New Releases: 8-14/4/17

Hello again! Welcome back to New Releases. This post is actually a different post than the kind I usually do, and that’s because it’s written about a week that ended quite a while ago. For those of you who aren’t aware, I disappeared for a couple weeks in the middle of April for personal reasons. Now I’m finally getting the chance to catch up on the weeks I missed, beginning with this one: the 8th to the 14th.

This particular week happened to be a slow week, though it did see a number of highly anticipated releases from names like Oranssi Pazuzu, Necrowretch, Novembers Doom and Nightbringer, alongside a number of great unknown releases which I’ll be discussing.

5. Longhouse- II: Vanishing

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Longhouse are a Canadian sludge trio hailing from Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Their latest effort, II: Vanishing is a riff-laden wonderland and follow-up to their debut release: 2015’s Earth From Water LP. II: Vanishing is an album very much built around its colossal guitar work–an empire of riffs rising up from the ground to support all other elements of the album, which phase in and out of chunky aggressive passages and spacier, smooth segments that elegantly give the release room to breathe.

4. Arc of Ascent- Realms of the Metaphysical

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A three-piece band from New Zealand, Arc of Ascent play stoner doom in the traditional style, highly reminiscent of the omnipotent Californian stoner doom titans Sleep. Realms of the Metaphysical is an upbeat exploration of fuzz-drenched riffs laden with soaring vocals and the occasional dazed guitar solo that begs to be turned up loud on a hot summer day. In keeping with the album’s metaphysical themes, this release has certain mesmerizing qualities and motifs that will hold your attention from beginning to end, melodic or otherwise.

3. Hexer- Cosmic Doom Ritual

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Germany’s Hexer are larger than life on their first full-length effort, Cosmic Doom Ritual: a scuzzy trip to the edge of consciousness. A gritty sludge/stoner band, Hexer’s music is full to the brim with subtle nuances and dense atmospheres that will surely be appreciated by doom fans of every breed–this is because Cosmic Doom Ritual is far from your standard stoner doom album. With its three pulverizing tracks clocking in at 36 minutes, the album is more of a deep interstellar exploration begging to be dissected and analyzed–infinitely more complex than meets the eye. Cosmic Doom Ritual is an album that will push your subconscious mind to its limits as you listen, so prepare yourself to be carried off to a new dimension on Hexer’s massive sludgy wings.

2. Nightbringer- Terra Damnata

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At last, Nightbringer’s long awaited Terra Damnata has arrived, fronted by the notorious mastermind Naas Alcameth: a man known for his sweepingly demented music, usually much closer to a hellish nightmare experience than to any kind of conventional album. In keeping with the Nightbringer tradition, Terra Damnata is expansive and cinematic: a whirlwind of furious tremolo picking overtop of tortured black metal landscapes. The album’s vague incursions into neoclassical territory paint it with a ghoulish brush in broad, unsettling strokes, giving the entire album a very particular feel: throughout its duration, Terra Damnata comes off as something forbidden–something you should not be listening to; a place you are not supposed to be. Nightbringer have vastly refined their lineup in recent years, boasting six members for emphasis on their layered soundscapes, though no further changes have been made since 2015. This situation seems to be working very much to the band’s advantage on Terra Damnata, which springs to life with incredible detail.

1. Funeralium- Of Throes and Blight

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Funeralium are a French funeral doom band with a wide range of influences, which, according to their Bandcamp bio, include Saint Vitus, Trouble, Black Sabbath, Bethlehem, Penance, Witchfinder General, 70’s Judas PriestCandlemass, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, Solitude Aeturnus, Thin Lizzy, Cathedral, Neurosis, Darkthrone, Master’s Hammer, Autopsy, Portal, Winter and Burning Witch. Based on this wide variety of different influences and the dark, dreary image Funeralium put forth, it’s not difficult to imagine that Of Throes and Light has an atmosphere with a mind of its own. The sound of the band appears to have been stitched together as a patchwork of different influences upon first glance, but the final product is anything but an assorted bag of sounds. Rather, Of Throes and Light is of a highly individual, uniform style, belonging uniquely to Funeralium, coagulating into the unsuspecting form of a sinister funeral doom album capable of the occasional venture into both black/doom and death/doom territory. If you’re in search of something anguished and tormented this week, look no further. 

• • • Summary • • •

This week may have been a slow week in general, but it was definitely not a slow week in doom metal by any means. Interestingly enough, while there were a number of larger-name releases that occurred this week, not many of them lived up to expectations. Hopefully we can expect things to pick up a bit in the future. Thanks for reading!

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