Upcoming Metal Releases: 8/23/20 — 8/29/20
Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of August 23rd to August 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.
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First off, it's Ulver. How could it not be brilliant? But in all seriousness, those who found comfort in the 1980s pop of The Assassination of Julius Caesar will be happy here, but it isn't a carbon copy. No, this is on the "chiller" side of things -- Flowers of Evil is textured in its catchiness. If anything, I'd refer to this as "reluctant pop": it moves in ways which catch the ear, but it's much deeper and more complex than at first glance. Flowers of Evil is undoubtedly another highlight in Ulver's interesting, genre-spanning discography. Also, try and not groove to the chorus in "Russian Doll." My god.
-- Jon Rosenthal
US black metal has often tended toward finding paths diverging, often times radically so, from the second wave in Europe that initially sparked much of the world’s attention for the genre. While there are exceptions, they rarely feel truly inspired beyond just paying tribute to those times. One such rare exception is Cultus Profano, hailing from the not so very black metal associated Los Angeles scene, formed by the pairing of vocalist/drummer Advorsus, who also has laid down beats for nearly a decade in cult death metalers Sadistic Intent, and bright new talent vocalist/guitarist Strzyga. Their sophomore release, Accursed Possession, sees the duo improve upon their initial battle cry not by adding numerous bells and whistles on top of their spartan instrumentation but rather through a refinement of their songwriting chops, superior riff crafting, and an icy cold production. A truly frostbitten atmosphere flows through most of the album by means of haunted melodies on compositions like “Within a Coven of Shadows, Op. 21” that while not physically at least emotionally helps transport this fellow angeleno from the current August heatscape to the frozen windswept vistas that exist eternally in the hearts of all black metal fanatics.
-- Joe Aprill
Pig Destroyer -- The Octagonal Stairway | Relapse Records | Grindcore | United States (Virginia)
Grindcore, harsh noise, a tight EP format -- what's not to love? This is a collection of previously-released singles and B-side noise cuts that hits hard as a single package.
Necrot -- Mortal | Tankcrimes | Death Metal | United States (California)
Utterly ravaging death metal, perfectly capturing both the timeless annihilation and wild fun the genre is capable of. Bonus points for the awesome, and a little bit unintentionally hilarious, album art.
Turtle Skull -- Monoliths | Art as Catharsis / Kozmik Artifactz | Stoner Rock + Doom | Australia
The sun-dazed hazy tones of desert rock amplify the mind-warping power of this trippy expedition into psychedelic rock. It's almost ritualistic in its use of simple and powerful motifs, and the vintage sensibilities behind it really put you in that frolicking-through-a-field-but-on-lots-of-drugs mood. A lot of stoner rock fans originally got into the genre because of its ability to pull you out of your surroundings and into an obliviating cloud, but Monoliths takes you even higher: above the clouds and beyond any possible mortal concerns.
It's not a flashy or overly-technical approach -- far more importantly, it's interesting: the band takes full advantage of their dual guitars, incorporating their distinct characteristics and letting them operate individually in both ears rather than creating a homogenized roar. This adds depth when one guitar deviates to wreak bizarre harmony or create noisy accompaniment, but when a suitably big-n'-dumb riff arises, the disparate tones slam together like pieces of a skull-destroying puzzle.