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Release Day roundup: 2/2/24

Rounding up new releases from Persefone, Enterprise Earth, Wandering Oak, Obsidian Tongue, Vennart, Necrowretch, Slope, and a whole lot of extremely average and unnecessary black metal!

24 days ago

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Persefone – Lingua Ignota: Part I (progressive metal)

You say Spiritual Migration (2013), I say Aathma (2017). Something we can hopefully both agree on though is that Persefone's previous outing, Metanoia (2022), came and went without much fanfare or staying power, to the extent that I had completely forgotten it existed until Lingua Ignota was announced—something which its three or so 5-minute+ instrumental interludes it contains might have something to do with. Lingua Ignota, on the other hand, is a much more concise and impactful package that is sure to stick with fans of the band and probably make them a whole bunch of new ones as well.

Lingua Ignota sees the addition of Eternal Storm vocalist Daniel R. Flys and keyboardist Miguel Espinosa, and with them a healthy dose of Gojira-esque heft and groove. The added instrumental heaviness, combined with Flys' gruffer vocal delivery makes for a far more immediate and forceful offering than the Andorran metal institution have delivered in the past, but all of that would mean nothing if they didn't have the songs to back it up. Thankfully, Lingua Ignota, is also a much more concentrated affair than Aathma's previous records, both by virtue of its mini-album format and the more direct nature of its compositions.

Perhaps counterintuitively, Lingua Ignota is also a more fulfilling affair than Persefone's previous records as well. The band's trademark expansiveness and technical flare are still very much in play. The title-track for example sees Psycroptic-style tech-riffing combined with epic new-age affirmations. However, these aspects are also made more digestible via their compressed presentation. In addition to the sub-half-hour runtime, the six songs are also perfectly sequenced. Each perfectly flows into the next to form something of a combined whole, without any individual component ever overstaying its welcome, as even the best Persefone compositions have had a tendency to do in the past.

Don't let its smaller stature deceive you. Lingua Ignota is a phenomenal record that sits comfortably alongside (and often outclasses) Persefone's best. There's no word on Part 2 yet, but if they get it out in time and it's anywhere near as good as this, we could be looking at a genuine album(s) of the year contender.

Enterprise Earth – Death: An Anthology (progressive tech-deathcore)

Washington deathcore crew Enterprise Earth are also back this week—following one of the wildest line-up shifts in history—armed with Aethere vocalist Travis Worland and delivering the best and most ambitious music of their career and possibly even the genre itself.

2022's The Chosen was already a huge step up for the heavily touted band, but Death is in a whole different league entirely. The album's various singles have suggested a much more instrumentally involved and ambitious record than Enterprise Earth have delivered previously, but even they didn't quite prepare me for just how intense and intricate Death truly is.  Following the build-up of "Abyss", the album kicks off with a mathcore blast, with what follows often coming off as a thrash-infused version of Nothing-era Meshuggah or more recent After the Burial albums, or even that recent Nightmarer album, if it had (a lot) more going on. "Casket of Silence" alone, for example, begins by more or less lifts the acoustic intro to Ghost's "Cirice" before launching into something more fin line with modern-era Sylosis and ultimately evolving into something more akin to The Black Dahlia Murder gone full prog, or the missing link between the last two Job for a Cowboy records. The individual songs aren't always as distinguishable or tightly composed as they could be, but the musicianship is always dazzling, especially on instrumental track "Accelerated Demise" wherein guitarist Gabe Mangold and bassist (not that) Dakota Johnson are allowed to fully let rip, trading sick leads back and forth between one another, ending with a cheeky shout out to Van Halen. Worland is also a more diverse and forceful vocalist than his predecessor, perfectly complimenting the added vigor of his new comrades.

The album isn't a complete home run, however. Like The Chosen, Death is way too long and, although it doesn't contain anything particularly sub-par, there's plenty that could be cut, such as ill-fitting nu-goth number "I, Divine" or even one of the better, more extreme offerings which do get a bit redundant after a while—ominous eerie openings and colossal climactic drops largely losing their effect after the fifth or sixth time they're deployed. The record is also sub-optimally sequenced, it's the second half of the record that really shines, and it often feels like a series of resets and repetitions that don't allow the momentum to properly build up.* This is particularly noticeable come ravenous closer "Curse of Flesh" featuring Trivium's Matt Heafy, which is one of the more distinct and forceful outings, but also feels rather superfluous and tacked on following "Blood and Teeth" before it, which begins as an almost Sleep Token-esque ballad, before building to a cataclysmic, Kardashev-style breakdown that feels like a fairly natural end to proceedings. Alternatively, a minute or so could have probably been shaved off many of the album’s often 6–7-minute-long compositions, making for a no less exhilarating, albeit likely less exhausting listening experience.

I concluded my previous review of The Chosen by comparing it to the simultaneously released fourth record by fellow genre-bending prog-deathcore crew Shadow of Intent (whose vocalist Ben Duerr also shows up here), writing that "if this is [Enterprise Earth's] Melancholy, I can’t wait to see what their Elegy has in store". They've delivered on that promise and then some, and while Death may not be perfect it's made all the more exciting by the refinements hopefully to come. I can't wait to hear their Lingua Ignota.

*Suggested alternative sequencing: "Malevolent Force", "The Reaper's Servant", "King of Ruination", "Casket of Rust", "Spineless", "Accelerated Demise", "Abyss", "Face of Fear", "I, Divine", "Curse of Flesh", "Blood and Teeth".

