...

Here are the new metal releases for the week of April 2, 2017 – April 8, 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: .

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

...

ANTICIPATED RELEASES

Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar | House of Mythology | Trip-Hop | Norway
After recently meditating on their past, the legendary Ulver thrusts us back into the present with one of their absolute finest works in years. Shifting from the krautrock and psychedelic pop which characterized their last few albums (not counting the Riverhead soundtrack), Ulver sets their sights back to the genre lineage left suddenly cut off in the wake of Shadows of the Sun. The "future pop" (somewhere between Coil's The Ape of Naples, Depeche Mode, and, of course, Ulver's own Perdition City & Blood Inside) of The Assassination of Julius Caesar is Ulver at their most infectious in years. Though this "stylistic return" puts Ulver back into "stark, urban" mode, The Assassination of Julius Caesar is uniquely warm and active. Prepare yourself for the chorus in "Rolling Stone", too.

Valborg - Endstrand | Prophecy Productions | Gothic/Doom Metal | Germany
From my premiere of "Bunkerluft":
"Still championed by burdensome, pulsating rhythm, Valborg keeps their metal past at arms’ length, but close enough to maintain a heavy, foreboding presence. However, the true champion of Valborg’s latest form is Christian Kolf’s minimal, chiming guitar playing, pitting Tom Verlaine-style goth-punk minimalism against bandmates Florian Toyka and Jan Buckard’s oppressive pulsing. Together, Valborg as a whole creates this sort of dreary emptiness, much like the still, grey images of St. Petersburg in midwinter: bleak, totalitarian and inhuman. It’s oddly comforting."

The Obsessed - Sacred | Relapse Records | Doom Metal | United States
From Andrew's premiere of "Razor Wire":
"[Sacred is] a heavy, riffy rocker that sounds like The Obsessed aren’t trying to modernize their sound one bit, save for some cleaner production (not in a bad way)."

...

...

OF NOTE

Fuoco Fatuo - Backwater | Profound Lore Records | Funeral Doom/Death Metal | Italy
I'm normally a sucker for funeral doom, but Fuoco Fatuo and I never really "clicked." The elements are all there: the spooky atmosphere, marche funebre pace, and massive, church-hall harmonies, yet I can't help but feel Backwater could be twenty minutes shorter. This is the failure of most modern funeral doom bands; remember to breathe.

The Doomsday Kingdom - The Doomsday Kingdom | Nuclear Blast | Doom Metal | Sweden
Candlemass has definitely fallen out of my favor past King of the Grey Islands (which actually turns ten this year. What?), but we all must remember the genius of their chief songwriter Leif Edling. Now behind a new project, The Doomsday Kingdom turns the clock back to when Nightfall was new and fresh. This is solid, epic doom of a caliber only Edling can truly achieve.

Possession - Exorkizein | Invictus Productions/Iron Bonehead Productions | Black/Death Metal | Belgium
Possession's "witching metal" definitely caught our ears last year, and this full-length is no different. The haunting riffs which compose Exorkizein carry an unexpected density and horrific magick.

...

FOR THE ADVENTUROUS

Demon Head - Thunder on the Fields | Caligari Records/The Sign Records/Freight Train Recods | Hard Rock/Doom Metal | Sweden
Almost hard rock, almost doom metal - all that matters is it sounds like spring break from my teenage years.

...

OTHER RELEASES

Nott - Disfacimento | Razed Soul Productions | Black Metal | Italy
It is most certainly is black metal - both droning and toeing the line between "evil" and "depressing." I need to spend more time with this one, I certainly enjoyed Nott's album...and Razed Soul Productions has really been killing it with all these new Striborg releases.

...