Release Day Roundup: 3/17/23

Wherein U2 re-record some of the best songs ever written in the style of some of the worst music ever committed to record, for some reason.

a year ago

Top Picks

Foretoken – Triumphs (symphonic blackened melodeath)

I was tempted to throw "progressive" into the genre mix for this one, given the compositional scope and technical prowess on offer. At the end of the day though, what makes Foretoken so impressive is just how hard they lean into their blackened melodeath approach. The overwhelming (and increasingly pervasive) influence of Naglfar is confirmed via a killer cover of "I Am Vengeance", but there's a brighter side to Foretoken's sound than their immediate reference points might suggest. As Eden pointed out, there are parallels to be drawn to Iron Maiden's mid-period output and for me they bring to mind more recent Heaven Shall Burn records as often as early ones by In Flames or At the Gates. Plus, they have Hannes Grossmann behind the kit, so you know it's good.

Entropia – Total (progressive blackened post metal)

I'd never heard of Entropia before putting this list together. The quick bit of research I've done suggests they have a fairly acclaimed back catalogue, and judging from Total I can see why. There's a lot going on on the album, and I imagine it's going to take a bit to fully wrap my head around it. At the same time, its blend of dissonant, almost-Ulcerate-like post metal with progressive sections that bring to mind some of Enslaved's more angular experiments is instantly engrossing. I look forward to delving deeper into both this and the rest of the band's back catalogue over the coming weeks.

Harboured – Harboured (progressive blackened post metal)

I don't think I've used "progressive blackened post metal" as a genre tag before, let alone twice in one week for two seriously quality top picks. Harboured is led by vocalist and guitarist Michael Stancel of Allegaeon, whose bassist Brandon Michael also numbers among their ranks. The band's's approach to their particular genre is both more atmospheric and abrasive than Entropia's more cerebral compositions. There's a lot of Cult of Luna in the album's tonality, but it's distinctive atmosphere is delivered with the urgency and aggression of sludgier, hardcore-tinged acts like The Atlas Moth or Intronaut. I don't think Harboured is the finished product just yet, but it's one hell of a foundation.

Release Roundup

Afsky – Om hundrede år (atmospheric black metal, depressive black metal)

Anarkhon – Obiasot Dwybat Ptnotun (death metal, death doom)

Ardent Nova – Ardent Nova (melodeath)

Blind Oath – Blind Oath (heavy metal, trad metal)

Bred For Slaughter – Here You’re Born…Here You Die (death metal)

Chelsea Grin – Suffer In Heaven (deathcore)

Choir – Songs For A Tarnished World (dissonant death metal)

Contrarian – Sage Of Shekhinah (progressive death metal)

Deathcrash – Less (slowcore, post-rock)

Desolate Realm – Legions (heavy metal, doom)

Downfall Of Gaia – Silhouettes Of Disgust (post black metal)

Downshot – Endgame (hardcore, crossover)

8 Hour Animal – Kill Your Boss (industrial metal, noise)

Elysion – Bring Out Your Dead (prog metal)

Embryo – A Vivid Shade Of Misery (melodeath)

Erase Them – All Were Shamefully Silent (metallic hardcore, metalcore)

Expunged – Visions Of Agony (death metal)

4Arm – Pathway To Oblivion (melodic groove thrash)

Gideon – More Power. More Pain. (hardcore, metalcore)

Ikarie – Arde (blackened post doom)

Invent Animate – Heavener (tech metalcore)

Jaodae – Chimera (instrumental prog metal)

John Diva & The Rockets Of Love – The Big Easy (bad hair metal)

Kruelty – Utopia (brutal death metal, doomcore)

Late Night Venture – V: Bones Of The Extinct (post doom)

Litost – Pathos (progressive black metal)

Lum – Lunaria – I racconti del falò (black metal)

M83 – Fantasy (indietronica, synth pop)

Mystic Circle – Erzdämon (black metal)

Narnia – Ghost Town (power metal)

The New Death Cult – Super Natural (alt rock)

Night Demon – Outsider (heavy metal)

Night Goat – Totem (deathrock, sludge)

100 Gecs – 10,000 Gecs (alt rock, pop punk, hyperpop)

Pop Evil – Skeletons (alt metalcore)

Redemption – I Am The Storm (prog metal)

Scarlet Dress – Solar (prog metalcore)

Sepulcrum – Lamentation Of Immolated Souls (blackened death metal)

Spotlights – Seance (post-metal, alt rock)

Stömb – Massive Disturbed Meta Art ((mostly) instrumental prog death)

Stormwarning – Stormwarning (storm metal)

Suotana – Ounas I (folk metal)

Syntropy – Ritual Sycophancy (technical death metal, prog death)

Temtris – Khaos Divine (heavy metal, prog metal)

Transworld Identity – Seven Worlds (cheese metal)

Treedeon – New World Hoarder (sludge doom)

U2 – Songs Of Surrender (who asked for this?)

Úlfúð – Of Existential Distortion (progressive black metal)

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – V (psych pop)

Verminous Serpent – The Malign Covenant (black metal)

Wardress – Metal Til The End (thrash)

Wishing Well – Sin And Shame (trad metal, doom)

Words That Burn – Cut Throat Culture (prog metal)

World Gone Cold – World Gone Cold (why tho?)

Yves Tumor – Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) (neo-psychedelia, post-punk)

Joshua Bulleid

Published a year ago