Jun 242017


Three years on from the release of their last album, the Persian black metal band Zurvan have completed a new record named Gorge of Blood, which will be co-released on June 28 by Satanath Records (Russia) and The Eastern Front (Israel). What we have for you today are streams of two previously released songs from the album plus our premiere of a new one named “Hallucination“.

Zurvan first came to life in Iran as the project of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Nâghes in 2009, and in 2012 the band became a two-person strike force with the addition of drummer Taromad. The band is now located in Germany, but as you will discover, the music is still very much connected to the Oriental musical traditions of their homeland, yet at the same time firmly rooted in the rebellious and ferocious antagonism of black metal.

Jun 232017


On June 25th — two days from now — GrimmDistribution will release the new album by SinnerAngel, a group that first came together more than a decade ago in the city of Medellín, Colombia. The album’s name is Sinister Decálogo, which refers to “a precise set of ideas that conform to the sinister side of the human existence”. The album also “deals with themes about the allegorical double human morality, the need for approval and dependence of the deities to assert themselves, the constant fear of the earthly and the passing”.

Today we are pleased to present a full stream of what turns out to be an unusual album, one that incorporates a variety of musical influences that reflect the wide-ranging interests of the band’s members. Lacking any clearly defined genre boundaries and with a tendency to experiment, the band have grasped the term “dark metal” as a description. Of course, like the music on this album, that term has no precise definition. And so we’ll offer a few more words of introduction, though no one will blame you if you just skip right down to the album stream and dive in.

Jun 232017


As I explained in an earlier post today, I’ve resisted the temptation to compile yet another gigantic round-up this week, deciding instead to spread around some of the good new things I found in a listening session last night across a few different pairings.

I’m a big fan of both songs collected here, and I’m also going to suggest you do something weird with them if you want a Grade A head-wrecking experience, though I’m sure it’s an idea that not everyone will find appealing. But I’ll come back to that at the end of the post.  First, here are the two songs, along with some introductory verbiage.


The death/crust crew Extinction of Mankind have been plying their trade since the early ’90s, though more than a decade has passed since their last album, Northern Scum. While we’ve had a long wait for a new album, the band haven’t been completely dormant. In 2010 they put out splits with Phobia and Disgust, and now they have another split on the way with Apocalypse. This one will be a 7″, and EoM’s song from that split is now up on YouTube (actually, it’s been there since mid-May but I just found it). It’s excellent.

Jun 232017


I’m continuing to make my way through some of the songs and videos that have come out since I basically checked out of NCS to work on Northwest Terror Fest. Especially because I’m getting a slow start on this Friday, I decided to put together this pair of good ones I found last night, and if the day goes right, a couple more pairings before we hit the weekend, rather than compiling another overstuffed SEEN AND HEARD post.


I hadn’t encountered this UK black metal band before last night. Metal-Archives (which lists them as “Shadow Flag”) identifies two albums released in 2013 and 2015, and today they’re releasing a third one named The Delusion Machine. I can’t comment on the whole album yet, but I sure as hell have fallen hard for a song called “Singularity 45“, which is the subject of the lyric video I saw last night. That’s the first item in this pairing.

Jun 232017


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Poland’s Decapitated, which will be released on July 7th by Nuclear Blast.)

I find, when a review has the potential to be contentious, that it’s always best to lay your cards out on the table right from the start.

So let’s be clear about one thing straight away – Decapitated are never going to go back to being a “pure” Death Metal band.

It’s just not going to happen.

In fact Vogg has been very clear, in numerous interviews, that as long as his hand is on the tiller (and seeing as how it’s very much his band, I can’t see that ever changing) the good ship Decapitated will keep on moving forwards, not backwards, upwards not forwards…

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.

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