Jan 182019
 

 

In September of last year we reviewed and premiered Slaves & Snakes, the new album by the French band Nuisible, which was released later that month by Deadlight Records. In describing their brand of brutalizing heaviness the band make references to Tragedy, Darkthrone, and Entombed. Crust and hardcore form the backbone of their assaults, which are undergirded by massive low-end weight and driven to heights of murderous blackened frenzy. The music is as merciless as the open mouth of Hell and meaner than a pack of rabid dogs, and yet on this album the band display a knack for embedding both rhythmic and melodic hooks in its ten mauling tracks, and of switching gears often enough to keep you in harness for the whole bruising ride.

In attempting to describe the album’s crippling physicality, I wrote: “Delivered in different ways, it’s a bone-breaking, body-mangling demolition job. The drumwork is punishing; the bass lines sound like the gnashing of granite teeth; the rhythm guitar is tuned to a gritty, bruising tone; the sounds of the lead guitar are almost always unnerving, And the jugular-ripping vocals are raw, berserker manifestations of unbridled rage.”

Slaves & Snakes is definitely a demolition job, but one that doesn’t wear out its welcome despite the music’s unvarnished and often painful intensity. And in case you missed it, today we have an excellent reminder of why you should fix that oversight, because we’re premiering an engrossing music video for the album’s third track, “Evil Still“. Continue reading »

Jan 182019
 

 

(Here’s Andy Synn’s review of the debut album by North Carolina’s Mo’ynoq, which was released on January 11th.)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… but precisely what it is that separates a “Good” album from a truly “Great” one isn’t always clear. Sometimes it’s just a gut feeling, an instinctive response which tells you that this… this is something really worth shouting about.

If you’re been paying attention then you’ll quickly realise that this is exactly the same intro spiel I used for my recent review of the new Barshasketh album, recycled here with good reason.

Because not only have I frequently seen the two records compared, contrasted, and (occasionally) pitted against one another in single combat, but they also happen to quite concisely demonstrate just how razor-thin the line between being a “Good” album and a truly “Great” one really is. Continue reading »

Jan 172019
 

 

As forecast yesterday, I’ve decided to stay in blackened realms for this next installment of songs for the 2018 list. The following three tracks are very dark in more ways than one, and they all made a big emotional impact when I first heard them. They’ve stayed with me since then, and although you could easily pick other tracks from each album for the list, the vivid memories of those first experiences have inclined me toward these.

GAEREA

In the run-up to the release of this Portuguese band’s debut album, Unsettling Whispers, I wrote about no fewer than five of the tracks as they were made available for public listening, ultimately trying to capture what the band had done on the songs in these words: Continue reading »

Jan 172019
 

 

The Canadian death metal band Evilosity, who hail from Vancouver Island, aren’t wet-behind-the-ears newcomers, though their recorded output hasn’t been hurried or prolific. They first came together around 2002, released an EP named Snuff in 2006, and then a debut album entitled Sickening Display of Redemption in 2008. But while the band have been active in performing live since that time, a decade has passed without a new release. That’s about to change.

Evilosity have now completed work on a new EP named Sterile Existence that was recorded with veteran metal producer and engineer Rob Shallcross and includes four previously unreleased songs and a re-recording of the title track from that previous full-length. As a sign of what the new EP holds in store, today we’re presenting a lyric video (which sets the EP’s eye-catching cover art in motion) for the new song “Evilution“. Continue reading »

Jan 172019
 

 

In extreme metal circles these days, when one thinks of Iceland one thinks of black metal. Draugsól was one of many Icelandic black metal bands who proved their worth, with a fine 2017 debut album named Volaða land (we learned more about the band and that album in a 2017 NCS interview). Subsequently, two of Draugsól’s three members (guitarist/bassist/vocalist Maximilian Klimko and drummer Kjartan Harðarson) chose to forge ahead under a new name — Kaleikr — and their first album Heart of Lead will be released on February 15th by Debemur Morti Productions.

The album is described as “a journey from sadness through despair to total mental collapse”. In mid-December DMP released a song from the album named “The Descent“, one of three tracks on the record that includes a guest performance by Árni Bergur Zoëga on viola. It appears second in the running order, following the opener “Beheld At Sunrise”, in which the viola also figures prominently before the album’s musical descent begins.

