So this is kind of a weak way to start my tenure here at Invisible Oranges. I guess you could say this is a bit of a slow week, especially in the wake of everyone trying to get their album released on 4/20. I kid, I kid (mostly). Though the volume may be low, there are some great, if not interesting releases coming out this week. Sorry if it seems centralized around death and doom metal – it's just one of those weeks.

—Jon Rosenthal

Did I skip something? Probably – there is a ton of music out there. Did I say something asinine/incorrect? Again, that is probably true. Want to tell me about these things? Do so in the comments.


Anticipated Releases:

Fister - IV | Pissfork Anticulture/Grimoire Cassette Cvlture/Crown and Throne Ltd | Sludge/Doom Metal
Hot off their very successful set at this year's Roadburn festival, St. Louis sludge trio Fister unleashes the ambitious, epic 44-minute single track IV. Sure, any old sludge band can write a 44 minute song, but can they make it interesting? This is where Fister shines. A mammoth slab of pummeling low-end, soaring climaxes, disgusting vocal vomit, and driving songwriting, the time just flies.
Related to: The Lion's Daughter

Bell Witch - Four Phantoms | Profound Lore | Doom
Bell Witch manages to bring the tempo down even further from their previous album Longing. I must admit, Bell Witch didn't really “do it” for me in the past, but the duo of bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond and drummer Adrian Guerra really stepped up their game in my book. Steeped in crushing despondency and vast, expansive minimalism, Four Phantoms has converted bitter, angry old Jon. I have seen the light, and it is darkness.
Related to: Samothrace

Sect Pig - Self Reversed EP | Nuclear War Now! Productions | Psychedelic? Black Metal?
The enigmatic Sect Pig burst into existence kicking and screaming with their brief debut Slave Destroyed during the Summer of 2013. Though information concerning the band's location and lineup is scarce and uncertain, what is clear is that Sect Pig is fierce. Their latest effort, the single, 18 minute track (lots of long songs this time around) “Swine Denounced” is a bizarre melding of aggressive, ham-fisted black metal (read: war metal. Think more Blasphemy and Von instead of Darkthrone) and bouts of frightening, drugged psychedelia. Rife with uncomfortable audio clips of interviews with the mentally unstable (serial killer Edmund Kemper's input is particularly haunting), Self Reversed is the audio equivalent of coming out of a long acid trip to find you didn't actually hallucinate yourself ritualistically murdering your loved ones with a clawhammer. An extremely challenging, but rewarding listen which breathes new life into a now tired, overwrought genre. Project MK Ultra as music.
Related to: N/A




Of Note:

Israthoum - Antru Kald | Daemon Worship | Black Metal | Netherlands
A concise trio of black metal tunes which don't stray far from the genre's roots. Antru Kald is definitely a great little EP, every song as long as it needs to be and filled with some enjoyable, catchy riffs. Is it the most groundbreaking thing to happen to black metal? Not exactly, but someone has to carry the torch, and apparently these guys have been doing that in various incarnations since the early '90s.
Related to: Ab Imo Pectore, Monte Penumbra, Half Visible Presence, Perditor

Haar - The Wayward Ceremony | Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum | Progressive Black Metal | Scotland
As far as introductions to new bands go, my brief experience with Haar has been a positive one. Now that the “let's all worship Deathspell Omega” fad has died out [Sort of… -Ed.], Haar has unleashed a debut built upon a solid foundation of spidery guitar work and rhythmic intrigue, not to mention a stellar vocal performance, being sure not to stray too far from the black metal path.
Related to: Acatalepsy, Barshasketh

Monolord - Vænir | RidingEasy Records | Stoner/Doom Metal | Sweden
I generally approach the “stoner/doom” tag with apprehension, especially since I'm writing this particular mini-review on 4/20 (ha). A style based on lazy, washed out Black Sabbath riffs doesn't really excite me as much as it would have maybe twelve years ago, but Monolord pulls it off pretty well...with equal attention divided between the Sabbath-y groove and some heavy, bottomed-out doom. That and it was nice to hear something fun every once in a while.
Related to: Marulk

