Upcoming Metal Releases 10/9/2016 – 10/15/2016
Hey guys, I'm back, and just like how Obama is "takin' away yer guns," I'm here to take away your opinions. Go ahead and waive your first amendment rights to free speech and opinion, but remember you are wrong. Apparently, anyway.
Here are the new metal releases for the week of October 9, 2016 – October 15, 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.
Darkthrone - Arctic Thunder | Peaceville Records | Black/Heavy Metal | Norway
Darkthrone's evolution from black metal innovators to an anthology of riffs quoted and modified from newly elected Norwegian representative alternate Gylve "Fenriz" Nagell's mammoth record library has followed a long, winding road. Such a dramatic change has left their fandom split almost perfectly in half: the conservative, dismissing "they aren't black metal anymore and therefore don't matter" faction, and the "this is fun, I'll listen to this any day of the week" faction. I find myself subscribing to the latter, because music doesn't always have to frown with a furrowed brow. And they said this was going to be a serious album. Ha!
Urzeit - Anmoksha | Independent/Digital | Black Metal | United States
We live in an atmospheric black metal market, especially here in the states, which is fine, but atmosphere can only get you so far. Urzeit's two demos and 10" split with Akatharsia were created in direct opposition of indulgent atmosphere for the genre's second-wave roots: simple, grimy aggression. Two years later, Anmoksha continues Urzeit's celebration of the old tradition, and it is evil. Profanatica and Demoncy (see below) may be the elder champions of American black metal's dirtiest direction, but Urzeit marks a new generational perfection and launches the minimal, low-end of the genre's true, horrific face into the new millennium.
Cara Neir - Perpetual Despair Is The Human Condition | Broken Limbs Recordings | Black Metal/Neocrust/Grindcore | United States
From Ian's upcoming premiere of the full album:
"Cara Neir’s compositions aren’t as blunt as their album titles, but their presentation is just as forthright. Perpetual Despair Is The Human Condition is raw in the sense that it is unadorned. The record is bone dry, but that also means that it hides little about itself. Even at their most atmospheric moments, like the climax of “For You” the duo don’t pile it on. Some of this comes from the mid-fidelity of their programmed drumming, which aren’t as indulgently fake sounding as say Anaal Nathrakh, but clearly aren’t being played in a physical space. This lack of physicality makes it easy to pull the strands apart in the rest of the production. This isn’t music that alters your state of mind or beams in from some far away galaxy. It places itself directly in front of you and doesn’t hide its melodic intentions for a moment."
Check back tomorrow for a complete stream of the album.
Spectral Voice/Phrenelith - Spectral Voice/Phrenelith | Iron Bonehead Productions | Death/Doom Metal / Death Metal | United States/Denmark
The US and Denmark enter the ring to see who leaves a more flattened landscape in their wake. Check back later today to hear the whole thing.
Black Table - Obelisk | Silent Pendulum Records | Post-Black Metal | United States
Black Table offers a nice cross-section of just about everything going on now in modern, American black metal. This East Coast unit weaves through strange dissonance, anthemic crust, conservative riffing, and expansive post-rock. All these elements are performed nicely, sometimes even fused together, which leads to some neat, exciting new conclusions. However, like any survey course, there is a lot of information on the table here and it can get, well, overwhelming. I wouldn't mind seeing Black Table focusing a little more in the future, but this is a nice debut full-length.
Départe - Failure, Subside | Season of Mist | Post-Black/Death Metal | Australia
From my premiere of the album:
Having heard the new Ulcerate album a few times now, it looks like their neighbors to the south in Départe have finally upped the ante. Failure, Subside's atmospheric black/death metal expanse owes as much to Cryptopsy as it does Neurosis, existing somewhere in the middle ground between disgusting, technical brutality and indulgent, experimental atmosphere. Starting off a review with a comparison to what might be considered a "staple" in most diets seems unfair, but sometimes true progression comes with contemporaries when originators seem to refuse to take the proverbial "next step". Départe's concentration on dynamics and technicality as a cohesive unit evoke as much muscular rage as it does more delicate, complex emotion, and the two faces of the Janus that is Failure, Subside are evidence of the band's fearless obsession with progression. The future resides with those who move ahead of others who find complacency in rehashing their own ideas.
