Upcoming Metal Releases 7/17/2016-7/23/2016
I got a new stereo and man, I suddenly do not want to listen to all this new music now. Revisiting my own collection is too much fun, especially now with surround sound. What are some favorites in your collections?
Here are SOME new metal releases for the week of July 17, 2016 – July 23, 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.
Defeated Sanity - Disposal of the Dead / Dharmata | Willowtip Records | Technical Brutal Death Metal | Germany
When Defeated Sanity drummer and brainchild Lille Gruber first shared his idea of the band "doing a split with itself," I found myself in a rare mix of raised eyebrow and slight chuckle. I mean, a band doing a split with itself? Impossible. That's just called 'an album,' right? Wrong, I guess. Weird. As it turns out, the most over the top technical brutal death metal band had an ace up their sleeves. Or two. By splitting their sensibilities, the jazzy, technical, progressive death metal on one end and completely ignorant, ridiculous, slam-laden brutality on the other, the stylistically halved Defeated Sanity treads (and masters) familiar ground. Dharmata takes us back to Focus and Unquestionable Presence. You know the type - jazzy, smooth, classic death metal, featuring a live member of the now-"defunct" Cynic. Disposal of the Dead is what Defeated Sanity fans are more used to - disgusting, putrid, ridiculous death metal. They slam slams. You ever hear a half-timed slam in half-time? It's pretty ridiculous. By isolating these two aspects of Defeated Sanity's sound, we ultimately hear two different bands in one. It really is a self-split! How strange.
"17th Street was beautiful, but in taking its time sacrificed some urgency. This time the music is as vitriolic as the lyrics. For example with its riotous opening riff, soaring solo and relatively howling vocal timbre, “Flying Alone” feels like a knowing throwback to the Bay Area thrash bands that precede it. This is the high-energy point of the Hammers’ most high-energy record."
From my premiere of the full album:
"Devotion is a difficult and multi-faceted action, and while black metal's depiction of Satanic devotion is generally depicted by the perverse and horrific, there is a certain, mystical majesty in giving your entire being over to a more powerful being. The melodic, densely composed odes of Baptism's V: The Devil's Fire paint a portrait of glory, divine majesty, and total, ritualistic submission."
Profanatica - The Curling Flame of Blasphemy | Hells Headbangers Records | Black/Death Metal | United States
Profanatica doing what they do best - bass-heavy, black, putrid filth. So many black metal bands concentrate on the higher register, but Profanatica's special harshness involves an internal rumbling instead of an inner-ear scraping.
Witherscape - The Northern Sanctuary | Century Media Records | Atmospheric/Progressive Death Metal | United States
Witherscape's debut was touted as legendary Swedish multi-instrumentalist/studio wizard Dan Swanö's long-awaited return to the progressive death metal he perfected with Moontower. I could definitely hear that at times, but the "atmospheric" parts sounded a bit too much like early 2000s post-grunge (not good). The Northern Sanctuary expounds on the death metal a bit more, but please, please, harden the filler material a little more next time.
Old Graves - Long Shadows | Naturmacht Productions | Atmospheric Black/Post-Metal/Folk | Canada
In the wake of losing Agalloch, Canada's Old Graves triumphantly steps up to the plate and actually...hits it out of the park. There are so many pretenders to that weird mix of "dark metal," neofolk, and post-rock, but Old Graves is really onto something with their debut full-length. I hear the EP which preceded this is pretty great, as well.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Wreck and Reference - Indifferent Rivers Romance End | Flenser Records | Industrial Rock/Metal | United States
I distinctly remember getting into arguments with people about Wreck and Reference's choice of instruments when their debut No Youth was released a few years back. People thought they heard guitars, but I knew better and could recognize sample-based music when I heard it. It was still metal, but when 75% of the music was digitally arranged, cut, and pasted, the path laid for Wreck and Reference was a unique one. Now, I'm not sure what to call them. Indifferent Rivers Romance End is...an industrial album, but there are elements of R&B, post-hardcore, and metallic overtones of their past that make their way in throughout the album, which make it challenging to classify. Enter with an open mind.
FROM THE GRAVE
Vemod - Venter på stormene | Prophecy Productions | "Dark Ethereal Metal" (Atmospheric Black Metal) | Norway
Icy, ethereal black metal of the highest order. It may be mid Summer, but Vemod's Nidrosian "dark ethereal metal" cuts with fierce, icy majesty.
Xasthur - Xasthur | Foreign Sounds/Children of the Night | Depressive Black Metal | United States
Funny, this was the Xasthur release with which I'd spent the smallest amount of time. Well, aside from Portal of Sorrow, but I try to forget that one exists. This was Xasthur's final release on Moribund, and it looks like I wasn't the only one to kind of gloss over this single piece in what was undeniably Xasthur's "golden age." Now, my friends, is our chance at redemption.
Crebain - Under Black Wings of Night | Foreign Sounds/Children of the Night | Black Metal | United States
This collection of pure, unadulterated black metal was released on tape last year - now's your chance to own it if you missed it the first time around.
Krieg - Blue Miasma | Foreign Sounds/Children of the Night | Black Metal | United States
People hated this album when it first came out and I'm not sure why. Blue Miasma is a seminal work and a last gasp of the "classic" US Black metal sound bands like Krieg and Judas Iscariot pioneered.
Revocation - Great Is Our Sin | Metal Blade Records | Technical Death/Thrash Metal | United States
Between Revocation and Artificial Brain, Dan Gargiulo's status as a new "guitar hero" is undeniable. That being said, I've never really been a fan of thrashy things and Revocation is definitely, definitely thrashy, despite being on on the furthest fringe of the modern edge of thrash.
Numenorean - Home | Season of Mist | Post-Black Metal | Canada
The concept of post-rock black metal doesn't hit me quite like it did when I was in my teens. Numenorean are certainly good at the whole "we use dynamics and textures instead of riffs" approach, but the genre is still so saturated that Numenorean can't break out of the "dime a dozen" caste.
Unmerciful - Ravenous Impulse | Unique Leader Records | Brutal Death Metal | United States
If you remember how excited I was about the organic, natural feel of Defiled's latest album, Unmerciful is everything that album isn't. Everything on this album is digitized and inhuman. Why.
Funebrüm - Pestmortem | Signal Rex | Funeral Doom Metal | Portugal
Eighty minutes of funeral doom metal, drone, and noise is a bitter pill to swallow, but I happen to like bitter things. Fans of Elu of the Nine's first demo tape (the one with the black cover) might find familiar atmospheres here.