Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of August 9th to August 15th, 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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Surprise Releases + Things We Missed

Krallice -- Mass Cathexis | Gilead Media | Black Metal | United States (New York)

From Langdon Hickman's mini-feature on Mass Cathexis:

It's intriguing, then, that the twist at the center of Mass Cathexis is one of synthesis. Some quarters have been calling this a return to form for the group, and certainly there is something to that notion. The arrangements here feel suddenly -- eight years after their first period closed with the release of Years Past Matter -- like it would fit snugly against those records (or the period-relevant Hyperion EP for that matter). It's not so much a matter of density: Wolf and elements of Prelapsarian pushed the level of avant-garde abstraction this band was capable of, sometimes even within spitting distance of Colin Marston's former Behold the Arctopus bandmate Weasel Walter's Lake of Dracula avant-punk project, but even on those records there were tracks that could sit comfortably beside previous neutron star-grade hyperdense brain-melters like "Monolith of Possession" and "Dimensional Bleedthrough."


Faceless Burial -- Speciation | Dark Descent Records/Me Saco un Ojo | Death Metal | United States (Colorado)

Proof that death metal kicks fucking ass. This is to say, Speciation nails all those important genre tenets with perfect execution and plenty of grime, but with a style totally unto itself. I mean, the breakdowny bit in "Limbic Infirmary" is motherfucking inspired! Equal parts proggy and caveman, Faceless Burial pummels and goes berserk to the delight of my sore, sore, sore ears. No pretense, no flair, just gut-punches of good fun.

-- Andrew Rothmund


Mesarthim -- The Degenerate Era | Independent | Cosmic Black Metal | Australia

Hearkening back to the riffing minimalism of their early albums, Mesarthim casts off the trance influence found in their mid-era in favor of making thick, crunchy atmospheric black metal. This is great, and unlike any other "cosmic" black metal you've ever heard.

-- Jon Rosenthal


Ultra-intriguing and mind-bending death metal: we're so into Reflections of the Void that we've got a full review on the horizon. Stay tuned.

-- Andrew Rothmund

Upcoming Releases

Primitive Man -- Immersion | Relapse Records | Sludge | United States (Colorado)

Primitive Man are definitely the heaviest band I've ever seen live. It's just a bare fact, and I've seen 'em thrice. The album experience will never recreate what this trio can accomplish with pure, unadulterated noise on stage, but this is about as close as you can possibly get. Enjoy tighter, punchier songs and, well, the most distortion achievable with modern technology.

-- Andrew Rothmund


Buzzo's voice, which has served the Melvins impeccably, has proven to be well-suited for chilling folk music as well. Gift of Sacrifice adds two new elements since Buzzo's solo debut: modular synthesizers and Trevor Dunn's (of Mr. Bungle, Fantomas) gritty bass playing, both enriching the moody weirdness of the material.

-- Ted Nubel


From Joe Aprill's entry in our July 2020 Release Roundup (yes we know, this comes out in August, not July, but it's been streaming publicly since July so we figured hey, why not):

The band became a burning hot name in the black metal underground after the release of their 2017 sophomore release, so expectations have been running high till now. Those expectations it can be said have both been met and confounded. Havukruunu continue on with a type of melodic pagan black metal that leans closer to the epic riff focus of Bathory and later-era Immortal while eschewing tendencies for symphonic indulgence or folk dance jigs.


Höstblod -- Dikter om döden | Le Narthécophore | Folk Metal + Black Metal | Sweden

From Jon Rosenthal's premiere of Dikter om döden:

The complex Dikter om döden, translated to "Poems About Death," straddles these two emotional dominions, but also musically finds itself in a bit of a grey area, as well. Two halves woven together, the delicate folk-and-Romantic inspired music finds itself at glorious, dynamic odds with the black metal which often follows.


From Ivan Belcic's premiere of "A Ceremony of Sectioning":

Atræ Bilis could have easily written a rolling kicks 'n’ blast beats chug-a-lug death metal record and called it a day -- they’ve got the chops, the aesthetic, and the music draws heavily from those notes. But what they’ve instead done is reached deep within that style of music, carefully excised its most precious internal delicacies, and reinterpreted them alongside a host of unanticipated techniques and components.

Titans to Tachyons -- Cactides | Nefarious Industries | Avant-Garde Rock/Metal | United States

Titan to Tachyons is a new-ish NYC trio featuring some familiar faces from the avant-garde rock scene: Sally Gates (ex-Orbweaver, ex-Gigan), Kenny Grohowski (Secret Chiefs 3, Imperial Triumphant, Brand X), and Matt Hollenberg (Cleric, John Zorn). Their debut album Cactides was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Colin Marston (of Krallice, Dysrhythmia, Behold... The Arctopus, Gorguts, and more), and it features Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, Secret Chiefs 3) on the closing track "Everybody's Dead, Dave." Read a track-by-track breakdown of it over at BrooklynVegan.

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