End of the quarter and...year-end-list-writing season. It's like my sanity has a target painted on its chest.

Here are the new metal releases for the week of November 5, 2017 – November 11, 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.

send Jon your promos at jon@invisibleoranges.com. Do not bother him on social media.



Nekrasov - The Mirror Void | Prosthetic Records | Atmospheric Black Metal/Noise | Australia
From Andrew's premiere of "Fragmentation and the Rapid Quicksand of Concept":

As if flat-packed, The Mirror Void assembles itself inside listeners’ heads instead of outside of their ears. Similar to how white noise can sometimes aid sleep and rest, Nekrasov aids not only wakefulness, but also self-awareness, through forcibly exchanging your stream of consciousness with the music itself.

Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard | Spinefarm Records | Doom Metal | England
I find it odd to be so excited for an Electric Wizard album after being disappointed for so long. Now, ten years removed from Witchcult Today (the last time I truly enjoyed an Electric Wizard album), it seems Jus and Liz quite literally "found their groove" again. Billed as "21st Century Funeral Boogie," Wizard Bloody Wizard's classic "doomed Jefferson Airplane" doomrock jams do boogie, and at an exceedingly slow pace. Psychedelics were more proficient than 'lludes in the days of weird hippies and black masses, so the sluggish, weird take on the style is refreshing, if a little draining. I don't think I'll ever find another album quite like Dopethrone, not that I'd want its singular nature to be ruined, but Electric Wizard's heavy renaissance is a-okay, too.

Hornwood Fell - My Body, My Time | Avantgarde Music | Avant-Garde Black Metal | Italy
Sweet, bizarre black metal. I'm such a sucker for it, which is bolstered by my near monthly declarations of adoration for the first use of "post-black metal" as a genre tag. Hornwood Fell finds a center, lost somewhere between much more conventionally modern, atmospheric black metal and the half-sung orations of vocalist Marco Basili. Of course, creative music is all that I can expect from a member of the unsung Kailash and Hastur.





Cloak - To Venomous Depths | Season of Mist | Black Metal/Rock | United States
Is "arena black metal" a thing? I mean, other than Watain. I suppose it is now. Check back in a few days for a longer meditation on Cloak's full-length debut.

Impureza - La caida de Tonatiuh | Season of Mist | Death Metal | France
From Ian's premiere of "La Leyenda Negra":

[T]his French death metal group is nowhere near as sprawling as Nile, but they aim for the same blast-happy, globetrotting scope on “La Leyenda Negra,” the first single from their upcoming Seasons Of Mist debut, La Caída De Tonatiuh. The song feels much shorter than its five-minute runtime, but doesn’t sacrifice its ambitions for the sake of accessibility. Key to the song’s momentum are a pair of riffs that make up its chorus. One focuses on a dialogue between acoustic shredding and a slick, full-band syncopated pattern. The other is much simpler: a mean, mugging, palm-muted beast of a riff that only gets heavier each time they return to it. Instead of just alternating between these sections, Impureza string together unique transitions from part to part, featuring off-the-chain guitar solos and melodic turn arounds accented by clean vocals.

Auðn - Farvegir fyrndar | Season of Mist | Atmospheric Black Metal | Iceland
This is the kind of black metal I hear in my head when someone utters the phrase "Icelandic black metal." My romanticizing of Iceland as this mysterious, ancient place evokes equally spacious and ethereal music. Though Auðn definitely resides on the more "inoffensive" end of the atmospheric black metal spectrum, there is certainly nothing wrong with their music.

A Pale December - The Shrine Of Primal Fire | Avantgarde Music | Atmospheric Black Metal | Italy
A Bandcamp review cited these guys as a "rebirth of Agalloch," and I can't fully discredit that. A Pale December certainly follows Agalloch's expansion on the "dark metal" template from the early/mid '90s Finnish scene (rocking rhythms, morose, melodic, keyboards, etc), but have a few tricks up their sleeves. I guess hearing this kind of music with a larger musical sense and performed with a practiced hand makes for a more unique experience. Part of me is filled with an immense nostalgia, sort of. Certainly a nice effort.

