Upcoming Metal Releases 2/11/2018-2/17/2018
Apparently there's a new Windswept EP out this week? Huh.
Here are the new metal releases for the weeks of February 11, 2017 – February 17, 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. This week: Master's Hammer, Windswept, Nahtrunar
Swarrrm - こわれはじめる - Beginning to Break | Long Legs Long Arms | Experimental Death Metal/Grindcore | Japan
I do love how the world is still so stuck on declaring Swarrrm a death-metal-related act. I suppose Tsukasa's insane vocal presence could be tangentially related to death metal, but I'd almost say this band has always been closer to screamo, if an avantgarde variant. こわれはじめる - Beginning to Break is no different, if even more brazen in its catchy madness, somehow bridging emotive chaos with an anthemic heart. Go listen to literally everything else Swarrrm has released over the years, as well. Hard to believe Black Bong is over a decade old now.
Corrupted - Felicific Algorithm | Cold Spring Records | Sludge/Drone/Doom Metal (I think?) | Japan
This is one of those situations in which I will break from my rules and be speculative. Corrupted's last 7" Loss was an interesting outward-in view to this long-standing explosive doom unit's career after the departure of powerhouse vocalist Hevi. Having heard there was to be a new full-length almost three years afterward had me curious, but knowing the album has intentionally been composed for listening at both 33 and 45 RPM leaves me pre-emptively disappointed. Corrupted has made ambient, abstract drone albums before (remember the second disc of Llenandose de gusanos?), but the idea of them releasing one after such a long, anticipatory wait would be… bad, dare I say dumb.
No samples, but it's Corrupted.
Noose Rot - The Creeping Unknown | Sentient Ruin Laboratories | Death Metal | United States
Given the massive popularity of Skeletonwitch, I don't know if their fanbase has really taken the time to dig into newer vocalist Adam Clemans's larger musical history. This guy has been all over the place (Shaidar Logoth is definitely one I revisit pretty often), but I don't think he's publicly tackled death metal before. Noose Rot is super old school, and, of course, the "new old school" is something I burned out on years ago, but I can certainly appreciate the energy of their first release.
Ataraxy - Where All Hope Fades | Dark Descent Records | Death Metal | Spain
I sort of went into this expecting some pretty standard "new old school death metal" (see above), but Ataraxy is gnarly and fucking slow. Generally speaking, most newer death/doom metal is of two extremes: dramatic Peaceville 3 worship or Autopsy on ludes. Surprisingly, Ataraxy is neither, which is nice. It's good to be different, especially when the music itself doesn't lose itself in forced individuality. Where All Hope Fades manages to balance bass-heavy, early death/doom thickness with a greater, horrific atmosphere which is just compelling enough to maintain a consistent level of interest. Like, that song was ten minutes long? Really? Could have fooled me.
Windhand/Satan's Satyrs - Split | Relapse Records | Stoner/Doom Metal / Heavy/Doom Metal/Punk | United States
If you recall, I did not have many nice things to say about Windhand's disjointed, stagnant last album, and, again, their half of this bizarrely matched split follows a similar sort of dour, backwoods witchiness. Music like this -- folksy "traditional doom metal" -- is a strange phenomena, a faux retro manufacturing of a style of music which… didn't really exist in the 1970s outside of a few Jefferson Airplane songs. Satan's Satyrs is a bit more active and something I can digest easier (my patience was more than tested by their split partner's "playing the long game"). Still of a similar "Helter Skelter, drugs, and murder" sort, Satan's Satyrs at least knows how to maintain a lively spirit and keep things a little more active and fun.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Miracle (members of Ulver, Guapo, Grumbling Fur, Miasmah, Zombi, and Majeure) - The Strife of Love and Death | Relapse Records | Synthpop | England/United States
From Andrew's premiere of "Sulfur":
“Sulfur” backbones The Strife of Love in a Dream with its unabashed poppiness, juxtaposed by moody synths and space-time singing. Its beat moves your insides, both tangibly and intangibly, serving an important purpose: holding onto your attention so you don’t have to, freeing up that metal bandwidth for, say, deeper exploration. Or inner discovery and the search for self-meaning. As you fade into the ether of “Sulfur” toward its midpoint, it accelerates into a culminating wall of electronic noise, densely layered and gorgeously textured. Here is where total enrapturement takes over; here is where, for that briefest of instants, your train of thought releases from its conscious bindings and is thereby able to dig deeper into your mind’s mysterious annals.
Harakiri for the Sky - Arson | Art of Propaganda | "Post-Black Metal" (pretty much just post-rock on this one) | Austria
I am honestly so, so tired of this cookie cutter "post-rock disguised as black metal" stuff. I was told Harakiri for the Sky's first album was worth my time, so I figured Arson might be an okay place to start. Wrong. This just sounds like Explosions in the Sky with blast beats. Do people really consider this an offshoot of black metal? I'm getting too old for this shit.
My Silent Wake - There Was Death | Minotauro Records | Gothic/Death/Doom Metal | England
I mentioned the two different routes which have defined modern death/doom metal, and My Silent Wake is pure, unadulterated My Dying Bride worship. Nothing really special about it, but I certainly appreciate that style.