Highlights the best and most interesting new and upcoming releases in underground metal and extreme music according to Musical Warfare. For a more complete list of current and future releases, check out the Upcoming Albums List.
Icelandic metallers Sòlstafir have set a title and release date for their new album, which will come out later this fall. The follow-up to 2009’s Kold will be called Svartir Sandar and should come out on October 18th in the US.
Sòlstafir also recently joined Season of Mist, which means that their album should be much easier to get a hold of this time around. That’s great news for fans in the US, since Kold was next to impossible to find in the states.
I’m pretty excited about the prospect of a new album from these guys, since Kold was one of my top two or three albums from ’09. You can follow the band on Facebook to keep up with the latest news about the album.
So far in 2011 there seem to be an unusual number of interesting album reissues and re-recordings, including some old favorites of mine. Here’s a rundown of what’s been getting released lately:
French black metal entity Blut Aus Nord has been stirring back to life lately, gearing up to releasing their new full-length 777 – Sect(s) in a few weeks. They are also reissuing an augmented version of their second album, 2001’s Mystical Beast of Rebellion:
“French black metal label Debemur Morti Productions’ reissue of the BLUT AUS NORD classic The Mystical Beast of Rebellion is now available in North America. Debemur Morti is now taking orders for the 2xCD version of this black metal masterpiece, the second disc of which features brand new material, “The Fall (Chapters 7, 7 & 7).” A new T-shirt design is available as well.”
US metal heavyweights Neurosis are also re-releasing their second album Souls at Zero, their second recent reissue after last year’s updated version of Enemy Of The Sun. Souls at Zero showcases a rawer, somewhat less experimental version of the band, but the brutality of the riffing is no less oppressive.
“Neurot Recordings is proud to reissue this perpetual flame of a release while celebrating the band’s 25 years of brilliance. With demo version additions of ‘Zero’ and the title track along with a bonus live cut ‘Cleanse III’, this updated release is the perfect portal to witness the development of underground music’s titan force. Artwork by the revered Josh Graham completes an awesome package worthy of timeless worship, which Neurot will officially release on February 15th, 2011.”
The success of Lantlôs‘s latest album should have new fans scrambling to get ahold of their self-titled first release, and fortunately Prophecy is putting together a new edition to make that task a lot easier. From Prophecy:
“The album will be released in a high-quality Super Jewelcase and is supplemented by a bonus CD with seven tracks, featuring the sought-after demo “Îsern Himel”, two previously unreleased demo recordings of “Kalte Tage” (instrumental) and “Þinaz Andawlitjam” as well as another unreleased track with “Farbensturm”. The enhanced booklet not only contains the lyrics, but also extensive liner notes by Herbst on the album’s creation as well as previously unreleased band photos. “
German black metal band Eïs (formerly Geïst) released updated versions of their first two albums earlier this year, and the reissues sound pretty sweet. Their debut Patina was mellower and more atmospheric, while follow-up Kainsmal is faster and more energetic and should sound familiar to fans of the band’s 2009 release Galeere. Some details from Prophecy:
The first two albums by Eïs (formerly known as Geïst), “Patina” (2005) and “Kainsmal” (2006), are now available again! These clearly improved re-releases are coming in Super Jewelcases, each containing an optimised version of the album (newly recorded guitar tracks, a new mix and new mastering) as well as the original version on a second CD. The new version of “Kainsmal” now also includes a cover version of Carpathian Forest’s self-titled song. In addition, both albums boast new artworks as well as extensive liner notes by band leader Alboin. Both re-releases will be available in North America on February 22nd.
Southern Lord is reissuing Winter‘s often-overlooked 1990 full-length Into Darkness, one of the early classics of soul-crushing doom death metal. There’s no news about additional tracks or other extras, but Winter’s bleak sound should have no problems finding new fans in today’s modern audiences. The release will be in both CD and LP formats, and comes as the now-reunited group prepares for their first live show at this year’s Roadburn festival.
