Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of April 25th, 2021 to May 1st, 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

Gojira -- Fortitude | Roadrunner Records | Progressive Death Metal | France

Gojira is back with their first new album in five years, and possibly the most diverse of their whole career. Sure, Magma had plenty of different styles and things going on, but Fortitude has a very even sense of distribution across its runtime. The songs are extremely well written and executed, the recording just sounds good, and most important is that it has some seriously bone-crushing riffs.

--Greg Kennelty

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Domkraft -- Seeds | Magnetic Eye Records | Doom Metal + Stoner Rock | Sweden

Domkraft is supernaturally adept at creating the prototypical "hypnotic groove," to a level that makes me re-evaluate ever using that term again for other, lesser bands. Hold on tight to your couch as you spiral down paranoid kaleidoscopic slopes towards the center of the Earth.

--Ted Nubel

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Evile -- Hell Unleashed | Napalm Records | Thrash Metal | United Kingdom

Smart and deadly thrash from long-practicing (if still somewhat modern in terms of the genre's overall age) masters of the form.

--Ted Nubel

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Oryx -- Lamenting a Dead World | Translation Loss Records | Sludge + Doom Metal | United States (Denver)

From Andrew Sacher's track premiere of "Last Breath" on BrooklynVegan:

"[T]owering, lengthy, epic, post-sludge metal [...] equal parts beautiful/atmospheric and crushingly heavy, and the evilness is upped by the dual-vocal approach of harsh, high-pitched shrieks and guttural, death metal-tinged growls."

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Stone Healer -- Conquistador | Independent | Progressive Black Metal | United States

Stone Healer's newest album is a barren emotional unraveling. It's more raw than eating a steak still attached to a living, breathing cow. Stone Healer are melodically inclined, with many of the branching paths on "Into the Spoke of Note" harboring tunefulness. As such, the duo can play blisteringly tight cobwebs of prog metal in one half then espouse traditional heavy metal sympathies in the second. Conquistador promises the feeling of tearing through one's own embalming flesh to dig out the blackened pus weighing us down.

--Colin Dempsey

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Ungfell -- Es Grauet | Eisenwald | Black Metal | Switzerland

From Jon Rosenthal's full album premiere:

Sound effects like cattle, jaw harp, and other rural-centric sounds are meant to take the listener to a small Swiss town in the Middle Ages, which is paired with an increasingly atmospheric sound when compared to earlier Ungfell releases. Don't be mistaken, though: Ungfell is not an atmospheric black metal band, and Menetekel doubles down on that notion below. No, Ungfell is ferocious, melodic, and aggressive, their intricate and folk-tale-and-music inspired approach is a refreshing take in a sea of washed out clones.

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Bunker 66 -- Beyond the Help of Prayers | Dying Victims Productions | Blackened Thrash Metal | Italy

Muscular thrash metal with sweet leads, undertones of traditional metal and an over-the-top evil aesthetic. Technically not out until Friday, but the whole thing's streaming now.

--Ted Nubel

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Plasmodium -- Towers of Silence | Transcending Obscurity Records | Psychedelic Black + Death Metal | Australia

The first half of single "Pseudocidal" should be marked by what Plasmodium do with what little they use. Off-rhythm drums and depraved vocals are the only window dressing they need to chart a path into the depths of a black hole. The group aptly describes themselves as cosmic black metal, but the "cosmic" inclination comes from an existential fear realized when measuring our insignificance in the the universe. By the time that comforting thought settles in Plasmodium venture into an abrasive space. They freewheel through the stars without a legible map. It's as ghastly to listen to as it is to think about.

Editor's Note: You might recall this one in last week's UMR -- turns out it's actually out this Friday!

--Colin Dempsey

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Vreid -- Wild North West | Season of Mist | Melodic Black Metal | Norway

Not to, under any circumstances, be confused with Wild Wild West, this is more high-class Norwegian black metal from Vreid, which rose from the ashes of Windir in the early 2000s, fusing powerful melodies to rampaging instrumentation. The rhythm section on this album sounds absolutely massive: even the synth-backed riffs can't bury the bass here.

--Ted Nubel

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Hanternoz -- Au Fleuve De Loire | Antiq Records | Folk + Black Metal | France

From Jon Rosenthal's track premiere of "Vieille Nasse Crevée":

Though its blistering opening is style indicative, it's when "Vieille Nasse Crevée" blossoms with folk instruments and almost wacky keyboards that Hanternoz reveals their true, more modern selves. Though the band deals with the traditional French (specifically Breton) fare, it's their brand of "epic" black metal's more adventurous nature (which comes in waves across this particular song to keep it exciting) which sets Hanternoz apart from the rest of their home label Antiq's already exciting roster, as well as French-and-French-styled black metal overall.

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Logistic Slaughter -- Lower Forms of Life | Independent | Brutal Death Metal | United States

Sometimes brutal death metal sounds almost too clean -- sure, they'll have the pig-squeal vocals and nasty riffs on hand, but it rings sterile nonetheless. Not here: Lower Forms of Life feels disgustingly fleshy, overflowing with septic horror. You can imagine the bits of rotten meat still stuck to these slicing riffs, finally breaking free and hitting the abattoir floor with a rancid splatter.

Beyond the, er, mouthfeel, the album also shows off the band's creativity, avoiding paint-by-the-numbers song structures. "Streamline Casualties," one of the singles streaming now, flits between time signatures with ease, flaunting a dazzling, disgusting array of riffs as it does. While this is as over-the-top in vocal delivery, concept, and aesthetic as one would expect from brutal death metal, it earns that extravagance by delivering songs that actually benefit from it.

--Ted Nubel

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Ironbound -- The Lightbringer | Independent | Heavy + Power Metal | Poland

While I'm not sure that Ironbound are doing anything particularly new or novel on this record, that's really not the goal of heavy/power metal in the first place. There's a very strong Iron Maiden influence here, and it's well-executed, so certainly worth a listen if you're looking for solid NWOTHM.

P.S. Big props to the band for working an ad for the album into the actual album art -- that takes guts, folks.

--Ted Nubel

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Devoured -- The Curse of Sabda Palon | Sadist Records | Death Metal | Indonesia

Intense, retro-minded death metal from Indonesia with a huge sense of groove, sweet riffs, and some unusual lead work on top. Interestingly, though they've been active since 1998, this is only the band's second full-length.

--Ted Nubel

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Celestial Sword / Erzfeynd -- Split | Dybbuk Productions | Black Metal | United States

The already mysterious Celestial Sword (who you may remember has badass merch) joins forces with another shadowy black metal entity for a split that hits on two different sides of black metal: Celestial Sword hits on the "guitar tones so harsh it borders on pure noise" raw side of things, while Erzfeynd is more akin to Summoning, still plenty fierce but with more nuanced instrumentation and aiming for a specific atmosphere.

--Ted Nubel

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Insane -- Victims | Dying Victims Productions | Thrash Metal | Sweden

A rare sort of thrash these days: the rattling, dungeon-ish type steeped in tradition and mid-paced badassery.

--Ted Nubel

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Ewïg Frost -- Aïn't No Saïnt | Discos Macarras | Speed Metal | Austria

If the overabundance of umlauts didn't tip you off, the album art probably will: this is Motörhead worship, nasty and fast speed metal with no time for pleasantries. There's an impressive roster of guest contributions here to throw some extra chaos into the mix.

--Ted Nubel

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