Our Place Of Worship Is Silence - The Embodiment Of Hate | Broken Limbs Recordings | Black/Death Metal | United States
A lot of death metal is inhuman and gross, but there was a time when death metal was all about anger, and Californians Our Place Of Worship Is Silence is pissed. Phil Everly once said Link Wray's "Rumble" sounded like a street fight, and The Embodiment Of Hate sounds like an absolute rampage. Our Place Of Worship Is Silence's sharp edges are propelled with unbridled, sinewy strength. This reckless, brief bout of jagged death metal is calculated and moves with mechanical precision, but is powered with an almost uncontrollable momentum and ends before you even know what hit you. At only twenty-seven minutes in length, you could get away with listening to it more than a few times in a single sitting, too. RIP Tim Butcher.
Malignancy - Malignant Future | Willowtip Records | Technical Brutal Death Metal | United States
Malignancy are the pinnacle of over the top, absolutely ridiculous death metal, and we are very lucky to live in a universe where that hasn't changed in over twenty years. This is only a brief EP of "blink and you'll miss it" length, so be sure to listen to it plenty.
Suma - The Order of Things | Argonauta Records/Init Records | Stoner/Doom Metal | Sweden
Sometimes I break my "no stoner/doom, not ever" rule, because rules are meant to be broken. Suma's doom is drugged, but not euphoric. The Order Of Things eschews tie-dyed, fuzzy bliss for paranoid claustrophobia...and it's heavy. Why can't more stoner/doom metal be like this?
Agatus - The Eternalist | Hells Headbangers Records | Black/Heavy Metal | Greece
From Joseph's premiere of "The Invisible (Fifth Portal to Atlantis)":
"[Agatus's] upcoming album, The Eternalist, captured my attention with ease. The fraternal duo began recording music in 1992, but haven’t released a record in 14 years. Since 1992 much of the overtly black elements of their sounds have been removed, in favor of heavy metal classicism."
Vile Creature - A Pessimistic Doomsayer | Independent/Digital | Sludge/Doom Metal | Canada
Sludge/doom duo Vile Creature's debut full length A Slow Descent Into The Soil quietly fell under the radar, but this brand new EP is too good to miss. A Pessimistic Doomsayer is still strongly rooted in the sludgy murk of their full-length but hones in on the tragic elements which made their explosive climaxes so memorable.
Waldgeflüster - Ruinen | Nordvis Produktuon/Bindrune Recordings | Black Metal | Germany
I was lucky enough to see Waldgeflüster's first show on American soil earlier this year as part of the Hammerheart Ostarablot Fest, and their anthemic, atmospheric black metal was as emotively expressed as it was intricately performed. Ruinen isn't a huge step forward for the German troupe, but there isn't anything inherently wrong with that, either.
Oskoreien/Botanist - EP3: Green Metal / Deterministic Chaos | Avantgarde Music/Independent | Black Metal/"Verdant Metal" (Also Black Metal sort of) | United States
Hammered dulcimer "verdant metal" meets big atmospheres. Oskoreien pulls from left field and covers a Placebo song to great effect. Here's what Andrew Rothmund has to say about Botanist:
"Think spring blossom versus torrential downpour here: it involves gentle snare hits, non-distorted chord progressions, and a reasonable length. Imagery is key, the vocals whisper darkly and the synth rides steady; there’s an intriguing forest out there, one to save."
Anciients - Voice of the Void | Season of Mist | Progressive/Extreme Metal | Canada
I'm normally not much of a "prog" guy, but there's something about the lyrical nature of Anciients's newest album which takes me back to a time in which I greatly appreciated technical prowess in music. Remember when everyone loved Mastodon? Those were good days.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
40 Watt Sun - Wider Than The Sky | Radiance Records/Svart Records | Singer/Songwriter/Slowcore | England
From my premiere of "Beyond You":
"The music is warm and bittersweet – Walker’s spacious songwriting and unique harmonic ear resonates into itself with chiming beauty. It’s different, sure, but the spirit, one of pure, weighty emotion, remains the same.
