Upcoming Metal Releases: 10/29/17 – 11/4/17
It's time to get a little spooky. Happy Halloween, you jerks. Go listen to King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, already.
Here are the new metal releases for the week of October 29, 2017 – November 4, 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.
Malokarpatan - Nordkarpatenland | Invictus Records/The Ajna Offensive | Black/Heavy Metal | Slovakia
Some spooky, folkloric old school black metal (think Master's Hammer and Bathory, not Burzum) for your Halloween.
Celestia - Aetherra | Drakkar Productions | Black Metal | France
The legendary Celestia, modern bastion of France's classic, romantic black metal approach, dies. Drakkar proprietor Cyril "Count Noktu" Mendres lets his project die on its feet, with some of his most potent riffs since Apparitia -- Sumptuous Spectre.
Cannibal Corpse - Red Before Black | Metal Blade Records | Death Metal | United States
Yeah, here I am writing about a new Cannibal Corpse, but hear me out. This is dirty, putrid death metal which you can listen to without pretense nor any, at the risk of coming off as elitist, real thought. I never really gave Cannibal Corpse a chance, what with the over the top art and jokey nature plaguing the years in which I first truly immersed myself in this kind of music, and I feel like I've done music a disservice.
"Moonspell aren’t going to wow you with complex riffs or brain-bending heaviness. Their music is remarkably accessible despite its massive scale. The band are also surprisingly flexible, it’s hard to picture any of the other symphonic band pulling off the switch to percussion and violin that happens in the title track as effortlessly. By telling a story unique to their nation’s history, hopefully they’ll convince more fans across the sea to hold them at the esteem they deserve."
Inconcessus Lux Lucis - The Crowning Quietus | I, Voidhanger Records/Invictus Records | Black Metal | United Kingdom
Do you like, nay love riffs? The sinister Inconcesus Lux Lucis has a massive surplus of them, and they're passing the savings onto you! In all seriousness, for however sinister The Crowning Quietus gets, there is this wonderful bounce which recalls the early heyday of black metal, way back in the mid/late 1980s (Venom notwithstanding, mind you). A simpler time in which a spooky, ghostly sort of atmosphere simply came with the territory; a side-effect of riff style, not an end-goal.
[A] violent, slimy work of truly abhorrent metal of grinding death. Gone are the more overt 1980s thrash tropes which characterized Blood Freak’s first era, though that should be expected given the intensity of their last few albums, opting for a straightforward burst straight from the guts. [Total Destruction of the Human Form] is absolutely gnarly: a twisted, ablated mass of flesh, viscera, and hacked bone fragments. I wouldn’t take Blood Freak any other way.
Gribberiket - Sluket | Dead Seed Records | Funeral Doom Metal | Norway
I call this funeral doom, but only in spirit. Yes, Gribberiket is slow, but the misery here is from down in the guts. Sluket is the result of a months-long bender, drunk and careless without any true desire to see the next day. What happens when you stop drinking? Gribberiket, I guess.
Sisyphean - Illusions of Eternity | Drakkar Records | Black/Death Metal | Lithuania
Truly glorious, thoughtful metal. Not quite too hard on the death metal side, but just enough to make a statement of weight. However, Sisyphean's power truly lies within their mastery of atmospheric restraint, only relying on it during their most vulnerable moments. It's a shame dynamism in extreme metal is so novel as to make a band special, and yet Sisyphean goes even further beyond.
The Wakedead Gathering/Ecferus - Split | I, Voidhanger Records | Death Metal / Black Metal | United States
I, Voidhanger Records sure likes to keep things "in the family," and now two of their more celebrated, US-based alumni join forces in a particularly stirring split. The Wakedead Gathering's monstrous, eleven-minute "The Blind Abyss" acts as the thick, evil foil to Ecferus's driving, discordant odes to the second wave.
Greifenstein/Mirkwood - Stillsand | Independent | Black Metal / Atmospheric Black Metal (think Tolkien!) | Austria/United States
After being mildly disappointed in the newly released Summoning song (I still have hope for With Doom We Come overall), it's nice to see there is still quality in the Tolkien-inspired black metal underground. Given that, I think you know what to expect: nice, fantasy-rich atmosphere, keyboards everywhere, and only the most trollish of vocals.
