Upcoming Metal Releases 4/1/2018-4/7/2018
Here are the new metal releases for the weeks of April 1, 2017 – April 8, 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.
Vilkacis - Beyond the Mortal Gate | Psychic Violence Records/House of First Light | Black Metal | United States
At long last, the debut Vilkacis album. A long five years after the blood-spattered The Fever of War EP, the prolific Michael Rekevics communicates spiritual war through his most practiced medium: black metal. Really, really good black metal. However "no frills" this particular album is, Rekevics performs with an undeniable conviction and practiced hand. It is obvious he spent time meditating on what this project means and how purely he can communicate his thoughts on black meta. Ultimately, the six songs within Beyond the Mortal Gate are a pure distillation of black metal fury, somehow bridging the atmospheric mindset of the early 1990s with an unmistakably modern harmonic mindset.
The Negative Bias/Golden Dawn - Temple of Cruel Empathy/Lunar Serpent | Seance Records | Black Metal | Austria
A prime example of the extreme-metal-only phenomenon of the "self-split." In this case, Stefan "Dreamlord" Traunmüller (who I interviewed last year) appears both as a member of The Negative Bias and the entirety of Golden Dawn, and his presence certainly defines it as such. However (relatively) brief, there is a majesty which encapsulates both halves of this EP, be it the astral emptiness of "Temple of Cruel Empathy" or Golden Dawn's folkish, epic "Lunar Serpent."
After five years of silence, a modernized, more metallic Encircling Sea, too, feels the call of the wild. A sharp turn from the long-form, neofolk-driven A Forgotten Land, Hearken is sleek, a polished obsidian monolith of thick, blackened sludge metal, but the natural spirit of its predecessors lurks just beneath the surface.
Note the accompanying video to “Elderfire”: a stark, neopagan ritual held deep within the Australian bush. Deep strains of animism make a stark contrast with the contemporary discord and bottom-heavy nature of present day doom metal. Encircling Sea is mighty, possessing a brawn which only comes from a deference to metal in the 21st Century, but dreams of denying themselves and satiating the wild spirit within.
Abjection Ritual - Soul Of Ruin, Body Of Filth | Malignant Records | Sludge/Doom Metal/Death Industrial | United States
I'm guessing a vast majority of IO readership isn't well-versed in death industrial (think power electronics plus dark ambient), and I guess Abjection Ritual's new album is a nice diving in point… mostly in that it isn't really a death industrial album. A large percentage of this album is sludge/doom metal, and pretty gnarly sludge at that, with the dark, noisy death industrial which the artist claims relegated to interludes and ambient breaks. In this case, Abjection Ritual goes for something more accessible, which really works for me, because I hate noise (sorry).
Glorior Belli - The Apostates | Season of Mist | Black Metal/Hard Rock | France
There was a time when I thought Glorior Belli was extraordinarily cutting edge. I mean, tastefully mixing blues rock and black metal? Unthinkable! Unfortunately, it looks as if Glorior Belli has moved from blues to "hard rock," like the stuff you might have heard on the radio in 2007? Does anyone remember Hinder? Add a little black metal to them. It isn't very good.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Winterfylleth - The Hallowing Of Heirdom | Spinefarm Records/Candlelight Records | Neofolk | England
I haven't been super into Winterfylleth's sound, finding it akin to the tabula rasa textures of American West Coast black metal more than anything else. That being said, the addition of Wolcensmen's Dan Capp has been more than a blessing. Following in his folky footsteps, The Hallowing of Heirdom is a pretty decent "acoustic" album, not too far from the spirit of Kveldssanger or Songs of Mist and Solitude. I'm not sure if continuing in this direction would be best for the band as a whole, but this particular album is a nice little novelty which shows exponential growth in Winterfylleth's creativity.
Grift - Vilsna andars boning | Nordvis | Neofolk | Sweden
If you recall, last year's Arvet showed Sweden's Grift moving further in a neofolk direction, balancing his lush blackened atmospheres with delicate acoustics and nature sounds. Now a complete transformation, this short EP is fully entrenched in the neofolk/"dark folk" sound… and it's nice!
Black Salvation - Uncertainty Is Bliss | Relapse Records | Psychedelic Rock | Germany
My psychedelic rock days are far behind me, but that doesn't necessarily keep me from enjoying Black Salvation. In the end, I'm not super well-versed outside psychedelia outside, like, Hawkwind and The Black Angels, but as a pretty big fan of both, Black Salvation hits me in that "good" spot, albeit with a much heavier rhythm section.
Messa - Feast for Water | Aural Music | Doom Metal/Ambient/Drone | Italy
Andrew Rothmund definitely enjoyed Messa's 2016 debut Messa, but I still have yet to enjoy this band. Sure, the whole "funeral jazz" aspect is pretty neat, but a lot of bands like Messa are all ambiance, no substance.
Kalmah - Palo | Spinefarm Records | Melodic Death/Power Metal | Finland
Kalmah is still better than your melodic death metal band, but I also have yet to like anything they've made post-The Black Waltz.
Nekrogoblikon - Welcome To Bonkers | Seek and Strike | Melodic Death/Folk Metal | United States
Fast, goofy, and vaguely "folky" enough to garner the adoration of any average "Paganfest" tour attendee. I am never fully caffeinated enough to enjoy this kind of music to the level which is expected.
Lecherous Nocturne - Occultaclysmic | Willowtip Records | Technical Brutal Death Metal | United States
As far as brutal death metal goes, Lecherous Nocturne isn't as imposing as the genre's more sewage-spewing majority. The brutality of Occultaclysmic resides entirely in the instrumental performance, which is absolutely relentless without losing itself in the "wet sponge" sound which smooshes most brutal death metal into sound goop.