delight for many, many years. Feeling nostalgic, himself, Nostarion re-recorded the Dämmerfarben project's first demo, Des Herbstes Trauerhymnen. Now fleshed out with new/unreleased material and a stellar drum performance by Panopticon's Austin Lunn, Des Herbstes Trauerhymnen MMXX is both a portal to the recent (is 14 years ago recent) past and exciting future.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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Elder -- Omens | Armageddon | Progressive Metal + Rock | Germany

Heavy prog rock with the soul of metal. Elder has, for some time now, solidified a respectable place in this enchanting genre crossroads -- Omens makes that position as solid as granite. This album jams hard, fast, and long in all the right ways, plus its complexity is just on that teetering edge of overwhelming but so damn impressive. A careful balance for sure, among many others inside the music's walls, but Elder truly nails all the right points with this release.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Ak'chamel -- The Totemist | Akuphone | Psychedelic Folk | United States

The one-time black metal band's (seriously, you wouldn't believe it) adventure into a totemic, desert-embracing folk style is a mesmerizing trip through endless dunes, miles of sand, and parched atmospheres.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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The Wizar'd -- Subterranean Exile | Cruz Del Sur Music | Doom | Australia

The Wizar'd, apparently drawing power from that ancillary apostrophe, have excelled at taking the formula laid down by Pagan Altar and other acts from the dawning of heavy metal and bringing it forward into the present, where the anachronistic guitar tones and nasally vocals are a welcome wave of nostalgia. Frankly, it doesn't sound like a perfectly produced doom epic with orchestral backing and a guitar tone sculpted in a laboratory -- it sounds like a tape at home in a wood-paneled basement, and that's why you'll love it, because these top-tier riffs are best served with charming, oddball mysticism.

-- Ted Nubel

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Árstíðir Lífsins + Carpe Noctem-- Aldrnari | Ván Records | Folk + Atmospheric Black Metal | Iceland

The ever-prolific Árstíðir Lífsins (who has a new album slated for release on May 22nd) pairs off with bassist Árni Bergur Zoëga's more aggressive, less Romantically inclined Carpe Noctem. With both bands presenting a single song which takes up the entire side of an LP, it is safe to say this split which shows the other side if Icelandic black metal is epic in scope.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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Light Dweller -- Hominal | Black Metal + Death Metal | United States (Arizona)

Incomprehensibly dense and oppressive, Hominal asks for your throat and, before you can even answer, jabs at it with a knife. But just because this album is super atmospheric and claustrophobic doesn't mean it doesn't achieve its moments of cosmic openness, of the sky's endless expanse. Radical blend.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Traveler -- Termination Shock | Gates of Hell Records | Speed Metal | Canada

One of the biggest surprises last year was Canada's Traveler, who came out of (for me, anyway) nowhere to drop their award-amassing self-titled debut. They'd been booked to play Legions of Metal Festival last May here in Chicago at the start of the day, and, contrary to every other festival I've been at, it was packed right out of the gate, fueled by the hype. They're back with another dose of classic speed metal this year, but it remains to be seen if they can top that peak so soon afterwards. Termination Shock is high caliber, but I'm not certain that any of these tracks are hitting me like "Starbreaker" did -- still, it's more than worthy of spinning.

-- Ted Nubel

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Unmerciful -- Wrath Encompassed | Willowtip | Death Metal | United States (Kansas)

This is death metal that doesn't give a fuck about your brain or whether you might develop a headache. It hits hard, second after second, and beats everything around it into a pulp. Surprisingly, there's more than just the one-note slam and glam of Unmerciful's death metal: listen deep enough, and you'll discover nuance and all the mechanisms of the music working together in brilliant synchrony.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Coyote Man -- Precognition | Independent | Instrumental Rock + Metal | United States (Illinois)

Dark, explosive, and maybe a little bit trippy, Coyote Man is an instrumental stoner rock/metal group that embeds post-metal and jazz in dazzling fashion, but riffs hard when needed. Their second album promises a trip into lands both bizarre and revelatory. It's certainly progressive, too, but it's not as overtly intricate as that label might imply -- there's a lot of layers at work here, and slight variations in instrumentation and aggression can subtly shift the texture of the songs around, requiring serious concentration if you want to track everything that's going on. Better not to, though -- let the highs and lows wash over you, and let Coyote Man handle all the thinking.

-- Ted Nubel

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Auroch -- Stolen Angelic Tongues | 20 Buck Spin | Black Metal + Death Metal | Canada

Auroch offers up a mini-LP for our benefit after four long years: a gruesome offering packed with empyrean torment and an exploration of South American spiritual traditions. Invoking their brutal blend of black and death metal and a copious, copious amount of whacked-out solos, this sounds like pure hell.

-- Ted Nubel

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From the Grave: Reissues and Re-Releases

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diSEMBOWELMENT -- Transcendence into the Peripheral | Relapse Records | Death/Doom Metal | Australia

Ah, what can I say about this album? It is clearly the most important death/doom metal album to ever exist, if even the most important death metal album to ever exist. Crushing, atmospheric, and even abstract at parts, Transcendence into the Peripheral gets the proper reissue it deserves. Do not miss this.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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diSEMBOWELMENT -- Dusk & Deep Sensory Procession into Aural Fate | Relapse Records | Death/Doom Metal | Australia

The earliest gasps of what would become the most seminal, important death/doom metal to ever exist. The Dusk EP and Deep Sensory into Aural Fate demo show diSEMBOWELMENT finding their footing and crushing anyone else on the death and doom metal markets. Now presented as their own 2LP, rather than a compilation with the full-length album, these two releases get to shine on their own.

-- Jon Rosenthal

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