Here are the new metal releases for the weeks of July 8, 2018 – July 14, 2018. 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 the coming Fridays 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.

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Churchburn takes the “devastator”‘s route, finding new and interesting ways to communicate the acrid, dead wasteland of blackened sludge’s sonic conceit, but with a deeper sense of passion and dread attached to it. Using a vast, melodic sound palette, “Authorized to Cleanse”‘s balanced bludgeon adds a more emotive, human element to this idea of the apocalypse and pure misanthropy. It is pure, hateful misery, and hating everything must be a lonely existence. Featuring some sorely missed fretboard acrobatics from frontman and guitar hero Dave Suzuki (ex-Vital Remains), there is an unexpected metal backbone which keeps Churchburn upright, much more than the punk and hardcore-inflicted spirit of most sludgey doom. Churchburn interests themselves in expressing themselves in extremes -- metal, shred, volume, bottom-end, emotion — so why limit themselves to a simple existence? The world they hate is so much more complex than that.

Obscura - Diluvium | Relapse Records | Progressive/Technical Death Metal | Germany
From Andrew Rothmund:

One of the most almighty forces on the progressive side of tech-death, Obscura are back with their fifth full-length since their first over a decade ago. You get exactly what you expect: complicated and multifaceted riffing, meandering and ever-shifting basslines (more tech-death bands should take the hint and produce the bass so that it's actually audible), hyperspace drumming, and burly growls. So what's new this time around? A great feeling of playfulness and fun, actually -- Diluvium invites as many smiles as it does raised fists.

Sathanas - Necrohymns | Transcending Obscurity | Black/Death Metal | United States
Blackened death metal, sure, but of the sort where the band listens to Judas Priest more than they listen to Incantation. You want fun riffs and music enjoyable outside of a performative image? You've come to the right place.

Malsanctum - Malsanctum | Iron Bonehead | Ambient/Funeral Doom Metal | Canada
Crushed under the weight of ritualistic abandon. Check back to hear the whole thing.







OCRE - Rouge | Utech Records | Drone/Doom Metal | Canada/France
The meetings of Michel "Away" Langevin (yes, the drummer from Voivod) and Stephane Thanneur (yes, the vocalist and bassist from Chaos Echoes) collide in clattering, heavy, albeit brief drone/doom majesty. This kind of collaboration is, obviously, unexpected, but man, is it cool.

Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love | ANTI- | Post-Black Metal/Screamo | United States
Head editor Ian Cory:

Ordinary Corrupt Human Love is a necessary overcorrection from 2014’s New Bermuda. While that record was a thematically rich follow up to Deafheaven’s career making smash, Sunbather, it suffered from a reliance on meat headed riffs that never quite gelled with the band’s penchant for dream pop melody. It seemed like the accusations of ‘false metal’ had struck a nerve and they were compensating with palm muting. Ordinary Corrupt Human Love finds them far more comfortable in their own skin. Instead of running away from their sentimentality, they’ve leaned into it, unlocking new levels of expressive power in the process. While none of the songs on this record match the aggressive force of ‘From The Kettle To The Coil” or “Luna,” songs like “Canary Yellow” and “Near” embrace the shoegaze band that had always been lurking beneath the blast beats to great effect. The album isn’t perfect, first single “Honeycomb” is a slapdash mess of interesting parts that don’t work well together and the Chelsea Wolfe cameo “Night People” doesn’t mesh with the record’s otherwise sunny disposition. Even with these missteps, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love is a powerful record from a band that knows their strengths and no longer feels the need to prove anything other than their merit.

Birds in Row - We Already Lost The World | Deathwish | Sludge/Metalcore/Post-Metal | France
I recall Birds in Row being much more frenetic and metalcore-adjacent, if even sludgey back in the day. Was I surprised to hear the more clasically French "screamo" sound on We Already Lost The World? Not really, screamo isn't much more than a hop, skip, and jump from the post-metal heights from Birds in Row's back catalog. Was I impressed? Sure, there are moments which recall the majesty of Daitro and Mihai Edrisch, which were cool and all, but Birds in Row haven't exactly mastered the style. That isn't to say it is bad -- it clearly isn't, especially considering the names I'm dropping as comparisons -- I just don't think they've figured it all out yet.




Black Fast - Spectre of Ruin | eOne | Progressive Thrash Metal | United States
This is some pretty intense stuff -- like the world's most pissed off thrash, at least from a modern lens. It's strange to think of how this would be considered death metal thirty years ago. We've all become so spoiled by the sheer amount of brutality in music now.

Firtan - Okeanos | Art of Propaganda | Pagan/Black Metal | Germany
This is the kind of music which is cool… in theory. Firtan cites Emperor and Thyrfing as influences (cool) and recorded with Markus Schwadorf (also cool), but these… cool things don't stop Okeanos from being a sterile bout of emulation and primarily inoffensive music. Sure, there isn't anything remarkably bad about it, but it also isn't anything for me to get all in a huff about and sing praises from the rooftops. This is music which simply exists.

Crypticus - The Nightcomers | Independent | Death Metal | United States
Nothing beats finding out Patrick Bruss is still holding fast to the "zombie death metal" which helped garner him some fame in the golden age of Razorback Records. Does anyone else remember that brief period in the 2000s?




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