Grá/Gnosis of the Witch - Grá / Gnosis of the Witch | Iron Bonehead Productions | Black Metal/Black Metal | Sweden/United States
An all-too-brief split 7” between like-minded black metal bands Grá from Sweden and the United States' own shadowy duo Gnosis of the Witch, showcasing each band's unique take on hypnotic, buzzing black metal in the old way. Though hardly groundbreaking from either side, this split is just enough to whet the listener's palette and make them want so much more. Luckily, Grá is slated to release a full-length later this year.
Related to Grá: Cursed 13, Dark Funeral

Glittertind - Blåne for Blåne | Indie Recordings | Indie Rock? | Norway
It's always very odd when a band makes a sudden, drastic change in sound. In this case, we have all grown to know and love Glittertind as a goofy “vikingarock” band, blending folkish melodies with big, happy, singalong choruses which bring about images of big, bearded guys getting drunk and battling ogres. Imagine my reaction when I came to learn that their new single “Høyr Min Song,” sounded more like sad, bearded guys battling their feelings. Yes, it seems Glittertind has morphed into Mumfjørd ånd Søns. Wonder what happened.
Related bands: N/A

Spite - Trapped In The Pentagram | Iron Bonehead Productions | Black Metal | United States
Pretty standard but well-executed Profanatica-esque US black metal. Their self-defined genre “Raw Desecration Black Metal” should set the scene pretty nicely. The chorus to this EP's title-track is a definite earworm. I'll put it simply: do you like riffs? You'll dig this one.
Related to: N/A

Swarþ - Omines Pestilentiae | Daemon Worship | Black Metal | Unknown
The mysterious Swarþ (that's pronounced SwarTH, not Swarp) has been on my radar for a few years now, but I was stupid and never thought to check them (?) out. This compilation, initially released on Iron Bonehead Productions (that label never quits!) last year, compiles all three demos released on the dead-but-dreaming Exitium Productions and presents them to you, dear listener, in a single compact disc filled with nightmarish witch groans, odd riffs and big, buzzing distortion. I have to admit, I was expecting some more of the Australian school of “cavernous death metal” from this band and was left pleasantly surprised.
Related to: N/A

Rounding out this week's trio of Iron Bonehead releases (how do they do it?) is the rather visually named Radioactive Vomit. This Canadian band occupies an odd corner of black/death metal which might not be my absolute favorite, but I can definitely see how people can eat this up. It's big, it's gross, and they can pull of an infectious d-beat pretty dang well.
Related to: Deathwinds, Nightfucker


What We Missed:

Corrupted - 喪失:Loss | Crust War | Sludge/Doom Metal | Japan
Okay, so I can't really tell you what this sounds like as mine is in the mail and there are no rips, YouTube videos, or really any digital copies of this one going around. That comes as no surprise, as Corrupted is legendarily reclusive—they grant no interviews, take no photos, and barely have any web presence. What I can tell you is that this is the legendary Japanese sludge band's first release since the departure of vocalist Hevi, and their first new material since the massive Garten der Unbewusstheit album, released in 2011. Recent live video evidence shows that the band has since found a replacement for their powerhouse of a frontman, but I'll let you decide what to think (I, personally, am excited to hear this person's studio work).
Related to: N/A

I Shalt Become/Moloch - I Shalt Become/Moloch | Locust Amber/Depressive Illusions | Ambient Black Metal/Ambient Black Metal | United States/Ukraine
This split kind of upsets me. On one hand, you have the incredible and, to be frank, legendary I Shalt Become releasing new, quality material. Big, dense keyboards and pitch black fuzz mask deep, throaty croaks from deep within the abyss. On the other… you have Moloch. Luckily, this appears to be some of Moloch's more promising work, not unlike the Verwustung full-length he unleashed last year, but with one or two decent releases out of seven in the past year (one of which is with fellow market supersaturators Nunslaughter), one could understand the dread with which I approached this split's B-side.
Related to: N/A

Cavernlight - Corporeal | Independent | Doom Metal | United States
Big, moody, and at times rather epic doom metal from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Word has it Adam Bartlett, the man behind Gilead Media and the new Eroding Winds distro, handles percussion and vocals for this one. And hey, it's free.
Related to: Gilead Media, Owlscry


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