Upcoming Metal Releases 1/28/2018-2/3/2018
It is most definitely a solid black metal week. I noticed a few comments both on the page and on Facebook that people thought last week was "solid," but...
Here are the new metal releases for the weeks of January 28, 2017 – February 3, 2018. 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 the coming Fridays 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.
Oh, and I guess there's a new Ilyas Ahmed album, which I would have covered had I known it was happening before I wrote this!
Funeral Winds - Sinister Creed | Avantgarde Music | Black Metal | Netherlands
Pure black metal riff mania. Having been active for over 25 years, Funeral Winds is the perfect black metal time capsule. These winds sear and rip at flesh.
Abigor - Höllenzwang (Chronicles of Perdition) | Avantgarde Music | Black Metal | Austria
I can rave for hours about how great Abigor's recent releases are. It's true. However, don't expect this newest effort to match TT's lengthy treatise on the "early 1990s" sound. Sure, it is important to respect the first era of creativity, but Höllenzwang (Chronicles of Perdition)'s buzzing sounds like the digital, early 2000s "direct in" guitar tone version of Abigor's impressive, modernist black metal mastery. Either way, Abigor continues to flex harder and play sharper than any other black metal band around.
Ulvegr - Vargkult | Ashen Dominion | Black Metal | Ukraine
I am such a sucker for bands who continue the early/mid 2000s "Slavonic black metal" sound (see: bands like Drudkh and Astrofaes). Though not as folky as their debut, and maybe a little closer to Hate Forest's death metal-infused flexing, Ulvegr's new album hits me right in the nostalgic weak spot.
Transilvania - The Night of Nights | Into Dungeons | Black/Thrash Metal | Austria
I've never really been a black/thrash guy (well, aside from Absu), but there is something magical and oddly… purple (?) about Transilvania. Maybe it's the cover art, or maybe it's the oddly early 1990s Soviet Bloc approach*, but this new album really gets my blood flowing.
*Think Master's Hammer, not emotionally distant synth pop.
Alghazanth - Eight Coffin Nails | Woodcut Records | Symphonic Black Metal | Finland
Following five years of silence, Alghazanth offers another near-perfect album of melodic, misanthropic Finnish black metal mastery. If it was, say, 1997, we'd all be calling this "dark metal" instead of black metal. To our loyal readers: read up on Thy Serpent and check back in, but don't listen to Christcrusher.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Efrim Manuel Menuck - Pissing Stars | Constellation Records | Dreampop | Canada
The Godspeed You! Black Emperor figurehead's second solo album looks exciting on the surface, but ultimately feels like a collection of odds and ends which failed to make it onto Godspeed and A Silver Mount Zion albums. Sure, it's nice to hear more compact versions of Menuck's pop and ambient-driven visions, but the entire album seems disjointed and lacks a focal point.
FROM THE GRAVE
Black Mass of Absu - Complete Discography 1995-2000 | Pulsating Putrefaction Records | Atmospheric Black/Doom Metal | United States
The ultimate in obscure, raw, slow music. Black Mass of Absu has been one of the classic "you know you're a black metal nerd when" namedrops of the ages, and former DJ Ski Mask's short-lived, haunting black/doom metal project's own releases have been coveted, Discogs-flipper fodder over the past decade in which I found myself a fan. Having all these recordings in one place, along with the few, extremely vocal interviews in which the band participated in (I think conservative fans will suddenly find themselves… no longer fans), is a special treasure. Now if only someone would do the same for Ski Mask's bizarre death metal band Towpath!
Genocide Pact - Order of Torment | Relapse Records | Death Metal | United States
I get how this could be popular. I mean, it's pretty chunky and fucking angry. However, there is nothing which sets this apart from any other band who really, really likes early Incantation.
Apathy Noir - Black Soil | Independent/Digital | Progressive Death/Doom Metal ("Opeth Metal", really) | Sweden
The former Opeth-metal band (at least, from what I can remember of their 2008 debut), Apathy Noir (formerly Apathy) moves into doomier, more atmosphere-driven territory. Suddenly modern, Black Soil's progression-based approach takes me back to a period of time when the biggest arguments on the Internet were over which Opeth album was the best. The Internet has turned everything to shit.
Lord of Pagathorn - Daimono Philia | Woodcut Records | Black Metal | Finland
There's just something about Finnish black metal which makes it so… so Finnish. Even at its most sinister, there is this beautiful lyricism and slight folk slant which immediately unveils its locale.
Beneath the Sod/Crypticum - Transmorphic Eye | Cursed Monk Records | Industrial Doom Metal | Ireland
Two thirds of the mighty Wreck of the Hesperus turn their sights on each other, focusing their unique visions of industrial and blackened doom.