Upcoming Metal Releases 10/8/2017-10/14/2017
I've asked this before: how old are bears?
Here are the new metal releases for the week of October 8, 2017 – October 14, 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.
Samael - Hegemony | Napalm Records | Electronic/Industrial Extreme Metal | Switzerland
Here I am in 2017, fully prepared to shout the virtues of Samael's powerful new album from rooftops. Yes. 2017. No, this isn't Ceremony of Opposites, that was over twenty years ago… however, my god is this incredibly heavy. Like most of you, I really, truly did not expect something so overwhelming and brutish from a band who wholeheartedly embraced electronica so early on. The general idea surrounding the "old guard" opinion of Samael reigns true, but maybe as we approach the third decade of the new millennium...maybe, just maybe we should be more accepting of electronic music in metal. The seamless incorporation of heavy industrial music, techno, and even hardstyle into Samael's modern, chugging metal is encased in chrome and intricately designed circuitry. Honestly, each song could be a single. Dorks like me still really enjoy Passage, but hopefully we can all agree on Hegemony.
Mork - Eremittens dal | Peaceville Records | Black Metal | Norway
No frills necessary, not when you've mastered meat and potatoes black metal like this. Check back in a few days to hear the album in full.
Saiva - Markerna bortom | Nordvis | Black Metal/Folk Rock/Neofolk | Sweden
Pure, beautiful, autumnal metal from one of the underground's most tirelessly creative mind. Come back in a few days to hear the whole thing.
Enslaved - E | Nuclear Blast | Progressive Black/Viking Metal | Norway
My god, is there something in the water this year? All these bands I truly loved as a teenager are making these extraordinarily triumphant returns. Enslaved? E, to me, feels like the classic, young metalhead experience. That wild-eyed, fist-clenched excitement which screams "Oh fuck yeah, it's viking time!"; a flash of youthfulness in adult life. This new album marks a return to riff-centric songwriting, some of Grutle and Isdal's best in years, and the more understated progressive nature which maintains a strong sense of interest. However, young blood Håkon Vinje appears to be "finding himself" while filling the large boots left by former keyboard player and singer Herbrand Larsen. While his clean voice near-outperforms Larsen's, some of his busier keyboard playing, which could be considered "prog," is too much, pushed too far forward. Vinje is certainly talented, but dialing it back on future albums will certainly thrust Enslaved into a new renaissance.
Sarke - Viige Urh | Indie Recordings | Black/Thrash Metal | Noway
At this point, it should be assumed anything Ted "Nocturno Culto" Skjellum (from Darkthrone, duh) touches will be recklessly metallic, a testament to not caring for expectation and slapping on your favorite Satans Satyrs backpatch adorned denim vest atop your dad's ratty Judas Priest tour shirt. Of course, that's merely swagger, an intense frown atop this undercurrent of, well, incredible amounts of fun. It should be noted that Culto's presence in Sarke is purely vocal, and while his signature harsh groan so beautifully blankets the subtle strangeness of the actual band's heavy, Norwegian black metal(rock?), there is much more beneath. Featuring members of the perennially underrated Khold and Tulus, there is a similar sort of genre transience pourover here: intense rock rhythms, but textured. This music is unexpected and cinematic, rife with big, ugly chords and strange orchestral backdrops galore. Don't get me wrong, Sarke's music is the type you can enjoy mindlessly. It's rhythmic, the riffs are big, and it oozes triumph. However, and this is what makes their body of work so immense in itself, peeling back their layers reveals so much more.
Spectral Voice - Eroded Corridors of Unbeing | Dark Descent | Death/Doom Metal | United States
Spectral Voice absolutely, 100% channels the spirit of early '90s death and doom metal darkness. It's all there, diSEMBOWELMENT, Funebre, Rottrevore, Rippikoulu, maybe a little Thergothon from time to time. However, the darkness here is extraordinarily emulative. I guess that's always been the point here, and Paul Reidl, much like Fenriz, has always been candid about long-form listing his influences, but I still feel a sense of inner-conflict here. Yes, I can certainly listen to all those classics, whose merit I hold dear. What's the point of listening to new music who re-executes the works of old? However, Spectral Voice takes all these old bands and pushes them through one of those Play-Doh plungers. Eroded Corridors of Unbeing is a sluggish, sticky, misshapen mass of Spectral Voice's mashed-up influences.
Altarage - Endinghent | Season of Mist | Death Metal | Spain
So soon after NIHL? Why not? No mortal man can physically stop Altarage's monstrous stride. Even more inhuman than before, Endinghent showcases Altarage's more ferocious side, a feral exercise in unbridled riffwork which straddles precision and a looseness which near-precedes falling apart. Many, many "abstract/spooky" death metal bands can learn a thing or two from these new masters.
Gloam - Death is the Beginning | Blood Harvest | Progressive Black/Doom Metal | United States
Having lost an original member, Gloam's much more "modern, atmospheric" black metal approach gets thrown back two decades, and with a much larger progressive rock presence. Death is the Beginning? More like Opeth in 1998 (but with more black metal). Give me more. I want more.
Oculus - The Apostate of Light | Blood Harvest | Black Metal | International (United States/Serbia/Switzerland - and soon Ireland)
Oculus's opening speech is snarled through clenched teeth. It's all about horror, here, and the anti-Christian orations of The Apostate of Light deal nightmares in spades. Don't expect any fluffy, cape-adorned (no hate to cape bands from this guy) fright, however. Oculus maintains a ferocious, mighty strength, ever-growing in mass as they move onward.
You know it’s autumn when “goth metal” starts hitting your inbox. The encroaching darkness of fall means there is more time for sipping your finest pinot noir in an open shirt. There’s no better time to lounge in an oversized victorian chair in a room lit only by candles while laughing ominously. Maybe this is when you reach for bands like Moonspell and Cradle of Filth, both of which are releasing new albums. Both are great soundtracks to luxuriating in billowing blouses. There is nothing wrong with that, but say you’re looking for something a bit more “skin tight leather” and less “flowing velvet.”
That’s where Germany’s Nachtblut comes in.
FROM THE GRAVE
Tomb Mold - The Bottomless Perdition / The Moulting | Blood Harvest | Death Metal | United States
Ya like old school death metal? Do ya? Tomb Mold does.
Coma Cluster Void - Thoughts From A Stone | Translation Loss | Experimental Death Metal | United States (and also other places, too)
So there's abstract and discordant, what some might call "skronk" (Pyrrhon, Gorguts, Unsane, you know the deal), and then there is unlistenable. I get what Coma Cluster Void is attempting, and, yes, the ten-string and microtonality vs serialism approaches are interesting, but a dear friend's mathematician father put hyper-Modern composition in very succinct terms: "Number games are fun for the composer, but they won't even listen to it."
Vassafor - Malediction | Debemur Morti Productions/Iron Bonehead Productions | Black Metal | New Zealand
It most certainly has been a great while since the world has received a full-length statement from the Vassafor camp. V Kusabs has, in turn, used this great length of time to expand his diction. With song-lengths which rival Kusabs's living/dead doom band Sinistrous Diabolus's, Vassafor takes their time when building grotesque monoliths to hate and despair. It's all about momentum, and Vassafor is rolling down a steady gradient with no obstructions in sight. Best keep out of the way.
Odradek Room - A Man of Silt | Hypnotic Dirge | Progressive/Melodic Death/Doom Metal | Ukraine
I am such a sucker for good first-era Katatonia worship, which makes me feel really stupid for not spending more time with Odradek Room's new album. Help me atone for my sins against music.