Through each successive track, the journey becomes more strange, dark, and unnerving as Kaleikr draw upon an array of stylistic tools as they see fit to portray their narrative in sound, without being constrained by the conventions of any one genre. Where the album begins at sunrise, it ends in perpetual sunset, with the record’s seventh track. But before reaching that striking culmination, the music surges to an apotheosis of intensity in the song we’re helping premiere today — “Neurodelirium“. Continue reading »

Jan 172019
 

 

In the esoteric teachings of the Kabbalah, evil exists in multiple forms, and must be understood in different ways. We are told that one of the evil forces identified in Kabbalist mysticism is Zohamah, which means “darkness” or “pollution”, a form of evil that results in kilkul (or spiritual damage). Zohamah is also the name taken by a mysterious Israeli band, the work of a single individual whose initials are H.M. (although a full line-up has been assembled in preparation for live performances).

Zohamah’s first recorded output was a 2017 EP named Manic Depression, and now there’s a debut album. Entitled Spread My Ashes, it will be released by Redefining Darkness Records on February 1st. “Emptiness“, a single that is now included on the album, was first released in 2017, and today we present a second track from the album — “Black Cloud“. Continue reading »

Jan 172019
 

Left to right: Dan Darforth (Bass), Carl Stjärnlöv (Guitars), Sverker Widgren (Guitars, Vocals), Pär Johansson (Drums)

Photo by Jens Rydén

 

(This is a very interesting interview conducted by our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum with Carl Stjärnlöv, guitarist/songwriter of the long-running Swedish metal band Diabolical, whose fifth album Eclipse will be released on February 15th.)

 

You tour in Europe, you have established the band, and many have listened to or seen you live here, but how would you introduce yourselves to a U.S. audience? Diabolical can no longer be described as just another Swedish band (and good for you 🙂 )

We’re a death metal band that has evolved into something else; we’re not bound to any traditional views of what death metal or black metal “should” sound like. While we still have our foundation in death metal with some dashes of black metal, our music incorporate choirs, orchestral parts, and mellotrons. On our new album there’ll be plenty of clean vocals as well. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that bands such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson are held in just as high regard as Morbid Angel among the members of the band, and I think that’s reflected in our sound. Continue reading »

Jan 162019
 

 

For today’s installment of this 2018 list I’m taking a turn toward black metal, of unusually high quality. And I’ll give you a preview that black metal will be the focus of tomorrow’s post as well. As the writer of our site’s Sunday SHADES OF BLACK column, I have a vast number of black metal tracks on my collection of candidates for this list, and while I’m committed to making it representative of addicting music across a range of genres, that particular genre is going to get its fair share of attention in the weeks ahead.

FUNERAL MIST

When I first listened to Funeral Mist’s new album Hekatomb I wasted no time in putting pen to paper (so to speak). Avoiding any attempt to compare it to the enthusiastically received Salvation or the more controversial Maranatha, I considered it on its own and wrote (here): Continue reading »

Jan 162019
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by the Scotland-based band Barshasketh, which was released yesterday by W.T.C. Productions.)

Precisely what it is that separates a “Good” album from a truly “Great” one isn’t always clear. Sometimes it’s just a gut feeling, an instinctive response which tells you that this… this is something really worth shouting about.

Of course your subjective response(s) and reactions will always be the final arbiter of which side of things an album ultimately falls on for you, but to even come close to this line, to be in contention, is something of an impressive achievement in itself.

Which I suppose is a long-winded way of saying that that the new, self-titled, record from Barshasketh could well be the first truly “Great” Black Metal album of 2019. Continue reading »

Jan 162019
 

 

We have an out-of-the-ordinary lyric video to present today. The subject matter will be familiar to fans of extreme metal, since at a very high level it concerns the deluding and damaging effects of religious teachings, but the inspirations for the lyrics and their approach to the subject matter isn’t run-of-the-mill at all.

The song that’s presented through the video is “Corrupted Text“, and it appears on the self-titled debut album by the Floridian death metal band Crypteria, which was released last fall and is recommended for fans of Decapitated, Morbid Angel, Soreption, Dyscarnate, and Aborted.

The band’s name is itself thought-provoking, since it refers to the Spartan secret police, a state institution that (as the band explain) “suppressed opposition and controlled the servile Helot population of Sparta”, maintaining order through brutal means. And while Crypteria (the band) didn’t choose the name as an endorsement of merciless repression, their music is undeniably brutal. Continue reading »