Support your local independent record stores or they will close and your city will be more boring for it.

—Skid Rÿche


Here are the new metal releases for the week of 3/22/2015 to 3/28/2015. 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 Tuesday unless otherwise noted. Blurbs and designations are based on available promotional material and perceived buzz.

See something we missed? Goofs? Let us know in the comments. Plus, as always, feel free to post your own shopping lists. Happy digging.


Anticipated Releases:

Abominator - Evil Proclaimed | Hells Headbangers | Australia | Blackened Death Metal | War Metal
OG barbarians return with a relentless new lashing of violence and hatred. With members from Bestial Warlust, Cemetery Urn and Destroyer 666, how could descriptors like violence, war, and hatred apply any less?

Barren Earth - On Lonely Towers | Century Media | Progressive Death Metal
Ex members of Amorphis enlist fellow Finns from Moonsorrow and Kreator to complete the third mission .  . . for Finland!

Disgrace - True Enemy | Closed Casket | USA | Hardcore | OSDM
It’s kind of a rarity when a hardcore band touting a heavy old school USDM influence sound like they are referencing any vocalist other than Tomas Lindbergh, so it’s nice to hear someone referencing more of the John Tardy/Chuck Schuldiner ‘Florida’ influence. Also, Dan Seagrave cover art makes this a little gooey-er and deathier than your typical stark contrast B/W hardcore album artwork.

Fórn - The Departure of Consciousness | Gilead Media | USA | Blackened Doom
Fórn have been burning up the media with chatter about their new album. Q: How heavy is this? A: Real heavy.

The Gentle Storm - The Diary | Inside Out Music | Netherlands | Progressive Metal | Folk Metal
Remember when the entire metal world had a crush on Anneke van Giersbergen after The Gathering’s Mandylion came out? I’m sure for many, that crush hasn’t faded much. The Gentle Storm is a two piece project between Anneke and the brains behind Dutch sci-fi project, Ayreon. They have recorded the same concept album twice, one disc “Gentle” versions and one “Storm” versions. Here’s a video of Anneke wandering around Amsterdam in a powdered wig and hoop skirt. Also, Ed Warby proving that Hail Of Bullets just isn’t enough for him.

Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire | Thrill Jockey | USA | Spazz Jazz | Tech
Yeah, I just made up “spazz jazz,” so shoot me. Listen to Lightning Bolt and it was all make sense. Two man prog/shred bass/drums battering squad release their first new collection of distorted and high strung chaos in 5 years. Drums as sledgehammers, bass as garroting wire, LB make the noise of 10 men.

Liturgy - The Ark Work | Thrill Jockey | Brooklyn, USA | Black Metal | Experimental | Controversy | Everybody Fight!
Face it, nothing can wind you up like being called a “hipster black metaller” because your pants fit and you accept something other than TNBM into your heart. You can thank HHH for that one. Once again, Liturgy put in the heavy lifting in an attempt to evolve the sound. Opinions will be mixed, names will be called.

Perdition Temple - The Tempter's Victorious | Hells Headbangers | USA | Black Death Metal
Can’t go wrong with this one. Gene Palubicki from Angel Corpse, Bill Taylor from Angel Corpse and Immolation, Impurath from Black Witchery . . . and it kinda sounds like “The Inexorable” era Angel Corpse? It’s a blasphemous feast of crooked-cross riffery and howitzer death metal like only Gene can deliver us.

The Sanity Days - Evil Beyond Belief | Candlelight | UK | Power Metal
Members of Grim Reaper and Onslaught craft a well done, classic metal album in the darker melodic styles of Grim Reaper and Satan.

Sorcerer - In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross | Metal Blade | Sweden | Epic Doom Metal
Sorcerer were active in the late '80s/early '90s as a Candlemass-styled doom metal band in Sweden and released just two demos before disbanding. 2 decades later, the band reformed and finally gets the chance to put out the monster of a debut album that was always promised by their demos. Seriously, this album is no joke. May be on my AOTY list. Take that, objectivity.

