Upcoming Metal Releases 8/13/2017-8/19/2017
Here are the new metal releases for the week of August 13, 2017 – August 19, 2017. 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.
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.
Reverorum ib Malacht - Ter Agios Numini | The Ajna Offensive | Black Metal/Dark Ambient | Sweden
Challenging, both in content and execution. Reverorum ib Malacht is Roman Catholic Black Metal. Check back tomorrow for more in-depth thoughts and an interview with the band.
Grok - Sacred Fire Without Form | EEE Recordings/First Spell Productions/Quest for Fire | Black Metal | United States
The keyboard-laden atmospheric black metal duo return with yet another exercise in classic black metal. Check back soon to hear the whole thing.
Doom metal and gothic rock aren’t too far apart, at least when you think about it. Bands like Type O Negative, Katatonia, and Paradise Lost very openly embrace the morose middle ground between the two, concentrating on the sad melodies which define both genres, but operate in an “is it heavy? Is it really metal? Is it rock?” miasma of uncertainty. I’ll be candid and admit that, though End of Green‘s tenure dates back to 1992, I wasn’t truly familiar with them until the The Sick’s Sense (what a horrible pun), but I was completely hooked by this loud, sad, doomed music – what some without a genre classification lexicon call “depressive rock.” Their ninth and newest album, Void Estate makes this fog of stylistic uncertainty all the more dense. End of Green’s contemplative, ballad-centric nature hits all the hallmarks of both doom and gothic rock: it’s heavy, sad, melodic, and catchy, but there is no definitive characteristic which can truly place it in either category. For someone who got into the band so late in the game, it’s surprising and tragic to know they aren’t mentioned in the same breath as the above heavy-hitters. It’s an unjust world.
Proscrito - El Calvairo | Iron Bonehead Productions | Death/Doom Metal | Spain
Absolutely miserable, putrid death/doom. There isn't much on the Iron Bonehead roster which touches on the doomier end of things, but they sure know how to find the right ones.
Livid/No Funeral - Split | Live Fast Die | Stoner/Doom Metal / Sludge/Doom Metal | United States
A double-doom-whammy. I'm not really into either of these groups, but I guess I'm too stoner'd and sludged out for something like this. JJ had nice things to say about Livid's recent full-length, however.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
because only listening to metal is dumb
Cloakroom - Time Well | Relapse Records | Slowcore | United States
Relapse Records moves even further into the slowcore market, and Cloakroom's latest, albeit on the longer end of things, is the label's most inherently "slowcore" release. Time Well's methodical, chiming sense of emotional quietude speaks to the classic style championed by Low and Red House Painters, but, I suppose, with the "big budget explosion" sound of Hum's body of work.
While it’s a far cry from the preposterously heavy and long-winded music that Kärki made with Reverend Bizarre, “Beyond Distance” shows that he hasn’t lost his touch for making the most out of a small number of ingredients. What made Reverend Bizarre special was their ability to encode traditional song structures into their lengthy doom workouts. Even when songs blossomed to nearly half an hour in length, it was still easy to trace a verse to a chorus and back. Given that, it’s no surprise that Kärki’s fundamentals would translate just as well to a stripped down folk setting. “Beyond Distance” revolves around two simple chord progressions and two part harmony, first Walker’s dual performance and then between Anna-Elena Pääkkölä and Pirita Känkänen. Everything else in the song is filigree. It’s power comes from its transparency, the way each note of the melody plays off the simple but evocative harmony beneath it.
William Ryan Fritch & Matt Finney - A History, In Boxes | Lost Tribe Sound | Ambient/Alternative Country/Spoken Word | United States
I've never heard "alternative country" stripped down to such a cinematic, minimal sound, but, given the context of Fritch's discography, A History, In Boxes more closely resembles textured, soundtrack work. A collaboration with Matt Finney, there is a larger sense of despondency, especially beneath the weight of Finney's downtrodden voice.
Steven Wilson - To the Bone | Caroline Records | Progressive Rock | England
Steven Wilson returns to the world of songwriting vs progressive musicianship worship, which is both nice and bittersweet. Sure, To the Bone is great, but I still really miss the much more personally self-referential Porcupine Tree. I suppose that portion of his life is inescapable. The lyric about being "tired of Facebook" in "Pariah" definitely caught me off guard, though.
FROM THE GRAVE
Dr Shrinker - Archive I + Archive II | Nuclear War Now! Productions | Death Metal | United States
So Dr. Shrinker, the weirdest death metal band from Wisconsin, has been active again for a few years following a super lengthy, decades long hiatus. I'm not sure when we will actually get new material, but at least YK over at Nuclear War Now has compiled these two volumes of rare or never-been-released demo and rehearsal material.
Eluveitie - Evocation II: Pantheon | Nuclear Blast | Folk/Melodic Death Metal | Switzerland
I remember losing my mind over how cool and boundary-breaking Spirit was in 2006, but this new era of Eluveitie more closely resembles really saccharine folk/pop. I don't get it.
Desecresy - The Mortal Horizon | Xtreem Music | Death Metal | Finland
Old school death metal, but it doesn't sound like Incantation or Dismember! Wow! That being said, I'd rather listen to Rippikoulu, whose sound Desecresy 100% apes.