On June 17, Satanath Records (Russia) and Black Plague Records (USA) will jointly release The Carnal Sabbath, which is the debut album by Colorado’s Helleborus. The album has been a long time coming — we debuted a song from it (“Coils”) in March of last year, and other songs from the album have surfaced periodically since then. But now the full album release is nearly upon us, and we’re very happy to bring you the premiere of another new song — “Helleborus Black” — in the form of a drum cam video.
Helleborus — which is the scientific name for a genus of beautiful but poisonous flowers that bloom in winter — was created by the brothers Jerred and Wyatt Houseman. Last June, KevinP interviewed Wyatt for us and asked about the album that was then taking shape, drawing this response:
“The Carnal Sabbath is the title of the album and there will be 9 featured tracks…. My lyrics reflect aspects of sexual mysticism, death worship, and The Qabalah. With each track I have reached into the dark corners of my mind to reproduce some of my deepest introspection. My desire is to cast a shadow of my own on a lot of these areas. Each track harnesses a very potent and romantic force of energy. We do not demand contact from the other side but romanticize our own connections with it.”
Black Sun Unbound is the third album by Australia’s Denouncement Pyre, due for release by Hells Headbangers on the 22nd of July. It is truly a well-chosen name, one that captures the album’s dark, searing, unearthly energies; its poisonously radioactive atmospherics; and the inspirations of a band who have themselves gone beyond the boundaries of their past work. Earlier this month we praised the album’s first advance track (“Scars Adorn the Whore In Red”), and today we have the pleasure of bringing you a second one — also well-titled: “World Encircler“.
Denouncement Pyre have described the new album, which follows their last full-length Almighty Arcanum by three years, in this way:
Riket (a Swedish word for “The Kingdom”) is the name of a new band, but its three members are metal veterans. The band was founded by vocalist Johan Nephente Fridell and guitarist/bassist Tobias Jakobsson, both of whom are members of the band Netherbird (whose last album we reviewed here), and they were joined in this enterprise by drummer Adrian Erlandsson (At the Gates, The Haunted), who was himself also a member of Netherbird at one time. Riket’s debut EP, Avarter, is being released today in digital form, and we bring you a first listen for all four songs.
There is a story behind the EP, as told by Nephente, that’s worth reading if you want to understand what inspired this project and how the songs were recorded, and so I’m including it here before spilling a few words of my own about the music. Of course, no one would blame you if you decided to start listening to the songs while you read — because they’re damned good.
(Grant Skelton introduces our premiere of a song from the new EP by Cloak.)
The self-titled debut EP from Atlanta, Georgia’s Cloak will be released June 20 on Boris Records. No Clean Singing is proud to present you, our diabolical denizens, with an exclusive stream of the second track from the EP.
“The Hunger” is a brooding, blackened track that’s full of ire and venom. But whereas most black metal likes to go right for your throat with a cleaver, Cloak prefer to nick slowly away. Less like an impalement and more like the Chinese “death by a thousand cuts.” The track has a bitter, foaming motif further expounded by the ghostly piano and acoustic guitar accompaniment just prior to the three-minute mark. Spooky melodic leads from guitarist Max Brigham and guitarist/vocalist Scott Taysom work in tandem with the latter’s blistered, grainy vocals.
photo by Alexis
When I left Seattle early last Wednesday morning bound for Baltimore and the 14th edition of Maryland Deathfest, I was thinking I might not take any photos or write anything about the event and simply soak it up. But the whole thing was so damned exciting and so much fun that I couldn’t resist trying to document the experience.
I took more than 800 photos with my new iPhone 6S (what? you didn’t think I was a real photographer, did you?) and I made lots of mental notes (what? you didn’t think I’d actually bother typing, did you?). And as people who know me on Facebook are painfully aware, I discharged some contemporaneous impressions about most of the bands I saw. As you can now see, I couldn’t resist writing even more about the experience.
But unlike past years, I’m not going to attempt a day-by-day recap. This year, I’m going to preserve my memories in a different way. And who knows, maybe some of my NCS comrades will throw in some thoughts of their own. Because the NCS crew turned out in force this year.
The Vatican’s new EP, The Trump Card, will be released tomorrow. It hits like the blast front of a pipe bomb packed with nails and ball bearings. It propagates outward with explosive force, leaving rubble and bone splinters in its wake. Less than 10 minutes, and you’re done, trying to clear your head while reaching for the play button again and gurgling, “what the fuck did I just hear?”
The horrors and bizarre ironies of our current age are spread around us in abundance, and The Vatican have selected a choice few of them for their sardonic lyrical commentary. In the band’s words, the EP is:
Another transmission broadcast from the burning skyline at the end of the world, this time the filth bubbling up from the underground and that’s probably how it should be. Some of this filth is pretty thought-provoking, but that’s probably also how it should be. When you stare into that abyss, that abyss might stick a rusty butter knife in your grey matter and start stirring some shit around.
First up is the new Annihilvs Power Electronix debut of NYC’s Swollen Organs. Noise in general has often delved into all sorts of extreme sexual behaviors for inspiration, and Swollen Organs does so as well, but on a more meta-level.
(DGR presents this Sunday’s Rearview Mirror installment, reflecting upon the metal of yesteryear.)
I have to confess that there was a moment in writing this when it occurred to me that I was going to have to justify enjoying Biomechanical’s last album. It was an oddly sobering thought, especially in the face of discs like Eight Moons and The Empire Of The Worlds, which are albums it feels like history looks upon more kindly.
The last time I sat down and took over the Rearview Mirror column for a bit, I found myself vouching for the idea of an album that is “half-good” — one of those discs that isn’t the strongest, but half of it really seems to be on to something and for that reason always sticks out in your mind. Since then, I’ve played with a couple of other ideas for Rearview Mirror posts in order to alleviate some of the burden on our glorious editor-person, but the half-good album idea has continued to gnaw at me, at least for another edition.
(DGR reviews the new album by the Greek band Murder Made God.)
There is a part of me that always becomes excited when I feel I’ve somehow gone on an archeological dig and made an incredible world-shifting discovery. Recently, I feel like I’ve found 2016’s brutal death metal common ancestor, or for lack of a better term, that with Murder Made God’s recent April release Enslaved, I have found brutal death metal’s median — the throughline casting its way through the whole genre.
Enslaved marks the Greek brutal death metal horde’s second release of their career, with its predecessor Irreverance having hit in late June of 2013. Enslaved, which is out via Comatose Music, sounds like it took a look at the brutal death genre, saw the various directions in which it has been splitting off recently — from the hyperblasting sect to the gorier subsections — and decided instead to shoot directly down the center.
More than two and a half years have passed since I last wrote about the Slovenian black metal band Cvinger, in connection with their excellent 2013 EP, Monastery of Fallen — and then failed to pay proper attention to the band’s debut album, 2014’s Enthronement ov Diabolical Souls. But I’m not making that mistake again.
Cvinger’s new album Embodied In Incense will be released by Art Gates Records worldwide on May 30, and it definitely should not be missed. To make sure you don’t miss it, we’re helping to premiere a full album stream in this very post.