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Release Day Roundup: 9/15/23

Rounding up new releases from Baroness, Alkaloid, Tomb Mold, Tesseract, Night Verses, Gridlink, Explosions in the Sky, Ronnie Romero, Brujeria, Altarage , Blood Incantation and many more.

10 months ago

Top Pick

Tomb Mold – The Enduring Spirit (death metal)

I've never been particularly interested in the new(ish) wave of caveman/"boomer" death metal bands. I like Immolation and Obituary as much as the next internet metal guy and Incantation probably a whole lot less, but death metal has come a long way since those bands' heyday, and I've always preferred my death metal on the groovier/proggier side of things than the grimier. Of the new breed, fellow Bloodborne enthusiasts Tomb Mold have always been the best and most promising, but I—as I imagine many others weren't—certainly wasn't ready for the huge leap into progressive death metal heralded by their new, semi-surprise-released record The Enduring Spirit.

The progression from mindless brutality to brain-bending prog is well established within the death metal tradition. Yet, while 2019's Planetary Clairvoyance hinted at a proggier directions, the leap from that album to this had me repeatedly checking to see whether this was even the same band. Guitarist Derrick Vella getting to flex his progressive muscles a bit more on last year's acclaimed Dream Unending record accounts for some of the advancement. (Another potential lead is the alleged addition of seemingly more jazz-focussed bassist Kevin Sia to their line-up, although this appears to be the only semi-verifiable reference to his involvement with the band and the album's official press release credits Vella with performing the bass parts as well.) Maybe Vella is just that good, but the rest of the band are also right there with him, especially drummer/vocalist Max Klebanoff, whose strikingly dexterous performance here almost beggars belief as to how he'll be able pull it off in a live environment.

One of the most impressive things about The Enduring Spirit is the seemingly natural progression from its more punishing beginnings through to its latter, more ethereal compositions. Unlike the new Alkaloid album, which starts strong but quickly disappears up its own butt,* The Enduring Spirit is not whiplash inducing in its incorporation of increasingly expansive elements, with standout third track "Will of Whispers" serving as the fulcrum upon which the record shifts from the more expected prog-infused drudging to full-blown progressive metal madness. There are plenty of newer death metal acts out there worshipping Cynic and an entirely different school aping early Autopsy, but (as far as I know) Tomb Mold are the only ones doing both at once. If anyone else is doing it, then they certainly aren't doing it to such a high standard. If they are, then I need to be notified about it immediately.

*The new Baroness is pretty good, I guess, but I think I might be done with them now too. #BlueRecordOrBust!

Release Roundup

Alkaloid – Numen (prog death)

Altarage – Worst Case Scenario (dissodeath)

Antumbra – Oblivion (doomy black metal)

Baroness – Stone (stoner prog)

Blackened Halo – Extinction Inbound (death metal)

Blind Equation – Death Awaits (chiptune, hypergrind)

Blood Incantation – Luminescent Bridge (prog death, ambient)

Blood Oath – Lost In An Eternal Silence (prog death)

Bolt Gun – The Tower (weird black metal)

Brujeria – Esto Es Brujeria (death grind)

Chainsaw Dissection – More Dissecting to Be Done (brutal death, goregrind)

Chorosia – Stray Dogs (weird death metal)

The Chronicles of Father Robin – The Songs & Tales of Airoea – Book 1 (prog rock)

The Coffinshakers – Graves, Release Your Dead (death-themed country)

Cognizant – Inexorable Nature of Adversity (grindcore)

Contorsion – The Children Of The Snake (heavy metal, thrash)

Corey Taylor – CMF2 (alt metal, butt rock)

Damnation’s Hammer – Into The Silent Nebula (groove metal)

Danko Jones – Electric Sound (hard rock)

Deadly Carnage – Endless Blue (post metal)

Earth Altar/Sun Below – Inter Terra Solis (doomy prog rock)

Eerie – The Delirium Of The Believers (black metal, melodeath)

Electric Boys – Grand Explosivos (hard rock)

Elohims Sterne – Eden (industrial prog)

Escape The Hive – This Is Gonna Sting (prog rock)

Eunomia – The Chronicles Of Eunomia Part II (power metal)

