Upcoming Metal Releases 11/26/2017-12/2/2017
This time next week, I'll be in another country. BYE.
Here are the new metal releases for the week of November 26, 2017 – December 2, 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.
Jassa - Incantation of the Higher Gnosis | Fallen Empire Records | Black Metal | Russia
There is something to be said about atmospheric black metal which is heavy. In the early 2000s, this was kind of the norm in Russia and Soviet Bloc countries like Ukraine. Possessing similar bottom-end, chunky enormity to bands like Hate Forest and Astrofaes (yeah, I guess name-dropping both those guys is taboo, huh), Jassa's balance of folky atmosphere and dense brawn is the sound of nostalgia, if just to me. There was a time when this sort of "Slavonic" (and yes, I do realize being Russian makes it mean something entirely different) style dominated playlists and was thought of as the "future" of black metal. Then the post-rock thing happened. I like to think there is another timeline where bands like Jassa are the creative norm. Oh well.
Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Denied | Silver Lining Music | Death Metal | United States
Many will be extremely happy to see Morbid Angel left the nu-metal and industrial tendencies behind with David "The Soul Patch" Vincent, but I don't share the love I've seen for Kingdoms Denied. Sure, it grooves in a chunkier fashion than the classic Steve Tucker material, but there isn't that creative angle which made albums like Formulas Fatal to the Flesh so over-the-top. It just sounds… dumb, but I am sure others will disagree. My thoughts? Listen to it side by side with albums A-F and get back to me.
The Negative Bias - Lamentation of the Chaos Omega | Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum | Atmospheric Black Metal | Austria
Astral symphonic black metal of a higher order. Check back in a few days to hear the whole thing.
Nemorensis - The Fae Queen | Sol y Nieve | Atmospheric Black Metal | United States
From my premiere of The Fae Queen:
Love, as we know, might not be something which can be immediately ascribed to the perceived and advertised negativity which outwardly defines black metal. It’s really, truly an ugly thing, but Nemorensis, and Major behind it, paid its dues to the world of darkness.
It’s strange to think of such an echoic, keyboard-drenched black metal band, so deeply steeped in its own atmospheres, to be something other than hateful, and yet… it exudes Major’s own inward change. No longer lost in obscurity, a much more concrete Nemorensis represents the artist finding himself. Contentment is such a beautiful rarity.
Eldamar - A Dark Forgotten Past | Northern Silence Productions | Atmospheric/Ambient Black Metal | Norway
For all the black metal in existence which loses itself in a wash of sound, the few who fully entrench themselves in fantasy and the grandeur of worlds in the written word find themselves in an upper echelon. I suppose it could be said that bands like Eldamar owe their existence to Summoning, but, as we've learned, it seems like that band has lost their edge with age. Eldamar and his peers have tapped into a keyboard-soaked vein of verdant ambiance which (was at least assumed to have) dried up eons ago. What might present itself to goofy as some is an endearing tribute to an era when musicians lacked the ability or even funds to connect with others who might share their passions and resorted to digital manifestations of a full band. As chintzy as music like Eldamar's might appear, the earnestness speaks to an inherent honesty, a trueness that we have all but lost.
Entheogen - Without Veil, Nor Self | Fallen Empire Records | Atmospheric Black Metal | United States
The musicians who took part in past Chaos Moon (and other Alex Poole-related) efforts have lurked in the shadows. Are you aware of Steve and Jack Blackburn? These two were a part of the whole Poole phenomenon from the beginning, when Alex was still living in Tennessee. Now in the spotlight, featuring Alex handling vocal duties (for the first time in eons) and Haunter's Bradley Tiffin, the Blackburn brothers offer a master-class in obscure, gorgeously convoluted atmospheric black metal.
Ieschure - The Shadow | Iron Bonehead Productions | Black Metal | Ukraine
Some pretty damn competent black metal, with all the right "dark ambient" references to make me grin in a very nostalgic, teenage way, like when I first heard Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.
