Upcoming Metal Releases: 10/23/2016 -10/29/2016
Tuesday's coming! Did you bring your coat?
Here are the new metal releases for the week of October 23, 2016 – October 29, 2016. 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.
Urfaust - Empty Space Meditation | Ván Records | Atmospheric/Ambient Black Metal | Netherlands
Having followed Urfaust from somewhere around the release of Verräterischer, nichtswürdiger Geist, I can confidently say that they are one of the "bigger names" in black metal which fail to disappoint. Though their style has remained consistent - somehow both stately and haggard, drunk but with a soldier's posture - Urfaust's nuanced progression into psychedelic delirium has been markedly ethereal and harrowing. Those who are familiar with Urfaust's back catalog will enter into familiar territory, IX and VRDRBR's mid-paced black metal remains dark and enchantingly foreboding, but there are moments in which Empty Space Meditation lurches full-tilt into horrific, ethereal psychedelia. The old adage says if you drink enough, you will see pink elephants - I shudder to think of what this Dutch duo sees.
From Joseph's premiere of "Hold Your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion":
"While it’s distinctly their formula, Nathrakh haven’t deviated far from it since 2006’s Eschaton, at which point the band barely sounded like the too-kvlt noise technicians who wrote The Codex Necro. Some metalcore infiltrated their sound around 2011’s Vanitas (not surprising, since Kenney writes some songs for Motionless in White and toured with Bleeding Through), and contemporary dubstep effects showed up in their previous record, Desideratum, but more-or-less the Anaal Nathrakh sound is now codified. Which means don’t expect another “Pandemonic Hyperblast” on their upcoming record The Whole of the Law.
That doesn’t mean The Whole of the Law has nothing to offer, though. On the contrary, Kinney’s learned to incorporate the contemporary electronic effects from Desideratum in a more efficient and less intrusive way. Take, for example, the song “Hold Your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion,” streaming below. Gabber beats accent stabbing riffs, but don’t call attention to themselves. More importantly, the song trucks. Kenney and Hunt accomplish more – more riffs, more hooks, bigger choruses – in three and a half minutes than they did in the four and a half minutes on “The Joystream” from Desideratum, and “The Joystream” was one of the best songs from that album. The formula hasn’t changed, but I find myself reaching for The Whole of the Law more than most of Anaal Nathrakh’s recent records."
Ulcerate - Shrines of Paralysis | Relapse Records | Atmospheric/Technical Death Metal | New Zealand
I remember when The Destroyers of All was first released. After being absolutely floored by the preceding Everything is Fire, Ulcerate's progression into one of death metal's most unique sons left me slack jawed for weeks. Expertly melding fluid technicality with post-rock sensibilities atop a brutal death metal base? Unheard of, and perfectly executed. Unfortunately, Ulcerate stopped progressing after that. Vermis even had riffs which were eerily similar to its predecessor. I wasn't sold, and that hesitance sadly finds its footing in Shrines of Paralysis, as well. To go from being the absolute cutting edge of a burgeoning genre (in the public eye) to the stubborn former athlete who reminds everyone he peaked in high school but sells used cars for a living is a really sad thing to watch from the outside.
From Rob's premiere of "Plasmic and Pure":
"New Orleans sludge maestros Crowbar are lifers. Kirk Windstein and company have been peddling the same effective and, ultimately, still unequaled brand of depressive heavy blues for the better part of 25 years. With original bassist Todd Strange now back in the fold, Crowbar are getting set to release The Serpent Only Lies, another sterling entry in their discography that continues to be a monument of consistency. We’re happy to premiere a new song from that album, the heavy as all hell second track called “Plasmic and Pure.”
Much like “Falling While Rising,” “Plasmic and Pure” is a signature Crowbar track. Built around a slow-and-low sludge riff that sounds, like their best stuff, evil and sad at the same time, the song lumbers along for a while with pure bludgeoning ferocity. But the track eventually morphs in a way that sets Crowbar apart from their NOLA sludge contemporaries. Its midsection is mournful and melodic, complete with soaring lead guitar, in a way that the likes of Down or Eyehategod simply aren’t interested in. It’s that unique mix of, again, brutality and emotional heaviness that sets Kirk apart as a songwriter. And he can always deliver, as he does in the outro here, a chugging, head-bob generating doom riff of the highest order."
