Release Day Roundup: 8/11/23

Rounding up new releases from Urne, Kataklysm, The Hives, Hail the Sun, Slverburn, Dead and Dripping, REZN & Vinnum Sabbathi, Uncaved and more.

9 months ago

Top Picks

Urne – A Feast on Sorrow (big sludgey thrash)

Urne's Serpent and Spirit (2021) was widely greeted as one of the most potent debut records of recent years, and A Feast on Sorrow goes to show that they were  (and probably still are) only getting started. As good as that album was, this second effort instantly outclasses it in every way, delivering fifty-two minutes of ferocious, expansive focussed and often harrowing thrash metal.

To call A Feast on Sorrow a "progressive" thrash metal album, would be to misleadingly invoke the likes of Coronor or Voivod. Nevertheless there is an elongated complexity to its songs (two of which clock in at over eleven-minutes) that is reminiscent of albums like Metallica's ...And Justice For All (1988) and Machine Head's The Backening (2007). Like those album's it also never foregoes any of thrash's inherent and compelling aggression in the pursuit of complexity. There's a lot going on on this album, but mostly Urne just focus on on delivering riff after colossal riff in the most efficient manner possible.

There's still improvement to be had. Some of the more ambient sections could trimmed, the vocals could be more vaired and the titles could be better, but pacing was the big drawback of Serpent and Spirit and they've more than ironed that out here. As intense and often oppressive as the album often is, it is always engaging and never less than excellet. Moreover, it still feels like A Feast on Sorrow is just the beginning for Urne, and a potential album of the year contender at that.

Kataklysm – Goliath (groove death, melodeath)

Since breaking through with 2006's superb In the Arms of Devastation, Kataklysm seem to have fallen into strange holding pattern, whereby they have released two sub-par records (Prevail (2008) and Heaven's venom (2010), two all-time career-highlights (Waiting for the End to Come (2013) and Of Ghosts and Gods (2015) and then another two relative duds (Meditations (2018) and Unconquered (2020)). For those of you playing along, that means we're due another good one, and—true to form—the Canadians have delivered another absolute world-beater with Goliath.

In addition to being the best Kataklysm album in almost a decade, the aptly named Goliath is also their most traditionally death-metal-leaning effort—maybe going all the way back to the days of Shadows and Dust (2002) and Serenity in Fire (2004). There's still plenty of the band's post-2005  trademark crunch and melodeath inclinations in play, but there's also a lot here that brings to mind modern Vader and fellow "hyperblast" pioneers Fear Factory at their most concussive. It's also remarkably consistent, with later tracks like "The Redeemer" and "Heroes to Villains" numbering among the band's best to date. It's been a good week for riffs.

Release Roundup

Bees Made Honey In The Vein Tree – Aion (doom metal, post rock)

Begravement – Horrific Illusions Beckon (death thrash)

Behaviour – Rex Imbecilic (death metal)

Blindstone – Scars To Remember (hardish rock)

Bunsenburner – Ritual (instrumental stoner doom)

Cabinet – E.P. (noisy brutal disso-death)

Caskets – Reflections (melodic alt rock)

Claret Ash – Worldtorn: Anemoia (black metal)

Copse – Old Belief | New Despair (post-black metal(core))

Cunabula – The Weight of Sleep (post-blackgaze?)

Cystic – Palace of Shadows (death metal)

Danicide – Broken (goth metal)

Dead and Dripping – Blackened Cerebral Rifts (brutal death metal)

Din Of Celestial Birds – The Night Is For Dreamers (post rock/metal)

Dismal Crux – The Hope Of Things To Come (deathish doom)

George Lynch & Jeff Pilson – Heavy Hitters II (why tho?)

Gross Reality – Return to Ruin (proggish death thrash)

Hail The Sun – Divine Inner Tension (progressive post hardcore)

Hell in the Club – F.U.B.A.R. (hard rock)

Hemina – Romancing the Ether (prog rock/metal)

The Hives – The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons (surprisingly good alt punk)

Kind – Close Encounters (stoner sludge, bad SEO)

King Kobra – We Are Warriors (dudes rock?)

Kita – Tyhjiö (sludge doom)

Lancer – Tempest (heavy metal, power metal)

Malkasian – The Macabre (blues rock)

Megaherz – In Teufels Namen (industrialish goth metal)

Miss Vain – Crocus Biflorus (hard rock, metal)

Moonaadem – Douleur de renaitre (twinkly black metal)

Move – Black Radical Love (beatdown hardcore)

Mycorrhizae – The Great Filtration (black metal)

The Mystical Hot Chocolate Endeavors – Clock Without A Craftsman (doomy alt rock/metal)

Neal Morse – The Dream – Joseph: Part One (prog rock)

Necronomicon ex Mortis – Silver Bullet (blackened death thrash)

Nekrofilth – Nganga (crusty blackened death metal)

1917 – Sonus Irae (black thrash, production value)

REZN & Vinnum Sabbathi – Silent Future (post metal)

The Rite – The Astral Gloom (blackened death doom)

Runespell – Shores Of Nastrond (also blackened death doom)

Sarayasign – The Lion’s Road (heavy metal)

Shadow Legion – Shadow Legion (death doom)

Silverburn – Self Inducted Transcendental Annihilation (mathy sludgecore)

Slugchild – Wounds Untold (brutal death metal)

Sorrow – Death of Sorrow (death doom)

Soulkick – Hide The End (prog metal)

Streetlight – Ignition (Kenneth the Page-core)

Strident – Paranoia of the Tyrant (death thrash)

Temple of Dread – Beyond Acheron (death metal)

To Kill Achilles – Recovery (slam poetry-core)

Uncaved – Dogmatorraistes (progressive death metal)

Upsetter – Doomgaze (doomgaze)

Vølus – Avernus Emissary (weird brutal blackened death metal)

Werewolves – My Enemies Look And Sound Like Me (edgy death metal)

Winter ov Thanatoz – Kybalion (weird black metal)

Joshua Bulleid

Published 9 months ago