Jul 272017

 

Because this is our first round-up of news and new music this week I’m including some items that you may have already noticed elsewhere. But to increase the chances of surprising you with a new discovery, I’ve also included a few excellent new songs from more obscure names. I’ve also chosen them from among a very big list of new releases with the aim of providing diversity of sound. Before we get to the music, I have a couple of news items to share.

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER

Two days ago The Black Dahlia Murder posted that photo at the top of this post on their Facebook page, with no comment. It shows the hand of the esteemed Kristian Wåhlin, aka Necrolord, nearing completion of a very eye-catching piece of red artwork.

Putting two and two together, we can deduce that this will become the cover art for a new album by The Black Dahlia Murder, the existence of which was disclosed in June. In addition, more recent disclosures indicate that the album will be called Nightbringers and will be released on October 6.

Jul 272017

 

(Our old and good friend from the Dominican Republic, Vonlughlio, prepared this review of the new album by the Long Island death metal band Afterbirth, which will be released on July 28 by Unique Leader Records.)

Work has been killing me for the past few weeks and I’ve been meaning to write a review for one of my favorite BDM bands from Turkey (which I will eventually do). But thanks to the Big Boss Islander, nope, that would not be the case.

He reminded of an article he posted about a song by the band Afterbirth and suggested that I should give it a listen. Big Boss thought I might like it. He never is wrong, but in this case when I saw the cover, I was worried to say the least. Why, you might ask? It’s not a bad cover (yes, not bad). It’s just me. I’m a bit complicated when it comes to artwork.

Well, Islander, you were right, I ended up loving the song. I would also like to take the opportunity to say thank you for letting me do a small write-up of their album, The Time Traveler’s Dilemma. I was not familiar with their demos or EP, so I decided to check what I could find on YouTube and then listen to the full-length.

Jul 262017

 

(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a guitar playthrough video for a new song by the star-studded Canadian group Conflux Collective.)

Last year an interesting new death metal project from guitarist Chase Fraser (Continuum, Scour, ex-Son of Aurelius, ex-Decrepit Birth, ex-Animosity) was launched. Called Conflux Collective, the group consists of an array of the best death metal musicians in Canada, including bassist Derek Engemann (Cattle Decapitation, Scour).

The group’s three song EP from 2016, The Inception, which I put on my year-end list at NCS for good reason, featured a different well known Canadian death metal vocalist on each song, utilizing the talents of Cryptopsy vocalist Matt McGachy, Beneath The Massacre vocalist Elliot Desgagnés, and Coma Cluster Void, Akurion, and ex-Cryptopsy vocalist Mike Disalvo.

In addition, the release also featured the talents of highly skilled drummer Tommy McKinnon (Akurion,ex-Neuraxis) on all three songs, plus contributions from bassist Hugo Doyon-Karout (Equipoise, Beyond Creation, Brought By Pain) and ex-Aborted guitarist Eran Segal. To say the talent level on The Inception was stacked is an understatement.

Jul 262017

 

By their own account, Minneapolis-based Aziza play “Thunderpunk”, combining “sludge, hardcore, and heavy metal”. “We play buttrock for the thinking man’s metal head,” they say. I get where they’re coming from, but I also think they’re understating the exuberant inventiveness on display in their new EP, Council of Straitjackets, which is being released today — and which we’re premiering in this post.

No doubt, the music is heavy — it’s brawny and bruising, venomous and vicious — but it’s also brain-scrambling and occasionally hallucinatory. I had visions of a brutish thug performing a nimble, bounding floor routine at a gymnastics meet while clubbing the competition and then showing his appreciation for the judges by sinking his teeth into their jugulars.

Jul 262017

 

On September 29th the death metal band Nekhrah from Cyprus will release their debut album Cosmic Apostasy, and today, on the eve of their performance at Power of the Night Festival, we bring you the premiere of the album’s vicious and virally infectious title track.

Nekhrah was previously known as Impalement. We’re told that their current name is an Anglicised version of the Greek word “Νέκρα”, which means “death” or “deadness” and/or “emptiness” in Greek.

