Territory’s Edge – The Best New Metal of August 2022, featuring Oceano, Becoming the Archetype, and more

This month’s metal picks are all over the map, including old-school metalcore, black metal, thrash, progressive metal, and deathcore.  Other highlights include Fit For an Autopsy‘s Lamb of God cover,  a new EP from Illuminate Me, and “Movement” from promising new alternative metal/shoegaze/metalcore duo Love is Noise – featuring a guest spot from Jason Aalon Butler (Fever 333, Pressure Cracks, ex-letlive).


Foreign Hands – “Chlorine Tears”

Metalcore newcomers Foreign Hands have released a new single that hearkens back to the early 2000s era of the genre.  In comparison to the straightforward hardcore of Bleed the Dream, their EP released earlier this February, “Chlorine Tears” is both more melodic and massive in scope.  While Bleed the Dream earned Foreign Hands some exposure thanks to an inclusion on Spotify’s New Blood playlist, famed producer Will Putney from Fit For an Autopsy has helped take Foreign Hands to the next level.  The result is an excellent old-school metalcore song that should appeal to fans of groups like Poison the Well or Misery Signals.


Soulfly – Totem

Early on, Soulfly mostly blended nu metal and the tribal music that characterized Roots, Max Cavalera’s final album with Sepultura.  The list of collaborators on the first two Soulfly records, including members of Slipknot, Deftones, Limp Bizkit, and Fear Factory, reads like an all-star lineup from nu-metal’s heyday.  Totem, in contrast, evokes Sepultura’s death-thrash roots in both sound and message.  The first four tracks are fast-paced and raw before the groove metal of “The Damage Done” changes things up a little, and the second half contains more variety.

One standout, both lyrically and musically is “Ancestors”.   Written from the perspective of indigenous South Americans during European colonization, “Ancestors” is an incisive criticism of the colonizers’ greed, forced religious conversion and disregard for the natives’ culture.  The guitar riffs and feedback evoke Celtic Frost and early Machine Head.  Another great moment is the closer “Spirit Animal”.  This song is nearly ten minutes long and seamlessly transitions from furious riffage into a chilled out finish with vocals from dub/reggae singer Coyote, who has previously appeared on two Soulfly songs – “Moses” and “Innerspirit”.  Totem pays tribute to Max Cavalera’s days in early Sepultura and makes room for a few new ideas as well.


Machine Head – Øf Kingdøm and Crøwn

After a tumultuous few years, Machine Head roared back with a comeback album – for the second time.  After the departure of 50% of the band (drummer Dave McClain and guitarist Phil Demmel), combined with the poorly received Catharsis, Machine Head’s future looked in doubt.  However, Bay Area veteran Robb Flynn made a similar comeback statement before.  The triumphant “Imperium” opened 2003’s Through the Ashes of Empires in the wake of the unsuccessful Supercharger.  Similarly, album ten, Øf Kingdøm and Crøwn, is a resounding return to form.  Machine Head follows a different lyrical approach this time around.  Loosely inspired by Attack on Titan, the album’s concept follows characters named Ares and Eros, two antiheroes on opposing sides.  Robb Flynn noted how, “in that series, there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ guy… both sides believe they’re doing the right thing, but both are committing atrocities and evil.”

The sound of Øf Kingdøm and Crøwn ranges from thrashy and aggressive to melodic and emotive – sometimes within the same song.  Opener “Slaughter the Martyr” sets the stage in a dynamic Blackening-style epic.  One of the more melodic tracks, “Unhalløwed” has a mid-2000s Killswitch Engage feel, while “Chøke Øn the Ashes Øf Yøur Hate”, “Kill Thy Enemies” and “Bløødshøt” showcase Machine Head’s early bullish, hard-hitting sound.   “Bløødshøt” in particular sounds like a callback to “Blood for Blood”, the thrashiest track off their 1994 debut Burn My Eyes.  “Arrøws in Wørds Frøm the Sky” is the anthemic, inspirational closer.


Aronious – Irkalla

As the second album from this Wisconsin-based technical death metal band, Irkalla is a more focused project compared to their debut Perspicacity.  Doom and progressive influences interwoven into the brutality make this one stand out.  Signed to The Artisan Era (the tech-death label started by Inferi guitarist Malcom Pugh), Aronious include the breakneck pace and guitar wizardry of the subgenre while allowing listeners room to breathe as well.  “Ereshkigal” is a prime example of this, including two atmospheric, eerie sections in the midst of a brutal, technical track without losing momentum.

Irkalla opens with “Anakani”, a short instrumental with ominous piano, which leads into the single “Descent of Innana”.  The song and lyric video reference the tale of a goddess in Sumerian mythology – Inanna, the Queen of Heaven, descends to the underworld, is slain, and later resurrected.  This concept is maintained throughout the album – the title Irkalla is the name of the ancient Mesopotamian underworld.  Aronious show to be a name worthy of attention from any technical death metal fan.


