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I'm keeping things brief this time around - last week was rough.

Here are the new metal releases for the week of June 26, 2016 – July 2, 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 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.

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

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ANTICIPATED RELEASES

Monoliths - Monoliths | Dry Cough Records/Crown & Throne Ltd | Sludge/Drone/Doom Metal | England
The names Moloch, Ommadon, and Bismuth should be familiar to those who visit Invisible Oranges. The cream of the crop of heavy, disgusting, transcendent British doom metal. The meeting point of this slack-tuned triangle, a veritable "supergroup," is exactly what you'd expect - monolithic, sluggish amplifier worship of the highest caliber.

Mitochondrion/Auroch - In Cronian Hour | Dark Descent Records/Hellthrasher Productions | Black/Death Metal | Canada
Canada's various metal scenes (Edmonton, Vancouver, Quebec, et cetera) are famously incestuous. One person might be in up to five bands in varying styles, all of which demonstrate a niche, unique stylistic mastery. The long-awaited split between Mitochondrion and Auroch is a devastating display of parallel lineups and unique, separate visions within death metal. With the two bands sharing central members Sebastian Montesi and Shawn Hache, both Mitochondrion and Auroch's takes on animalistic, technical death metal should, in theory, sound similar, but each band's singular visions in this brief, ten-minute split remain separate and enthralling. Auroch's jagged, atmospheric "Leaden Words Sown," weaves muscular, brutal, mathematically precise death metal with eerie, breathtaking atmospheres. Following suit, Mitochondrion's half, "Gilded Words Reaped," is relentless, maddening and over the top in the finest way.

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OF NOTE

Countess - Fires of Destiny | Independent/Digital | Netherlands | Black Metal
The Netherlands's best-kept secret of the past near-twenty-five years shows no sign of slowing down. Countess's special brand of razor-sharp, tinny, traditional black metal may seem conservative on the surface, and, I mean, it's conservative all the way through, but original member and primary songwriter Orlok knows his way around an infectious, catchy melody.

Saattue - Kärsimysnäytelmä | Endless Desperation Prod. | Melodic Death/Doom Metal | Finland
Few things trump a nice slab of big, sad Finnish doom metal.

Gateways - Scriptures of Grief | Independent/Digital | Death/Doom Metal | Belgium
I generally cover death/doom metal of the melodic and "gothic" persuasion, but that doesn't mean that's all there is out there. The putrid, horrific death metal plod is a far cry from the Anathema and My Dying Bride to which I find myself I listening on a more frequent basis, but I can't be sad all the time, right?

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FOR THE ADVENTUROUS

Black Earth - Diagrams of a Hidden Order | Malignant Records | Ambient Black/Death Metal/Noise | Spain
Last year's A Cryptic Howl Of Morbid Truth was a unique blend of black metal, death metal, noise and dark ambient - a swirling maelstrom of nightmare noise and subsonic rumblings. Armed with a new three song EP, Black Earth ventures further into strange, metallic abstraction. I am reminded of the then-burgeoning "black noise" scene which emerged in the late-2000s, blurring black metal's stabbing anger and noise's harsh obscurity, but Black Earth's uniquely "death metal" atmosphere sets them apart, replacing "black noise"'s inherently "psych ward" atmosphere with something more cavernous and sinister.

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FROM THE GRAVE

Archgoat - Total Satanic Darkness | Floga Records | Black/Death Metal | Finland
In case you like Archgoat, or even goats, for that matter, this is all the Archgoat you will ever need.

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OTHER RELEASES

Brain Drill - Boundless Obscenity | Independent/Digital | Technical Death Metal | United States
1) Set metronome to 250 bpm, 2) hit as many notes as possible 3) ??? 4) Put on something else

Valient Thorr - Old Salt | Napalm Records | Heavy/Southern Metal/Rock | United States
I'm not really one for bluesy metal or rock like I used to, but I certainly can't ignore how obnoxiously catchy this new Valient Thorr album is. Old Salt is kind of like the unholy blending of Black Rose-era Thin Lizzy and our dearly departed Motorhead.

Fates Warning - Theories of Flight | InsideOut Music | Progressive Metal | United States
Trying to get into a band via their newest material this far into their career is a bit of a crap shoot. I've never been into this sort of traditionally heavy progressive metal, and, while I can confirm the band's talent, I still don't quite "get" it. Calling all Fates Warning fans: what album is the right jumping off point?

Unryht - Nīþ | Narbentage Produktionen | Black Metal | Germany
You know, I've been missing "depressive" black metal like this in my life. Unryht does a fine job taking me down memory lane, back when I listened to Nagelfar and Verdunkeln with astonishing regularity.

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