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Release Day Roundup: 10/6/23

Worst release week ever?

9 months ago

Top Pick?

Svalbard – The Weight Of The Mask (post hardcore, shoegaze)

There have been a few pretty uninspiring release weeks previously, but this is the first week since I took over this column that I actually feel like, on balance, the world is possibly at a net loss for having this particular collection of new albums in it—and that's not including all the truly woeful releases I cut out entirely. It's a ridiculous thing to say, and I'm definitely in one of my Moods™ again, but it's been a rough one, to the point that I'm even hesitant to fully recommend this album, even though it's very clearly a cut (or many) above the rest.

It's definitely not my preferred genre, but as far as shoegazy (and extra post-y) post hardcore goes, England's Svalbard are by far the best at it. My problem with The Weight of the Mask is the same one I had with fellow Heavy Blog favourites Harm's Way last week: that while each of the album's offerings are staggering in isolation, as a whole I find it all a bit oppressive and rather monotonous. The post/atmospheric/gaze genres are meant to be lush and dynamic, but often I find they lock themselves into a rigid tonal register that renders them rather one-dimensional overall.  As one offs, the songs on The Weight of the Mask are instantaneously elating, put in succession though and you (or I at least) begin to notice just how similar and interchangeable the shoegaze melodies are, and how little the tempos deviate from an overwhelming barrage of BPM. The production this time around also feels less dynamic than on Svalbard's previous outings, so that the record as a whole winds up sounding rather toppy without any of the real bottom-end its rhythmic sections seem to imply and sorely needed to balance out everything else.

Anyway, as I said, this kind of sound really isn't my thing, and the individual songs themselves are undeniably well crafted. I'm sure many of you will enjoy this far more than me, so I'm going to stop harshing your mellow and go listen to the new Unearth album again.

Release Roundup

Akasha/Byyrth – Split (black metal)

Alltid Allena – Mourning Skies (post black metal)

Anime Torment – Just A Carcass (deathcore)

Another Day Dawns – Finding Peace Through All The Noise (alt rock, nu metal)

Apotheus – Ergo Atlas (prog metal, butts rock)

Aries Field – Capsizing The Horizon (alt metal)

Auriferous Flame – Ardor For Black Mastery (black metal)

Azimut – Dans Les Meandres (post-metal)

Backbone – Voices of the Void (sludgy post metal)

Barbarian Swords – Anti-Dogma Megaforce (black metal)

Black River Sons – Skins (rock)

Blame Zeus – Laudanum (doomy alt metal?)

Bloodletting Prince – Sanguine Insight (weird brutal deathcore)

Brixxta/Noxulifer – Nocturnal Necrosophik Mysteries (weird black metal)

Capra – Errors (hardcore)

Carnifex – Necromanteum (actually decent blackened deathcore)

Chaos Luciferi – Carne mutilata alla deriva (weird black metal)

Citizen – Calling The Dogs (altish indie rock)

Come Horrid Sigil – Dead Obelisk (death thrash)

Crawling/Kruzifix – Descent Into Unpure Souls (black metal)

Crow Black Sky – Sidereal Light, Vol. Two (post black metal)

Death File Red – Inhumanitarian (death metal)

Decapitated Christ – Glorious Tyrannizing Of Human Rats (death metal)

Distaste – Der Ertraeger Und Das Fleisch (grindcore)

Dog Star – Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees (Keanu-core)

Dopelord – Songs For Satan (fuzzy doom)

Entrophy – Inner Hell (death thrash)

Eradikated – Descendants (thrash)

Essence Of Datum – Radikal Rats (instrumental electro-prog)

Ghorot – Wound (doom sludge)

Goatburner – Fatal (death metal)

Gruzja – Koniec Wakacji (weird crusty grindcore)

Hästspark – Ostiarius Inferni (stoner death)

Heavy Load – Riders Of The Ancient Storm (dudes rock)

Heretoir – Nightsphere (post black metal)

Ὁπλίτης [Hoplites] – Ἀντιτιμωρουμένη [Punishment] (dissonant blackened prog thrash?)

Impure Wilhelmina – Dead Decades (post rock/metal)

Inthewhale – Chosen At Random (alt metal)

Iron Savior – Firestar (Blind Guardian)

Jordsjø – Salighet (prog folk)

Kadabra – Umbra (stoner doom)

The Keening – Little Bird (pretty doom)

King Ov Worms – The Womb Ov Borealis (blackened death metal, production value)

La Chinga – Primal Forces (trad metal)

Left To Rot – Breath Of The Tomb (groove death)

Linus Klausenitzer – Tulpa (prog death)

Lunar Tombfields – An Arrow To The Sun (doomy black metal)

Malfet – Dolorous Gard (twinkly hobbit bullshit)

Man Machine Industry – Eschaton II: Judgment Day (Destruction)

Men an Tol – Forgotten Realm (black metal)

Michael Abdow – Seance In Black (prog shred)

Morag Tong – Grieve (stoner doom)

The Negative Bias – The Seven Seals Of Saligia (blackened doom)

Notturno – Inside (post black metal, maybe)

Nytt Land – Torem (folk, metal?)

October Tide – The Cancer Pledge (melodeath)

Of Mice & Men – Tether (please stop)

Paramore – Re: This Is Why (R U Re-Rleasing More Paramore Re: Me?)

Patriarchs In Black – My Veneration (doom)

Prong – State of Emergency (alt rock/metal)

Putrascension – Forever Below (black metal)

Rat Boogie – Ignoring The Cost (that cover art tho)

Restless Spirit – Afterimage (stoner metal)

Revenant Marquis – All the Pleasures of Heaven (inaudible black metal)

Rtęć – Wszyscy Nosimy W Sobie Śmierć (black metal)

Salacious Gods – Oaelevluuk (black metal)

Sand Into Glass – Slopes of Doubt (instrumental prog-deathdoom)

Scrollkeeper – Wetiko (heavy metal)

Shrapnel Storm – Silo (death thrash)

Solnegre – The Spiral Labyrinth (gothic doom)

Spectral Temper – Chimeric (black metal)

Stonemiller Inc. – Welcome To The Show (melodic metal)

Tabahi – Thrash For Justice (thrash)

Taliesin – Disciple (prog-power)

Third Island – Burning (sludgy post metal)

Third Storm – The Locust Mantra (black thrash, death thrash)

Torn the Fuck Apart – Kill. Bury. Repeat. (death metal)

Trevor Rabin – Rio (I’m bored)

Trichomoniasis – Harvest Of The Killing Fields (brutal death grind)

The Uneven – Flight Out Of The Hollow (literally just the riff from “Feel Like Makin' Love”)

Uranium – Pure Nuclear Death (who even listens to this?)

Void of Nothingness – The Twisted Fountain (blackened dissodeath-doom)

Wolf Prayer – Spell Of The Crimson Eye (psychedelic stoner doom)

Xorsist – At The Somber Steps To Serenity (death metal)

Joshua Bulleid

Published 9 months ago