Event Horizon September 2020

So like an unstoppable steamroller, the Metal continues to flow as we head towards the back end of this majorly fucked up year. Live gigs may have stopped, but incredibly the studio output has not followed in kind. Heading into the last 4 months of the year I would assume we are all starting to ponder our end of year album lists. Personally, mine is long, unedited and nowhere near decided. The upcoming month of September won’t help things either with an insane number of new albums still to drop. September 4, 11, 18 have some awesome new material listed, but it is September 25th that will prove to be the day of all release days for the month. A select few have been listed among the notable 12 releases locked in for this month’s Event Horizon. Always a pleasure to put together for Blessed Altar. Thanks to all who read and provide comments and feedback. Until next month…Metal, it’s just so fucking glorious!

Jupiterian – Protosapien
Released: 11 September
Style: Atmospheric Sludge/Doom Metal
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Link: Bandcamp

Jupiterian are back after releasing their groundbreaking album “Terraforming” which was akin to the sound of tectonic plates shifting. In the aftermath of that event, a new revelation has been unearthed – their magnum opus “Protosapien”. It slices through the ominous atmospheric murk of the band’s previous effort and in an almost primitive yet strangely evolved manner, goes for the jugular. Jupiterian rise as a mythical creature, imbibing everything that transpired and distilling it all to create something highly potent, dense and sonically immeasurable. This is the sound of titans. Jupiterian have created a form of harrowing, otherworldly sludge/doom metal that lumbers on erratically, carving their own path, trampling on anything that dares stand in their way. There is little left to do other than cower in fear. Bow down before your new overlords. (From Bio)

Skeletal Remains – The Entombment Of Chaos
Released: 11 September
Style:  Death Metal
Label: Century Media
Link: YouTube

Skeletal Remains formed as Anthropophagy back in 2011, released two acclaimed albums through German label FDA Rekotz and honed their skills on the road, playing an impressive amount of gigs and tours early on in the band’s career. In 2018, the band took the proverbial next step, releasing their third record, “Devouring Mortality”, on Dark Descent in North America and Century Media internationally. Having toured with the likes of Obituary, Hatebreed, Municipal Waste, Power Trip, The Black Dahlia Murder, and many more, Skeletal Remains have succeeded in building up a loyal following worldwide and will now excite their supporters once again with a strong sonic statement. (From Bio)

Darkened – Kingdom of Decay
Released: 11 September
Style: Death Metal
Label: Edge Circle Productions
Link: Bandcamp

At last, it arrives under the ominous title “Kingdom of Decay”. Everything on “Kingdom of Decay” is an intensification of that short-but-sweet debut EP: the riffs more patient but punishing, the doom darker and doled out more effectively, the songs more world-eating whilst effectively exploring a greater wealth of dynamics and, it must be said, atmosphere. Elsewhere, the winning formula of Into the Blackness remains largely unchanged – the stately, steely pulse of later Bolt Thrower or the subsequent Memoriam dusted with the classy melodicism of A Canorous Quintet and successors This Ending, but all done with a touch that’s somewhere between comfortably familiar and subtly unique – and you can now also add a touch of the tank-like onslaught of prime Grave, with everything given a gleaming CRUSH courtesy of the mixing by Tobbe Sillman (General Surgery) and mastered by the one and only Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity) in the famous Unisound Studio in Sweden. (From Bio)

Plague Years – Circle of Darkness
Released: 18 September
Style: Crossover Thrash/Death Metal
Label: eOne Heavy
Link: Bandcamp

Like an icepick to the face, Plague Years arrives with an electric surge of sudden pain. An unrelenting end of the world assault of the cataclysmic convergence of thrash and hardcore, with bits of blackened death and midtempo madness to spare, the Detroit master blasters are here to crash the crossover party. Summoning the primitive spirit of the singular moment when the heaviest of metal first smashed into a circle pit, Plague Years reignite the flame with sharp fury.

The devilish and down-tuned death worship withinPlague Years serves as a demonic calling card for the Detroit foursome, a brutal counterbalance to their otherwise likeminded thrash revivalists. On “Circle of Darkness”, the band’s full-length debut, Plague Years reunite with engineer Arthur Rizk, whose work with Power Trip, Tomb Mold, Candy, and Cavalera Conspiracy has propelled him to the front of the horde amidst the resurgence of crossover thrash. (From Bio)

Fires in the Distance – Echoes From Deep November
Released: 18 September
Style: Progressive Melodic Death/Doom Metal
Label: Prosthetic Records
Link: Website

Finally released after months of pushback! “Echoes from Deep November”, the debut album from Connecticut’s Fires in the Distance, is filled with melodic death-doom that is as thick and choking as their name implies. There is a sense of turmoil in the music contrasted by a pulsing irrepressible vitality. (From Bio)

Heathen – Empire of the Blind
Released: 18 September
Style: Thrash Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Link: YouTube

Bay Area thrash legends Heathen recently revealed their fourth studio album entitled, “Empire of the Blind”, will be released on September 18th via Nuclear Blast Records. “Empire of the Blind” was for the most part engineered, produced, mixed, and mastered by Christopher “Zeuss” Harris at Planet Z Studios. Additional details—rhythm guitars, etc.—were put to digital “tape” by Kragen Lum at SubLevel Studio in Little Rock, AR. The album features guest appearances by Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer), Rick Hunolt (ex-Exodus) and Doug Piercy (ex-Heathen). The cover art to “Empire of the Blind” was once again handled by renowned artist Travis Smith (Overkill, Exhorder). (From Bio)

SpellBook – Magick & Mischief
Released: 25 September
Style: 70’s Proto-Metal/Classic Rock
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Link: Bandcamp

Formerly known as Witch Hazel, SpellBook marries Black Sabbath, Pentagram and progressive rock for seven songs of entrancing classic metal!

