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Here are the new metal releases for the week of March 5, 2017 – March 11, 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, Fäulnis - Antikult.

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

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ANTICIPATED RELEASES

Pillorian - Obsidian Arc | Eisenwald Tonschmiede | Black Metal | United States
From Joseph's premiere of "Archaean Divinity":

"Pillorian is mean. Pillorian feels spiteful rage. On the album’s highpoint, Haughm snarls “I have been holding this bitterness for a lifetime.” The vitriol is palpable enough to make listening to older Agalloch material a bit more threatening. While the projects sport different sentiment, it isn’t as if all of the plucky arpeggiated riffs that gave Agalloch accessibility is gone. People that think The Mantle is frou-frou crunchy granola BS could easily find Pillorian likewise toothless, but even they will likely admit that in spirit this is a sharp —if logical —left turn."

Entheos - Le Zahir | Pest Productions | Progressive/Atmospheric Black Metal | Canada
From Andrew's premiere of "Écho":

"Lush (not miasmic) weaves of doomy and blackened metal trade strong punches, opposing but ultimately harmonizing. In between, proggy interludes relish in themselves: intense breaks from intense moments. Screaming cries slice, not choke, layers of crunchy noise. [Entheos] aims to carry [their] listeners away, but without that floating feeling. Drama at no expense of rawness; rawness at no expense of digestibility."

Luminous Vault - Charismata | Profound Lore Records | Death/Black Metal | United States
From Joseph's premiere of "Kyrios":

"DeLeon’s musical ambitious extend beyond metal adjacent and into metal proper with his project Luminous Vault, a duo with bassist Sam Smith of Artificial Brain, which marries the pair’s mutual interest in brain-bending death metal and electronic music. De Leon’s proficiency with percussion programming works to great effect on Charismata."

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OF NOTE

Cripta Oculta - Lost Memories | Signal Rex | Black Metal | Portugal
From Clayton's premiere of “Uma Noite de Trevas”:

"The effect sounds more like the Modern Jazz Quartet than Mayhem, but the incongruity creates a magnificent tension that then elevates even further with the introduction of the shrieked vocals. The flute features less prominently on the track, but when it does appear it punctuates a section of tremolo-picked guitar with a stabbing single-note line that threatens to pull the song’s time signature off-kilter as it wobbles in and out of the decidedly lo-fi mix. Barely controlled chaos, for sure – but Cripta Oculta pull it off with aplomb."

Lock Up - Demonization | Listenable Records | Grindcore/Death Metal | England
I miss Brutal Truth. Don't get me wrong, hearing Kevin Sharp front a band featuring Shane Embury and Nick Barker is awesome and some sort of "mainstream grind dream," but it isn't...quite the same. I'm sure this album is great, but the context comes with a price.

Front Beast - Third Scourge from Darkness | Iron Bonehead Productions | Black Metal | Germany
If anything, Front Beast is prolific - a point of worry at first glance, but, luckily for us, this German recluse's talent matches his output. Expect catchy, mid-period Bathory worship with an overt heavy metal edge.

Lunar Shadow - Far From Light | Cruz Del Sur | Epic Metal | Germany
From Joseph's premiere, out later today.

Like Sumerlands, there’s a real emotional undercurrent to the band’s music. There’s something plaintive and wanting in the opening vocal bars of “Hadrian Carrying Stones”, even if it is a song about the Roman Emperor. Last year at MTV, David Turner said metal is “too earnestly weird, or weirdly earnest” to be cool. Lunar Shadow fall on the latter end of that spectrum.

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FOR THE ADVENTUROUS

Planning for Burial - Below the House | Flenser Records | Slowcore/Doom Metal/Post-Rock | United States
From my premiere of "Dull Knife, Pt. 1":

"Separation is difficult, and, though the comfort and predictability of a schedule may be a source of solace, the emptiness of depression and boredom smolder like an ancient coal fire beneath, which leads us, the listeners, to this point. Depression and depersonalization have historically set the stage for Planning for Burial’s idiosyncratic fusion of metal, slowcore, shoegaze, post-rock, and drone, something Wasluck calls “Gloom,” but the project’s third album, Below the House, offers a more vulnerable demonstration of its creator’s psyche. Through uncomfortable, sparse tension and the indulgence of explosive release, Below the House‘s portrayal of ennui’s two extremes provide the type of catharsis you would normally find in a Red House Painters or Low album. Being remote is draining, but Wasluck beautifully transforms his pain into art."

Cruel Wonders - Gentle Doom | Independent | Neofolk | Israel
Doomed, oddball neofolk from the unlikely country of Israel. This duo's Eastern-tinged, at times "heavy" folk music offers a more cinematic take on what is generally a genre steeped in minimalism.

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OTHER RELEASES

Cellador - Off the Grid | Scarlet Records | Power Metal | United States
Cellador received a lot of attention with the "mid-2000s metalcore with power metal vocals" of their debut. Now cast from a major label and "going independent," they haven't seemed to learn their lesson and continue to keytar their way into the bin.

Black Cilice - Banished from Time | Iron Bonehead Productions | Black Metal | Portugal
I know a lot of people like this band, but I can't seem to get past the whole *wall of static guitar and howling* thing. Seems like something which should tickle my fancy, right? Still not super convinced.,

Netra - Ingrats | Hypnotic Dirge Records | Depressive Black Metal/Trip-Hop/Ambient | Norway
Netra's debut, Melancolie urbaine, still receives semi-regular rotation 'round these parts, but this solo artist has yet to match the dark, urban mix of black metal and trip-hop (an unlikely duo which works really well) of his debut.

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