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Think the December doldrums are already starting to set in? Think again. While the feature this week looks a lot thinner, it's certainly not lacking in the interesting clicks department. Beastmilk's beguiling post-punk and Cult of Fire's trance-inducing clatter come with the most hype, chumming the waters of social media feeding grounds with well-timed streams. However, Immortal Bird's multi-styled shred for the head will surely help increase their fan-base exponentially before the week is through. And, don't ignore the gore. Plenty of coffins will be pried open so wormy residents may shamble over in Crypticus's way.

On the Of Note side, death metal saves the day with competent distillations of its OSDM brew. Elsewhere, Mutoid Man's DNA is tweaked to turn Cave In/Converge into ripping rock. Finally, the trickle of new releases has allowed us to turn our attention to a few artists who normally wouldn't hit the list. That said, Rhapsody of Fire's inclusion comes with this PSA: Make sure Spotify isn't linked up with your Facebook feed before indulging.

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

— Ian Chainey

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New metal releases for the week of 12/01/2013 – 12/07/2013. 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 Tuesday unless otherwise noted. Blurbs and designations are based on available promotional material and perceived buzz.

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Anticipated Releases:

Cult of Fire - मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान | Iron Bonehead Productions | Black metal
Maniac Butcher live members find zen in life's final moments by piling trems up like a pyre. The trio includes this familiar fellow.

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Beastmilk - Climax | Svart Records | Post-punk
Kvohst (ex-Code, ex-Dødheimsgard, Gangrenator, Hexvessel) croons over Nuggets-infused Factory fan letters. Normally outside the IO purview, but too catchy to eschew.

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Crypticus - The Barrens | Razorback Records | Death metal
After a few years of EPs and splits, the eternally busy Brynjar Helgetun (Ribspreader, Johansson & Speckmann) sits in for his first Crypticus full-length. Leader Patrick Bruss continues his quest to unify Lovecraftian cheese with Impetigo-styled incisions.

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Immortal Bird - Akrasia EP | Self-released | Blackened death metal
Drummer extraordinaire Rae Amitay (Thrawsunblat) pulls double-duty, beating the skins and shredding her larynx in service of gamut-running aggressive progressiveness. Evan Berry (Wilderun, Replacire) and John Picillo (Without Waves) round out the trio.

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Of Note:

Tears of Tragedy - Continuation of the Dream | Walkure Records | Power metal
It's a slow week, so let's spotlight this scene. Tears of Tragedy fits into a surprisingly large and continually growing Japanese strain of neoclassical shred that blurs stale gender lines. Other groups of note include Light Bringer and Aldious. While most albums have yet to make an impact out West, it's something you should be aware of at the very least.

Depicting Abysm - Immersion | Naturmacht Productions | Black metal
These Russians do well making it rain with mid-paced classic black metal melodies. An emotive mist of guitars made for long forest treks.

Derogatory - Above All Else | F.D.A. Rekotz | Death metal
F.D.A. picked this California-based outfit out of a stasis field where time hadn't progressed since '89. Endearingly sloppy and oozing charisma, Derogatory recalls death metal at a time before it fully suppressed its punky/thrashy parentage.

Guerra Total - El Armagedón Continúa | I Hate | Blackened speed metal
For their fourth album in four years, the Colombian speedsters appear poised to make space for themselves in Fenriz's CD rack.

House of Atreus - Into the Brazen Bull | Antitheist Disseminations | Death metal
House of Atreus counts “Greek tragedy, Shakespearean themes” among its lyrical predilections and is able to build towards Arghoslent-ish gallops refreshingly free of that comparison's idiocy.

I Exist - From Darkness | Prosthetic Records | Stoner metal, sludge
Australian heavies melt through sludge's typical pacing with Swede death' n' roll propulsion. Plus, a Pod People player is present.

Iron Dogs - Free and Wild | Iron Bonehead Productions | Heavy metal
The Canadian duo place tongue in cheek for this trad throwback.

Mutoid Man - Helium Head | Magic Bullet/Nonbeliever Records | Rock, hardcore
Stephen Brodsky (Cave In) and Ben Koller (Converge) combine their talents to produce an EP filtering their prior projects through a more rocking frame of mind.

Realmbuilder - Blue Flame Cavalry | I Hate | Heavy metal
Strangely alluring “epic metal” two-piece that seems destined to be rediscovered by Grimmer Than Thou in ten years. Recommended for the adventurous.

Rhapsody of Fire - Dark Wings of Steel | AFM Records | Symphonic power metal
10th LP from these power metal poster-boys for over-the-top everything. Too big to ignore, though you probably already know if you're a fan.

שְׁאוֹל - Sepulchral Ruins Below The Temple | Iron Bonehead Productions | Blackened death metal
Intent on punishing any browser with a basic language pack, Iron Bonehead drags these belching blasters up from a UK cavern.

Slaughterday - Nightmare Vortex | F.D.A. Rekotz | Death metal
A German OSDM assault from an ex-member of Obscenity.

Smothered - The Inevitable End | Soulseller Records | Death metal
Solid Swede death in all its buzzing glory.

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