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I start working from home this week, so hopefully these will get more verbose again. Or not!

Here are the new metal releases for the week of August 28, 2016 – September 3, 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

Wędrowcy~Tułacze~Zbiegi - Światu jest wszystko jedno | Devoted Art Propaganda | Art Rock with Black Metal Elements | Poland
I generally don't give "metal-adjacent" stuff top-billing, but there are always exceptions. Polish musician Sars (real name unknown as of my writing this blurb) has lent his hand to Furia, Massemord, and Morowe, but his solo vision has always been separate. Take Duszę Wypuścił, for instance. Finding a morose medium between the raw, "Temple of Fullmoon" sound (synonymous with early Polish black metal) and grey, autumnal post-punk - I highly recommend checking out the Duszę Wypuścił Bandcamp page when you get a chance. With a new name comes a new sound, and Wędrowcy~Tułacze~Zbiegi (Wanderers~wanderers~coincidences - how punny) is a stronger focal point for Sars's misery. Essentially shedding the black metal influence of his previous solo incarnation, at least superficially, WTZ is a smoother, darker descent into gothic rock by way of the aforementioned black metal.

Crowhurst - II | Broken Limbs Recordings/Dullest Records | Black Metal/Post-Rock/Noise | United States/England
Crowhurst's duality is based in extremes. In one hand, you have an endless library of noise releases, ranging from harsh noise wall to a bizarre mix of digital audio interference and sharp, black metal guitar. In the other...metal? Why not, extreme music and harsh, experimental have gone hand in hand since Hawkwind first brought a noise generator onstage alongside the more traditional "rock band" setup. Featuring a new cast of bandmates than last year's self-titled album, this second overtly "metal" effort shows frontman/noisemaker Jay Gambit enlisting the musical assistance of (our dearly departed) Caïna's Andy Curtis-Brignell and Ævangelist/Benighted in Sodom/Death Fetishist/Præternatura brainchild Reuben "Matron Thorn" Jordan to create a compelling, esoteric album. Taking a hard left turn from Crowhurst's ethereal mixture of post-rock, doom metal and black metal, II is a harsh, rhythmic adventure through cavernous, mechanical industrial beats and harsh, nightmarish black metal. If last year's full-band effort was a fever dream, II is a jarring awakening into your own, very real illness.

Ultha - Dismal Ruins | Vendetta Records/Tartarus Records | Black/Doom Metal | Germany
Last year's Pain Cleanses Every Doubt was a quietly-released, retroactively-discovered surprise, but Dismal Ruins's birth was much more jarring and immediate. All but completely dismissing the sludgier elements of their earlier sound incarnation, Dismal Ruins is pure black metal devastation. The addition of new guitarist R.C. (Ralf Conrad) thickens Ultha's void worship, this new EP is a melodic, morose beast. Whereas Ultha's previous efforts echo a more doomed Bethlehem, I hear more Emperor and Limbonic Art this time around. An unexpected but interesting development. I want to hear more - and the Mighty Sphincter cover is uniquely enjoyable.

Fange - Purge | Throatuiner Records | Blackened Doom Metal | France

From my premiere of "Cour Martiale":

"With all the blues, post-rock, and other atmospheric influences which worm their way into other sludge bands, Fange raises their 1991 banner high. Come to Grief, destroy yourself to Fange."

Rebel Wizard - Triumph of Gloom | Independent/Digital | Black/Heavy Metal | Australia
Though the mind behind Nekrasov is associated more with the raw coldness of harsh, noisy black metal, Bob Nekrasov's alter ego Rebel Wizard echoes his frigidity in a much more "traditional" metal light. Pitting the room-filling distortion which pervades his discography against melodic, Judas Priest riffing, Rebel Wizard's "Negative Wizard Metal" is an anomaly in raw music. An enjoyable anomaly.

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OF NOTE

Eye of Solitude - Cenotaph | Independent/Digital | Death/Doom Metal | England
There needs to be more melodramatic death/doom metal like this. The old way, at least the Peaceville way.

Surgeon - Beast of Light | Anthropic Records | Blackened Progressive Metal | United States
Half "modern styled" US black metal, half meandering progressive noodling. Parts of this are really cool, and I can definitely feel the motions the band effuses, but "musician's prog" has never really been my thing.

Vorpal Sword - Inflictor | Rising Beast Recordings | Raw Black Metal/Noise | United States
Harassor and Lord Foul mastermind Roach continues to make the absolute nastiest black metal this side of Abruptum's Evil Genius. Feels like steel wool against my eardrum.

Orphaned Land/Amaseffer - Kna'an | Century Media Records | Progressive Folk Metal | Israel
Two progressive folk metal bands from Israel meet up and create...not folk metal. Intended to be a soundtrack to Abraham's time in Kna'an (Canaan), the folk-inspired music on Orphaned Land and Amaseffer's collaboration doesn't rely nearly as much as I would like on the traditional Middle Eastern folk which made both bands great. Some collaborations read better than they sound.

Glass Shrine - Lapidary | Independent/Digital | Black Metal | United States
My first experience with Glass Shrine was through small Texas tape-only label Atavistic Insurgence. Impurities was triumphant, melodic, triumphant black metal, but three songs is just enough to whet one's palette. The rough gem of his first demo was shaped into gothic art with Lapidary - injecting post-punk sensibilities into his challenging, guitar-centric music.

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FOR THE ADVENTUROUS

Helms Alee - Stillicide | Sargent House | Post-Hardcore/Noise Rock | United States
Helms Alee's avant-garde take on post-hardcore is perfectly fine, but music like this doesn't really move me. I don't hate it, but I don't really like it. You decide.

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OTHER RELEASES

Goblin Cock - Neconomidonkeykongimicon | Joyful Noise Recordings | Doom/Drone Rock/Metal | United States
Why didn't anyone tell me the singer from Pinback had a drone rock band? This isn't *super* great, but I'm still left rather surprised.

Slomatics - Future Echo Returns | Black Bow Records | Sludge/Doom Metal | Northern Ireland
So many bass frequencies that you can't hear any of the riffs. Control your obsession over pedals and boutique amps, friends.

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