Upcoming Metal Releases 5/13/2018-5/19/2018
Here are the new metal releases for the weeks of May 13, 2018 – May 19, 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. This week: Rotten Sound - Suffer to Abuse
The band's new album Kolme toista, roughly translating to "thirteen" (but is also wordplay on "three seconds," "three instances," "three times," recognizing that it is difficult to fully translate without being able to read Finnish) is a strange beast, something hypnotic and terrifying, moving in slow, shuffling steps across a blank plain. Oksennus, themselves, use this stability in superficial sound to bolster their own oddity, which presents itself as something close to secret without careful listening. Sure, there is murk here, but beneath that dense miasma are strange, clattering riffs and staggered, alinear improvisation. So, yes, Oksennus presents themselves as a nutritious, traditional stew, but beware what lies beneath.
Grayceon - IV | Translation Loss Records | Progressive Metal/Rock | United States
Has it really been so long since we've heard from Grayceon? Honestly, listening to IV makes me question the passage of time -- if anything, it sounds like this was written and recorded in the same sessions as All We Destroy. Jackie Perez-Gratz and company so perfectly fall back into the ranks that their special brand of catchy, progressive music never ages, placing them among the few bands who have an infinite shelf life.
Both instrumentally and thematically, No Spirit Within could be used as evidence of how grittier doom units read almost like half-speed powerviolence. The slow slaughter proves to be an ode to beating all that wallows with a battle axe. The recipe for both a powerful live experience and a loyal collection of fans, finding empowerment through senselessness proves to pack a powerful punch.
Amorphis - Queen of Time | Nuclear Blast Records | Melodic Metal/Rock | Finland
Amorphis has had their ups and downs over the last decade or so. They've never been bad, per se, but these Finnish legends' output has definitely been inconsistent. If you recall, their last album was oddly world music-inspired and featured particularly interesting percussion, not to mention it was more of their more "metallic" albums in the post-Elegy era. Queen of Time looks back toward Amorphis's period of redefinition for influence. The last time this happened, we were given the memorable Silent Waters, but Queen of Time doesn't quite hit the heroically balladic mark of its predecessor.
At the Gates - To Drink From The Night Itself | Century Media Records | Melodic Death Metal | Sweden
The legends and progenitors of the canonical "melodic death metal riff" return. There was a lot of talk surrounding this album, the band namedropping the classic The Red In The Sky Is Ours as a reference, which invariably resulted in disappointed when frontman Tomppa eventually revealed its influence was purely lyrical. This was purely superficial, but unfortunately clouded the way To Drink From The Night Itself would ultimately be appreciated. The album itself? Pretty great, especially for a classic band's second reunion album. Those who heard Slaughter of the Soul and At War With Reality will know what to expect from the masters of meat and potatoes Gothenburg metal.
Necros Christos - Domedon Doxomedon | Sepulchral Voice Records | Black/Death Metal | Germany
As is the case with every Necros Christos album, Domedon Doxomedon is great, but there is just too much content to sift through. At almost two hours in length, Mors Dalos Ra's final death metal album under the Necros Christos moniker is certainly a monolithic epitaph, with some of both his finest songwriting and most atmospheric "Egyptian interludes" (of which there is about... 30 minutes' worth), but it's simply too much music to listen to, especially in the one sitting required for a concept album like this.
Gateway - Boundless Torture | Pulverized Records | Death/Doom Metal | Belgium
Gateway's latest album is pure suffocation and atmosphere. Boundless Torture certainly is crushing and horrific, but I can't tell what is going on half the time. I liked the last EP he put out on Sentient Ruin Laboratories, but that was due to at least a small amount of clarity. Here? It sounds like the riffs and songwriting are bouncing around in an empty cistern.
Wilt, an atmospheric black metal quintuplet from Canada, take to the icy waters with their upcoming sophomore full-length Ruin — with vocalist Jordan Dorge launching harrowing howls into the night, the band uses echolocation to find its way. Whatever the case, it’s pure atmosphere into which they head, a sonic horizon of choruses, sharp climaxes, and colorful intensities.
The lyrics to “Cat’s Cradle” follow the Vonnegut tale, but also can be applied to today’s hyper-real universe. Listening to “Cat’s Cradle” brings to mind how important it is to be physically here. Meaning this: put the fucking Facebook and Instagram down for a second and look at the sky. Walk the beach. Pick up a guitar and plug it into some dirty, shitty amp and blast it. Vonnegut didn’t live on the ocean for nothing: he knew that breeze was all life and all things. Likewise, Nequient sound like they play with that breeze in mind: “Cat’s Cradle” offers speed and layers that are natural and lush. The recording is crisp, but with some nice gruff. It’s also perpetually linear. There’s no stepping back, or calling a timeout.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Mary Lattimore - Hundreds of Days | Ghostly International | Ambient/Experimental | United States
The lilting sounds of Lattimore's electronically treated harp sound like a dream, or a sunny day which is somehow perfectly, comfortably warm. Balancing her near-virtuosic mastery of her instrument with this skyborn sense of experimental sound painting results in yet another beautiful comfort.
FROM THE GRAVE
Dødheimsgard - Satanic Art | Peaceville Records | Avant-Garde Black Metal | Norway
In preparation for the madness which will be Dødheimsgard's first US tour (ever), take the opportunity to hear when they started to get… a little stranger. Kronet til Konge certainly was an oddball album in itself, but this EP which bridged the gap between this legendarily odd band's first two full-length forged a path to crazed modernity.
Alkaloid - Liquid Anatomy | Season of Mist Records | Progressive Death Metal | Germany
Hyper progressive, super technical, everything we'd expect from Hannes Grossman. I'd even venture as far as to say Alkaloid's new album is interesting, but more in a novel way. I understand there is a market for technicality-and-near-incoherence as a style, but there isn't anything here for me to really grasp onto.
Dunnock - Little Stories Told by Ghosts | Acephale Winter Productions | Black Metal | United States
I'm sure this is fine, but I can't get past Dunnock branding themselves as "untrue black metal." Using the word "true" to describe anything in black metal is embarrassing as is, so why strive to be the complete opposite? Why not ignore those kinds of goofy, antiquated jokes which weird fans took a little too far?
Nocturnal Graves - Titan | Season of Mist Records | Blackened Thrash Metal | Australia
This is the kind of thrash metal I can only really appreciate without really commenting on too much, but I'm the kind of guy who (aside from Metallica) pretty much missed out on the "thrash metal phase."
Stimulant/Water Torture - Split | Nerve Altar | Grindcore | United States
Keep your neck brace handy, or maybe get one. Grindcore splits like this only appear once in a while, or once every few weeks depending how deep you are into the genre. Either way, this is a big one.