Upcoming Metal Releases 5/29/2016-6/4/2016
Good morning, friends. It seems I've hit a rut - I have access to a lot of new music but seem to be losing touch with my sense of discovery. I used to be able to find new bands to listen to every day, but I seem to have transitioned into apathy, at least mostly. How do you discover new music which excites you?
Here are the new metal releases for the week of May 29, 2016 – June 4, 2016. 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 perceived buzz and 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.
Virus - Memento Collider | Karisma Records | Avant-Garde Rock/Metal | Norway
Carl-Michael "Czarl" Eide continues to prove his mettle as the most progressive mind in metal, which says a lot about current music as his style has been relatively solidified for the past two decades. Virus's dense, near-atonal fusion of Czarl's earlier work in Ved Buens Ende with the atmosphere and density of famous hermit Scott Walker's eponymous works makes this genre pioneer's sound singular in the midst of many pretenders. Featuring a much more rhythmic approach in comparison to previous works The Agent That Shapes The Desert and The Black Flux, Eide's return to a more chord-based guitar style places a significant amount of emphasis on bassist Plenum's return to the fold. Reversing the roles taken on their more recent works, Plenum's assumption of the melodic role in the band covers newer ground for this already very ground-breaking band. Though a little more difficult to digest at first, especially after such a long bout of very technical guitar work from the band's frontman, the subtleties of Memento Collider unfold with a unique sort of corrosive grace.
Sapaudia - Sainte Nuit | Independent/Digital | France/Sweden
The relatively unknown Sapaudia might be a whisper from the depths of Encyclopaedia Metallum and the most obscure metal forums, but a recent addition to this French unit's lineup has made a very interesting case for exploring. Re-introducing Swedish black metal vocalist and weirdo extraordinaire Ravenlord, formerly of Woods of Infinity fame, the powerful, morose atmospheric black metal defined in Sapaudia's debut, which is actually featured in a subsequent section, Sapaudia's sonic depression takes on a much more sinister, desperate persona. Youngster Duc de Sapaudia's traditional take on a more "depressive" black metal sound which wouldn't sound out of place on a 2006 blog (this is a good description in my book) pairs perfectly with Ravenlord's over-the-top shrieks and wails. Though this ultimately leaves me with an unquenchable thirst for more Woods of Infinity, Sapaudia fills the void left in their absence surprisingly well. Unfortunately, the only sample track currently available happens to be the only one featuring a guest vocalist other than Ravenlord, so you'll have to wait to hear what I've been gushing about.
Candlemass - Death Thy Lover | Napalm Records | Epic Doom Metal | Sweden
I'll be honest, Candlemass lost me after 2007's King of the Grey Islands. Now former vocalist Rob Lowe's performance quickly went from powerful and soaring to saccharine and corny with subsequent effort Death, Magic, Doom, which is a very large blemish on such a genre-defining band's discography. After Lowe's departure, "new" vocalist Mats Levén (who was actually in the band before King of the Grey Islands - check out the demos he recorded with them) shows a return to form. Candlemass's "epic doom metal" is stylistically cheesy, but that's the point, and all the potency they may have lost in recent years has come back in full force.
Gevurah - Hallelujah! | Profound Lore Records | Black Metal | Canada
With all the whining and moaning I make about the "new wave of orthodox black metal" I make, I will be the first to admit to individual triumphs within what is largely a homogenous genre. Gevurah's music carries the density and chaos of its genre brethren, but each song is focused and intricate. This Canadian duo's ferocity is external, but there is an underlying, unsettling ambiance which slowly cuts at you, injecting terrifying tension deep within your being. So many of these bands are superficially off-putting - discordant and "spooky" - but Hallelujah! is genuinely upsetting. In a good way.
Oh, and PS - the Dialogue Of Broken Stars 7" is going to be available via Graceless Recordings sometime this week, along with the Amphisbaena and Chthe'ilist cassettes.
Grey Aura - Waerachtighe beschryvinghe van drie seylagien, ter werelt noyt soo vreemt ghehoort | Blood Music | Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal | Netherlands
From my premiere of "Bedrog":
In a rare attempt, Dutch duo Grey Aura’s debut effort, the two disc, hardbound book, and audio epic Waerachtighe beschryvinghe van drie seylagien, ter werelt noyt soo vreemt ghehoort, makes a solid case for the merits and passion of artistic completion in black metal.
