Upcoming Metal Releases 9/18/2016 – 9/24/2016
Here are the new metal releases for the week of September 18, 2016 – September 24, 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.
Insomnium - Winter's Gate | Century Media Records | Melodic Death Metal | Finland
I have such a soft spot for Insomnium (especially In The Halls Of Awakening, what an album), but pulling a Crimson and releasing a single 40-minute track is a risk not many melodic death metal bands can take. In Insomnium's defense, these Finns have always been strong, strong songwriters, melding a palpable emotive sense with catchy melodies while avoiding the "cheese" which plagues most melodic death metal post-Colony.
Fast forward to 1:45 for a brief sample:
Neurosis - Fires Within Fires | Neurot Recordins | "Post-Metal" (Progressive Sludge Metal/Post-Hardcore/Tribal/Ambient) | United States
Reviewing a Neurosis album the week of its release without spending months and months with it does the album a disservice. I'm still wrapping my head around Honor Found In Decay.
Predatory Light - Predatory Light | Invictus Productions/Psychic Violence Records | Black/Doom Metal | United States
With roots buried deep in the forefront of what defines the latest generation of black metal in the United States, Predatory Light casts off its opalescent heritage in favor of a more esoteric, strange approach. With nods to the classic Hellenic black metal mold, as well as psychedelic rock and Eastern music, Predatory Light's spidery, slithering black/doom is very inherently "not-American." There are no "big buildups" here, nor are there "transcendent melodies" and "folkish overtones," rather, Predatory Light paints their self-portrait in horrific monochrome.
Ehnahre - Nothing and Nothingness | Independent/Digital (presented by Painted Throat Music) | Experimental Death/Doom Metal/Avant-Garde Classical | United States
Though the world is still trying to unfurl the impenetrably composed Douve, avant-classical death metal troupe Ehnahre works at a different pace. Where Douve is immediate and confrontational, Nothing and Nothingness are the lasting echo of violence. While containing the occasional, metallic outburst, Nothing and Nothingness moves with more loosely defined subtleties through larger spaces. The band has expressed a desire to press these two lengthy tracks (hovering around eleven minutes each) to vinyl, so here's an open call for worthy labels to reach out.
"Hardcore bands playing lean and mean is nothing new, and neither does “Revival Spines” contain any real curveballs. But the old hardcore playbook has not lost its effectiveness. the mid-tempo breakdown that composes the last half of the song inspires bodily motion and violent thoughts, which is, of course, the point."
Torture Chain - Wasting Syndrome + Self Discovery | Darkest Heavy | Black Metal | United States
At long last, the fabled Torture Chain album surfaces. Wasting Syndrome is the "official" album, but if you act quickly, the Self Discovery preorder bonus, a song omitted from the album due to LP constraints, can be yours, as well.
Sorcier des Glaces/Ende - Le puits des morts | Obscure Abhorrence Productions/Dread Records | Ambient Black Metal/Atmospheric Black Metal | Canada/France
The ignorantly-titled "Indian Summer", or the last breath of extreme heat before Autumn, is coming to a close - celebrate the death of brutal heat with two of the most chilling artists in black metal.
End/Torrid Husk - Swallow Matewan | Grimoire Records | Black Metal / Black/Doom Metal | Greece/United States
So many splits this week! With "new" vocalist Aaron Carey of Nechochwen handling vocal duties, the return of Greece's End after last year's Moerae split (which is worth your time) should be met with fanfare. The blending of more modern, "atmospheric" approach with a solid base of classic, Hellenic black metal looks both forward and backward in breathtaking duality. From the view into the past comes a much more straightforward look at our modern time - Torrid Husk's bottom-heavy, atmospheric black metal is wholly a product of the 2010s. Hidden post-rock melodies, large, obscured harmonies, startling dynamic shifts: it's all there, but with some really incredible, tasteful bass work to back it up.
From last month's "Editor's Choice":
We shared this on our Facebook a few days ago, but in case you missed it, Germany’s Valborg have a new two-song EP coming out called Werwolf. It’s worth the price alone for the cover, another great example of the band’s impeccable design aesthetic. Notice the skull’s bitten a curb.
But what about the song? Getting there. I meant to write up Valborg for their last album, Romantik but never found a decent summation of my thoughts. It was melodic, morose, slow, all things I enjoy in conjunction and separate. I liked listening to the record and then never revisited it. Werwolf has already gotten more plays. This EP crushes with the kind of high-rez death-doom that Triptykon does so well, albeit with more manageable song lengths.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Dysrhythmia - The Veil of Control | Profound Lore Records | Technical Progressive Rock | United States
I stand by any and all convictions that Kevin Hufnagel and Colin Marston are two of the most challenging, creative minds of the new century. Now utilizing a 12-string guitar, the fretted acrobatics of The Veil of Control carry a chiming warmth to them, though still incredibly alien. Dysrhythmia's brilliance breaks the mold which built them, though progressive and certainly technical, The Veil of Control is a masterful blending of smooth composition with technical prowess.
Okkultokrati - Raspberry Dawn | Southern Lord Recordings | Sludge/Hardcore | Norway
Okkultokrati first made it into my listening habits thanks to our favorite black metal local politician extraordinaire, Mr. Fenriz Nagell. Raspberry Dawn is a far cry from the crazed, blackened, sludgy hardcore which made me fall in love with them, but the retropunk here sounds more like our dearly departed Lemmy Kilmister and Alan Vega butting heads.
The Sword - Low Country | Razor & Tie | Folk Rock | United States
The Sword goes acoustic? Actually not that bad - the unplugged atmosphere does their newer, less aggressive approach more justice. Rock on.
FROM THE GRAVE
Bhavachakra - Bhavachakra | Translation Loss Records | Progressive Black Metal | United States
Whoa, where the hell did this band come from? It goes without saying that the whole “dissonant”/post-Deathspell Omega sound in black metal has been more than oversaturated. It’s true, don’t deny it. Luckily, we have bands like Bhavachakra who give us not-so-gentle reminders that there is always new ground to be covered with their completely bonkers, grindcore-inspired take on the new-classic sound. The whole record sounds so punchy and energetic, which is more than I can say for most newer black metal bands nowadays. Kudos to you, Bhavachakra.
Enslaved - Vikinglir veldi | ByNorse | Progressive Black/Viking Metal | Norway
Old Enslaved is best Enslaved, and the cleaned up cover art fills my soul with a nostalgic magic.
Charred Walls of the Damned - Creatures Watching over the Dead | Metal Blade Records | Power/Thrash Metal | United States
Power metal supergroup makes really shreddy, crazed power metal (it isn't bad, but all I really want from Jason Suecof is more Crotchduster).
Sahg - Memento Mori | Indie Recordings | Doom Metal | Norway
Sahg has always been super underrated, and Memento Mori is another excellent example of their doom metal prowess. Fusing Candlemass's heaviness with the haunting qualities of early Black Sabbath, they certainly aren't reinventing the wheel, but the tire did need some more air.