While you're reading this, I'm on vacation in an unknown city, which means I won't be handling next week's column! Be nice to our pal Clayton in my absence.

Here are the new metal releases for the week of March 19, 2017 – March 25, 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.

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



Pallbearer - Heartless | Nuclear Blast/Profound Lore Records/Daymare Recordings | Doom Metal | United States
From the February installation of the Editor's Choice column:

"Heartless, their new record, is far and away their best. The songs are more concise. The riffs stand out more. “I Saw The End” puts all these strengths on display. It feels like the instant-classic every other piece of music they’ve written has been heralded as. Verse-chorus-verse. Riff riff riff. Live it. Learn it. Love it."

Memoriam - For the Fallen | Nuclear Blast | Death Metal | England
Bolt Thrower may be done, but the war is not over, and field marshall Karl Willetts is back to the front with a new regiment consisting of former Bolt Thrower drummer Andy Whale and the dudes from Benediction. As you might expect, For The Fallen sounds a hell of a lot like Bolt Thrower, though the storied Birmingham death metal outfit never let songs stretch to lengths of eight minutes or more. Willetts himself sounds more wheezy and less growly than his last recorded output over a decade ago, but that only underlines his more world-weary and emotive lyrics. People seeking a high grade military death metal fix, here it is. People seeking something like Disma but explicitly against shitty Fascist ideas? This likewise is your fix.

-Joseph Schafer

Devouring Star - Antihedron | Dark Descent Records | Death/Black Metal | Finland
There's something to be said concerning the sheer amount of "discordant" black metal bands who have emerged in the wake of Deathspell Omega, but I view dissonance in excessum in the same way I might view, say, putting washy post-rock over blast beats - solely concentrating on texture involves sacrificing musical heft. I'd heard quite a bit about Devouring Star's dissonance and avoided them, for the most part (I've since learned of Through Lung and Heart's greatness), but Antihedron makes up for all the newfangled hand-mashing-against-guitar newbies in their immense presence. This is thick, heavy music with pleasant attention paid to the lower registers. You can take your Dodecahedrons and the like, music like this actually offers something in return.

Rebirth of Nefast - Tabernaculum | Norma Evangelium Diaboli | Black Metal | Iceland/Ireland
Oh, orthodox black metal. The new-original ugly. An Irish transplant in Iceland, Wann has slowly, secretly worked on this lengthy piece of frightening sound worship for some time, now entering the ninth year following his last release under the Rebirth of Nefast moniker. The maturity of time and practice shows, and through mammoth songcraft and texture worship does Rebirth of Nefast shine in darkest hallows.





Heretoir - The Circle | Northern Silence Productions | Black Metal/Post-Rock | Germany
From Andrew's premiere of "Exhale":
"Bands in this genre tend to get floppy or tinny, Heretoir avoids this with constant, high-energy voltage. Interludes are not overlong, and tracks, like this one, gleefully stir themselves into blastbeat frenzies. This is to say that The Circle shifts and scoots rapidly. There's always an upcoming hairpin, something to be excited for."

Sloth Herder - No Pity, No Sunrise | Grimoire Records | Black Metal/Grindcore | United States
Wow, this is intense stuff. Discordant, quick, and sharp, Sloth Herder more aptly embodies the "grindcore" half of their self-classification, at times moving closer to metalcore in general. I miss Botch, too. Keep it up.



Braveyoung - Misery and Pride | Flenser Records | Post-Rock/Drone | United States
Music like this doesn't offer much upon first listen, but there is little to no drone which utilizes the texture palette which elicits a sense of immediacy. Braveyoung prefers smouldering in subtlety, slowly unraveling textures and offering brutal violence in their slow, choreographed motion. Following in the great footsteps once tread by bands like Stars of the Lid and The Dead Texan, Braveyoung's cinematic music sounds of pure solace.



Slugdge - Dim & Slimeridden Kingdoms | Willowtip Records | Blackened Death/Sludge Metal | England
Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if slugs learned how to play Akercocke songs? I imagine it would sound like Slugdge.

Silent Stream of Godless Elegy - Apotheosis & Amber Sea | Pařát Magazine | Folk/Doom Metal | Czech Republic
Folk/doom troupe Silent Stream of Godless Elegy have been crafting their morose ballads for a long time now - just over two decades - and Pařát Magazine offers a unique view into the band's formative years in the form of this demo compendium.



Venereal Baptism - Deviant Castigation Liturgy | Osmose Productions | Black Metal | United States
Man, I haven't heard vocals this unflattering since Deicide's Legion. Phew. These riffs are pretty, sweet, though.


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