Setting the story of Arctic explorer William Barentz’s third, troublesome Northern expedition, Grey Aura sets out to embody the feeling of winter’s bite, the isolation of being stranded on a distant Arctic island, the human feeling of frustration, and man’s ultimate betrayal by nature itself.
Ashbringer - Yūgen | Avantgarde Music | Atmospheric Black Metal | United States
Ashbringer's brand of atmospheric black metal is pretty, majestic, and earnest, but what really sells me is that Yūgen is most definitely an emo record at heart. "Emo? What are you smoking, Jon?" Yeah, yeah, emo is one slot shy of a four letter word to any metal fan, but listen to Funeral Diner's The Underdark and get back to me on that.
Melvins - Basses Loaded | Ipecac Recordings | Sludge Metal | United States
I've actually never been a big Melvins fan. I know! I know! Get off my case! What I can attest to is their wide range of influence and inability to stick to a given style, and I can definitely respect their decision to record an album with six different bass players to stick to an album title pun.
The Drowning - Senescent Signs | Casket Music | Death/Doom Metal | England
I keep referencing my desire for bands to embrace the sound of the "Peaceville Three" classic death/doom metal sound, and now it's finally here! Sure, The Drowning doesn't sound new, but I'm so enraptured in their gothic rock-infused gloom to really care.
Vex - Sky Exile | Eihwaz Recordings | Death/Thrash Metal | United States
Heavy, progressive death metal which isn't afraid to venture into more beautiful, melodic passages. I wasn't quite sold on the Enslaved-inspired sound of Memorious, but Sky Exile digs deeper into older progressive rock influences. Even at their most rabid, echoing the classic In Flames "Gothenburg sound," there is a tender thoughtfulness which manifests itself pretty quickly.
Hades Almighty/Drudkh - One Who Talks with the Fog / Pyre Era, Black! | Season of Mist | Progressive Black Metal/Atmospheric Black Metal | Norway/Ukraine
Apparently this is coming out this week, but I haven't really heard much about it since our friends at No Clean Singing premiered a piece of Drudkh's side a while back. Part of me is excited, as Drudkh's last full-length was a step in the right direction, but I'd rather bands like these spend more time on full-lengths instead of re-releasing older material.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Troller - Graphic | Crucial Blast | Darkwave/Post-Punk/"Witch House" | United States
If you haven't listened to Troller, do it now. I've been obsessed with their debut for the past four years, and a lineup change shows this Austin unit's darkwave/Giallo synthesizer rock becoming leather-clad and dominant. The doomed ecstasy of Graphic is one for the books, and I am pleasantly surprised Crucial Blast is putting this one out on CD.
Wóddréa Mylenstede - Créda Beaducwealm | Altare Productions | Raw Black Metal/Dark Ambient/Noise | United Kingdom
I never knew what to make of this band back when they released cassette after cassette on the prolific and volatile Legion Blotan. Are they dark ambient? Are they black metal? Are they noise? The recordings are so raw, heavily effected, and warped to really tell what is going on. Créda Beaducwealm offers at least a minute insight as far as what is going on, but their approach is still very slight. I wish George Proctor would focus all his creative energy on one or two projects instead of fifty.
Dark Suns - Everchild | Prophecy Productions | Progressive Rock | Germany
Progressive rock isn't my thing, but Dark Suns are definitely talented. Everchild seems to be on the frantic/weird-for-weird's sake/Robert Fripp end of the spectrum, which rubs me the wrong way. Part of me wishes these guys would have stuck with the Blackwater Park sounds of Grave Human Genuine.
FROM THE GRAVE
White Zombie - It Came From N.Y.C. | Numero Group | Noise Rock/Heavy Metal | United States
White Zombie was a pretty decent alt-metal band before Rob Zombie chose to go all "white trash" on the music world. The Numero Group unleashes another massive box set on the music world (I'm partial to their Unwound and Codeine collections).
Ende - Whispers of a Dying Earth | Dread Records | Black Metal | France
I had been under the impression that the mind behind Reverence had just kind of disappeared from the music world, but I guess I've been so far behind that his more recent band's first album is already being re-released. As far as the music goes, the strange, industrial sounds of Reverence are absent here, but "I. Luciferia"'s talent translates effectively in a more conservative setting.