Release Roundup

Abuse Repression – Abuse Repression (blackened screamo)

Apparition – Fear The Apparition (death metal)

Arachnid Purge – Forever Lost (death metal)

Arcane Tales – Until Where the Northern Lights Reign (Blackened sludge)

Askel – Cycles of Ruin (blackened post sludge)

Astral Spectre – Ars Notoria (grunty trad metal)

Banks Arcade – Death 2 (nu metalcore)

Baratro – The Sweet Smell Of Unrest (noisey sludge)

Beast Parade – Nightmares (alt rock)

Being As An Ocean – Death Can Wait (metalcore)

Big Scenic Nowhere – The Waydown (psychedelic stoner prog)

Bipolar Architecture – Metaphysicize (blackened post metal)

Burning The Forgotten – Those With The Rotten Souls (melodeath)

C.I.A Hippie Mind Control – Growing Old on a Dying Planet (shitty blackened death-doom)

Convulsive/Podridão – Convulsively Rotteness (brutal death metal)

Corpsevore – Feed The Plague (goregrind)

Deadyellow – What Was Left of Them (posty black metal)

Death Chapel – Envy The Sun (the chapel that eats people)

Déhà – Doomed Youth (doom)

Desoectomy – Maul Desecrated Atrocity (brutal death, slam)

Dissonanz – (black metal)

The Distance – The Wound (post hardcore, screamo)

Divine Right – Salvation Ends (metallic hardcore, metalcore)

Dom Zły – Ku pogrzebaniu serc (blackened mellowdeath)

Drunemeton – Tir Nan Og (folky black metal)

Dwarrowdelf – The Fallen Leaves (blackened power metal)

Echo Splinter – The Last Stand (heavy.power metal)

Genophobic Perversion – Suffer the Deceased (slamming goregrind)

Ghoul – Noxious Concoctions (brutal death-thrash, crossover)

Goddamn Gringos – Gnarled Remains of Decency (blackened death metal)

Golden Core – Kosmos Brenner (black metal)

Graywitch – Children of Gods (heavy/power metal)

Hasturian Vigil – Unveiling The Brac’thal (black metal)

Hero And The Horror – Old Ghosts (butt rock/metal)

House Of Atreus – Orations (black thrash)

Ignis Absconditus – Golden Horses Of A Dying Future (y tho?)

Intercourse – Egyptian Democracy (hard/mathcore)

Into the Ashes – Consumed by the Negative Dimension (brutal death metal)

Kings Winter – The Other Side Of Fear (heavy metal)

KMFDM – Let Go (industrial)

Kolac – Kolac (black metal)

Krionik – Forlorn Abominations (black thrash)

Lampray – Litho-râles (black metal)

Levels – Pulse (melodic metalcore)

Litosth – Cesariana (black metal)

Massacre – Tri-pocalypse (death metal)

Masser – The Forlorn Path (progressive blackened melodeath?)

The Meads of Asphodel – Tomb Songs from a Dying Bedlamite (dorky black metal)

Meanstreak – Blood Moon (thrash)

Meth. – Shame (noise core)

Morcolac – Drawbridge To Citadel Of No More Dawn (black metal)

Mörghuul – Domination of the Beast (speedy black thrash)

Necrograve – Necrograve (shitty blackened death metal)

Necrowretch – Swords Of Dajjal (black metal)

Night Fever – Dead End (crossover hardcore)

Obscura Qalma – Veils Of Transcendence (symphonic black metal)

Obsidian Shrine – Dereliction of Divinity (black metal)

Obsidian Tongue – The Stone Heart (post black metal)

Ockultist – Gazing Through Rotten Eyes (blackened sludge, death-doom)

Perveration – Putrefaction Of Infinite Apogee (brutal death metal)

The Raging Project – Future Days (nu prog metal)

Ratten – La Longue Marche (black metal)

Re-Arise – Revive (heavy metal, prog rock)

Reconciler – Art For Our Sake (punk)

Renzita – My Sick Addiction (heavy metal, production value)

Ritual Awakening – Vile (crusty black metal)

Sadistic Spliff – Indicapocalypse (slamming brutal death metal)

Satans Grasp – Unholy Forces (black thrash)

Sickening – The Death King (sickening, no?!)

Sinistrum – Infernal Dawn (death metal)

Slope – Freak Dreams (hardcore, funk rock)

Solbrud – IIII (black metal)

Squelch – Eternal Hiss of Hatred (blackish death metal)

Stages Of Decomposition – Raptures Of Psychopathy (brutal death metal)

Striker – Ultrapower (try-hard AOR, hair metal)

Them Moose Rush – Zepaxia (prog rock)

Transit Method – Othervoid (rockin’ prog metal)

Troy The Band – Cataclysm (stoner doom)

TumbleTown – On The Highwire (prog rock)

Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Häxan Sabaoth (blackened death metal)

Uncomfortable Knowledge – Lifeline (alt rock/metal)

Utopia – Shame (progressive mathcore)

Vægtløs – Aftryk (posty post-hardcore, black gaze)

Vantas – Begotten by Sadness (black metal, screamo)

Vennart – Forgiveness & The Grain (alt prog)

Wandering Oak – Resilience (blackened prog thrash)

X’s for Eyes – In Horrid Waves (industrial mathcore)

 

Joshua Bulleid

Published 24 days ago