I'm back. And back in school. Hope you all had a nice, safe holiday. Let's get to it. Oh yeah, and I turn [REDACTED] on Tuesday. Feel free to celebrate me getting closer to dying.

Here are the new metal releases for the week of January 8, 2017 – January 14, 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: Nothing?

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



Shaarimoth - Temple of the Adversarial Fire | World Terror Committee | Blackened Death Metal | Norway
Powerful, dense, complicated death metal with a blackened chip on its shoulder. Though initially rooted in early Morbid Angel's technicality, Shaarimoth, now in their nineteenth year, take a more obscured approach. Through immense layering, orchestration and sharp, contrasting dynamics, Shaarimoth has quickly become death metal's answer to Abigor (though I'm sure Abigor member TT's mastering certainly had something to do with the crisp nature of this recording).

Black Anvil - As Was | Relapse Records | Black Metal | United States

From Joseph's premiere of "Ultra":

As Was is very strange. A far cry from the blackened metallic hardcore of their first LP, the record dabbles in most modern black metal trends, transitioning from one idea to another in rapid succession, sometimes within the same song. At times it's some of their most aggressive material , but often it's their most melodic, employing more of the clean vocals that peppered Hail Death.


Shaarimoth - Temple of the Adversarial Fire - COVER



The Drip - The Haunting Fear of Inevitability | Relapse Records | Grindcore | United States
This might be called grindcore, but there are elements which make it sound a little on the Sumerian Records end of things, if you catch my drift. We've got a premiere coming tomorrow.

Fides Inversa - Rite of Inverse Incarnation | World Terror Committee | Black Metal | Italy
Hypnotic, meditative, but otherwise terrifying black metal from a remarkable lineup, featuring members of Luror, Blut Aus Nord, Behexen, Dark Sonority, and more.

Malphas - Les nouvelle chansons | Tour de Garde | Black Metal/Punk | Canada
Hot on the heels of last year's La terre disparue, the new Canadian masters of folk-tinged, punky black metal return with a new, catchy EP dedicated to their homeland.



Kevin Hufnagel - The Protected Shards | Independent/Digital | Experimental/Ambient/Musique Concrete | United States
Once again, the crowned king of guitar mastery rears his head. Kevin Hufnagel ushered in the new year with a new meditation in his newfound crystalline, kaleidoscopic, stuttered guitar ambient style. Though heavily effected a la Kleines Beist and Backwards Through the Maze, new effort The Protected Shards favors ephemeral, fragile beauty over the near-mechanized abstraction of its predecessors. Echoing the lyrical solo guitar works of Loren "MazzaCane" Conors and (surprise) Buckethead's Colma and Electric Tears, Hufnagel turns the style on its head and "breaks/reforms" his creations, creating "simulations" of beauty.

Oikos - The Great Upheaval | The Envelope Collective | Dark Ambient/Drone | Spain
I've always known Oikos to be more of a minimal, textured drone project, but The Great Upheaval shows this Spanish duo (along with a vast cast of characters) venturing into songwriting-based, and even doomy territory. The Great Upheaval is heavy, but in the way that new-era Earth is heavy - slow, deliberate, spacious, and carries weight in its empty spaces.



Infester - To The Depths, In Degradation | Martyrdoom Productions | Death Metal | United States
The legendary album finally gets a legitimate, non-bootlegged release. Take that, Discogs-hounds.



Pain of Salvation - In the Passing Light of Day | InsideOut Music | Progressive Rock/Metal | Sweden
I'm not that big on "progressive metal," but it's nice to hear Pain of Salvation moving back to the sound which made them popular on Entropia. Lest we forget the hilarious missteps they've made since BE.

Sepultura - Machine Messiah | Nuclear Blast | Groove/Thrash Metal | Brazil
I haven't listened to Sepultura in years and years. Something about the whole "nu metal" period really turned me off, and made older death metal recordings bitter and sad. I guess they've been on the "right track" for a few years now, flavoring their still very "modern" metal with thrash ideas, but Sepultura still has a long way to go before shedding the very '90s "trailer park" atmosphere about them.

Khaos-Dei - Opus II: Catechism | Osmose Productions | Black Metal | France
It's new French black metal, which either means it's going to assault the listener with massive melodies or huge dissonances. Khaos-Dei is the latter, but is also much more rhythmic and verges on metalcore (like Kickback, the good stuff). A neat album which really shouldn't be marketed as black metal.



Voidcraeft - Dogma | Independent/Digtal | Experimental Black Metal | Germany
Absolutely chaotic madness, and so soon after Un futur cadavre.

Old Tower - The Rise of the Specter | Tour de Garde/The Shadow Kingdom | Dungeon Synth | Netherlands
The master of modern dungeon synth - the style didn't really mesh with me until I heard his Spectral Horizons demo. The pure, unadulterated sound of dank, empty castle halls.

Blood Tyrant/Warden - Duvonde Skerfe | The Shadow Kingdom | Black Metal/Ambient/Dungeon Synth | Netherlands
New Blood Tyrant? So soon after Aristocracy of Twilight? It must be my lucky day. Warden also crafts some fine dungeon synth, spiritually close to the aforementioned Old Tower but much more melodic and layered. Very excited for this split.


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