Auriferous Flame – The Great Mist Within

Auriferous Flame is a new endeavor from Ayloss, the man behind the solo black metal project Spectral Lore.  While not currently up on Spotify, the album can be streamed and purchased through Bandcamp.  With Spectral Lore, Ayloss established a very ambient, atmospheric take on the genre with lengthy compositions that characterized his most prominent album, III.  He’s also collaborated with Mare Cognitum – a space-themed creation of fellow solo black metal musician Jacob Buczarski – on 2020’s planetary Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine.  In contrast, Auriferous Flame is more traditional and influenced by 90s black metal.  The strongest tracks are the atmospheric “Ancient Corridors” and the layered “Molten Gold”, both stately, nearly 11-minute compositions.  “Ancient Corridors” also flows directly into the closing instrumental “Mass of Ice”, finishing with a respite of calm ambience after the chaos.


Oceano – “Mass Produced”

Oceano rarely disappoints, and Adam Warren and the boys are back with more massive, brutal deathcore.  This single marks Oceano’s first new music released in five years.  Adam’s signature low growling delivery has remained remarkably consistent throughout his fifteen years with the band.  Memorable lead riffs and a crushing breakdown make “Mass Produced” a winner.  Earlier this year, Adam Warren appeared on a redux of Carnifex’s blackened deathcore staple “Lie to My Face”.  Starting this month, Oceano will also be touring with them, in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Carnifex’s debut album Dead in My Arms.


Becoming the Archetype – Children of the Great Extinction

Longtime Solid State signees Becoming the Archetype return after a ten-year hiatus.  Children of the Great Extinction won’t disappoint the band’s fanbase after the long wait, and also provides a pretty good overview and introduction to newcomers.  The sound simultaneously evokes the early death metal/metalcore of Terminate Damnation and the experimental style of 2011’s Celestial Completion.  The ten new songs are catchy and heavy while maintaining a progressive sensibility throughout.

Overall, Children of the Great Extinction should also strongly appeal to fans of bands like Rivers of Nihil or Fit for an Autopsy, especially the eight minute closer “The Sacrament” and melodic, memorable singles “The Remnant” and “The Lost Colony”.  Once more, the fantastic album cover is designed by Dan Seagrave, who’s also painted iconic album art for The Devil Wears Prada, Suffocation, Entombed and several other metal bands.  The cover shows otherwordly, long-legged creatures roaming the landscape of an alien planet, and captures the album’s science fiction concept perfectly.


August Release Tracker


In Flames – “The Great Deceiver” (Aug 1, melodic death metal)

Alter Bridge – “Silver Tongue” (Aug 2, alternative metal)

City of Caterpillar – “Decider” (Aug 2, hardcore)

Stray From the Path/Jesse Barnett – “Bread and Roses” (Aug 2, punk/hardcore)

Borders – “Suffer” (Aug 4, deathcore)

Fallujah – “Soulbreaker” (Aug 4, progressive metalcore/technical death metal)

I AM – “Surrender to the Blade” (Aug 4, death metal)

Xenobiotic – “Autophagia” (Aug 4, technical death metal)

Dragoncorpse – “Terror Eternal” (Aug 5, power metal/death metal)

For the Fallen Dreams – “Sulfate” (Aug 5, metalcore)

The Comfort – “Supernova” (Aug 5, post-hardcore/alt rock)

Outline in Color/Loveless – “Do Your Worst” (Aug 5, alternative rock/post-hardcore)

Slipknot – “Yen” (Aug 5, nu metal)

Time, the Valuator – “Ivy” (Aug 5, progressive rock/alternative metal)

What Lies Below – “Vitiate” (Aug 5, progressive metalcore)

Boundaries – “Heaven’s Broken Heart” (Aug 11, metalcore)

Revocation/Trevor Strnad/Corpsegrinder – “Re-Crucified” (Aug 9, technical death metal)

Slaughter to Prevail – “1984” (Aug 9, deathcore)

Sylosis – “Heavy is the Crown” (Aug 9, melodic death metal)

Aviana/Marcus Vik – “Paradox” (Aug 10, metalcore/alternative metal)

Exmortus – “Oathbreaker” (Aug 10, death/thrash)

Miss May I – “Free Fall” (Aug 10, metalcore)

Weeping Wound – “fourthh.love” (Aug 10, atmospheric metalcore)

A Wake in Providence – “The Horror Ov the Old Gods” (Aug 11, deathcore)

Bloodbath – “Carved” (Aug 11, death metal)

Fit for a King – “End (The Other Side)” (Aug 11, metalcore)

156/Silence – “Say the Phrase” (Aug 12, metalcore)

Bit Back – “Quantum of Solace” (Aug 12, hardcore)

