Upcoming Metal Releases 10/15/2017-10/21/2017
Behold, a testament to my love of "generic garbage."
Here are the new metal releases for the week of October 15, 2017 – October 21, 2017. Release dates are formatted according to proposed North American scheduling, if available. Expect to see the bulk of these records on shelves or distros on Friday unless otherwise noted or if labels and artists get impatient. Blurbs and designations are based on whether or not I have a lot to say about it.
See something we missed? Goofs? Let us know in the comments. Plus, as always, feel free to post your own shopping lists. Happy digging.
As a little bit of a challenge, include your own opinion about anything you want to add. Make me want to listen to it!
Please note: this is a review column and is not speculative. Any announced albums without preview material will not be covered. Additionally, any surprise releases which are uploaded or released after this column is published will be excluded.
Friendship - Hatred | Southern Lord/Sentient Ruin Laboratories/Daymare Records | Sludge/Doom Metal/Powerviolence | Japan
What a fitting album title. We premiered a Friendship song earlier this year (from their I&II album), and, while we were all pretty much floored by their massive powerviolece-by-way-of-sludge brawn, none of us were expecting new material quite so quickly. Hatred is, well, hateful. Incredibly so. This mysterious Japanese unit dials up both ends of their stylistic spectrum -- the crowd-killing hardcore is so much more violent, and the bottomed-out bass presence is simply devastating. First and foremost, Friendship is a hardcore band, nestled comfortably in the powerviolence subgenre, but goddamn if they can't bring the "bar of soap in a sock" sort of repeated, blunt pain. The unexpected "Blue Berry", undoubtedly the heaviest song on the album, recalls the pre-atmospheric heyday of countrymen Corrupted, a pure, distilled sort of slack-tuned hatred. I guess that would be the point, huh.
Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper | Profound Lore Records | Sludge/Funeral Doom Metal | United States
Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of funeral doom, and, while Bell Witch definitely "checks all the boxes" to make a funeral doom album: it's sad, it's slow, it's melodramatic, it's thick...the list goes on. Across its eighty-three long, long…long minutes, there is never a moment of Mirror Reaper which is bad, in fact, there were parts which made me raise an eyebrow and listen more inquisitively, but Bell Witch seem to be playing the long-game on purpose. Making long songs for the sake of length is a tricky sort of beast, it involves a lot of careful planning, almost like a pop song. However long, it needs to be engaging, and there were moments during my conscious listen to this album where I needed to remind myself to be more attentive. Making long songs is cool, but there's only so much you can do. I'm sure I will get a lot of flak for this, but if this two-piece sat down and trimmed the excess and gristle, we'd be left with a fine cut of beef. Like I said, this isn't a bad album, but Dylan Desmond's distinctly tragic songwriting deserves projection through a more focused lens, much like on their previous, relatively shorter (twenty minutes a song is pretty short, right?).
The Horn - Volume 19 | Independent/Digital | Industrial Black Metal | Australia
The prolific "A Demon Sheen" reached out to me in reaction to the statement I made regarding internet prolific artists. As it turns out, this guy makes a ton of music, and it is varied. His longest standing project, The Horn, is meant to be a living soundtrack to the Egyptian Book of the Dead; an interesting concept, especially for an industrial black metal band. His nineteenth volume in the series, and third installment this year, The Horn's new album is claustrophobic and mystical, an odd sort of mechanized ancient sorcery. As one of the many who had a big Egyptology phase in their childhood, The Horn is a beautiful sort of timeline merging, bringing my childhood into my horrible adulthood.
The Kennedy Veil - Imperium | Unique Leader Records | Technical/Brutal Death Metal (but with other stuff!) | United States
Where did this come from? I never really thought much of this band before, but Imperium is an anomaly in the brutal death metal community, almost as if the style is joining us in the new millennium. However heavy and knuckle-dragging The Kennedy Veil gets, there is this wider atmosphere to the album, melodic, almost symphonic, and heady. Brutal death metal: 2017.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Wobbler - From Silence to Somewhere | Karisma Records | Progressive Rock | Norway
When I generally say I'm not a "prog" guy, I guess that's more of a nuanced thing. Most new progressive music -- metal and rock, that is -- seems to miss the point, deferring to Robert Fripp and John Petrucci's deep, deep self-indulgence and technique worship. Having grown up on Yes, Camel, and what have you (listing seems so unimportant), my indoctrination with progressive rock was much more musicianship-oriented. That is to say, things fit together more like a 3D puzzle more so than a bunch of guys having a contest to hear how good they are at music. Wobbler takes me back to my childhood, when progressive rock was that perfect intersection of technical musicianship and catchy, pop-influenced melody. To connect this a little further to this column, drummer Lars Fredrik Frøislie has a lengthy tenure in the black metal world (In Lingua Mortua, Beastcraft, Shining, Urgehal, Ásmegin… the list goes on). Color me extremely impressed with this album.
Circuit des Yeux - Reaching For Indigo | Drag City Records | Experimental/Psychedelic Folk | United States
Oh Haley Fohr, loosen your grip on my heart. So, this album is nowhere near as adventurous as the extremely wild In Plain Speech, but the more stripped-down "Haley Fohr plays guitar and croons into your chest" approach on Reaching For Indigo is so much more plaintive, so much less of a mountain to climb. It's completely gorgeous.
Forêt Endormie - Étire dans le ciel vide | Pretty Purgatory | Impressionism/Neofolk (no, seriously) | United States
Most of you, at least in Invisible Oranges's usual readership, are aware of Jordan Guerette's black metal band Falls of Rauros, but this composer's talents move far beyond the reaches of black metal. Forêt Endormie could certainly be considered neofolk, or fall under a larger blanket (the band does cite Tenhi and Sol Invictus as influences), but this complex, beautiful music more aptly falls under the Impressionism style I described in the recent a noend of mine piece. Though still "folky," Forêt Endormie is much more open and feels like color blends rather than its much stricter genre boundaries.
Force of Darkness/Wrathprayer - The Wrath of Darkness | Nuclear War Now! Records | Black/Death Metal (with goats) | Chile
Wrathprayer is certainly one of the better examples of "war metal"'s intensity, but when both sides of this split occupy similar territory, it's hard to tell which is which.
Throane - Plus une main à mordre | Debemur Morti Productions | Atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Rock | France
Tenured artist Dehn Sora pits labelmate Blut Aus Nord's shifting horror in a more accessible, melodic light, unfortunately sacrificing some of the initial sound's more overwhelming qualities.
Gwar - The Blood of Gods | Metal Blade Records | Thrash Metal/Crossover | United States
I didn't expect to like this. I really didn't. I mean, Oderus is dead, it would be in poor taste to make a new Gwar album, right? Wrong. Gwar's fun, almost to the point of "too much," thrash is the perfect tribute to their fallen leader. Time to go see them and get covered in viscous liquids.
Pyrolatrous - Teneral | Gilead Media | Blackened Melodic Death Metal | United States
This is Nick from Hull? Huh. I generally like this classic Swedish style, something former editor Joseph Schafer called "blue cover black metal" (see: Sacramentum, Dissection, Wode et al), but American bands never truly capture its magic. Not to say Pyrolatrous doesn't give it the old "college try," as the intensity is definitely all there.
Wormwood - Mooncurse | Translation Loss | Sludge/Doom Metal | United States
Big, lumbering sludge/doom metal. I feel like with these sorts of tags, you should know what to expect. Wormwood definitely toes a line with the modern idea of psychedelia (see: lots of pedals without approaching the constant red-lining which made the classic-era so interesting) which doesn't really tickle my fancy.