Explosions in the Sky – End (post rock)

Fabricant – Drudge To Thicket (progressive dissodeath)

F​â​ché – F​â​ché (grindcore)

Flapjack – Sugar Free (crossover hardcore)

Flesher – Tales Of Grotesque Demise (death metal)

The Fluffy Kitty Cats – Cuddles (brutal death metal)

Gnashing – Thieves & Tyrants (black metal)

Gotland – Rise (symphonic blackened death metal)

Great Falls – Objects Without Pain (noisy hardcore, sludge)

HellFynder – Hellish Blood (black thrash)

Hillsboro – Hillsboro (emogaze)

Holycide – Bazookiller (death thrash)

Huronian – Beyond Frozen Heights (blackened melodeath)

Hyro The Hero – Bound For Glory (nu metal, rap metal)

Ignition – Vengeance (heavy metal)

Indocilis – Splintering Mind (sludgy death doom)

Infernal Throne – Caelum Et Infernum (blackened death thrash)

Kosmic Serpentine Order – Kosmic Serpentine Order (brutal blackened deathgrind)

Kynval – Season Of The Moon (black metal)

Lark – Antarctica (doom metal/rock)

Lucifer’s Legion – Incarnate (symphonic blackened death metal)

Magnitude – Days Renewed… (hadcore)

Mayhem – Daemonic Rites (live black metal)

Molybaron – Something Ominous (groovy prog metal)

Mondo Drag – Through The Hourglass (prog rock)

My Dearest Wound – The Burial (black metal, blackgaze)

New Model Army – Sinfonia (symphonic prog rock)

Night Verses – Every Sound Has A Color In The Valley Of Night – Part 1 (instrumental prog metal)

Nihilfer – As the Sunlight Dies (heavy metal, melodeath)

Oblivion Castle – Witch’s Lament in the Moonlight (gothic black metal)

Обрій – Імперія бидла (crusty blackened death metal)

Old Ruins – Always Heading East (black metal)

Otep – The God Slayer (nu metal, deathcore)

Patriarch – Demonic Heart (death metal, prog death)

Piece – Ancient Greed (stoner sludge)

POLYWHY – Wanton Psalms (mathcore, post-hardcore)

Psygnosis – Mercury (instrumental prog death)

Resolve – Human (melodic alt metal)

Rising Sun – Quest for Absolution (tech thrash, prog death)

Ronnie Romero – Too Many Lies, Too Many Masters (heavy metal)

Roots Of The Old Oak – The Devil And His Wicked Ways (doom metal)

Serration – Simulations Of Hell (grindy hardcore)

Shade Empire – Sunholy (melodeath)

ShadowStrike – Traveler’s Tales (power metal)

Slaamaskin – Trollveggen (prog punk?)

Slave Steel – In Fieri (melodeath)

Smokeheads – All In (symphonic prog metal)

Son Of Deni – Sporty (proggish screamo)

Staind – Confessions Of The Fallen (nu metal, alt rock)

Stillness of a Dying World – God of the Mind (blackened doom)

Supersonic Dragon Wagon – Echos from the Dream Box (psychedelic doom)

Swami Lateplate – Doom Jazz II (instrumental prog rock)

Tar Pond – Petrol (doom)

Taz – Wake Up & Sweat, Vol. 1 (hard rock)

Tellurium – The Great Work (instrumental melodeath)

Tesseract – War Of Being (melodic tech prog)

Thirty Seconds to Mars – It's the End of the World but It's a Beautiful Day (narcissist-core)

Thorn – Evergloom (brutal blackened death metal)

Tideless – Eye Of Water (brutal death metal, shoegaze)

To The Grave – Offcuts (deathcore)

Toothpuller – Bewitched Thrall (raw black metal, dungeon synth)

Torpor – Abscission (doom sludge)

Tumultuous Ruin – An Abscess on the Heart of the State (post dsbm?)

Violent Life Violent Death – BREAK BURN END (metallic hardcore)

Vjajitor’s Tenebrarium – E.N.L.D. (Castlevania-core, “dungeon funk”)

War of Ages – Dominion (metalcore)

Joshua Bulleid

Published 10 months ago