Upcoming Metal Releases 9/24/2017-9/30/2017
God, fucking hell. There are so many new albums. Happy end of September.
Here are the new metal releases for the week of September 23, 2017 – September 30, 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.
JoDöden - Sittandes i sjön med vatten över huvudet | Nordvis | Progressive Black Metal/Neofolk | Sweden
Sorgeldom doesn't get enough love. People like JoDöden quickly flex their creativity and suddenly unleash a massive outpouring of idiosyncratic music. Alone, he becomes more contemplative. The avant-elements are still there, much like his work in Whirling, but his eponymous work is much more autumnal and contemplative. Weaving strands of his jangling, discordant black metal past with the more romantic sounds of cabin-warmed folk music, JoDöden merges past, present, and future.
Arckanum - Den förstfödde | Folter Records | Black Metal | Sweden
Let's talk classic black metal. Most people know Arckanum for the classic video of sole member Shaamatae dressed in his canonical woodland troll garb and adventuring around with his large walking staff. Yes, we all know black metal aesthetic is funny. However, most...newer fans (I'm trying to be nice to young people now) tend to be put off by silly* aesthetics and let it be. Let the myriad of intimidating, magnificent riffs which compose Arckanum's final masterwork be a lesson to all of you. There is a reason albums like Fran Marder and Kostogher are held in such high esteem, but Shaamatae always sharpened his blade, focusing his skill by himself. The anti-cosmic hermit throws himself into the pit one final time.
Asagraum - Potestas Magicum Diaboli | Kvlt | Black Metal | Netherlands/Norway
This album is exciting, but in the way that Mayhem's Wolf's Lair Abyss was exciting. Asagraum's music is undeniably black metal, but they turn some elements on their head. They tastefully play with strange chord progressions and dime-turn rhythm changes which, at first glance, don't really sound like they even happened. These are hallmarks of good songwriting, injecting modernity and strangeness into something without the audience even knowing they were there. Potestas Magicum Diaboli more subtly approaches the magic of turn-of-the-century black metal transience without the intentional overbearing aspects of "oh my god it's so dissonant" black metal, concentrating their skills on the songwriting-end of the musical spectrum. Good songwriting trumps all.
Celeste - INFIDÈLE(S) | Denovali Records | Blackened Sludge/Post-Hardcore | France
Get pissed. Get really, really pissed. No one does it quite like Celeste, whose signature mid-paced, disgusting plod is a provoking fist to the face. The band's home label refers to this new album as faceless and gloomy, but Celeste's music has always felt so much more inflamed than that, a stewing anger thich is always a hair-trigger-pull from virulent explosion. There is no resignation here, only a looming, constant sense of danger and poison in the air.
Antiversum - Cosmos Comedenti | Invictus Productions | Black/Death Metal | Switzerland
If it looks like a goat and it bleats like a goat, it might be war metal. Kudos to Antiversum for going the "cleaner" route, though. These are, and this is a rarity for the genre, some nice, sinister riffs, and yes, you can hear them.
Runespell - Unhallowed Blood Oath | Iron Bonehead | Black Metal | Australia
I really enjoy this. Wonderfully triumphant, melodic black metal, reminiscent of old Nargaroth. You really can't go wrong with Unhallowed Blood Oath.
Loincloth - Psalm of the Morbid Whore | Southern Lord | Progressive Metal | United States
Confessor was great because it sounded like doom metal falling down a flight of stairs, but performed in a calculated manner. Loincloth takes that and ups the speed.
Syn Ze Șase Tri - Zăul moș | code666 | Symphonic Black Metal | Romania
I've come to the recent realization that I like some, maybe a good portion, of symphonic black metal. Well, any which is performed well, but that is a bare minimum I ask of all music. Unfortunately, Syn Ze Șase Tri's absolutely abysmal vocal performance prevents them from becoming what could be an interesting band.
Blood - Inferno | Independent | Death Metal/Grindcore | Germany
O Agios Pethane is considered a landmark in extreme metal, at least in the underground. It was obscure, heavy, buzzing, and uncompromising. 25 years later, Blood seems to have cleaned their act up, preferring for the sharper, accurate sounds of modern death/grind. Not that they have made any missteps.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
because only listening to metal is dumb
Grave Pleasures - Motherblood | Century Media | Post-Punk/Pop/Rock | England/Finland
Seeing the metal world become so comfortable with pop music has truly been a treat. Sure, this band shares members with Oranssi Pazuzu and the myriad of bands in which singer Mat "Kvohst" McNerney has participated, so there's an entrypoint, but, even so… The appreciation is there, and it's cool. The next step is accepting that Grave Pleasures is so much more than a post-punk band. They certainly have the swagger of great bands like The Sisters of Mercy, but Motherblood recalls some of the great art rock hits performed by David Bowie in his prime. Either way, Grave Pleasures has more than proven themselves as a great, 100% rock band.
Martial Canterel - Lost At Sea | Dais Records
So, you have the whole "retro synth" or "synthwave" thing which has been happening over the last couple years. Make no mistake, this is what synthesizer music sounded in the '80s, and it was owned by goths.
Unsane - Sterilize | Southern Lord | Noise Rock | United States
Part of me wants to grab the lot of you by the shoulders and shake you while shouting "IT'S UNSANE! YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT THIS IS GOING TO SOUND LIKE! WHY DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT UNSANE SOUNDS LIKE?" That experience would also be an effective experience comparison in relation to how they actually sound. Relive the glory days of extraordinarily ugly, grooving noise rock with their most angular sons.
Evil Invaders - Feed Me Violence | Napalm Records | Speed Metal | Belgium
These guys really like Annihilator, which is cool and all, but maybe take a half hour to listen to Alice in Hell instead. I did.
Monolord - Rust | RidingEasy Records | Stoner/Doom Metal | Sweden
You know the deal, Monolord do the classic stoner/doom thing (I feel like Tony Iommi should get ten dollars every time these bands write a song), but at least there is an overwhelmingly thick bass presence.
Jag Panzer - The Deviant Chord | Steamhammer | Heavy/Power Metal | United States
Jag Panzer is great if you want to feel like you're about to face the legendary final boss in a video game. Some might call this cheesy, and they aren't wrong, but at least know everything you love comes from shreddy, chorus-driven metal like this. Do yourself a favor and listen to this one on headphones or with a nice surround sound stereo -- the duo of Mark Briody and Joey Tafolla took some extra time orchestrating this one, making for some tastefully hard-panned guitars.
Worm - Evocation of the Black Marsh | Iron Bonehead | Black Metal | United States
Strange, stumbling, almost drunken black metal weirdness. Definitely one for those who want to keep it lo-fi, maybe even outsider. I might need to dig further into this project.