Jon’s on vacation, so the first Upcoming Metal Releases column of 2017 falls to me. Only a couple of albums on the docket this time around, so let’s get to it.

Here are the new metal releases for the week of January 1, 2017 – January 8, 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.

See something we missed? Goofs? Let us know in the comments. Plus, as always, feel free to post your own shopping lists. Happy digging.

-Clayton Michaels



Laster - Ons vrije fatum | Dunkelheit Produktionen |Atmospheric Black Metal| The Netherlands

From Jon’s premiere:

Weaving through periods of buzzing fury, shimmering nostalgia, and Burzumic plod, the band never fully leans to one side, foregoing sectioned fusion for something more organic and unique. Note the rumbling drum work in the introduction or the chiming, sustained resonance during the slower, more superficially blackened moments; Laster manages to eloquently fall in the hazy grey area between their two halves.

Dumal - The Lesser God | Independent/Unsigned |Black Metal| United States

Jon likes to say that winter is the time for black metal. I agree, especially when it’s the triumphant sort that’s favored by Pennsylvania trio Dumal. The Lesser God is their first full-length after a series of splits and EPs, and it’s a damn good one. The galloping tempos and strong sense of melody are a perfect remedy for the endless days of Midwestern greys, and they throw in just enough unexpected moments—like the synth-driven instrumental “The Wind Demon,” and the folky violin outro to “Ukrania”—to stay engaging throughout the entirety of its 50+ minute run time. They actually remind me a bit of Drudkh in places, which is never a bad thing.





This is a reissue of the 1997 demo from the long running but not terribly prolific—they’ve only released two demos, and nothing at all since 2001—German folk metal outfit Rimmersgard, and hot damn is it a fun little record. There’s a nice mix here of Viking metal-era Bathory and epic heavy metal, with just enough trebly mid-tempo black metal riffing to keep it from sounding too polished. Bonus points to whomever made the decision to issue it in its original form instead of remastering it, because the lo-fi feel just increases its charms.


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