Upcoming Metal Releases: 1/29/2017 – 2/4/2017
Everything is terrible.
Here is a sample the new metal releases for the week of January 29, 2017 – February 4, 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.
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 after this is published will not be covered. This week: I'm not sure!
Tome of the Unreplenished - Cosmoprism: The Theurgy - Act I | I, Voidhanger Records | Atmospheric Black/Doom Metal/Power Electronics | United Kingdom/Greece/Cyprus
Okay, so this isn't really black metal, or metal at all. I generally loathe noise, power electronics, and the ilk, but Tome of the Unreplenished's dramatic stylistic shift really spoke to me. This is terrifying music for terrifying times. The sound of twisting metal grinding against itself, disembodied voices howling from the void - detached, nightmarish disgust. Texture over musicality, but with substance, and performed by an unsuspecting cast of characters (featuring members of Spectral Lore, Dictator, Binah…). Giving this top-billing was strange, but I figured, "Hey, if people think Wold is black metal, anything's possible."
IC Rex - Tulen jumalat | Saturnal Records | Black Metal | Finland
Finland has a really interesting, natural, localized black metal sound. Like, if you were to play a Finnish black metal band without telling me, I'd probably guess that the fierce, albeit downtrodden, melodious and folk-tinged sound emanated from somewhere in Finland. It has been a while since we've heard from Finnish solo artist (now expanded to a full-lineup) IC Rex in a full-length setting, seven years to be exact, but the sharp sound of Tulen jumalat sounds like he never stopped. Conservative in style and generally "towing the genre line" may be the case here, but well-performed, nonetheless.
Palace of Worms/Ecferus - Palace of Worms / Ecferus | Crown and Throne Ltd/Tartarus Tapes/I, Voidhanger Records | Progressive Black Metal | United States
From my premiere of the split:
"Having both been in the spotlight in the past year due to their unique, fantastic works, bringing both Ecferus and Palace of Worms together is, in theory, a modern black metal dream. Luckily for us, the listeners, both bands prove said theory in practice, ushering in the new year with some of their most unusual, powerful material to date."
Stream the full split here.
"Though only barely on the rock side of the spectrum, the group never forgets to load their songs with stomping grooves and catchy synths, though those elements usually let a vicious black metal assault take point."
Varaha - Varaha | Independent/Digital | Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal/Post-Rock | United States
From Joseph's premiere of the EP:
Varaha also carry the torch of the Peaceville Three, blending gothic rock and slow death metal, but their approach skews atmospheric and subtle.
De Magia Veterum - Naked Swords into the Wombs of the Enemy | Independent/Digital | Avant-Garde Black Metal | Netherlands
The Gnaw Their Tongues mastermind responds to the plod and murk of his last release with an exhilarating breath of disjointed, mechanized chaos.
"The most interesting music changes over time in such a way that you, the listener, have no idea what kind of journey on which you’ve been taken. In metal, at least with something as dynamic and aggressive as black metal, such an approach is difficult when superimposed with structure. Such is the difficulty of “composing” music, rather than simply piecing parts together. Italian black metal trio Lorn finds comfort in such a progressive approach."
Body Void - Ruins | Crown and Throne Ltd | Sludge/Doom Metal | United States
It's been a good minute since we've heard from Primitive Man (though the P//M re-issue was more than welcome), but labelmates Body Void carry the weight left behind as a jarring sort of dead-ringer.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Master Boot Record - Full Discography | Data Airlines | Industrial/Electronic Metal/Chiptune | Italy
Fully synthesized metal? Sure, why not. I'm a big fan of the digital-goth-metal of the album below. Now available on LP and tape (both made to look like floppy disks, ha!).
FROM THE GRAVE
Judas Priest - Turbo 30 | Sony Music | Heavy Metal | England
This is critical. Judas Priest's once-reviled followup to fan favorite Screaming For Vengeance has been experiencing a critical re-evaluation for a while now. I guess YouTube playlists finally hammered home just how sick "Turbo Lover" is. This re-issue following the album's 30th anniversary, makes for a nice repackage, but the real draw here is the bonus material. These pristine live recordings from the band's 1986 tour are, to be frank, a revelation. Had these tracks been released as a live album in 87, it would be held in the same esteem as Unleashed in the East, and while it's almost a shame that this music is relegated to bonus discs, that doesn't make them any less essential. Not just for collectors, Turbo 30 is the 80s Priest we always deserved. Check back tomorrow for an interview with the album's producer, Tom Allom. - Joseph Schafer
Ash Borer - Full Discography | Psychic Violence Records | Atmospheric Black Metal | United States
Ranging from their first demo, now almost eight years old, to the recently released The Irrepassable Gate, the entire Ash Borer discography will be available (or available once again) on cassette direct from the source. I'm actually pretty excited to grab a good portion of these.
Shades of Deep Water - Syvien sävyjen universumi/The Desolation | Dunkelheit Produktionen | Funeral Death/Doom Metal | Finland
Nothing beats big, tragic, melodic death/doom metal, especially in the Finnish style. This compilation brings Shades of Deep Water's two early demos back to the surface, back before he got more "funereal" with his more recent work, but proves this solo artist started with strong, solid footing.
Todesstoß - Ebne Graun | I, Voidhanger Records | Experimental Black Metal | Germany
Martin Lang's oddball black metal moves further into post-modern transience, leaving us with another creative, but ultimately unlistenable album.
Crurifragium - Beasts of the Temple of Satan | Invictus Productions | Black/Death Metal | United States
You know the game - Blasphemy, Beherit, Blood. Minimal, brackish, war-metally, and pleasantly sloppy. I still believe this is a wholly overdone style, but I appreciate the earnestness of this performance.