Though this apparent “about face” has more in common with singer/songwriters Jason Molina and Damien Jurado (both of whom have been covered by either the full band or Patrick Walker on his own) than the doom metal under which 40 Watt Sun had been previously categorized, the only chief difference I can hear is the lack of distortion. The elements are all still there, Patrick Walker’s unique croon and big, leafy guitar chords, William Spong’s thick, melodic bass, and Christian Leitch’s active, jazz-influenced drumming, all wrapped in resplendent, bittersweet emotion. The only ingredient which seems to be missing is the previously ever-present distortion found on their debut. With this new concentration on clarity, 40 Watt Sun has lifted a veil from their music, carrying the same emotional weight without any added hindrance. Wider Than The Sky is an intense listen – a bitter pill to swallow which carries a hidden warmth and hope."
Wormrot - Voices | Earache Records | Grindcore | Singapore
Oh man, how did I not know Wormrot was back? With a new drummer in tow, popular grindcore's saving grace explodes from Singapore and vows to break necks and take names.
Mono - Requiem For Hell | Pelagic Records | Post-Rock | Japan
From Ian's review of the album:
"Mono are patently not a metal band. Even at its heaviest and most abrasive, their music draws more from the well of Sonic Youth than Slayer. Still, their sweeping sense of melody and deafening live performances (seriously, the climax of “Lost Snow” sounds like getting sucked into a jet engine) make them a compelling, if odd, fit for the heavy metal crowd."
Korouva - Nidus | Cloister Recordings US | Psychedelic Folk/Singer/Songwriter | United States
Though hermetic singer/songwriter Korouva's initial claim to fame was "the artist Velvet Cacoon ripped off in their initial demo phase," this quadruple cassette collection of tender music is overflowing with beauty and heartache. A compilation of everything recorded under the Korouva name, from the now legendary Shipwrecks & Russian Roulette (embedded below) to an expanded version of 2014's Fever EP. This is the perfect soundtrack to the gloomy, grey pre-Winter days ahead.
It Only Gets Worse - Angels | Cloister Recordings US | Trip-hop | United States/Netherlands
From my premiere of the album:
"This is sad, despairing music, and, when given the right context, is difficult to listen to in one sitting. And yet Angels is beautiful, and there are moments in which Mories’s downcast pop electronics, when paired with Finney’s distant, detached presentation, become otherworldly. There are a lot of harsh things in this world, gussied up with flowers and pretty colors, but they only serve as a mask, and the superficial beauty of Angels only makes what it hides all the more hideous."
FROM THE GRAVE
Demoncy - Faustian Dawn | Nuclear War Now! Productions | Black Metal | United States
Joined In Darkness might be the definition of evil in black metal clothing, but even darkness must spring forth from somewhere. Return to Demoncy's foul, slack-tuned roots with this special re-edition of their 1993 demo.
Red Fang - Only Ghosts | Relapse Records | Stoner Rock/Metal | United States
"Pop metal" has never been my style, however infectious some of Red Fang's melodies and bouncy rhythms may be.
Kladovest - Ignitiate | No Colours Records | Black Metal | Ukraine
I haven't heard this yet, but Kladovest is one of the few who still raises the "Slavonic Black Metal" banner. Also…Ignitiate might be the best album title I've ever heard.
Hobbs' Angel of Death - Heaven Bled | Hells Headbangers Records | Thrash Metal | Australia
For someone who has "been at it" for such a long time, Peter Hobbs is not afraid to reach into new ground. I approached this expecting more "Virgin Metal" akin to his self-titled 1988 debut, but Heaven Bled is truly something else. With a new backing band, Hobbs' Angel of Death taps into war metal, epic progressive rock, doom metal...I don't even know if I'd call this thrash metal. In fact, I'd say it's everything but.
Oozing Wound - Whatever Forever | Thrill Jockey Records | Thrash Metal/Crossover | United States
Irony only works in a thrash metal context when it's meant to be snotty. I mean, it's the offshoot of punk and classic metal, right? Forced apathy doesn't paint a nice portrait, though, and Whatever Forever focuses on a palette of eyerolls and wispy mustaches instead of gross disregard and snotty apathy.
WHAT WE MISSED
Windmills By The Ocean - The Gahste | Gotta Groove Records | Atmospheric Sludge Metal/Post-Rock | United States
Windmills By The Ocean have always been the standard cookie cutter for post-rocky sludge, but they've never done a bad job at it.
Sordide - Fuir la lumière | Avantgarde Music | Black Metal | France
France always seems to be at the cutting edge of black metal. Though lyrical, Sordide sure does manage to be as ugly and furious as possible.