Upcoming Metal Releases 12/18/2016-12/24/2016
Okay, so this is my final column of the year. I was initially planning on doing a multi-week column next week and taking a break from there, but to be completely honest, I'd rather just take a longer break. Aside from my Year-End List, which is slated to go up this coming Wednesday, I'll see you all in January sometime.
Here are the new metal releases for the week of December 18, 2016 – December 24, 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.
Please note: this is a review column and is not speculative. Any announced albums without preview material will not be covered. This week: The Ruins of Beverast - Takitum Tootem!, Arizmenda - Despair Depths Descended, and Krallice - Prelapsarian. Please do not ask why they are not covered in this column.
Nahtrunar - Existenz | Arcane Angels/Altare Productions | Black Metal | Austria
In case I haven't made it clear enough, Winter is for black metal, and Nahtrunar's latest is a stunning exercise in second wave black metal worship. While retaining the more epic, "Germanic" sound of Symbolismus, to which I should have listened more (wow, is that a good album), Existenz moves further into the blistering and frostbitten approach Mayhem made famous with their work leading up to and including De Mysteriis dom Sathanas. Namedropping aside, Nahtrunar maintains a memorable character throughout this album, which was uploaded to YouTube without warning last week, and manages to emulate the "old greats" while retaining an individual, composed sense of self. I really can't wait for this to get an "actual," physical release.
Panzerfaust - The Lucifer Principle | Avantgarde Music | Black Metal | Canada
Canadian black metal band with surprisingly "modern-traditional" aesthetic completely reinvents themselves, resulting in a much more obscured style. The Lucifer Principle wedges itself between the chaotic dissonance of "occult" black metal with hypnotic, near-krautrock atmospheres.
Seven Chains - Seven Chains | Sol y Nieve | Experimental Black/Death Metal | United States
Crazed, bizarro death metal buzzing which isn't so much from a pit as it emanates from John Cage's dream diaries.
Kres - 40 nocy grudnia | Werewolf Promotion | Black Metal/Post-Punk/Rock | Poland
Wędrujący Wiatr might have put out a gorgeous, folky album at the end of October, but vocalist W. still has another trick up his sleeve. I approached Kres thinking it would be more in the Lifelover vein of "strange black metal rock," but 40 nocy grudnia is closer to Katatonia's brand of spacious sadness.
Nachtzeit - Sagor i natten | Nordvis Produktion | Black Metal | Sweden
I'm not a big Lustre fan, but artist Nachtzeit's eponymous project's forays into crackling, blurry, minimal second wave black metal is much, much more enjoyable.
Blasphemonger - Impaled Beneath the Pentagram | Les Fleurs du Mal Productions | Death Metal | United States
No-frills old school death metal served with vomitious vocals and very, very cool guitar tone. -Joseph Schafer
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
From my premiere last week:
Some might recognize melodic, post-rock inspired vestiges of Bellini’s prior pet project, but he appears to focus his creativity into crafting brief (mostly – the epic, thirteen-minute eponymous closer ventures into glorious, shimmering abstraction), infectious songs. Songcraft is an art which appears to be lost on the majority of new “art pop” artists, who generally prefer to revel in the eventuality of a growing, stagnant texture, and the more “pop” leanings of The November Harvest could very well herald a return to the championing of structure over size. I defy you to resist bobbing your head along to this one.
FROM THE GRAVE
Golden Dawn - Early Obscurity… part 1 | Beverina Productions | Melodic Black Metal | Austria
Golden Dawn (no relation to the frightening Greek political party) made some killer, mystical black metal in the early/mid 90s. Afterward, not so much, but this is a nice glimpse into Dreamlord's keyboard-led early tenure in the "Austrian Black Metal Syndicate."