Jun 222017


Neverending Trail of Skulls” could well serve as the name of the path followed by extreme metal from the late ’80s up to the present and beyond, but instead it’s the name of the second album by the Italian band Gravesite, whose line-up includes members of the late lamented Undead Creep, as well as Haemophagus and Cancer Spreading (among others), and whose fixation with horror is spread all over this new record.

The album is set for release on August 1 by Xtreem Music, and what we bring you today, swaddled in bloody rags, is a song bearing the gruesome title “Postmortem Fetal Extrusion (Coffin Birth)“.

Jun 222017


That’s Jinx Dawson’s coffin up there, rising above the stage at Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle last Saturday night. Trust me, she was about as far from dead as you could get, but that’s where she was, inside that box when the lights came up. The crowd went crazy when she came out, and didn’t stop until a while after Coven finished their headlining set on the festival’s last night.

Someday soon I’ll write about the festival, and maybe a little about the chaotic experience of actually helping put on a festival instead of just watching the show. That’s a box I’ve now checked off on the bucket list, even though it wasn’t on my bucket list before the planning for NWTF began last year. As I think back on the experience, I’m lucky I didn’t kick the bucket before the weekend ended. Nevertheless, we’re doing it again next year, and perhaps I will emerge less exhausted, having learned a few things from the first outing, but probably not.

Anyway, since about the middle of last week I’ve had no time to compile a round-up, and am thankful to DGR for stepping into that breach not once but twice (even though he too helped out with the heavy lifting at NWTF). In the meantime, my list of new things to check out became typically overwhelming. To make the job of choosing somewhat easier, I’ve focused on more recent revelations, and perhaps will dig deeper into the last week or two in the coming days. So, let’s begin….

Jun 222017


(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by the French band Igorrr, which was released within the past week by Metal Blade Records.)


Sometimes, when it comes to metal or heavy music in general, a concentrated dose of proper fucking insanity is the right call. Sometimes, you don’t need lyrics and sometimes all is said by a good vocalist shrieking his mind out into a mic with no intention of conveying anything other than exactly what you hear. Sometimes, you need accordion. Lots of fucking accordion.

Jun 222017


The song you’re about to hear doesn’t follow the path you probably think it’s going to follow from the way it begins, and the variations in its course are one reason it’s so appealing (but not the only reason).

The name of the song is “Almas Vendidas” and it comes from the new fourth album by the Argentinian band Granada. Entitled Sincronizado, it will be released on June 23rd by Satanath Records‘ sub-label Symbol of Domination.

Jun 212017


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Seattle-based Heiress.)


Listening to this collection of material – some of it simply rare, some as-yet-unreleased – by Seattle metallites Heiress, is something of a bittersweet experience for me, due to how much it recalls two of my favourite, and now sadly defunct, bands – Himsa and Burst.

The similarity to the former is mostly accounted for by the presence of one John Pettibone – whose voice has lost none of its savage, sandpapery snarl – behind the microphone, but heavier numbers such as “Kodiak” and “Suffocate On Command” also have more elements than just the vocals in common with the dearly-departed Thrash-core quintet.

But the comparison to Burst is also undeniable at times, as the band’s particular brand of atmospheric, Hardcore-tinged Post-Metal is often a dead-ringer for that of the (in)famous Swedes, and songs such as “Restless Aim” – all fluid, hypnotic rhythms and sparkling melodic undercurrents – and the punchy, punky catharsis of “Distant Hold” could almost have been drawn straight from Origo or Lazarus Bird if you’re willing to squint a little.

Jun 212017


Well, you can’t say Graveslave have given you no warning about the foulness of the new music video you’re about to see. They did name the song “Slit Throat and Garrote“. And they did name the album from whence it comes Sick/Nasty. And then there’s that cover art.

But just in case you’re a bit slow on the up-take, let’s just put it right out there: Don’t watch this video right before you eat. Probably should’t watch it on a full stomach either… unless watching someone being strangled with their own intestines improves your appetite or your digestion.

Sick/Nasty is this Minneapolis-based death metal band’s first album, which includes guest vocals by Cryptopsy’s Matt McGachy on the opening track. We first encountered them through our premiere of a funnier and less gruesome video last year for the band’s single, “Strange Days”, and before that they assaulted listeners with a 2015 EP named Wormtongue. They seem to have been just warming up with those previous releases, because this new track is an even more serious body-mangler and brain-twister.

Jun 212017


Israthoum was given birth in Portugal in the early ’90s under a different name, apparently conceived by draconic powers, schooled in Qlippothic mysteries, and sharpened as weapons. Relocating to The Netherlands, the band has released two albums to date and a handful of shorter releases. Now, five years after their second album, Israthoum is on the brink of releasing their third full-length (through Altare Productions), bearing the title Channeling Death & Devil. Today we bring you the first single from that album, a track called “Between the Maze and Turmoil“.

It was that second album from 2012 that turned us on to Israthoum’s manifold powers, and our writer Andy Synn praised it in his review with words such as these:

Jun 212017


(DGR once again takes over round-up duty, compiling a selection of nine items for your listening and viewing pleasure, culled from the last week.)


Clearly nobody got the email that we sent out announcing that we would be incredibly busy late last week Northwest Terror Festing, and therefore decided that it would be a good time to flood the heavy metal world with news. You wouldn’t know that by visiting NCS, because we slowed to a crawl, with writers Gorger and Andy Synn coming through as the heroes keeping the fortress guarded whilst the rest of us rotated between drunk and exhausted.

Now, though, DGR has come to collect his dues, so I have compiled a round-up with every single thing that I kept notes on from Thursday of last week ’til now, and I guarantee you that I’ve still missed a handful of things. Still, though, this collection of music videos, lyric videos, and live performance(s) is gigantic in its own right and it is certified NCS “Fresh”, which means it should only mildly smell like rotting beef carcasses.

Abhorrent Decimation – Conspire

When I first saw the artwork by Karmazid for the upcoming Abhorrent Decimation album The Pardoner, I declared that if the music on that disc could be half as cool as the artwork it bore or the concept behind it, then I would be a happy camper. Well, with “Conspire“, Abhorrent Decimation have shown that they are in good standing on that front — releasing a monstrous six-minute brutalizer.

Jun 202017


It’s such a pleasure to experience an inspired and inventive joinder of visual and musical art, one in which the imagery itself seizes and holds attention and also meshes beautifully with a powerful and evocative sound. As most of us who are consumers of metal videos know, that’s a rare feat — but we have one of those successes for you today, as we present a brand new video for a song called “Painting With Shadows” by the Atlanta sludge/prog-metal band Toro.

The song comes from the band’s debut EP Departure, which was mixed by Matt Bayles, mastered by Ed Brooks, and released in the spring of this year. And if you missed it, the video provides a bracing reminder that it’s an EP well worth our time (we’ve included a stream of the EP along with the video).

Jun 202017


Take a good look at the cover of the new album by the Finnish power trio Urn, and fix your mind on the album’s title — The Burning — because when you hear the song from the album we’re premiering today, you’ll feel as if you’ve been pitched into a pit of fire.

The Burning will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on July 28. It’s the band’s fourth album in a career that reaches back to the mid-’90s, but the first album in nearly a decade. In that time, the band came apart but was then re-formed by founding bassist and frontman Sulphur, joined on this new album by guitarist Too Loud and drummer Revenant.

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