Upcoming Metal Releases 10/22/2017-10/28/2017
Here are the new metal releases for the week of October 22, 2017 – October 28, 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.
Fleurety - The White Death | Peaceville Records | Post-Black Metal (the classic way, not the post-rock way) | Norway
Calling it now, this is my favorite metal album of the year. When Svein "Zweizz" Hatlevik warned me of the impending The White Death in our interview for the decade-summing Inquietum, my blood ran electric. Though there are a handful of EPs which dotted their career since 2008, Fleurety hasn't exactly released an album since the black metal departure of Department of Apocalyptic Affairs. Seventeen years later, Zweizz and Alexander N, this time with Carl-Michael Eide (Virus, Aura Noir, ex-Ved Buens Ende) on bass and backing voice, it feels like the strange turn of the century all over again. The twist of bizarre avant-garde and pop sensibilities with their base of progressive rock and black metal is jagged, unique, and just enthralling. This is what the post-black metal tag represented in its first form, the dismissal of second wave black metal's then-rote aggression and just… doing whatever they felt like. The twists and turns held therein make even my thirtieth listen through the album exciting -- the progressive rock departure of "Future Day," "Lament of the Optimist"'s cartoonish bounce and lilt, the balladic "The Ballad of Copernicus" (which actually still gives me goosebumps, hearing Carl-Michael front Fleurety is a weird black metal nostalgist's dream) -- and all executed with a tenured mastery. A lecture in efficacy from the masters, written and recorded in a brief period of time almost two decades after the last time they turned black metal on its head. I hope it doesn't take quite as long before they do it again.
Dauþuz - Die Grubenmähre | Naturmacht Productions | Black Metal | Germany
So, not only do I love the blistering, folk-tinged black metal found on this album, but Dauþuz sports some of the best shrieks in the recent black metal game. Everything I love about crazed Germanic black metal (here is a small playlist of a few favorites) but in the new age.
Blut aus Nord - Deus Salutis Meæ | Debemur Morti Productions | Experimental/Industrial Black Metal | France
I may have misspoke when I first proclaimed this to be the best Blut aus Nord material in a decade. Bear with me here, Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars was good, but melody isn't quite what I want from this band. The Work Which Transforms God was an absolute game-changer. Black metal, but detached, mechanized, horrific. It was like running through an automated haunted house, just meant to induce nightmares, unveiling itself and halting as abruptly as it began. That sort of sound was magical, only made more awe-inspiring with MOrT and Odinist. Dammit, I wanted more, and nothing since has quite delivered (especially not the split with AEvangelist, sorry). On the surface, Deus Salutis Meæ is everything a guy like me could want. It slinks, it shudders, the dissonance and inhuman nature are nightmarish and totally separate from consciousness… but it never goes anywhere. There is no grand revealing of the hideous form beneath the fog, and without fruition the album falls flat. What was initially accepted as excitement -- I mean, a dissonant black metal album from Blut aus Nord in 2017? -- slowly morphed into boredom. As opposed to creativity and madness, Deus Salutis Meæ comes off as Vindsval trying to recreate the crazed perfection of his career fifteen years ago.
Ne Obliviscaris - Urn | Season of Mist | Progressive Extreme Metal | Australia
This is the kind of progressive metal which really loses me. I can appreciate solid musicianship, but there is a point where I just have to throw in the towel. Ne Obliviscaris can definitely, for lack of a better word, shred, but I feel like the musicianship which made the world love The Aurora Veil ten years ago isn't quite there anymore. There was a time when "progressive" meant "adventurous" and not "woodshedded."
Drummer Jon Barrysmith works the ride cymbal like Corrosion of Conformity’s Reed Mullin, and the doom breakdown in the middle of the song is a surprising but welcome left turn. “Burn Your Dead” sounds dynamic too, due in no small part to Billy Anderson once again working his magic behind the boards.
Mastodon - Cold Dark Place | Reprise Records | Progressive Metal/Rock | United States
I still miss Remission through Blood Mountain, but have you ever given progressive rock Mastodon an actual chance? I'm pretty pleased with this surprise EP.