During the writing process for what would eventually become “Magick & Mischief”, the members of York, Pennsylvania vintage proto-metal purveyors Witch Hazel realized there was no better time than the present to change their name. The idea had long rested on their mind, but the risks in changing a band’s name are numerous, if not painfully obvious. After all, since their 2007 formation, Witch Hazel independently released three studio albums, “Forsaken Remedies” (2012), “Nocturnity” (2015) and “Otherwordly” (2018), and had already generated buzz in the doom metal underground. But, with the confidence that the material they created for “Magick & Mischief” was the strongest of their career, Witch Hazel reached back into their past for the song “The Spellbook” from “Forsaken Remedies” and rebranded themselves SpellBook. Soon, a deal with Cruz Del Sur Music was signed, and the band started a new chapter that begins with the release of “Magick & Mischief”. (From Bio)

The Ocean – Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic
Released: 25 September
Style: Progressive/Atmospheric Sludge Metal/Post-Hardcore
Label: Metal Blade Records
Link: Bandcamp

The Ocean (also known as The Ocean Collective) is a German progressive metal band started in 2000 by German guitarist Robin Staps. Loïc Rossetti has been the band’s vocalist since the 2010 albums “Heliocentric” and “Anthropocentric”.

In September 2020, The Ocean are poised to release the eagerly-awaited concluding parts of the Phanerozoic journey. Completing the album took longer than expected, because of the band’s heavy touring schedule since the release of “Phanerozoic I: impressions” of these adventures through India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe are documented in the 130-page Phanerozoic photo-book that will be released along with Part II. In contrast with compositional directness of Phanerozoic I, the new album – “Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic” – is a vastly more progressive and perverse piece of work. (From Bio)

Hexecutor – Beyond any Conception of Knowledge​.​.​.
Released: 25 September
Style: Blackened Thrash
Label: Dying Victims Productions
Link: Bandcamp

It’s been four long years since Hexecutor released their shockingly masterful debut album, “Poison, Lust and Damnation”. But, now rested (and wild!), Hexecutor return with an even bolder record in their long-awaited second album, “Beyond Any Human Conception of Knowledge”. If its no-less-considerable predecessor pushed traditional tropes, “Beyond Any Human Conception of Knowledge” topples them altogether! It’s all recognizably Hexecutor – and immediately, charismatically so – but swirling in their cantankerous cauldron of old Slayer, Razor, Destruction, Sepultura, and Merciless is a passion for classic hard rock and heavy metal and coated in the feeling of Bathory‘s “Blood Fire Death” and Manowar‘s “Into Glory Ride”. (From Bio)

Just Before Dawn – An Army at Dawn
Released: 25 September
Style: Swedish OSDM
Label: Raw Skulls Recordz
Link: Bandcamp

“An Army at Dawn” will soon be crushing a way in to your homes! Just Before Dawn is back at full strength. With fresh recruited soldiers, who conquered the toughest battles to bring us 45 minutes of pure brutal warfare and incoming hard-hitting bombshells…With this newcomer album, Just Before Dawn outdid themselves on songwriting, arrangements, sound and especially the fresh recruits added a whole bunch of legit power! (From Bio)

Second To Sun – Leviathan
Released: 25 September
Style: Post-Black/Groove Metal
Label: Raw Skulls Recordz
Link: Bandcamp

Russia’s best kept secret return with their 10th album! Read that again, 10th album! “Leviathan” sounds truly magnificent with its emphasis on epic melancholy atmospherics laced within a vicious Scandanavian Black Metal template. Has a modern production approach without resorting to trendy elements. Don’t sleep fans of Dissection and Dark Funeral.

Uada – Djinn
Released: 25 September
Style: US Melodic Black Metal
Label: Eisenwald
Link: Bandcamp

Entitled “Djinn”, the upcoming album from the American black metal band follows on from 2018’s “Cult Of A Dying Sun” and is scheduled to be released on September 25th via Eisenwald. Simply titled but by no means simple in construction nor execution, “Djinn” builds upon the increasingly ambitious songwriting of its no-less-considerable predecessor, but pushes their dazzling artistry into nearly technicolor landscapes of the beyond. Speaking about the upcoming album, the band says, “Djinn, first inhabitors of this world, the smokeless fire and those we call upon our enemies, has gifted us a 60-minute descent into the modern-day possessions of our existence and demise. A duality that can only be known as our third wish.” (From Bio)

Carefully considered and selected by K-MaN

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