Upcoming Metal Releases 7/10/2016 – 7/16/2016
Another week, another list. Who am I seeing at Metal Threat next weekend?
Open call for the backup Upcoming Releases indentured servant has been closed. Thanks to everyone who sent their ramblings our way!
Here are the new metal releases for the week of July 10, 2016 – July 16, 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.
A quick note before we begin the week, guys. Ian Cory has been contributing great features to the site for the past year and a half, and today will be his first day as our new Associate Editor. Please give him a warm welcome. - Ed.
ColdWorld - Autumn | Cold Dimensions | Ambient Black Metal | Germany
Seven years separate us from the release of ColdWorld's masterful Melancholie². It's hard to believe it's been such a stretch of time, but I've simultaneously found myself craving the return of multi-instrumentalist and composer Georg Börner to the metal world. The unbridled despondency and incredible musical depth found within Autumn, the long-awaited sophomore full-length effort from Börner's ColdWorld is a deepenning of what was already a cavernous, melodic and expansive sound - ColdWorld was not with us, but it was obvious that Börner spent the past near-decade dwelling on this music. Having spent the interim lending his violin, viola and nyckelharpa skills to folk artists Sangre de Muerdago, In Gowan Ring, and Saeldes Sanc, there is a bit of bleed from this "second musical self" into ColdWorld. Autumn's melodies are all the more pastoral and earthy in comparison to Melancholie² and TheStarsAreDeadNow's icy distance. Impatience defined my time spent between ColdWorld albums, but the years of stress and doubt find a greater reward with Autumn.
From my premiere of "Pale Moonlight Shadow":
Making a surprising departure from the hardcore-fueled rage which characterizes his main project, The Clearing Path, Italian multi-instrumentalist Gabriele Gramaglia’s latest outing as Summit is a rare example of bizarre, ethereal detachment in (at least what can be superficially called) metal. Through the album’s many twists and turns, the black metal flirtations in “Pale Moonlight Shadow,” the progressive rhythms of “Hymn of the Forlorn Wayfarer,” and the death metal sensibilities of “The Winds That Forestall Thy Return, Pt. II,” Gramaglia’s firm grip on extreme metal’s various practices is undeniable, but it’s the ambient, almost art-pop inspired (think David Sylvian’s solo works) atmospheres which dictate a unique direction for this new project.
Blood Red Throne - Union of Flesh and Machine | Candlelight Records | Death Metal | Norway
Norway isn't really known for its death metal past, like, Old Funeral and Thou Shalt Suffer. Maybe it's my black metal elitism showing. Blood Red Throne's brutally modern take on brutal death metal always resonated with me somehow, but now that they've lost bass wizard Erlend Caspersen I couldn't really care less. Bummer!
-(16)- - Lifespan of a Moth | Relapse Records | Sludge Metal | United States
-(16)- is legendary. This is true. Relapse is doing the world a service by bringing back sludge mainstays like the aforementioned numeric band and Graves at Sea. Graves at Sea's apocalyptic heaviness and disregard for pop hooks carries my attention a little more, though.
Songs like “Don’t Let Winter Take You” are more condensed and punchy – by the time the song hits its halfway mark, the band has introduced a new riff every 30 seconds. Hints of thrash and melodic death metal keep their entire album, Hope Misery Death, moving forward at a brisk pace. And while these are gorgeous melodies, meditative Pestifere are not. Which is fitting, considering how urgent their lyrical bent is: The toll mankind takes on the environment weighs heavy on their minds. It’s common and easy for metal bands to admire natural splendor, but far less common for bands to put some lyrical skin in the game of preserving that nature. Through a real-world lens, dendrophilic bands are like big game hunters with no stake in conservancy efforts. Even if you’re no naturalist, well, at least Hope Misery Death rips.
