Upcoming Metal Releases: 3/4/18 – 3/10/18
Here are the new metal releases for the weeks of March 4, 2017 – March 10, 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.
Drudkh - Їм часто сниться капіж (They Often See Dreams About the Spring) | Season of Mist | Atmospheric Folk/Black Metal | Ukraine
My musical relationship with Drudkh over the past decade has been rocky but, starting with their 2015 split with Grift, the band has been on an unexpected upswing. Їм часто сниться капіж (They Often See Dreams About the Spring) marginally reminds me of their "classic age" -- a time before Roman Saenko and Roman Blagih expanded the Drudkh lineup post-Blood In Our Wells. The musical potency is here, the vividly romantic approach which evoked images of the Steppe which characterized their earlier works suddenly resurfacing and supplanting what I thought was too "busy" (likely due to the "newer" two members, who both came from a progressive metal background). Of course, it still sounds like new-era Drudkh, but I wouldn't really want them to do a "throwback" so late in their career. Trying to sound explicitly like Autumn Aurora or The Swan Road over a decade later would be insulting, if a far too concentrated effort. We should be happy Drudkh has found a way to re-sharpen their blade. And hey, it isn't Handful of Stars, right?
Isgalder - To The Hall Of The Stars | Hellthrasher Productions/Narbentage Produktionen | Folk/Black Metal | Germany
Impassioned pagan metal by new heroes in folkish black metal. Hear the whole thing (including alternate takes) later this week.
Longtime goth veterans On Thorns I Lay are back with a new record, and depending on what you love most about their previous work, you’re either going to be supremely excited or somewhat let down. On their upcoming album Aegean Sorrow, the eighth in their career, the band have severely streamlined their stylistic focus and song structure while cutting back heavily on the sonic ingredients.
Gone is much of the symphonic bombast of Eternal Silence and the dated cheese-rock edginess of earlier albums Orama and Crystal Tears haunting vocals that so strongly characterized these records. With Aegean Sorrow, On Thorns I Lay have instead created an intensely focused doom-death record that is effective at evoking its desired mood.
Chaos Invocation - Reaping Season, Bloodshed Beyond | World Terror Committee | Black Metal | Greece
"Orthodoxy" in black metal is not stylistically universal, something made abundantly clear by the Greek scene in general. Much like fellow countrymen Thy Darkened Shade, Chaos Invocation places musicianship and tasteful technicality above the "murk and sound mass chaos" which ensorcells the global "orthodox" scene. As a result, Reaping Season, Bloodshed Beyond is uniquely keen and agile, a lean representation of what is usually bloated and triangular.
Of Feather and Bone - Bestial Hymns of Perversion | Profound Lore Records | Death Metal | United States
Embrace the buzzsaw? I'm sure this album is fine, but I've heard so much of this kind-of-bestial death metal style since Dead Congregation released Graves of the Archangels in 2008. You could say I'm burned out a bit. Definitely check out this band's earlier recordings, back when they made hardcore punk (I know, right?), though.
Byrrth - Echoes from the Seven Caves of Blood | | Black Metal | United States
"American Vampyric Black Metal" sounds so strange -- I guess I'm used to saying "French" instead of "American", though. Byrrth seem to understand that difficulty and went so far as to have Meyhna'ch (who I guess is the progenitor of anything vampyric in black metal) guest on their album. Nice of you to bridge the gap, friends.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Drowse - Cold Air | Flenser Records | Slowcore | United States
Kind of dreampop -- kind of shoegaze -- kind of slowcore -- all haze. Cold Air is almost too summery and lilting for its bleak title and artwork. Parts even remind me of my annual springtime Duster marathons. That is to say, I know bands like this go for the sort of sad nostalgic, old VHS family videos and polaroids pinned to the corkboard on your childhood bedroom wall kind of sound, but I've always interpreted that as something with a lot of faded, warm sunlight. It isn't a bad thing by any means, I just find it super weird to see it moving from an indie sort aesthetic to the awkward Internet goths who flock to Flenser on Twitter (sorry, Flenzdad. All offense is meant to be directed toward the G L O O M E R S(™)).
Also, speaking of Duster, what's with all these rumors of album repressings, reunions, and a new album? What gives? Someone help a guy out, yeah?
Reading works like The Metamorphosis or The Trial feels intrusive, a glimpse into the mind of depression’s apogee. In fact, if Franz Kafka’s wishes were granted, his name would be lost to history. His posthumous success was an act of betrayal, his close friend Max Brod choosing to publish his acclaimed works of existential fiction rather than burn them, and yet, the world of fiction wouldn’t be the same without this deception.
There is a similar sort of dreadful enjoyment in listening to Prag 83, the works of one mysterious “Herr K.” Continuing his project’s tribute to Kafka, though less overt than his debut Metamorphosis, the stark, gothic singer/songwriter folk found on Fragments of Silence are a trial all their own. Though pastoral, if even neofolk-esque, there is a flickering, fluorescent quality to Prag 83’s sophomore effort, something dismal and urban, reflecting Herr K’s focal hero’s own loneliness in a bustling metropolis. Paying tribute more so than acting as communicant now, there is more of a personal touch to Fragments of Silence, and, as a result, Prag 83 is suddenly warmer and more delicate. In moving away from another’s vision, Herr K’s own aimless emptiness unveils itself in grey melancholy. It feels intrusive, like we shouldn’t hear it. Are we meant to?
Between the Buried and Me - Automata I | Sumerian Records | Progressive Metalcore | United States
You know, I actually remember liking Alaska a bit when it first came out. I also suppose that has something to do with getting into playing guitar really fast and wanting to be a shredder. Looking at Between the Buried and Me now, I see a bunch of washed up neo-metalcore guys trying to vie for the "intelligent" crowd by playing super incoherent progressive… stuff.
Pestilence - Hadeon | Hammerheart Records | Progressive Death Metal | Netherlands
It's Pestilence. On one hand, we have to revere them -- have you heard their first, like, five albums? On the other, remember this is their… third reformation. Moreover, Pestilence in the new millennium has been less than memorable. Maybe use this as an opportunity to listen to their old material.
Eryn On Dae - Abandon Of The Self | Debemur Morti Productions | Post-Metal | France
It's post-metal. The band might brand themselves as "dark post-metal", but I can't really think of anything in that genre which is particularly "bright" sounding.