Upcoming Metal Releases: 3/12/2017 – 3/18/2017
Here are the new metal releases for the week of March 12, 2017 – March 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: .Havok - Conformicide, Forteresse - Récits patriotiques.
Woe - Hope Attrition | Vendetta Records | Black Metal | United States
Chris Grigg is, undoubtedly, an unholy riff factory. Woe is angry, mournful, and most importantly, made of riffs. Newer black metal made Stateside is rather atmospheric, that is to say, it concentrates less on songwriting and more on dynamics. That's fine, but the washiness can get difficult. Woe chooses to be aggressive and structured, with Grigg compartmentalizing his rage and unleashing it in controlled, but still near-unbridled bursts. Every time you criticize Brooklyn black metal, Chris Grigg writes another scathing riff.
Lantern - II: Morphosis | Dark Descent Records | Black/Death Metal | Finland
I don't anticipate death metal albums like I used to, but Lantern will always hold a special place in my heart. Hearkening back to the time where the line between black and death metal was extraordinarily blurry, II: Morphosis treads in sinister and atmosphere-heavy, albeit strong, heavy waters. At times echoing the 90s Polish death metal scene, albeit with a more ambient gait, Lantern's second album is filled with exciting, dime-turn style shifts and surprisingly progressive structure. Though as loose and esoteric as its predecessor, II: Morphosis showcases an unexpected maturity and increase in musicianship for this celebrated Finnish act.
"A lot can happen in 25 minutes, and Délétère’s continuous high-energy speed means there’s a lot of content. A stable hand is needed to manage what could evolve into a content overload, but even with hooks aplenty, this track, and album, come full circle. Again, maturity is what brings noise into check: the noise of atmospherics, imbued with a clear but complex structure, and not thrust into total abstraction."
Onirik/Grimfaug - MMXIV-MMXVI | Iron Bonehead Productions | Avant-Garde Black Metal | Portugal/Belgium
Two of black metal's most idiosyncratic acts go head to head in this new split. Check back in a few days for a full stream.
Fange - Pourrissoir | Throatruiner Records | Noise/Black/Doom Metal | France
It hasn't been too long since I premiered a song from Fange's last album, but this French harsh sludge band shows no sign of relenting. I'll take as much gross, noisy, pissed sludge as I can.
Fell Ruin - To the Concrete Drifts | I, Voidhanger Records | Black/Doom Metal | United States
Too often does black/doom metal revel in the "pretty" sound of atmospheric black metal, most examples sounding more like a slowed down version of Wolves in the Throne Room's ilk, but there are rare examples, much like Fell Ruin, of black metal's angrier, more oppressive side, placed in a doomed setting. Of course, this ends up sounding more like a progressive Grief, which is also fine.
Harvest Gulgaltha - Altars of Devotion | Nuclear War Now! Productions | Black/Death Metal | United States
Simple, brutish darkness, concentrating more on power through minimalism and rage rather than the quagmire worship of other black/death metal bands. The soundtrack to a hard frown and mid-paced head-bob.
Dodecahedron - Kwintessens | Season of Mist Records | Avant-Garde (Dissonant) Black Metal | Netherlands
We still live in a post-Paracletus age, and Dodecahedron is definitely riding in Deathspell Omega's wake. Constant dissonance is fine, but a guy needs some relief every once in awhile, otherwise I might as well listen to the Dillinger Escape Plan.
Ascended Dead - Abhorrent Manifestation | Dark Descent Records/Invictus Productions | Death Metal | United States
As close to the goat pen as you can get while still maintaining the death metal spirit.
"For those that waited six years for a new Venenum release, I’m happy to say that the band’s stock and skill have suffered no such depreciation. In the time since their self-titled EP, the German band have sharpened their approach to old school death metal and drastically improved their production as well. They’ve even added a few tricks that aren’t as orthodox as their typical reverb-heavy old school sound."
FROM THE GRAVE
Necrophagist - Epitaph | Relapse Records | Technical Death Metal | Germany
Necrophagist gets unfairly called "masturbatory," and, yes, Muhammad Suicmez and Co definitely have the chops, but I highly recommend revisiting the monstrous Epitaph with an open mind. Suicmez has such an incredible ear for intricately composed music, even quoting Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (at the end of "Only Ash Remains"). Dig in, it's fun.
Crypt Sermon - De Mysteriis Doom Sathanas | Decibel Flexi Series | Doom Metal | United States
Crypt Sermon (and TT from Abigor, what?!) offer a sinister, classic doom metal take on Mayhem's classic tune. Yet another reason to subscribe to Decibel's flexi series.
Obituary - Obituary | Relapse Records | Death Metal | United States
For all the "new old school death metal" on the market, it's nice to see the Tardy brothers are still hoisting the "first generation" flag up high. Granted, I've never been that big of an Obituary fan, but it's the thought that counts, right?
Naddred - Sluagh | Invictus Productions | Black/Death Metal | Ireland
Ireland's certainly been churning them out, huh? Add this to the ever-growing selection of super-fucking-putrid black metal bands from Eire.
Fen - Winter | Code666 Records | Atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Rock | England
Ancient Sorrow arrived at an interesting crux where post-rock/black metal fusion was interesting, but Fen never chose to grow and mature over the past ten years. Too bad.
Alunah - Solennial | Svart Records | Stoner/Doom Metal | England
The tag says "stoner," but the few post-punk moments which work their way through certainly caught me off-guard. Otherwise? The same sort of folky, witchy fodder to which I've grown accustomed.
Replacire - Do Not Deviate | Season of Mist Records | Technical Death Metal | United States
I hear a lot of the rhythmic sort of "technicality" found on Decapitated's Nihility here, but with the soaring, clean-voiced "progressive" nature found in most newer American progressive metal. A little on the derivative side, but the band is certainly capable and Evan Berry certainly has a set of pipes on him.