Vow of Thorns - Farewell to the Sun | Independent/Digital | Atmospheric Post-Black/Doom Metal | United States
From Joseph's premiere of "Farewell to the Sun (Part 2)":
If you, like me, think Agalloch shined brightest on 2006's Ashes against the Grain, then Farewell to the Sun ought to slake your thirst. Vow of Thorns not only emulate that record perfect melodic balance, they even composed a three part title track. [...] On the one hand comparing them so heavily to Agalloch does the band a disservice. On the other hand they're inviting the comparison: Jason Walton, Agalloch's old bassist, mixed and mastered their upcoming album Farewell to the Sun. He did a damn fine job, too.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Nebelung - Mistelteinn (Re-Recorded) | Temple of Torturous | Neofolk | Germany
Upholding my appointed status as "Captain Neofolk" (long story, involves name dropping, don't ask), my love for German folk duo Nebelung runs deep. In fact, I remember first downloading the original version of Mistelteinn (I have since made good on my piracy) before moving across the country in 2005. Eleven years later, I still find myself listening to it regularly. Mistelteinn is special, and even if the band owns up to studio and musical lackings in retrospect, the beautiful, pastoral sounds of Stefan Otto's guitar and hushed voice mixed with interspersed percussion and bowed strings left a mark on my soul which few folk bands seems to meet. Over a decade later, Nebelung's more matured technical approach imbues a new sort of magic to this special re-recording of a very unique, bar-setting release. While undeniably the same songs, Stefan Otto and Thomas List's newfound approach to orchestration, now with the assistance of cellist Katharina Hoffman, breathes new life to this brief collection of songs. Voices become strings, strings become plucked, and the atmosphere grows. Having all but memorized every aspect of the initial Mistelteinn, this revisiting reminds me why Nebelung's body of work (be sure to listen to Vigil and Palingenesis when the leaves begin to turn) is so wonderful. New and old fans will find solace in this re-recording.
Caïna - Christ Clad In White Phosphorus | Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings | Industrial Post-Black Metal/Noise/Hardcore | England
I love Caïna. That being said, I don't understand what direction the now-pseudo-full-band seems to be going with this new one. Part nu metal, part black metal, part noise, part free-improvisation, part industrial, it seems like all these elements should go together, but I'm left with a strange sort of amorphous mess.
Psalm Zero - Stranger to Violence | Profound Lore Records | Industrial Art Rock | United States
Art-pop? Prog metal? Goth rock? Psalm Zero is hard to pin down, but so is every band which Charlie Looker spearheads. The meeting point of all these strange genres forms Psalm Zero, somewhat of a metallic Sisters of Mercy through a "smart music" prism (smart music referring to the classic Peter Gabriel albums). There has been a bit of dramatics surrounding guitarist Andrew Hock, who has since departed Psalm Zero in response to said news, but his talents are undeniable. That being said, the new inclusion replacement guitarist Mario Diaz de Leon (Oneirogen, Luminous Vault) spells an exciting future for Psalm Zero.
FROM THE GRAVE
Lunar Aurora/Nordlys - Crypt Of Postmortem Ceremonials/ | Cold Dimensions | Ambient Black Metal/Black Metal | Germany
So this is a weird 3LP/2CD split. One half has mostly unknown ambient black metal unit Nordlys's entire recorded works, the other has two previously recorded Lunar Aurora songs and what is purportedly an unreleased song. This might be worth the expensive import fees and dollar-to-euro conversion just for the one Lunar Aurora song.
Mourning Dawn - Les Sacrifiés | Dread Records | Black/Doom Metal | France
France's answer to Bethlehem managed to up the insanity and melancholy with 2014's Les Sacrifiés - now you can hear it in my favorite analog format with a bonus track.
Castle - Welcome to the Graveyard | Ván Records | Heavy/Doom Metal | United States
More occult doom, this time a little more on the Manson side than the "we're hippies in the woods with pentacles." Still not my thing.
Fistula - Longing for Infection | PATAC Records | Sludge/Doom Metal | United States
Filthy, trashy, strung out sludge. There hasn't been anything pretty about Fistula, I mean, shit, their name is disgusting as is, and I'm glad to say that hasn't changed. Thanks for being my rock, Fistula.
MΛKE - Pilgrimage of Loathing | Accident Prone Records | Post-Metal/Sludge | United States
The post-metal market isn't as oversaturated as it once was, but it still could use a little pruning. Though Make's "big riff doom" edge sets them apart at least superficially, I'm still left mildly bored.
Noire - The Tracks of the Hunted | Deathbound Records | Black Metal | Canada
The "Tribulation effect" in full swing - no dissonance nor obscurity here, just arena rock swagger and black metal adrenaline colliding at full speed.