Serpent Column - Ornithulia Thalassa | Fallen Empire Records | Black/Death Metal | United States
I guess this has been out for a few months, sue me. They call themselves black/death metal, I call Ornithulia Thalassa super fucking weird! Some strange mix of suffocating riffs with some weird, almost-dissonant guitar acrobatics. It's nice to hear some more pronounced "classic metal" influences (listen to the gallops and tell me these guys don't like Iron Maiden) in more obscured blackened metal like this.
Deinonychus - Ode to Acts of Murder, Dystopia and Suicide | My Kingdom Music | Black/Doom Metal | Netherlands
I don't think we've heard from Deinonychus for a decade. What I've heard of this new album is pretty exciting, especially to those of us who take our doomy metal nice and disturbed.
Domgård - Ödelagt | Carnal Records | Black Metal | Sweden
If you like your pagan black metal cold and keyboardy, check back soon.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Crooked Face - Shroud | Sol y Nieve | Ambient/Noise | United States
The artist bio calls Crooked Face "bleak noise," and I'll take his word for it. I'm not really one for this type of music, especially with my increasingly severe tinnitus.
Komm Herre Gott - Grant Eternal Joy | Sol y Nieve | Minimal Techno | United States
I'm not one for the new wave of minimal techno, but I was never a Muslimgauze type of guy. Noah Coleman, proprietor of the Sol y Nieve label and mystery dude behind Ten Thousand Miles Of Arteries, completely separates from the "cultural slumming" aspects of the aforementioned Muslimgauze and Dom Fernow's various Muslimgauze carbon copies, which leaves us with something much more distant, anhedonic. Electronic music which sounds like machines making music on machines, not people making music on machines.
FROM THE GRAVE
Samael - Blood Ritual | Napalm Records | Black/Death Metal | Switzerland
If you haven't listened to this, you've really messed up.
Thy Light - Suici.De.Pression | Fallen Empire Records/Eisenwald | Depressive Black Metal | Brazil (now Scotland)
Surprised to see this on Fallen Empire? You shouldn't be. This was actually one of the earliest planned represses under the Fallen Empire banner, dating back quite a few years. Thy Light got a bit of a bad rap as they burst into the black metal scene during "depressive black metal"'s downfall. It's one of those more recent, genre-defining tragedies. I wonder how many of these new orthodox "oh my god ICELAND!" fans will suddenly speak of their undying love for Thy Light.
Kavra - Caput Larvae | Sol y Nieve | Black Metal/Dark Ambient | Mexico
Is this Mexico's answer to Manierisme? God damn, this is weird and clattering, but still undeniably black metal.
Cosmic Behemoth - Triad of the Monolith Rising | Sol y Nieve | Death Metal | United States
So we all know Haunter gets pretty heavy, but did you know they could do the whole "death metal" thing pretty well? Don't get me wrong, Cosmic Behemoth is still esoteric and creative, which is probably something which will follow Bradley Tiffin and Enrique Bonilla in whatever efforts they make, but this project is much, much heavier than their main project.
Alder Glade - Spine of the World | Northern Silence Productions | Atmospheric Black Metal | Australia
I wasn't a big fan of Alder Glade's debut on the Auris Apothecary micro-label (too mechanical for something so pastoral), but this full-length shows exponential growth. Much "prettier" now, though the drum machine sound could still use some work, Spine of the World is more mature and less "demo-era," but could still use more practice and care.
Antigone's Fate - Insomnia | Northern Silence Productions | Atmospheric Black Metal | Germany
What could be a very interesting, doomed black metal album is hindered by truly awful, groaning vocals. I get that the frontman is trying to capture something between singing and screaming, but it sounds like he has indigestion.
The 3rd Attempt - Egocidal Path | Dark Essence Records | Black Metal | Norway
Have you wondered what our old friend Tchort has been up to? As it turns out. He's making some really, super duper mean black metal.