Theories - Regression | Metal Blade | USA | Grindcore
Theories have been going hard in the paint for awhile. Even though it may seem like they just came out of nowhere, they’ve already having toured the US several times, even landing a slot at MDF last year, all without much to speak of as far as releases. This is hairpin grind not too unlike Discordance Axis, but Theories write 3 minute songs that keep it up. Theories is going for endurance.

Unrest - Grindcore | Unspeakable Axe | USA | Grindcore? Ya think?
Rounding out the “anticipated releases” this week is the other grindcore album of the year. Unrest also write songs of surprisingly considerable length for a grindcore act. Unrest are going for distance.

Of Note:


Bio-Cancer - Tormenting The Innocent | Candlelight | Greece | Thrash
Classic '80s Repka-styled body-horror cover artwork gives away the audience these guys are aiming for.

City Of Ships - Ultraluminal | Translation Loss | USA | Post metal | Experimental
Surprisingly ‘90s alt-rock vocals and actual songs. Recalls Quicksand, Hum, and Cave-In. Metal? You figure if I’m off base by including them. I will gladly fight you.

Der Weg Einer Freiheit - Stellar | Season of Mist | Germany | Black Metal
Crisp and clean, but organic production for these German ghouls.

Dire Peril - Through Time and Space EP | Dead Inside | USA | Power Metal
Not just power metal, but science fiction themed power metal, which just automatically puts them in with Slough Feg and Scanner. Not terrible company. There’s an Andy La Roque guitar solo too.

Fightcast - Siamesian | To Exist | Italy | Metalcore | Thrash
Youthful exuberance, breakdowns, tank tops . . . very ‘core, but then there is surprisingly European guitar solos that should make any '80s shredder blush.

Frosthelm - The Endless Winter | Black Work/Alkemy Bros | Bismarck, USA | Black Metal | Thrash
The USA doesn’t often get the winter-worshipping contingent of black metal acts. Frosthelm are from North Dakota. We know what winter’s like in the flyover. North Dakota owns the patent on endless winters in the USA though. This album was clearly influenced by the last two winters.

Fulgora - Stratagem | Housecore | USA | Progressive Grind
Members of Pig Destroyer and Misery Index join forces to push the boundaries of grindcore (as if they haven’t already).

Gloson - Yearwalker | Art of Propaganda/Catatonic State | Sweden | Post-metal | Doom
Don’t let the “post” tag scare you away from the heavy. UMR would never steer you wrong. Gloson are no sissified pretenders.

Gouge - Beyond Death | Hells Headbangers | Norway | Metal Of Death
HHR dredges up more filth and hair from the sewer pipe of OSDM in it’s purest form, Autopsy/Master style.

Ilium - My Misanthropia | Nightmare | Australia | Power Metal
Long running melodic power metal act releases their 6th album. First 1000 copies come with a second disc featuring a cover of that oddball “Love Is All” pop song that Ronnie James Dio wrote and recorded in the '70s.

Implode - A Syndicate: I Of Everything Chapter III | Cramada | Thrash | Hardcore | Modern
I think these guys are releasing one album in 4 EPs? I’m not sure what is happening here, but they look like they know what they are doing so I'm going to trust them.

King Hitter - King Hitter EP | Restricted Release / Plastic Head | USA | Hard Rock
Notable for featuring Karl Agell from the Blind-era COC lineup on vocals and Leadfoot. Sounds rock-ish with some cool riffs. Karl is always on point for the vocals though. Personal connection, my old band did a few weekends with Leadfoot back in the day. I didn’t party. They did. A lot. Karl personally gave my bottled water the middle finger. Chicks love metal.

Lifeless - Dream | Fast Break | USA | Hardcore | Metal
Pit-friendly metallic hardcore. The scene had it right in the ‘90s. You can dance better in basketball shorts than stretch denim, just saying.

Massenhinrichtung - Zakon Zbroi (The Order Of Force) | Darker Than Black | Belarus | Heathen | Black Metal
Classy pagan/folk black metal arrangements without the lutes and toot-whistles.

Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock - Spirit on a Mission | Allegro | Germany | Hard Rock
If you play guitar, you probably need this. Check them out on their US tour in April. Schenker’s rhythm section is supposedly going to be the '70s Scorpions rhythm section of Francis Buchholz and Herman “Ze German” Rarebell. Once a Scorpion, always a Scorpion.

