Upcoming Metal Releases 5/14/2017 – 5/20/2017
Here are the new metal releases for the week of May 14, 2017 – May 20, 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.
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.
"Vanum’s new, armored self revels in triumphant melodies and sprints into battle with powerful, thunderous percussion. Even with this new, more battle-ready self, the tragedy and downcast nature of previous works nestles itself in select places – a dual-edged blade, no victory comes without its own cost."
Lo-Ruhamah - Anointing | I, Voidhanger Records | Progressive Death/Black Metal | United States
Shaking the "unblack metal" tag is hard, especially after releasing an album titled The Glory of God, but ten years of silence, as time is wont to do, resulted in what is essentially a new band. While initially somewhat on the post-rock spectrum, the new age of Lo-Ruhamah is much more bestial and progressive.
Divine Element - Thaurachs Of Borsu | I, Voidhanger Records | Progressive Melodic Death/Black Metal | Greece
We may know Ayloss for his black metal mastery as the brainchild of the multi-faceted Spectral Lore, but his talents certainly surpass that. The recently resurrected Divine Element's progressive, technical death metal more effectively echoes At the Gates and Edge of Sanity.
Highland - Loyal to the Nightsky | Independent/Digital | Black Metal | United States
Many attempt to recreate the thrashing, nocturnal majesty of Dissection's Storm of the Light's Bane, but only an extreme few manage to approach Jon Nödtveidt's vision. Among the ranks of Dissection's true legacy resides California's Highland, who, after a four year wait, follow up their debut EP with an hour of potent, frightening, melodic black metal.
"Rife with folky, gothic undertones and clouded, dusty haze Unforgiving Landscapes is complicated, indescribable, echoing Townes van Zandt’s soul-rending depression and the uncapturable horizon at the end of the endless, flat plain. Idre is pristine, well… mostly pristine, if a little sooty and sun-baked, but carries the immeasurable weight of solitude."
Era of Threnody | Inter Arma Productions | Black Metal | Germany
The "controversial" Nargaroth (remember when he lied about the release of his Orke demo? Remember when Kanwulf appeared on a talk show in total goth regalia?) has been quiet over the past ten years - likely due to René "Ash"/"Kanwulf" Wagner's world travels. Though the subject of heavy criticism, and man, do people hate him, Nargaroth's music has always erred on the "astoundingly good" end of the quality spectrum. Continuing his special brand of grandiose, epic black metal, Era of Threnody is another triumphant chapter in Nargaroth's twenty-year story.
Dødsengel - Interequinox | Debemur Morti Productions | Black Metal | Norway
From my premiere of "Gloria in Excelsis Deo":
"Interequinox is an unparalleled piece of liturgical art, with multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Kark’s many thoughts and sound designs reaching a new peak of passionate intensity. Though Dødsengel’s balance of melodious and expressive peaks with chaos and expressionism paved their long-form art on Imperator, Kark and drummer Malach Adonai (which roughly translates to King God in Hebrew) wipe the slate clean and finds a new footing in the indulgence of constant, maximal sound."
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Do Make Say Think - STUBBORN PERSISTENT ILLUSIONS | Constellation Records | Post-Rock | Canada
Have eight years truly passed following the release of Other Truths? Where has the time gone? One of post-rock's most unique bands, Canada's Do Make Say Think's ecstatic, jazzy, rhythmic music continues to gorgeously embody the energy of childhood in spite of the genre's usual static nostalgia. Drummer James "Jimmy P Lightning" Payment recently entered metal circles as part of Prophecy Productions' Völur, who actually have a new album set for an early June release.
Harvestman - Music for Megaliths | Neurot Records | Psychedelic Folk/Drone | United States
Steve von Till refers to his Harvestman project as "Traditional folk songs distilled and distorted into abstract guitar psychedelica." While I don't fully agree with the "traditional folk songs" aspect, the ambiance he creates is certainly massive. I wasn't very moved by the last Neurosis album, but Steve von Till's solo efforts are always a gorgeous display of deliberate musicianship.
FROM THE GRAVE
Midnight Odyssey - Silhouettes Of Stars | I, Voidhanger Records | Atmospheric Black Metal/Darkwave | Australia
Almost two and a half hours of Dis Pater's demos and outtakes, including a particularly brazen Emperor cover. It is truly staggering just how much music one man can make.
Amiensus - All Paths Lead To Death | Apathia Productions | Progressive Black Metal | United States
Though past Amiensus releases passed as a post-rockier version of Agalloch worship, All Paths Lead To Death sound more like this Minnesota black metal unit spent an inordinate time listening to Dark Funeral.
AlNamrood - Enkar | Shaytan Productions | Folk/Black Metal | Saudi Arabia
I've never had a problem with AlNamrood musically, but Humbaba's "angry genie" vocals are too laughably bad to warrant a serious listen.
Satanize - Death Mass Execution | Larval Productions | Black Metal | Portugal
Those who like Black Witchery's brand of "war metal" will enjoy this one. There is not a whole lot of substance, but Satanize certainly rages.
Sektarism - La Mort de l'Infidèle | Zanjeer Zani Productions | Funeral Doom Metal | France
In this case, Sektarism's use of the word "ritual" must mean "poorly improvised." There is certainly a unique, horrific character to this release, but La Mort de l'Infidèle distinctly lacks any sort of center and merely clatters and stumbles throughout its duration.
Au-Dessus - End of Chapter | Les Acteurs de l'Ombre | Post-Rock/Black Metal | Lithuania
One of the many situations in which a post-metal (maybe even post-hardcore) band is misled into believing they can be black metal if they utilize blast beats.
Somnium Nox - Terra Inanis | Transcending Obscurity | Atmospheric Black Metal | Australia
Pro tip: 90% of the time I hear music like this, all I can really say about it is "Yep, that's definitely atmospheric black metal." The use of didgeridoos as a means of creating drones is nice, but there are absolutely zero dynamics to Somnium Nox's music.
Nephilim's Howl - Through The Marrow Of Human Suffering | I, Voidhanger Records | Black/Doom Metal | Finland
Competent Dark Metal-era Bethlehem worship. Definitely a style not often attempted, especially given the general "flaccid" nature of suicidal black metal.
Sollertia - Light | Apathia Records | Progressive Gothic Metal | England?
Musically, Sollertia touches on all the hallmarks of Katatonia-esque dark metal which pique my interests, but these warbly vocals kill any listenability.