Upcoming Metal Releases 5/7/2017-5/13/2017
I'm doing this one early in anticipation of a weekend trip with my girlfriend, so excuse the brevity.
Here are the new metal releases for the week of May 7, 2017 – May 13, 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.
"Saxophone-infused metal must contend with the garish abrasion of brass's warm sexuality against the colder, edgier distortion possible with guitar. Generally, bands either shoot for full integration (actively utilizing saxophone throughout like Sigh) or supplemental usage (relegating saxophone to occasion like Ihsahn). Full integration can lead to excessive discord, overpowering the music whereas supplemental usage can reduce saxophone to an insignificant afterthought, spoiling its charm. Recognizing that truth is usually found in the middle, Ukrainian band White Ward's successfully finds balance on their upcoming debut full-length Futility Report."
Caïna/Cara Neir - Caïna / Cara Neir split | Broken Limbs Recordings | Experimental Black Metal / Black Metal/Neocrust | England/United States
Caïna's epitaph meets Cara Neir falling further down the dark hardcore rabbit hole. Check back in a couple days to hear both songs.
No preview yet (yet).
Show of Bedlam - Transfiguration | Sentient Ruin Laboratories/Dawnbreed Records/Desordre Ordonee/PRC Music | Experimental Sludge/Drone/Doom Metal/No Wave | Canada
From my premiere of "Hall of Mirrors":
"Moving with the slow, clenched-fist rage of Bodychoke or early Suicide's harsh pulse, Show of Bedlam's superficial existence as a loud, throbbing doom metal band is merely a flask which contains their slithering, fluid form. It almost approaches a punk sort of freedom, if only in its philosophy - consuming only what makes it stronger and leaving bones and ashes in its wake. Pray that it doesn't fully engulf you, too."
"In this setting the rolling triplets are more than rock solid rhythmic technique, they are the sensation of rippling waves under your feet. The eerie reverb isn’t a production choice, it’s the silence you hear on a morning walk through an empty forest. This quality is exactly what makes squares revolt from most metal. It’s a level of visual earnesty one inch too far normies. But Ajattara could give a fuck."
"Poland’s Saule is a relative newcomer to the [post-metal] scene and have taken a somewhat minimalist approach to both promotion and performance, but judging by their debut album it works. They have the requisite post-rock layering, sparse vocalization and atmospheric production covered; the composition and tension are where Saule set themselves apart."
Excommunion - Thronosis | Dark Descent | Atmospheric Black/Death Metal | United States
Though many associate Naas Alcameth with the liturgical expanse of the recently controversial Nightbringer (why one would need to publicly align themselves with Julius Evola is beyond me), the recently-revived Excommunion demonstrates an aptitude for an equally atmospheric brand of dark, atmospheric death metal.
Mountains Crave - As We Were When We Were Not | Avantgarde Music | Atmospheric Black Metal | England
This is one of those prime examples of atmospheric black metal gone too far - Mountains Crave offer a base which could be improved, but chose instead to build sweeping atmospheres atop skeletal, or incomplete ideas.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Sabbath Assembly - Rites of Passage | Svart Records | Psychedelic Rock/Doom Metal | United States
Ever-approaching the status of "Coven, pt 2", Sabbath Assembly's cast of unlikely characters, featuring members of Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Hammers of Misfortune and Kayo Dot among their ranks, crafts bewitching atmospheres by way of complex, atmospheric psychedelic rock.
The Thirteenth Sun - Stardust | Aural Music | Progressive Rock | Romania
A lot of progressive rock rubs me the wrong way - something about "trying very hard to make the most complicated music in the world whilst removing any sense of coherence" doesn't work very well - but Romania's The Thirteenth Sun's tasteful songwriting and oddly Arctur(us)ian presence (some of these vocal lines sound like they could have been lifted from The Sham Mirrors) are pleasant enough to warrant at least a full listen.
Aidan Baker & Karen Willems - Nonland | Gizeh Records | Psychedelic Rock/Drone/Post-Rock | Germany
Nadja mastermind Aidan Baker artfully takes on minimal, loop-based krautrock with the nuanced, flourished percussive stylings of Karen Willems
FROM THE GRAVE
Mouth of the Architect - Time & Withering (Remaster) | Translation Loss | Post-Metal | United States
In a perfect world, Mouth of the Architect wouldn't have toiled in semi-obscurity after the release of 2008's Quietly, but, alas. Even now, Mouth of the Architect has been relegated to "tip of the tongue"/"oh yeah, that band!" status. Though their debut fell more in line with the early "post-metal" sound (see: the more post-hardcore-inspired elements of Oceanic or, historically, Dazzling Killmen's slower sections), use this remaster of Time & Withering to follow Mouth of the Architect's sorely underappreciated body of work.
Candlemass - Dark Are the Veils of Death | Peaceville Records | Epic Doom Metal | Sweden
So this isn't "new" Candlemass, per se, nor is it truly a reissue, but check out these rare, Messiah-era rehearsal tunes from thirty years ago. He truly was their best vocalist, after all.
Assault - The Fallen Reich | Transcending Obscurity Asia | Melodic Death Metal | Singapore
Nothing super special going on here, but, at the same time, The Fallen Reich fills me with the same sort of nostalgia I feel when listening to Arch Enemy's Black Earth.
Antropofagus - Methods of Resurrection Through Evisceration | Comatose Music | Technical Brutal Death Metal | Italy
When something is referred to as "technical brutal death metal," I feel the end result is pretty strictly defined. You know what to expect (but these guys DON'T SLAM!).
Voice Of Ruin - Purge And Purify | Tenacity Music | Thrash/Groove Metal | Switzerland
Thrash/groove metal? This sounds like "anthemic" Sumerian Records fodder. Anyone who likes their metal noodly and superficially resemblant of mid-2000s "metalcore" may find enjoyment here.
Wormwitch - Strike Mortal Soil | Prosthetic | Death Metal/Hardcore | Canada
It's mostly hardcore this time around, and vocalist Colby Hink (also of the nature worshiping Old Graves) doesn't sound as much like Tompa Lindberg anymore, but Wormwitch is still a much stronger example of the "new school of d-beat disguised as death metal" sound.
Ensnared - Dysangelium | Dark Descent/Invictus Productions | Death Metal | Sweden
I grow weary of the whole "let's all worship the South American proto-death metal sound" thing going on here. It's perfectly fine and "spooky" (read as: mildly sloppy and ham-fisted), but there's so much of it (as well as enough which exists historically and organically) that a revisiting is really not necessary.