NevBorn - Five Horizons | Hummus | France | Post Metal
Lots of heavy/not heavy with the requisite floaty bits minus the oh-so-typical doom/sludge that has taken over the post-metal realm.

Nocturnalia - Above Below Within | Gaphals | Sweden | '70s Progressive | Proto Metal
Being “vintage” is nothing but a fashion statement. Nocturnalia aren’t dressing in furs, loon pants, and headbands, or recording by candlelight in a log cabin, but their music still has that sorta vintage-y edge.

Sonic Prophecy - Apocalyptic Promenade | Maple Metal | USA | Power Metal | Epic Metal
US metal fans and media have a weird way of forgetting that stuff like this exists or is somehow relevant to their interests. Well 40,000 Facebook likes must mean that it must be a guilty pleasure for many, or that US metal fans may be missing something.




Asphyx - The Rack | Century Media | Netherlands | Classic Death Metal | Death Doom | Greatest Death Metal Band Ever | Martin Van Drunen eats your soul
Century Media finally does proper LP reissues of the first two Asphyx albums… and I am using this opportunity to stump for them. The Rack is my favorite death metal albums. It had one of the worst production jobs of of any release of that time. The guitars went beyond angry to straight up sandpaper abrasive in the fast parts, but on the slow parts, the addition of cavernous reverb and delay to the single note guitar melodies added an extra-dimensional layer of dread. Asphyx by no means invented the death-doom wheel, but they did provide a rheum of volatility. The whole thing sounded like it was going to fly apart at any time. I’m sure it was recorded haphazardly and not everyone got in their best performance, but that was part of the charm of the album. The Rack doesn’t coast on charm though, the real magic comes in those doom parts. Very basic drum fills, sometimes the “solos” have less notes than the riffs, keening and whining their doleful proclamations like a tenor choir of the apocalypse. When Asphyx slowed their roll, it was clear that they were in no hurry to get anywhere. This was something they capitalized on with the second album.

Asphyx - Last One On Earth | Century Media | Netherlands | Classic Death Metal | Death Doom | Favorite Death Metal Band Ever | Objectivity is out the window | Total fanboy
Last One On Earth turned in an entirely more confident performance following the stop-gap release of the Crush The Cenotaph EP. The nasty guitars were no less nasty, they were just done much better. We don’t get to hear one of those cavernous solos until the 4th song in though. Asphyx were tightening things considerably. The slap-dash construction of songs on the first album gave way to a much more focused approach and while they were aiming for no less than the most intense performance they could capture (probably bolstered by an actual recording budget) Asphyx were not content to rely on many of the tricks that made The Rack so remarkable for so many. They wanted The Last One On Earth to be a remarkable work on it’s own and they succeeded with a set of much more stage-ready songs that keep their wind better in a live setting. 5 years ago, Century Media put out deluxe remastered versions of both of these on CD with slightly augmented cover art and bonus live tracks and the Crush The Cenotaph EP on Last One On Earth, but these LPs recreate the original cover artwork, track listing and are mastered specifically for vinyl from the original mixes. Century Media also hasn’t put up anything in the way of Soundcloud or Bandcamp clips, so I found one promoting the reissues a few years ago to at least give some idea.


Inquisition - Magnificent Glorification Of Lucifer | Season Of Mist | USA | Black Metal
Apart from all the controversy surrounding this band and the jabber about stuff they said on message boards 10 years ago, Inquisition were making solid and consistent black metal albums, and they continue to. This was their third album and it probably features their most unique sounding production. Still, rawness can't contain how developed the music is and what a remarkable musicians they are. Musically, this is one of my favorites from them because while they still sound very measured and cold, there is a presence and energy that usually isn't present on most modern black metal recordings. Majestic Glorification Of Lucifer is the third of four reissues in a series by Season Of Mist featuring striking new layouts and cover artwork by Paolo Girardi.

That's it for this week. Let us and your fellow readers know what we missed in the comments. We'll catch up eventually.

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