Consistent with that name, we’re further told that the band embrace a nihilistic philosophy, “the belief that existence is meaningless and that there is no inherent meaning in anything we do, think or experience”. Similarly, the lyrics are devoted to “misanthropy, cataclysm, self-destruction and a desire of non-existence”. In the band’s words, “Humanity is but a herd of ritualistic apes that congregate to ceremonialise their own insignificance”.

While we have no reason to doubt any of that, the song we’re hosting today is explosively vibrant — undeniably dark, but a hugely compelling experience nonetheless.

Jul 262017

 

Eons ago when I was in high school one of my best friends, and one of the gentlest souls I knew, got cross-wise with a guy from whom all gentleness had been purged. He hit my friend in the mouth with a brick. It shattered his front teeth and left him shrieking on the ground, his face a river of blood. It was the most violent thing I had witnessed up to that point in my life. That disturbing vision came back to me as I listened to Voluntary Torture.

This debut album by the Belgian band Seventh Circle consists of a dozen compact bouts of mauling mayhem and morbid misery. The cover art is a good match for the music, which comes at your throat with teeth spread wide, fury engaged, all hope purged.

The album will be released on vinyl by the Soaked In Torment label, who recommends it for fans of Nails, Trap Them, All Pigs Must Die, Integrity, Rotten Sound, and Full Of Hell. It combines blackened hardcore, brutal death/grind, and a relentlessly desolate outlook on life (displayed quite vividly through the song titles) to produce the audio equivalent of a brick to the teeth and an A-grade adrenaline spike right in the brainstem. You can (and should) listen to it through our premiere below.

Jul 262017

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Vancouver’s Neck of the Woods, which is set for a September 15 release by Basick Records.)

As a writer/reviewer/opinionated asshole, I’m very aware of the effect that using the wrong words – particularly when it comes to genre terms – can have in a review.

Let’s face it, if I refer to something as “Black Metal” there’s always going to be someone ready to jump down my throat because the band in question isn’t “true”. If I call something “Death Metal”, there’s bound to be someone who’ll assert that the band in question aren’t “real Death Metal”. And if I even mention the whole “Post-“ thing… well, you know the rest by now.

So I’m seriously wondering how best to refer to the music of Vancouver virtuosos Neck of the Woods so as to alienate the least amount of people?

Progressive Death Metal-core maybe?

Wait, come back…

Jul 252017

 

Seemingly out of nowhere comes one of the best black metal albums of 2017, one that is simultaneously rooted in the decades-old traditions of cold Norwegian black metal and yet so vibrant and multifaceted, and so sure-handed in its songwriting and execution, that it breathes new life into the sounds. The achievement is all the more impressive because this is a debut album.

The album is Vi Vet gud Er En Løgner (We Know God Is A Liar) by the Norwegian band Nattverd. It will be released in September by Darker Than Black Records, and we’re fortunate to host a full stream of the music in this post.

Jul 252017

 

(Our old friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth [ex-Number of the Blog} presents the following review of the new album by Blood of the Prophets, scheduled for release on July 27.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. As promised, I have returned to provide my thoughts in full on The Stars Of The Sky Hid From Me (henceforth to be referred to using the acronym TSOTSHFM), the newest album from Blood Of The Prophets, a technical death metal trio from Toledo, OH.

TSOTSHFM is the band’s first release in seven years, a long absence for any band regardless of how well-known or obscure they may be. Consider your life seven years ago, and how much has changed since then. I could list countless major differences for myself and exhaust the entire space of this review and still leave out many, many things. For a band to return from that kind of absence and then deliver a quality work is impressive.

Jul 242017

 

The Minerva Conduct combines the very impressive instrumental talents of three musicians who have helped put other Indian bands on the map of metal — composer/guitarist Prateek Rajagopal (Gutslit, Reptilian Death), lead guitarist Nishith Hegde (Demonic Resurrection, ex-Albatross), and bassist Ashwin Shriyan (ex-Demonic Resurrection, Reptilian Death). And to help give their multifaceted music the kind of jolting rhythmic drive that the compositions required, they’ve also enlisted the aid of drummer extraordinaire Navene Koperweis (ex-Animals As Leaders, Entheos).

The Minerva Conduct’s self-titled debut album will be released by Transcending Obscurity India on September 15th, and today we’ve got the premiere of an electrifying track called “Metanoia“.

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