Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of July 27th to August 1st, 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.


Surprise Releases + Things We Missed


Gaerea -- Limbo | Season of Mist | Black Metal | Portugal

Whoops, my dumb ass slipped on mentioning this one last week. It's worth mentioning, too, because Limbo hits hard, maintaining unbelievable levels of intensity over long durations -- long swaths of blast-driven black metal both atmospheric and concrete. Even though the PR says that the band "challenges the archetype of black metal," which does go a bit too far, there is definitely a seams-bursting feeling with Gaerea. They're on the cusp of something wonderful and powerful, and even just a sliver is enough to suffice. Great album.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Bedsore -- Hypnagogic Hallucinations | 20 Buck Spin | Death Metal | Italy

From Langdon Hickman's roundup of 2020's best death metal so far:

The band has an approach to the progressive wing of death metal that doesn't rely upon virtuosity or profound technicality but instead on arrangements, pacing, and atmosphere. They play with a wide dynamic arc, making their mellower and more psychedelic or proggy atmospheric passages feel more integrated than the typical pattern of a tacked on intro or outro meant to imply a kind of cerebral nature to otherwise bludgeoning death metal.

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Thin -- dawn | Twelve Gauge Records | Hardcore + Mathcore

Can you spare 16 minutes? Fuck yes you can, especially if it's for the insane mathy hardcore of Thin. This bonkers-as-fuck experiment in cohesive chaos hits all the right groovy and even proggy strains that help drive listeners wild. I love how dawn arrives, kicks ass, and then departs, all in what feels like a stopped heartbeat.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Gulch -- Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress | Closed Casket Activities | Hardcore + Death Metal | United States (California)

From Langdon Hickman's roundup of 2020's best death metal so far:

On paper, we shouldn't let covers drive our interest in music or books or films, yeah yeah yeah; but, on the other, these are complete aesthetic packages, and there is at least a charge, some alchemical lightning, that a great image can produce. What's best about Gulch is the correlation between that image and what's contained on the record is absolutely inscrutable to me. Despite the title and the astounding surrealist cover that feels drawn from Mexico and Central and South America's very particular approach to surrealism in painting and film, the music is instead some ludicrously heavy hardcore driven with scattered fragments of death metal as the added crunch.

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Verval -- Beeldenstorm EP | Black Metal | Netherlands

Emotive, moving black metal courtesy of members from Laster, Wesenville, and Willoos. The formula was proven even before the Beeldenstorm EP started, but once it did, my mind was overtaken: this is delicately assembled and well-toned black metal, never brain-scrambling and always attention-enhancing. There's a glut of this type of atmospheric black metal (a tag which always seemed redundant to me) out there, but Verval is one example really worth showing off. Also, damn, that snare hit sounds painfully mean in the production, love it.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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Longsword -- Sunken Dungeon | Moonworshipper Records | Dungeon Synth | United States (Montana)

Just like being in a goddamn sunken dungeon, exactly, precisely, definitively.

-- Andrew Rothmund


Upcoming Releases


Shezmu -- À Travers Les Lambeaux | Krucyator Productions | Death Metal | Canada

From Jon Rosenthal's premiere of "Lex Talionis":

Pure evil made sound -- that's what French Canadian blackened death metal trio Shezmu strives (and succeeds) to be. This isn't a "new old school" romp, nor is it a trek into the deepest realms of space; no, this is a statement of mal intent, of spiritual suffering and the deepest rage which comes thereafter…

Stay tuned for a full review.

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Valgrind -- Condemnation | Memento Mori | Death Metal | Italy

Valgrind has kind of set themselves up for internet search issues by choosing an ancient Norse mythological name that's more commonly associated with a formidable debugging and profiling tool, but, should someone searching for help with that tool come across this band -- well, it might help them fix their problem anyway. Condemnation is stately death metal with an air of classic horror that ought to help unstick anybody's brain.

-- Ted Nubel

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Sepulchral Curse -- Only Ashes Remain> | Transcending Obscurity Records | Death Metal | Finland

From Ivan Belcic's premiere of "Swarming Blackness":

Sepulchral Curse are death metal without pretense, yet there’s an undeniable subcurrent of finesse running through the record. Their fury is paramount, but executed with nuance and skill, with songs that reach beyond predictable structures and conventions for a satisfying depth that invites multiple listens to wholly appreciate.

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Pale Horseman -- For Dust Thou Art | Independent | Sludge Metal | United States (Chicago)

While not officially out until the 31st, this whole album is streaming now -- all the better for relieving your frustrations through cyclical, punishing grooves. Pale Horseman, now five albums strong, specializes in achieving hypnotic control through sludge riffs iterated upon to devastating effect. Each twist and deviation pulls you deeper into the mire, offering bliss through annihilation. This is a panacea, of sorts: one fashioned from rusty nails and curb stomps.

-- Ted Nubel

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Drouth -- Excerpts From a Dread Liturgy | Translation Loss Records | Black Metal | United States (Oregon)

From Andrew Rothmund's premiere of "A Crown of Asphodels":

Portland's Drouth has been honing their sound for the better part of the last decade, infusing their onslaught with a tinge of death metal for an extra dose of intensity on top of the blackened blasts that cornerstone their work. The band's upcoming second full-length Excerpts From a Dread Liturgy feels hell-bent on perfecting the interpretation and execution of something familiar, but in doing so, ends up feeling entirely fresh and crisp.

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High Spirits -- Hard to Stop | High Roller Records | Heavy Metal | United States (Chicago)

Though High Spirits live is a full-fledged band, as with all studio releases, this album is the work of the relentless Chris Black, who wrote and performed the whole damn thing. If you like classic high-energy heavy metal of pretty much any sort, there's a lot to like here -- sing-along-ready hooks, blazing riffs, and technical chops abound.

-- Ted Nubel

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Draghkar -- At the Crossroads of Infinity | Unspeakable Axe Records | Death Metal | USA (California)

Draghkar exemplifies an issue I've occasionally had while trying to describe death metal -- how do you indicate, succinctly, that a death metal album is melodic -- i.e., melody and leads play a large part -- but that it's not part of the entirely-different genre "melodic death metal"? Clearly, this blurb is not the answer, but that's what we have here: At the Crossroads of Infinity is imaginative death metal that finds space in its vision both for eviscerating, bass-heavy riffing and creative lead work that goes far beyond the "dive bomb into widdly-widdly" genre standard stuff.

-- Ted Nubel


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