Four years feels like an eternity in hardcore years, but mosh never goes out of style. Despite not releasing new music for the length between World Cups, metallic hardcore superfriends All Pigs Must Die haven’t aged a day. It helps that the band — featuring members of Bloodhorse, The Hope Conspiracy, Converge, and the new addition of Trap Them’s Brian Izzi — have always written with only complete ass-kicking in mind.
Sure, they’ve gotten better at it, learning how to play better with pace on God Is War and upping the technical threshold on Nothing Violates This Nature, but the goal has always been the same: knock the wind out of the listener and never let them catch their breath. Their upcoming album Hostage Animal carries on this fine tradition, but features some wonderful surprises in the midst of the brutality.
Hyrgal - Serpentine | Naturmacht Productions | Atmospheric Black Metal | France
Lots of atmosphere found in this one, almost bordering on the post-rocky side, but Hyrgal at approaches it with a sense of ferocity. I still wish "atmospheric" bands would learn to focus their approach to more than just… atmosphere. There is potential here, but I wouldn't mind hearing, you know, a riff every once in awhile.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Lankum (formerly Lynched) - Between the Earth and Sky | Rough Trade | Irish Folk Music | Ireland
I played Lankum's first album Cold Old Fire over the speakers at the bar in the Irish Cultural Center in Chicago (yes, there is a bar there, and I love it) and it was met with enthusiasm by the curator. Now on Rough Trade, this Irish folk troupe continues to passionately explore the weathered sounds of the homeland.
Major Parkinson - Blackbox | Karisma Records/Dark Essence Records | Progressive Rock/Electronica/Pop? | Norway
There is a lot to unpack in this album. The band calls themselves a progressive pop band, but it doesn't quite encompass the album. I've been listening to this urban, experimental, electronic cabaret for weeks now and still can't fully express how cool it is. I feel like you might hear me say more about this in a couple months. Trust me.
“Last Time We Met”‘s sparse instrumentation is equally as weary, hovering over each bass note as if trying to hold onto the smallest details of a bygone day. Fear over those details slipping away hangs over Lunch’s performance as well. “I’m writing songs that will be set in stone,” she sings, implying that the dead man she remembers will live on in those carvings. Through immortalizing him, Lunch is able to reflect on her own mortality, and in replaying his last words to her, she re-experiences the sublime, ending the piece by “making love to his ghost.” Her voice wavers, the chorus of saxophones is lifted off by drummer Derek Vockins, and the song drifts away into oblivion.
Winds of Plague - Blood of my Enemy | eOne Music | Symphonic Deathcore | United States
I remember calling these guys "Breeze of Disease" in college. Aside from getting smoother, Winds of Plague still rests on the "oh man, did you know you could put keyboards atop breakdowns?" sort of gimmick. It's fine, I guess, but also has zero lasting power.
Devangelic - Phlegethon | Comatose Music | Brutal Death Metal | Italy
So I expected some prime-cut, albeit expected, brutal death metal of your standard Italian vein, but holy hell is Devangelic dark. I didn't expect to hear brutal death metal this sinister...ever.
Forgotten Tomb - We Owe You Nothing | Agonia Records | Gothic/Black/Doom Metal | Italy
Hard to believe the band who made Songs to Leave and Springtime Depression now sounds like pseudo-Pantera for gothic black metal kids. What happened?
Barrowlands - Tyndir | Vendetta Records | Progressive Black Metal | United States
On the surface, Barrowlands is your run of the mill US-styled black metal band, and… yeah, that's what they are, but Tyndir still has a few tricks up its sleeve which makes it more interesting than most.
Gnaw - Cutting Pieces | Translation Loss Records | Noise/Doom Metal | United States
I'm not a fan of Gnaw musically, I like harsh sounds but the extreme intent makes my head hurt, but goddamn do I love hearing Alan Dubin rip his throat out.
Cryptic Fog - Staring Through the Veil | Blood Harvest | Melodic Black/Death Metal | United States
I almost missed this one and feel sort of stupid for not diving in headfirst, and Cryptic Fog's debut is thick with catchy melodies and aggressive, committed riffwork. Don't be like me -- listen to Staring Through the Veil.