Chelsea Grin – “Origin of Sin” (Aug 12, deathcore)

Phobophilic – “Survive in Obscurity” (Aug 12, death metal)

An Abstract Illusion – “In the Heavens Above, You Will Become a Monster” (Aug 15, death metal)

Oceano – “Mass Produced” (Aug 16, deathcore)

Irist – “Heal” (Aug 16, progressive metal)

Gaupa – “Diametrical Enchantress” (Aug 17, psychedelic rock/stoner doom)

Vermin Womb – “Denvoid” (Aug 17, grindcore/death metal)

Holy Fawn – “Void of Light” (Aug 18, blackgaze/post metal)

UnityTX – “Burnout” (Aug 18, rapcore)

AVOID – “Whatever” (Aug 19, punk/post-hardcore)

Oceans Ate Alaska – “Nova” (Aug 19, metalcore)

Starset/Breaking Benjamin – “Waiting on the Sky to Change” (Aug 19, alternative metal)

Vatic – “No Sleep” (Aug 19, metalcore)

Foreign Hands – “Chlorine Tears” (Aug 23, melodic metalcore) 

Dayseeker – “Without Me” (Aug 26, post-hardcore)

Within Destruction/Lil Lotus – “Dying World” (Aug 26, deathcore)

Glassing – “Dire”/”Sulk” (Aug 26, sludge metal)

A Hope For Home – “Years of Silicon” (Aug 29, post metal) 

Fit for an Autopsy – “Walk With Me in Hell” (Aug 31, Lamb of God cover)

Love is Noise/Jason Aalon Butler – “Movement” (Aug 31, alternative metal/post-hardcore)


Ether Coven – The Relationship Between the Hammer and the Nail (Aug 5, sludge metal)

In Hearts Wake – Green is the New Black (Aug 5, metalcore)

Psycroptic – Divine Council (Aug 5, technical death metal)

Soulfly – Totem (Aug 5, groove/thrash metal)

Fugitive – Maniac (Aug 8, hardcore/thrash)

Arch Enemy – Deceivers (Aug 12, melodic death metal)

Aronious – Irkalla (Aug 12, technical death metal)

Ascent of Autumn – Awakened (Aug 12, deathcore)

Contrition – Constancy (Aug 12, hardcore/metalcore)

In Disarray – Trauma (Aug 12, hardcore/metalcore)

Norma Jean – Deathrattle Sing For Me (Aug 12, metalcore/alternative metal)

Of Virtue – Sinner (Aug 12, metalcore/alternative metal)

Seventh Storm – Maledictus (Aug 12, power metal)

Seyr – Flux (Aug 12, progressive metal)

The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost (Aug 12, melodic death metal)

The Omnific – Escapades (Deluxe Edition) (Aug 12, instrumental metal)

Unprocessed – Gold (Aug 12, progressive rock)

Revaira – Journey (Aug 18, progressive metalcore)

Abest – Molten Husk (Aug 19, sludge metal/hardcore)

Alpha Wolf and Holding Absence – The Lost & The Longing (Aug 19, metalcore)

Dawnwalker – House of Sand (Aug 19, progressive metal) 

I Prevail – True Power (Aug 19, alternative metal/nu metal)

Orthodox – Learning To Dissolve (Aug 19, hardcore)

Russian Circles – Gnosis (Aug 19, instrumental progressive metal) 

Soilwork – Övergivenheten (Aug 19, melodic death metal)

Spirit Adrift – 20 Years Gone (Aug 19, doom/traditional heavy metal)

Spite – Dedication to Flesh (Aug 19, deathcore)

Auriferous Flame – The Great Mist Within (Aug 26, atmospheric black metal)

Becoming the Archetype – Children of the Great Extinction (Aug 26, melodic death metal/metalcore)

Blackbraid – Blackbraid I (Aug 26, black metal)

Cyborg Octopus – Between the Light and Air (Aug 26, progressive metal)

Dreadnought – The Endless (Aug 26, progressive metal/black metal)

Eaten By Sharks – Eradication (Aug 26, technical death metal)

fallfiftyfeet – Lonely If You Go (Aug 26, mathcore)

Ghost in the Ruins – Return to Ash (Aug 26, metalcore)

God of Nothing – Terrible Things (Aug 26, deathcore)

KRIMH – The Eternal Return (Aug 26, progressive death metal)

Machine Head – Of Kingdom and Crown (Aug 26, groove metal/thrash)

Obsidian Mind – Obsidian Mind (Aug 26, metalcore)

Sigh – Shiki (Aug 26, experimental black metal)

thoughtcrimes – Altered Pasts (Aug 26, mathcore)

Westhand – Cyanide Culture (Aug 26, rapcore/metalcore)

Illuminate Me – Dying on a Hill That Nobody Remembers (Aug 28, metalcore)

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