After kicking off the year with a hefty release week, things normalize a bit for a January release date. 2016 continues to have a strong start, though, with a number of underground up-and-comers releasing new material today. Check it all out here!
Witchcraft, Nucleus (Nuclear Blast)
The Swedish doom band is on album number five, and once again, Magnus Pelander is the only continuous presence in the band. New to the band are bassist Tobias Anger and drummer Rage Widerberg, who signed on last year. This is the band’s first release as only a three-piece, but you can still expect the same dense, intelligent doom that Witchcraft has become known for.
Lycus, Chasms (Relapse)
Sticking within the doom spectrum, Oakland, CA-based Lycus have returned with their sophomore release. Chasms is the first album for Lycus on their new home Relapse. The funeral doom group first appeared on our radar in 2013 with their independently-released debut Tempest, which really caught the attention of my colleague Chip McCabe. Lycus hopes to build their audience with this new four-song effort.
Varg, Das Ende aller Lügen (Napalm)
This German black metal group has made every effort to differentiate themselves from the Norwegian bands that seem to dominate their genre, even opting for red and black corpse paint over the traditional black and white. On their fifth full-length, Varg have created a powerful epic that intermixes Norse mythology with modern-day socio-political themes. This album may be one of the most underrated black metal releases to come out in 2016.
Opprobrium, Serpent Temptation (Relapse)
Opprobrium started life under the name Incubus in 1986, but opted to change their name in 1999 when the rock band of the same name grew in popularity. The band’s first release under the Incubus moniker was Serpent Temptation, back in 1988. Brothers Moyses and Francis Howard, the only members left in the group, have remastered their debut for a new generation of death/thrash fans to hear.