Massachusetts-based atmospheric rock sextet Foreign Tongues have released their brand new EP, Glue, today as a pay-what-you-want download through Youth Conspiracy Records. The five-track EP was recorded by Defeater guitarist Jay Maas (Title Fight, Transit) and is available right now via the Bandcamp player below. All money collected from the download will be donated to the One Fund, a new charity created by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to help those most affected by the recent Boston Marathon bombing. Learn more at www.onefundboston.org.

Minneapolis, MN-based Black Metal sextet False have created quite a stir in underground metal circles since dropping their debut “Untitled” release via Gilead Media/Howling Mine. They have been hailed as the next big thing in USBM by some, and honestly, after picking up the vinyl version of the album and spending some contemplative alone time with the record I am not the least bit surprised.

“To follow your own vision without compromising and conforming to other people’s demands and expectations would make you a king in what people would just define as a dead end”, says Katatonia’s guitarist Anders Nyström when referring to the title of the band’s ninth full-length album Dead End Kings. Despite being around for more than 20 years, these Swedish purveyors of heavy, gloomy soundscapes and dark, melancholic lyrics still keep pushing their own musical boundaries. “Stylistically”, Nyström acknowledges, “it continues where the last album Night Is The New Day ended, but once again we’ve tried to sharpen the sword in terms of performances and the sound. The rest is up to our listeners to discover….”

According to the press release for Laster’s Wijsgeer & Narreman (yeah, I don’t know how to say it either), the album has “hypnotic riffs inspired by J.W. von Goethe’s ‘Faust'”. Now, I’ve never read ‘Faust’, but to my understanding the basic premise is about a guy who makes a deal with the devil. You know, standard black metal stuff.

A Healing Place by Finland’s The Chant is slow atmospheric rock that at times borders on metal. Similar in sound to A Perfect Circle, A Healing Place is a beautiful album which threatens to break into metal but never fully does. As such this isn’t the type of album that you will put on at a party but instead, this is the perfect soundtrack to a long drive or just plain old solitary listening.

Black metal is one of those genres that can be done horribly or brilliantly. Done horribly it can be utterly laughable replete with cheesy corpse paint and a cacophony of noise. Done well however, it can be a musical triumph showcasing both ugliness and beauty in its songs. Borgne’s album falls into the triumph category showing underground black metal at its finest with gorgeous soundscapes in some parts and creepy as hell moments in others.

Russia’s Epitimia are a jewel of a band that are just waiting to be discovered by the extreme music scene at large. Their latest release, Faces of Insanity, is a fine album full of atmospheric black metal that is simultaneously both beautiful and ugly. The songs are very ambient-sounding and even pretty at times, while the harsh black metal vocals bring a more sinister twist to the whole package. Check out this three-piece band for some impressive ambient black metal out now via Hypnotic Dirge Records.

Germany’s Dunkelheit Produktionen will release Wijsgeer & Narreman from Dutch Black Metal act Laster. Atmospheric black metal with hypnotic riffs and inspired by J.W. von Goethe’s Faust, Wijsgeer & Narreman will be released on MCD (August 1st) and Cassette format (June 1st). Laster (meaning libel) was founded and located in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The band consists of N. (Northward) and W. Damiaen (Omninihilist, Sea of Trees, Willoows, Whtie Oak). Wijsgeer & Narreman is recommended for fans of Urfaust and Austere.