Katatonia is reissuing a couple of their albums, although their selections strike me as a bit odd. The band will release new versions of Last Fair Deal Gone Down, which is probably my least favorite out of all their albums, and their last album Night Is The New Day. I’m not sure why they felt the need to re-release an album that just came out two years ago, but at least both reissues will contain several songs from the band’s singles and EPs, so that’s a nice touch. Both releases will also feature updated cover art, and will come out April 25th to help celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary.
Perhaps my favorite album among all the ones in this list, obscure progressive death metal act Lykathea Aflame‘s masterpiece Elvenefris is getting a much-needed re-release by Obscene Productions. The new version will be re-mixed and remastered, and will feature two bonus tracks: a 1999 version of ‘Shine Of Consolation’ and a 2002 version of ‘To Give.’
Sweden’s polyrhythmic metal juggernauts Meshuggah are apparently recording new material with the intention of releasing an album later this year. Check out this interview at MetalSucks for some tidbits on what the album might sound like.
“song structure-wise and in terms of the length of the songs, it’s gonna be more like ‘Chaosphere’ or ‘ObZen’, where you have tracks that are anything from four to six minutes long, so it’s not gonna be some wild, experimental thing with crazy song lengths”
“There were a few tracks like ‘Bleed’ that have a very significant sound. But that album grew and was recorded in a way that we don’t really mean to do this album. It was very machine-like, with everything recorded to a click and being really anal about every single hit. That’s cool, and we’re not gonna make this one sloppy, but it’s about a different way of approaching it.”
“We’re going to try and step up the whole live show. What we want to create is a light show that is very intimately linked with the tracks, where you really put emphasis on making the whole audio/visual aspect a package that really knocks people off their feet. Whether we’re gonna go with screens and movie stuff or not I don’t know, but we’re definitely talking about bringing more light guys in.”
Meshuggah certainly has done a great job of putting out releases that are very distinct from one another, and it sounds like their new one will be no exception.
I’m also interested to see how their live show plans end up panning out. After all, it’s not like the Meshuggah live experience isn’t already plenty intense. I saw a few years ago where Germany’s The Ocean did something like what Tomas is describing, and it certainly added a new dimension to the experience. Granted, that was just a light show and no screens. I’m a bit on the fence about actual video imagery as part of live shows – it works decently for bands like Neurosis and Red Sparowes, but I’m not sure how it would go over with an aggressive band like Meshuggah.
Regardless of how things turn out, I’m pretty excited to see what the band ends up doing in 2011. Meshuggah’s releases in the past have certainly left me surprised and confused at times, but never disappointed.
While I’m on the subject of upcoming albums I’m excited about, here’s another one that I’ve been drooling over ever since the news broke last year: Falkenbach‘s new album Tiurida is nearing release as well. The official release date from Napalm Records is January 28th.
Napalm Records has uploaded a sample of the track ‘Runes Shall You Know’ from the album; check it out here:
» Listen to ‘Runes Shall You Know’ preview track
You can also check out the album’s page on Amazon.de and listen to the small samples from each track, to get a bit of an idea of what Tiurida is going to sound like:
» Tiurida on Amazon.de
To me it sounds a lot like the direction the band was taking on Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty, although there are some black vocals on the new album too apparently, so it won’t be completely mellow. Either way, I’m excited!
Tiurida is now available for preorder from Amazon.com.
» Preorder your copy of Tiurida!
New Zealand’s Ulcerate are one of the few death metal bands I really pay any attention to nowadays. The fact that they get mentioned in the same breath as Gorguts should give you an idea of how talented and unique these guys are. The ultra-complex, dissonant mind-fuck that was 2009’s Everything Is Fire took me by surprise, and now the band is back with The Destroyers Of All, which sounds at least as devastating as its predecessor.
MetalSucks is currently streaming the album in its entirety, so you can have a chance to hear it before it comes out on the 25th.
Another day, another awesome band returning from the dead!! There have been rumors about new Gorguts material for some time now, and it looks like we finally get a taste of what this new version of Gorguts will sound like. Check out the sample on Gorguts’s official MySpace.
Sounds like they’ll be picking up right where they left off.