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Here are the new metal releases for the week of April 30, 2017 – May 6, 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 or released after this column is published will be excluded.

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

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ANTICIPATED RELEASES

Oxbow - Thin Black Duke | Hydra Head Records | Art Rock/Metal | United States
As beautiful as the legendary Oxbow has become over these last three decades (remember how ugly Fuckfest was?), the unsettling majesty of their music speaks of pure intimidation. Beyond frontman Eugene Robinson's unsettling lyrical presence and incredibly tense vocal performance on Thin Black Duke is a flowing confidence exuded by the cinematic, multifaceted, rock-centric music performed by this long-standing act. Digesting a new Oxbow album, especially one composed over the better part of a decade, generally involves a lengthy period of time, but Thin Black Duke offers something else: clarity, nudity. It hits like a hammer, but in a comforting, expected sort of way. Oxbow is back, but lighter on their feet and quicker to taunt.

The Ruins of Beverast - Exuvia | Ván Records | Atmospheric Black/Doom Metal | Germany
As opposed to Oxbow's transparence, The Ruins of Beverast return to a deeper obscurity which hearkens back to project mastermind Alexander von Meilenwald's earlier work as a solo artist. While still steeped in the heavier doom metal first appended in Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite, Exuvia reminds Meilenwald's much larger current audience of a simple point: The Ruins of Beverast is a black metal band. The thick, animalistic atmospheres constructed across Exuvia's length are built to overwhelm and frighten, and with von Meilenwald's recently discovered "tribal" side, first explored on the Takitum Tootem! EP, there is a hypnotic character to the album which slowly leads the listener into sudden fear.

Snares of Sixes - Yeast Mother | Crucial Blast Records | Avant-Garde Metal | United States

From my premiere of "Retroperistalsis":

"[Snares of Sixes echoes] late-stage Dødheimsgard’s industrialized black metal madness with the stuttering horror of Geogaddi‘s most overwhelming climaxes. All the name-dropping and points of comparison aside, Snares of Sixes’s opening statement flows with an organic quality, taking elements from the various styles with which JWW has experimented over the past few decades."

Viscera/// - 3 | Release Yourself Through Desperate Rituals | Unquiet/Wooaaargh/Drown Within/Dullest | Psychedelic/Drone/Groove Metal/Post-Hardcore | Italy

From Andrew's premiere of "Über-Massive Melancholia:

"[Viscera/// are] tagged as “psych metal,” and that makes complete sense. This is an ethereal listen, one to get lost in. Atmospherics are normally created with extensive layering, not the precise placement of minute but distinct parts. VISCERA/// opted for architectural blueprints, opposed to, say, abstract art. This is the tougher strategy when it comes to forming an airy headspace, but one with the potential for hefty payouts when well-executed."

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OF NOTE

Façade - Loathe | Independent/Digital | Death/Doom Metal | Netherlands
With My Dying Bride's death/doom return during the recent Roadburn festival, I've found myself listening to the despondent impetus of the sound they forged alongside Paradise Lost and Anathema. Decades later, Dutch doom troupe Façade's mournful romance speaks to the early, Peaceville days, but with a more modern clarity and penchant for slower, more crushing tempos. Frontman Ben de Graaf recently (if you consider 2015 recent) joined the newly reformed Phlebotomized, who apparently will be hitting the studio later this year.

Archivist - Construct | Alerta Antifascista/Halo of Flies |
Atmospheric Black/Post-Metal/Rock | Austria/United Kingdom/Germany

I guess it was only a matter of time given the current genre climate. Former Fall of Efrafa vocalist Alex CF has moved even further from his crust roots into black metal, or at least screamo-tinged black metal, territory. As is stylistically expected, Archivist revels in triumphant, albeit nostalgic, harmonic majesty and moves with mammoth footsteps.

Hate - Tremendum | Napalm | Death Metal | Poland
From Joseph's premiere of "Numinosium":

"Hate [write] songs which cook listeners like lobsters, raising the heat in increments so that there’s no shocking loss of flavor, and they use this technique over and over on Tremendum to great effect."

Slægt - Domus Mysterium | Ván Records | Black/Heavy Metal | Denmark
Denmark's Slægt quickly won me over with the sloppy, folky sounds found on their demo and first full length Ildsvanger...then quickly lost me with the more aggressive, traditional metal-driven Beautiful and Damned. With Domus Mysterium, we see Slægt falling down a bit of a thrashy rabbit hole, losing me entirely. Oh well, it's not like the market isn't overrun with black metal bands, anyway.

Succumb - Succumb | Flenser Records | Death Metal | United States
One of those unfortunate situations in which a band which could rule the kingdom is ruined by completely awful, unnecessary vocals. Succumb's jagged, atmospheric death metal touches on all the main points: riffy, properly composed, memorable, and crushing, but a groaning vocal performance nulls all their efforts.

Full Of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy | Profound Lore Records | Grindcore | United States
I like grindcore, but it still escapes me how the vaguely embryonic, incomprehensible Full of Hell has gotten so much attention. Friends, heed my advice and listen to Watchmaker, instead.

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OTHER RELEASES

John Frum - A Stirring in the Noos | Relapse Records | Death/Post-Metal | United States
You can cite as many former members of larger bands and tout your concept all you want, this still sounds like any dime-a-dozen "weird" technical death metal act left in Ulcerate's wake.

Eruption - Cloaks of Oblivion | Xtreem Music | Thrash Metal | Slovenia
Who would have guessed that some of the truest, steel-bearing heavy metal would emerge from the unlikely country of Slovenia? This is great! I guess we premiered this one last Friday, so be sure to click here and give it a solid listen.

Mudbath - Brine Pool | Grains of Sand Records/Troffea Records/Third-I-Rex | Stoner/Sludge/Doom Metal | France
Mudbath is a strange mix - 50% boring post-metal with a bit of grit and 50% the cool clean buildups which peppered Tool's last few albums. Maybe some black metal, because everyone needs to dabble with the genre of the week.

Excalibur - Humo Negro | Fighter Records | Heavy Metal | Spain
Their first album in 21 years, Excalibur's Humo Negro is the sound of classic heavy metal triumph without most of the cheese which detractors use against the genre. The consistent keyboard presence certainly tickles my fancy, as well.

God Dethroned - The World Ablaze | Metal Blade Records | Blackened Death Metal | Netherlands
Part of me really wanted to like this, but Lair of the White Worm this is not.

Doublestone - Devils Own/Djævlens Egn | Ripple Music | Stoner Rock/Metal | Denmark
Get ready for retro stoner rock so convincing you'll have to check to see if you're wearing tinted aviators.

The Unity - The Unity | Steamhammer/SPV | Heavy/Power Metal | Germany
I'm already fairly tired of the Gamma Ray camp continuing with their own brand of power metal corniness, so imagine my reaction when Gamma Ray members started a side project which sounds just like Gamma Ray.

Drug Honkey - Cloak of Skies | Transcending Obscurity | Experimental Death/Doom Metal | United States\
This is one of those albums which, at first, sounds unique and extraordinary for all its timbral qualities, but there really isn't much to it beneath all the effects and layers of noise. Without a solid base, Drug Honkey falls flat.

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