Upcoming Metal Releases 9/11/2016 – 9/16/2016
Here are the new metal releases for the week of September 11, 2016 – September 16, 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.
Funeral Mourning - Inertia of Dissonance (A Sermon in Finality) | Independent/Digital | Black/Funeral Doom Metal | Australia
The master of cavernous, despondent gloom returns with yet another surprise release (see: the Descent EP from earlier this year). When pitted against earlier Funeral Mourning material from nearly a decade ago - wow - Inertia… is a much more obscure beast, relying on subtle melodies hidden deep within hollow, empty, massive droning chords and hoarse depression. I hope Goatowarex presses this one like he did the Descent EP!
"'The First Point Of Aries' showcases progressive black metal songwriting by operating in two directions at once. The track’s energy tunes out, not in. Yet a guitar solo emerges as uplift. Chord progressions climb, pulling against the song’s entropy. This way, the music feels emergent rather than assembled from conventional black metal hardware."
An unusual split pairing. From my premiere of Sea of Bones's "Hopelessness and Decay":
"As made evident by its title, there is no beauty in 'Hopelessness and Decay', whose ten-plus minutes in length shows this band laying waste with dismal plod and reckless rot. As Summer breathes its second wind here in my home base of Chicago, I feel myself melting, hollowing out, with Sea of Bones as the soundtrack to my withering."
Thy Catafalque - Meta | Season of Mist | Avant-Garde Rock/Darkwave/Folk | Hungary (currently Scotland)
Tamas Katai is a force to be reckoned with. One year after the progressive flair of Sgurr, Thy Catafalque makes a complete "about face" and adventures deep into 4AD darkwave, mixing Katai's trademark "black metal meets trance" avant-approach with gothic atmospheres and even more exotic melodies.
Hellgoat - Eden In Flames | Pale Horse Recordings/Boris Records | Black Metal | United States
Last year's Infernal Zeal was a near perfect example of no-frills, devotional black metal, and Eden In Flames is a further sharpening of Hellgoat's blade. While still relying on strong melodies, these two new tracks are all the more enraged and wild.
Cult Of Fire - Life, Sex and Death | Beyond Eyes | Epic Black Metal | Czech Republic
People fell out of love with Ascetic Meditations on Death (original title in unintelligible Sanskrit script) rather quickly, so I'm not sure how the more melancholic aspects of this new EP will go over. I happen to enjoy it, but the internet is a cruel mistress.
Drudkh/Grift - Зраджені сонцем (Betrayed by the Sun) / Hägringar (Mirages) | Season of Mist/Nordvis Produktionen | Folk/Black Metal / Atmospheric Black Metal | Sweden/Ukraine
Autumn is coming. Following a few steps in the "right direction," Drudkh dazzles with some of their most effective compositions post-Blood In Our Wells - the epic sounds of Slavic landscapes and history. Grift's half continues the sound he explored with Syner, rife with folkish melodies and dense, washed atmospheres, but with a stronger focal point. Grift's half is great, but the real surprise here is Drudkh's return to form.
In The Woods… - Pure | Debemur Morti Productions | Avant-Garde/Progressive Rock/Metal | Norway
I was initially pretty, nay, very excited concerning the return of Norwegian metal weirdos In The Woods… Having worshiped Heart of the Ages and Omnio for over a decade now, I had completely, and conveniently, forgotten their eventual, personally ineffective, gothic tilt. Pure is a fine album, but my self-imposed lack of timeline awareness led me to expect something more "metallic" and less "Sisters of Mercy."
"[Blood From the Lion's Mouth] is filled with small moments of exploratory joy, where you can feel each idea building naturally from the one preceding it. The band never sound like they are losing the plot, but they also don’t sound self-conscious when simplifying their playing either. Again, it’s a thin line, but Barishi walk that line with a real strut in their step."
Following a recent Dawnbringer release, Chicago hometown hero Chris Black lays down yet another solid slab of heavy metal. Echoing the triumphant sounds of the Scorpions and Manila Road, the “High Energy Rock!” of this latest High Spirits single echoes Black’s self-categorization. The upcoming full album, Motivator, oozes excitement, almost on a giddy level, but skillfully avoids any of the staleness found within newer “traditional” heavy metal.
"That palate of influences is more death metal-tinged on their upcoming album Wanderer, on which “Bring the War Home” appears. Elsewhere George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher has a cameo. Better, songs like “They Shall Not Pass” dive into full-bore Bolt Thrower worship. The meaner edge on these songs make Wanderer their best album since Deaf to Our Prayers ten years ago, even if “Bring the War Home” doesn’t really hint at this new direction. And even without the rest of the record, it’s still a good single from a band that mostly makes good singles."
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree | Bad Seed Ltd | Art Rock/Post-Punk/Folk Rock | Australia
Last year Australian goth/rock/everything singer-songwriter Nick Cave lost one of his two sons, and made a record about it. That record, Skeleton Tree, will break your heart. It's just that simple. Those hoping for the return of Mick Harvey's guitar are still out of luck, but this is one of the most soulful and affecting entries in Cave's long discography.
Cara Neir/Wildspeaker - Guilt and His Reflection | Broken Limbs Recordings | Crust Punk/Post-Hardcore/Dark Hardcore | United States
Hearing Cara Neir play more straightforward post-hardcore is something I still haven't been able to grasp, but it pairs nicely with Wildspeaker's more "crusty" approach. Maybe not my favorite from the Cara Neir camp, but I can't wait for everyone to hear Perpetual Despair is the Human Condition!
Street Sects - End Position | Flenser Records | Digital Hardcore/Industrial/Noise Rock | United States
This makes me think of classic-era Marilyn Manson if he took the "urban" route instead of detached modern, suburban gothisms and concentrated on harsher, hallucinogenic, inorganic beats. I imagine an alternate timeline in which alternative rock and industrial music merged and became this instead of nu-metal.
"If you’re familiar with Botanist, self-described “green metal,” then you’re tangentially familiar with Lotus Thief’s self-described “text metal” (more below). Drummer Otrebor and composer Bezaelith’s musical philosophy remains the same in both groups, to add lightness and ‘Mother Earth’ aesthetics to black metal. To wit, blastbeats emerge from dust left behind by clean-sung melodies. Consolation is offered during softer moments; ascendancy when the dawn breaks."
This article has been edited to reflect that Mick Harvey played guitar in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.