Most of you probably remember FuneralRain‘s discontinued series: ‘New Releases of the Week’. It ran successfully for quite a long time (even becoming an official Heathen Headlines series for several weeks), but of course, we all have lives beyond our blogs, and sometimes we need to make sacrifices to accomodate said lives. Since it was discontinued and replaced with the now-inactive ‘New Releases’ public chat, nobody has really stepped up to take this on, and we lost a useful source of information as a result.
I’ve decided to take this on myself now, and revive it to the best of my abilities. I regularly keep track of recent releases on my own anyways, so this isn’t really much extra work on my part. The format I’ll be using will be slightly different from what you may have been used to from before, but that’s really just semantics, I suppose. I’ll be presenting these releases in a top-# style, with the (subjective) best release of the week ranking at #1. But enough about that, now. I’ll spare you my dispersive ramblings so we can actually get started.
9. Triste Terre- Et pour les siècles des siècles
This is a ~17 minute EP presenting some fairly interesting atmospheric black metal. Triste Terre (Sad Earth) are a new duo from France, and this, their sophomore effort, is the second release they’ve dropped this year (the 1st being the May EP ‘La cœur des voraces). Though I wouldn’t exactly call this the atmospheric black metal release of the year–or even the week–by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a solid introduction to a career that may yet unfold into something well worthy of keeping track of. At just under 20 minutes in length, checking this out is well worth the minor time commitment.
8. Drenaï- Nadirs
Pagan metal is generally not something I keep close tabs on, but this release caught my eye–for both good and bad reasons. I admittedly am not a follower of this Normandy pagan metal septuplet. This being my first exposure to them, I can’t really comment on how well this may or not fit with their previous material, but the instrumentation on this album is nothing short of mesmerizing. In fact, the only reason this album EP did not place much higher on my list than it did is because of the awkward narration that seems to stomp rather than glide its way through the album in a way that complements the beautiful music. If you don’t mind that aspect, then I see no objection to calling this a great piece of art, but personally, I couldn’t seem to get past it.
7. Trna- Lose Yourself to Find Peace
There have been a good number of solid post-metal releases this week, honestly, and this post-black album by Russia’s Trna falls nothing short of that description. It is an impressionistic, blurry image of some elaborate display of emotional vibrancy; somewhat like watching a sunset from underwater. If you are a fan of post-black, then I imagine you will enjoy this quite a bit. It’s a chill listen with touches of chaos in all the right places.
6. Misanthropic Rage- Gates No Longer Shut
Having been described by numerous sources as either blackened death metal, progressive black metal or avant-garde black metal, I wasn’t really sure what I was about to hear when I put this on. Godz ov War Productions’ Bandcamp page states that Misanthropic Rage aim to draw upon influences from ’90s era Moonfog. After listening to it a few times, I’ve deduced that it’s far closer to avant-garde blackened death metal, despite their label’s insisting that they remain “grounded firmly within black metal”. Genre tag disputes aside, this is quite the interesting release, and well worth the 40 minutes it will cost you to listen to it in its entirety. Misanthropic Rage’s decision to incorporate more exotic instruments into several segments of the album was something that could easily have gone quite wrong, but it was very tastefully done. I can’t say for certain whether or not the band is influenced by their fellow Poles in Behemoth, but the vibes are certainly there, if only slightly.
5. Antaeus- Condemnation
At long last, the heralded French black metal duo Antaeus have returned with their first full-length album since 2006. This is quite literally 10 years in the making, and it certainly does not disappoint. This is an abrasive and hateful sounding album with some seriously vicious, overtly Satanic vibes that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to end. Crowned by the 8-minute track ‘Flesh Ritual’, this is something that fans of classic 2nd wave bands would not be advised to skip over this week.
4. Ellende- Todbringer
Continuing onwards with this week’s post-metal superiority, Austria’s Ellende have dropped their newest full-length at last. Though understandably not quite as glassy as the other post-metal releases that have come out lately, ‘Todbringer’ is laced with delicate melodies and beautiful acoustic and ambient segments. Said acoustic segments are quite easily the strongest points of the album, and, as Kurios and I were discussing earlier in the week, this album could have been made even better if there were more of them. Though not as important as the music itself, the album art is another highly appealing and very elegantly selected aspect of this release.
3. Black Hole Generator- A Requiem for Terra
This is something that I know will pique the interests of many of you by virtue of its background alone, and here’s why: Black Hole Generator is the solo project of Taake and Helheim’s producer, Bjørnar E. Nilsen. The project has been on hold for a decade, with only a single 2006 EP to its name–and now, this week, we have been gifted with a completely badass full-length, the caliber of which is suited to both its creator’s status and the long wait period we have endured to listen to it. ‘A Requiem for Terra’ is a transfixing, dark spiral that is as far from a letdown as it gets.
2. Cross Vault- Miles to Take
I loved this one so much, I even wrote about it yesterday in my Recent Listens post. Germany’s Cross Vault really take their sound to new heights (or should I say lows…?) on this EP, building on the depressing sound they’ve established for themselves over the course their two prior full-lengths. ‘Miles to Take’ is truly their most saddening release to date, and though these guys are a doom band, I would highly recommend this to black metal fans equally.
1. Nebulae Come Sweet- It Is Not The Night That Covers You
This is yet another stellar post-metal release from the past week. Despite having been around since 2012, Nebulae Come Sweet had only released two singles and a 2013 split with Difleger prior to now. This being their first major release, I doubt it will cause many waves within the scene–but this is truly something special and highly impactful. It is beautiful abstraction at its very best, with an abundance of musical innovations and interesting instrument choices; and yet it is still every bit as heavy as it is glassy and flowing. I’ve revisited this album many times since it was released on the 17th, resulting in my negligence of many important although contrary real-life related things, simply because I needed to hear it again. This is, from my relatively introspective and heavily doom nerd influenced point of view, the focal point of the entire week.
• • •In Summary• • •
This week has seen some great post-metal in particular, as well as a couple tight black metal releases. Overall, there really aren’t any releases on this list that I think are significantly lacking compared to the others, although I did leave a couple out that were fairly cringeworthy. This being my first post in this series, I hope you’ll all be able to see this as a worthy continuation, because I know I haven’t written this post in the same manner as cc would. If there are any adjustments that I should consider making to the way I do this, I would be very appreciative of your suggesting them to me either in the comments or in a message. Thanks for reading!