Happy Valentine's Day, y'all. I...I love you.

Here are the new metal releases for the week of February 12, 2017 – February 18, 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?

And yes, I know there is a new Clandestine Blaze album out, but I'd rather just listen to Darkthrone and eschew "totalitarian pretend time with Mikko Aspa" altogether.

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



Cultes des Ghoules - Coven, or Evil Ways Instead of Love | Hells Headbangers Records | Progressive Black Metal | Poland
So this one technically came out last year, but most have been holding out for the mammoth, (what I imagine to be) gloriously packaged, impractical 3LP edition of this one hundred-minute monster. Personally? I love Coven - the theatrical approach, complete with a full play script, and intriguing songwriting makes for a unique album. Don't get me wrong, you have to carve out almost two hours for this one, but...

Mord'a'Stigmata - Hope | Pagan Records | Avant-Garde/Post-Black Metal | Poland
From our premiere of Hope:
"[Hope is] a much less blasty affair than 2013’s Ansia. They seem more confident at this reserved pace, and slowing down has allowed them to get creative with texture and duration in a way they haven’t before. Mord’A’Stigmata have matured a great deal as songwriters. Their leaps of faith can still be a little jarring, but they land each section on their feet and their deviations have never felt as nuanced as they do here."





Morta Skuld - Wounds Deeper Than Time | Peaceville Records | Death Metal | United States
After years of playing nu-metal and hinting at a reunion, the true kings of Wisconsin Death Metal show that, if you're good enough to begin with, making proper death metal is like riding a bike.

(waning) - Still Hours | Independent/Digital | Ambient Doom Metal/Shoegaze | United States
What a very strange band - (waning) speaks both to my My Dying Bride fandom as well as my secret love for Deftones. Still Hours walks a slack rope suspended between transcendent, ethereal heights and crushing, despondent low.

Xibalba - Diablo, Con Amor​.​. Adios. | Closed Casket Activities | Death Metal/Hardcore | United States
The unholy marriage of Hatebreed and Dismember continues to be all brawn with no substance... and they still continue to steal the true Xibalba's name. For shame.

Cnoc An Tursa - The Forty Five | Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings | Folk/Black Metal | Scotland
I went into this expecting some of your schoolyard "happy-go-lucky" Celtic-isms found within more pedestrian folk metal, but Cnoc An Tursa's tragic, powerful folk melodies echo Bathory in his prime, albeit through a more modern, blasting black metal prism.

Miserist - Miserist | Krucyator Productions | Experimental Black/Death Metal | Australia
Though assuming the form of "yet another cavernous death metal band from Australia," Miserist unfurls into something greater. The strange, jazz-inflicted stuttering and lurching industrial mentality found on this eponymous EP has proven itself to be...interesting.



Stinking Lizaveta - Journey to the Underworld | Translation Loss Records | Progressive Stoner Metal/Rock | United States
I generally hate stoner rock, but Stinking Lizaveta is super duper weird, and in a good way.

Flesh of the Stars - Anhilla | Independent/Digital | Atmospheric/Progressive Rock which is sometimes Doomy | United States
Oh wow, this caught me off guard. Flesh of the Stars's older material definitely fell under the "stoner/doom metal which leaves Jon nonplussed," but Anhilla is one of those rare, stunning moments of punctuated maturation. Resembling the atmospheric grandeur and emotional weight of Anathema's first steps into "rock music," but still retaining the slow, methodical approach of the doom metal which preceded it, Anhilla is a slow-burner which will leave you completely devastated. Treat this one with patience and you will be rewarded.



Perverted Ceremony - Sabbat of Behezaël | Nuclear War Now! Productions | Black/Death Metal | Belgium
Spooky, Venom-inflicted (but still very, very second-wave) black metal violence which gets lost under a comforting layer of hiss.

Frowning - Extinct | Black Lion Productions | Funeral Doom Metal | Germany
"Frowning" is too, too real a name for a funeral doom metal band.

Benighted - Necrobreed | Season of Mist | Brutal Death Metal/Grindcore | France
Remember when these guys tried to classify themselves as "Post-Death Metal"? I remember.

Darkest Hour - Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora | Southern Lord Recordings | Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore | United State
Southern Lord Records was bound to go "full metalcore," I just didn't think they'd go straight to the throat of all our teenage shame. [Editor's Note: Godless Prophets & Migrant Flora is scheduled for release on 3/10/17, not 2/17/17. We doubt Jon's opinion on the record will change in the meantime.]


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