Desolate Shrine - Deliverance from the Godless Void | Dark Descent Records | Death Metal | Finland
Someone once listed off a few things here, long ago in the comments: "Finland, check. Death metal, check. Dark Descent, check." That should answer all of your questions and set your level of expectation, really.

Infaust - Verblichen | Eisenwald Tonschmiede | Black Metal | Germany
Classic Germanic black metal in that wonderfully epic, feral style. Infaust truly never lets up, and, much like their musical lineage, utilizes uniquely horrific voice sounds. There are waldteufel outside the warmth and safety of town. Do not stray into the deep woods.



Hypothermia - Veins | War Against Yourself | Depressive Black Metal | Sweden
Hypothermia - Köld | War Against Yourself | Depressive Black Metal | Sweden
Hypothermia - Självdestruktivitet född av monotona tankegångar III | War Against Yourself | Depressive Black Metal | Sweden
I feel a nostalgia for this era of "depressive black metal." Before Kim Carlsson started dabbling with post-rock and made repetitive, droning black metal minimalism. It's nice to see labels giving these modern relics the proper reissue treatment.

Metallica - Master of Puppets Box Set | Blackened Recordings | Thrash Metal | United States
You might be thinking, "Oh shit yeah, a huge coffee table box set of Master of Puppets demos and ephemera!" However, maybe look into how SEVEN of the ten discs are live recordings. Kind of makes you question the $150 retail tag, huh?

Mortiis - Født til å herske | Foreign Sounds | Ambient/Darkwave ("Dungeon Synth") | Norway
Decades before the "dungeon synth" tag, there was Mortiis.

For all the Thangorodrims and Old Towers out there, maybe it's time we sit back and remember the true master of this eerie, castle-like ambiance. I remember hearing this when I was 15 or so and just being blown away at how bombastic one man can be with a cheap keyboard.



Sinsaenum - Ashes | earMusic | Black/Death Metal | France/United States/Hungary
The odd supergroup of Sinsaenum, which boasts current and former members of Dragonforce, Slipknot, and Mayhem (among others) still misses its mark. There isn't really much to grasp onto, and it seems that Leclercq tries so hard to shed his power metal influence that the music dips into the uncanny valley. It doesn't work.

Ah Ciliz/Chiral - Origins | Hypnotic Dirge Records | Depressive Black Metal | United States/Italy
Depressive black metal splits seem like this weird anachronism in 2017. I recall a time in which these things dominated the download blog platform up until about eight or nine years ago. Luckily, none of this stuff is bad in the "we made post-rock and moaned over it" sort of way (see: most new "DSBM"), but I don't feel an affinity with these new projects like I did before. I guess it's a place, age, and time type of thing. Catch you on the flip side, I'm off to listen to Wehmut again.

Vhäldemar - Against All Kings | Fighter Records | Power Metal | Spain
Put on your sturdiest battle armor, it's fucking power metal time! None of this stuff is bad, it's just a matter of taste. Disliking it is in bad taste.

(DOLCH) - III - Songs of Happiness, Words of Praise | Van Records | Psychedelic Doom Metal | Germany
So most "hypnotic, old school doomrock" doesn't really do it for me, but for some odd reason (DOLCH)'s buzzing is absolutely bewitching. See, music which truly captures the mythic ideals espoused is what is truly magical.

Witchery - I Am Legion | Century Media Records | Blackened Thrash/Speed Metal | Sweden
Interesting to hear these guys are still billed under the thrash/speed banner, because Witchery's latest is...pretty stellar, if a little derived, Immortal worship. I have to admit, it is super weird listening to this and knowing Sharlee D'Angelo is taking part in a black metal record.


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