From Ian's premiere of "Voidtripper":
"Like many of my coworkers here at Invisible Oranges, my shit was thoroughly rocked by Aevangelist’s Enthrall to the Void of Bliss last year. That record was a perfect example of how extreme metal could still be a viable and challenging force, even if it was only one amongst many in Aevangelist’s belt. It’s not much of a shock then, that Death Fetishist, a collaboration between Matron Thorn of Aevangelist and Panzergod’s G. Nefarious, sit just as comfortably on the cutting edge. The difference is that Death Fetishist focus on extreme metal, and black metal in particular, with singular intensity on Clandestine Sacrament. The album is more traditional than Enthrall to the Void but only in an extremely relative sense. Given how unerringly dissonant and nightmarish the record is, it’s hard to imagine that Sacrament is anyone’s idea of easy listening. But here Thorn’s songwriting hues a bit closer to the work of other underground acts like Mispyrming, whose singer D.G. makes an appearance on “Voidtripper.” The motifs at play are recognizable to any black metal fan, but Death Fetishist push them to a level of psychedelic abstraction."
From Ian's premiere of "Cancer":
"Metal can often feel pretty provincial, even when bands get their death metal mixed in with their black metal, typically they’ll still pick one avenue or style and stick with it. Vermin Womb are less picky. They don’t care how they kick your ass, just that your ass is thoroughly kicked. Their new album Decline is a brilliant example of how to get past extremity creep in modern metal. Right before the listener gets used to their take on grind, they go full death metal. Then before they can wrap their head around that, the phrasing starts to stretch out and get closer to black metal, except built on deep-fried bass frequencies and not screechy treble.
The album’s closing track demonstrates this process in miniature. “Cancer” starts blisteringly fast, and keeps nudging the tempo just a hair slower, moving from blast beats to to d-beats before settling into a steady crawl. The pace of the song may change, but the intensity does not. Vermin Womb’s guitar tone is outrageously nasty. Listening to it for extended periods of time is like doing a beer-bong of BBQ sauce. Because of this, the extended fade out in “Cancer” scans as an act of mercy."
Moros/Lithotome - Moros / Lithotome | Dullest Records | Sludge/Doom Metal / Death/Doom Metal/Noise | United States
The Philadelphia Krieg-related scene in a nutshell. Moros's sluggish Grief worship plumbs the depths of slack-tuned horror, whereas Lithotome (who I hear is essentially defunct after this song) explores the atmospheric extremes of noisy, mechanized death/doom metal.
Djevel - Norske ritualer | Aftermath Music | Black Metal | Norway
Djevel continues to churn out some of the finest zero-bullshit Norwegian black metal around. For those who take their metal black with no cream or sugar.
Yaşru - Börübay | WormHoleDeath | Folk/Doom Metal | Turkey
Turkey's metal scene gets little representation here at Invisible Oranges, but I can't ignore the hidden gem that is Yaşru. Börübay carefully mixes traditional Turkish music with majestic, sorrowful doom, and the result is truly breathtaking.
Hail Spirit Noir - Mayhem in Blue | Dark Essence Records | Experimental/Psychedelic Rock/Black Metal | Greece
Have you ever wondered what Mayhem's Grand Declaration of War would sound like if Rune "Blasphemer" Eriksen had a Pink Floyd-sized chip on his shoulder? Hail Spirit Noir's raucous, rocking blackened psychedelia mixes pensive sensitivity with aggression, all under a heavily effected haze.
Fluisteraars - Gelderland | Eisenwald | Atmospheric Black Metal | Netherlands
Do you like your black metal pretty and passionate? Fluisteraars has passion in spades, sometimes emotional enough to exhibit some screamo tendencies. I could use more than a 7" EP of this!
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Helmet - Dead to the World | earMUSIC | Heavy/Groove Metal/Alternative Rock | United States
It is 2016 and Page Hamilton can still out-riff anyone ever. Succumb to the groove and the chunk - it's like Helmet never left.
From Joseph's premiere of the title track:
"...flurry of pinch harmonics in the first riff tease at what could be a technical shredfest, until chugging low-string palm mutes dominate the verse, and land closer to Lamb of God than Devildriver – good. Chuck Billy sounds exactly as he has for the past twenty years – also good."
11Paranoias - Reliquary for a Dreamed of World | Ritual Productions | Sludge/Doom Metal | England
This kind of "throwback doom" I can stand by - the whole "let's play Jefferson Airplane at half speed" thing got old, but sounding somewhere between Come to Grief and "White Rabbit" is much more compelling.
Madder Mortem - Red in Tooth and Claw | Dark Essence Records | Progressive Metal | Norway
Madder Mortem is much closer to progressive (or even "classic" this time around) rock than metal, but I dare you to find better use of cowbell this year.
Obake - Draugr | RareNoise Records | Experimental Doom Metal | Italy
Did you know Porcupine Tree's bassist was in a weird doom metal band? Obake is perfectly fine, but some of these choruses border on radio rock.