Kawir - Exilasmos | Iron Bonehead Productions | Pagan Black Metal | Greece
I've always thought of Kawir's post-2006 music as the Hellenic answer to Moonsorrow - big, tragic, folky, and dramatic. It's surprising to hear new music from this troupe so soon after last year's particularly emotive Father Sun, Mother Moon.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Der Blutharsch & the infinite church of the leading hand - What Makes You Pray | WKN | Krautrock/Post-Industrial | Austria
Though notable creative weirdo Albin Sunshine Julius's music is a far cry from Der Blutharsch's dark, post-industrial roots, his leading of the new "church" has breathed new life into krautrock (at least for this guy). Falling in line with Der Blutharsch's second incarnation (from 2007, though the project has been around for a very, very long time), What Makes You Pray is somehow both trancelike and delightful
On Converge's 2015 live album A Thousand Miles Between Us, singer Jacob Bannon introduced "Tender Abuse" by claiming "I'm not that positive, I'm more of a realist." This may be true for his outlook on life, but as a lyricist he has always had a dramatic/romantic streak. He's developed a language, as consistent and immediately recognizable as his design work. In other words, he's made a code for himself and his listeners. Not as a way to obscure his message, but as an evocative shorthand. Songs as myths. On The Dusk In Us, Converge's first album in five years, these myths feel more like fables. Converge have always balanced out their world of scavengers and broken things with a raw sentimentality, but their bleeding heart beats louder here than on any record since Jane Doe.
Musically, The Dusk In Us isn't the same quantum leap forward as the band's iconic 2001 release. It is however, strikingly tuneful. Even the heaviest moments of the record blend the band's "velociraptor stuck in a wood chipper" sound with clear melodies and hooks. These bursts of aggression are organized by songs that lean into the band's anthemic ("A Single Tear"), mournful ("A Thousand Miles Between Us") and creepy ("The Dusk In Us") qualities. The record loses a bit of steam in it's second half, "Trigger" is a noise rock experiment that doesn't quite pan out, but as a whole The Dusk In Us more than earns its place in one of the best discographies in heavy music.
FROM THE GRAVE
Auroch - From Forgotten Worlds | Krucyator Productions | Blackened Death Metal | Canada
Before Mute Books, before Tamam Shud, even before Shawn Hache (Mitochondrion) joined as a full member. From Forgotten Worlds is an evolutionary glimpse into Auroch getting their footing while transitioning from their thrash metal roots to the more "localized" sort of Canadian black/death metal.
Lustre - Still Innocence | Nordvis Produktion | Black Metal/Ambient | Sweden
I like ambient black metal and I certainly enjoy keyboards in my black metal, but there's something a little too fluffy about Lustre, like the distorted guitars added beneath the goofy fantasy atmosphere were an afterthought.
Bloodway - A Fragile Riddle Crypting Clues | I, Voidhanger Records | Progressive Black Metal | Romania
Costin Chioreanu's visual art prowess is without question, but Bloodway never really struck me as a particularly good project. Don't get me wrong, I certainly enjoy the weird, experimental blackish metal to which this Romanian trio hints, but sometimes this album tries a little too hard at being different and weird as opposed to letting it just happen naturally. Some people just have that sort of music in them, some don't.
Devlsy - Private Suite | ATMF | Post-Black Metal | Lithuania
These guys call themselves "post-black metal," which, I suppose, fits their more meandering, atmospheric nature, but there's no real bombast to it, nothing I can really find memorable. Hearing Dave Edwardson of Neurosis fame perform vocals on a "black metal" song is pretty interesting, however.
Tetragrammacide - Primal Incinerators of Moral Matrix | Iron Bonehead Productions | Black/Death Metal/Noise | India
I've seen a lot of words thrown around when describing Tetragrammacide: power, might, chaos, and so on. Honestly, I wish I could hear what inspired such adoration, because this is peak incoherence. There is no substance to this album, just noise.
Opium Warlords - Droner | Svart Records | Avant-Garde Drone/Doom Metal | Finland
Opium Warlord's minimal nature belies a deeper complexity, but that always seems to be the case for anything Sami Albert Hynninen (ex-Reverend Bizarre, etc) touches. The pulsing Droner recalls actual "cult" music from the '70s, as in music made by actual cults (YaHoWa 13, Harbinger). There is this strange sort of odd reverence and spirituality deep within the droning ambiance, and it is surely heavy.
Code - Under the Subgleam | Apocalyptic Witchcraft | Progressive Black Metal | United Kingdom
Code's EP on Agonia Records from earlier this year was incredibly boring post-rock, so imagine my delight when they made the surprising return to black metal. Under the Subgleam is much more aggressive than their first two albums, which is nice, but I hope they find that solid middleground between buzz and glimmer once more.
Night of Suicide - Broken | Independent | Funeral Doom Metal | Finland/Netherlands
As far as funeral doom goes, at least of the melodic persuasion, Night of Suicide is pretty standard, but the execution is just impeccable. Not one to listen to alone, especially if you're depressed.