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This week is...a quiet one. I don't mind, things have been hectic and I wouldn't hate a lull before my week off. As this publishes, I'm in an airport awaiting a flight to Nebraska, so I'll be off the radar next week. Be nicer to the new interim guy than you were to Richard Street-Jammer, yeah?

Here are the new metal releases for the week of July 31, 2016 – August 6, 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

Temple Nightside - The Hecatomb | Iron Bonehead Productions | Black/Death Metal
I'm generally a grump about the whole "cavernous death metal" thing, which essentially, at least in my opinion, fizzled out around 2010. Granted, there are always exceptions to the rule. I wasn't super impressed with Temple Nightside's prior work, primary songwriter IV's songwriting with Ill Omen generally resonated a little more within me, but The Hecatomb is a strong reiteration of a tired genre. Though the "cavernous" trappings of muddy production and general incoherence are inescapable, there are these moments of clarity which truly showcase this "supergroup"'s (features members of Vassafor, Blasphemy, Nasxul, Grave Upheaval, the aforementioned Ill Omen and more) musical chops. For a style so deeply embedded in sloppy technique, there is a surprisingly tight, practiced performance hidden beneath the endless layers of distortion.

Forgotten Spell - Epiphaneia Phosphorus (Angel, God, or Insanity | Goatowarex | Black Metal | Germany
Bizarre, magnificently composed outsider black metal of the highest order. Read more and listen to the full album here.

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OF NOTE

Vukari - Divination | Bindrune Recordings | Post-Rock Black Metal | United States
I am still not sold on this whole "Explosions in the Sky...but with blast beats" thing. Some bands do the style well enough, but Vukari's latest is more toward the top of the bell curve.

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FOR THE ADVENTUROUS

The Holy Circle - The Holy Circle | Accidental Guest Recordings | Avant-Garde Ambient/Abstract R&B | United States
Locrian is probably a household name by now, and deservedly so, but their vast array of related projects go largely unnoticed. A benefit compilation released last year was my first introduction to Terence Hannum and Erica Burgner-Hannum's work as The Holy Circle, but one song was not enough. Now with a four-song EP, the Hannums' abstract, deconstructed pop music is an absolute dream. Having spent a few years in the midst of the Houston hip-hop scene's "purple" obsession, the ethereal Drone'n'B of The Holy Circle is a more apt fit for the regal color as opposed to its syrupy usurper.

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OTHER RELEASES

Carnifex - Slow Death | Nuclear Blast | Deathcore | United States
Nope, nope, nope. This style should have aged out with the last decade.

Tarja - The Shadow Self | earMUSIC | Symphonic Metal/Rock | Finland
The best thing about Nightwish never quite met the same level of grandeur after "going solo." I've always found Turunen's ear for music without her Nightwish counterparts to be on the corny side, but I can't deny just how great her voice is.

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