Nov 212017


(Comrade Aleks brings us yet another fascinating interview, and this time a very detailed and in-depth one, with Lasse Pyykkö of Hooded Menace, whose new album will be released in January.)

This year Hooded Menace celebrate their tenth anniversary of spreading darkest death doom in the underground scene. Though some might not tag the band as an “underground” one when their albums have been released on such labels as Relapse Records, Profound Lore, and Season Of Mist.

The last of those labels proclaimed that the new Hooded Menace album, Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed, will be released on January 26, 2018. And if you take a look, you’ll find that the Hooded Menace lineup went through big changes once more, though Lasse Pyykkö remains, as always, its core.

Did these changes influence Hooded Menace’s recognizable sound? How many of the Blind Dead will return from their tombs in the new songs? Lasse gave me answers to these and others questions, I’d like to thank him again for this deep and detailed interview.

Nov 212017


I knew Krallice planned to release another album this year, but the timing was reserved as a surprise, and the surprise was delivered last night. The name of the album is Go Be Forgotten.

I was fortunate to hear the album a few days in advance of its release, though I still didn’t know when the bomb would be detonated, and I still found myself scrambling to collect my thoughts. But Krallice’s music so predictably scrambles my brain that I doubt I would have been any more coherent if I’d known the precise day and hour of this one’s release.

However, fears about lack of coherency have never deterred me from expressing myself, nor will they here. But all I can really manage is to tell you the way the music makes me feel… and I can also venture the opinion that I think this is the best Krallice album yet.

Nov 202017


I’m one of those people who needs a regular dose of massive, bone-grinding old-school death metal (with a particular weakness for the Swedish school) in order to avoid the cold sweats and the night terrors, but it’s rare to find a fix that’s as electrifying and as thoroughly unhinged in its ferocity as the new album by Kremlin, the name of which is Decimation of the Elites. It is thus with particularly fiendish pleasure that we present a full stream of the album today, in advance of its November 24 release by Godz Ov War Productions.

Kremlin is a three-man war machine from Canada featuring past/present members of Infernäl Mäjesty and Outre-Tombe, but although a trio they may be, they sound like an army of 300.

Nov 202017


(This is Andy Synn’s review of the performances by The Infernal Sea, Dawn Ray’d, and Underdark in Nottingham, UK, on November 17, 2017, accompanied by videos he made during the show.)

I’m not sure why, but this November has been absolutely jam-packed with gigs, so much so that I’ve had to be a little bit picky about what I go to, and when, simply because of all the different pressures on my time and attention (not to mention my wallet).

But there was no way I was going to miss this one, considering that between them Dawn Ray’d and The Infernal Sea have produced two of the best Black Metal albums of recent years.

Nov 202017


Every year our LISTMANIA series of posts includes not only lists of the year’s best releases as compiled by our staff, invited guests, and our esteemed readers, but also lists assembled by what we call “big platform” web sites and selected print magazines. And every year, it seems that DECIBEL magazine provides the launch for LISTMANIA by coming out with the first of the lists we see from that category of web sites and print zines — and they’ve done it again this year.

I’m a long-time DECIBEL subscriber, but my hard copy of the January edition, which features Steve Tucker on the cover and includes the YE list, hasn’t hit my mailbox yet. However, today DECIBEL provided an on-line teaser for the issue that included their full ranking of the year’s Top 40 albums.

This is the second year in a row that DECIBEL has scooped their own list rather than letting leeches like me do it, and so I can now again re-publish their list without too much guilt. There is of course a lot more content in the January issue, including commentary about each of these 40 albums and why they were selected (you can read everything else DECIBEL has previewed about the January issue here).

Nov 202017


(It’s our great pleasure to bring you the full streaming premiere of Umbra, the debut album by the Icelandic band Almyrkvi, preceded by Andy Synn’s review of the album as a fitting introduction to what you will hear. Umbra will be released by Ván Records on November 24th.)


Just over a month ago our benevolent overlord Islander, he who bringeth the rains and maketh the sun to rise, published a post entitled “List-Breakers” asking our readers to select some upcoming late-2017 releases that had a very high likelihood of breaking their way into their AOTY lists come December, while also providing some suggestions of his own to bear in mind.

And one of the albums he highlighted was the one which we’re lucky enough to premiere for you all here today.

Nov 202017


We have some history with the Dutch death metal band Apophys, whose line-up includes a lot of talented musicians with impressive resumes, including members of God Dethroned and Toxocara. We published no fewer than six posts surrounding the 2015 release of their debut album Prime Incursion, including an interview and a track premiere. Now they have a new album coming out, a sci-fi concept record named Devoratis, which will be released on January 22 by Ultimate Massacre Productions.

On Halloween Day, Apophys released the new album’s first single, “Retaliate“, and today we’re helping to premiere the second one — “Deadlock” — which arrives via a play-through video that features some blazing fretwork by the band’s two guitarists, Sanne van Dijk and Dave Meester.

Nov 192017


I’m approaching this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK post in a different way.  As usual, I have a long list of new music I’d like to recommend to you this week, but as I begin writing this morning, I haven’t decided in advance which items from the list I’ll feature here, and that’s not usual.

I’m still in Texas, where I’ve been since Friday, but I’m flying home later today and am meeting up with some friends in advance of that, and I don’t know how far I’ll be able to go with this post before I have to stop. So, I’m going to put together the artwork, the music streams and links, and a few words for each selection before moving to the next one, and when I have to stop, I’ll stop.


In this Swedish band’s last album, 2015’s Rites of Nullification, my colleague Andy Synn saw the flowering of a band whose previous releases hadn’t really stood out to him. He wrote (here):

Nov 182017


The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley, and sometimes they’re just naturally daft and glazed, which is a good description of myself this morning.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s round-up, I’m now deep in the heart of Texas for a high school reunion tonight, and spent last night catching up with some old friends over a bottle of whisky. I then slept 11 hours, which I don’t think I’ve done since the year of my high school graduation. And so, this Saturday round-up includes fewer items than I had originally planned.


The first Migration Fest (organized by Gilead Media and 20 Buck Spin), which took place in Olympia, Washington, in August 2016 was fantastic. The next one is now set for July 27-29, 2018, at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And this morning the festival announced the first round of confirmed bands:

Nov 172017


I didn’t do a very good job keeping up with e-mails or occurrences in the interhole the last few days, so I crawled through those fetid swamps last night and came up with a big list of intriguing new songs and videos to add to my previous big list. And then I began exploring what I found. I have a little time this morning to round-up a few of the good things I discovered in my listening, with more to come soon.

I have to fly to Texas this morning (for a high school reunion rather than my fucking day job), but I do plan to finish a further SEEN AND HEARD for Saturday. And unless the reunion crushes too many brain cells (or my soul), there will be a SHADES OF BLACK feature on Sunday before I fly home.


This first item will be regrettably brief — regrettable only in the sense that I have failed to write a review of the new Aosoth album prior to its full streaming debut, which happened yesterday. And so all I can do now (and maybe ever) is to give you a strong push to listen to V: The Inside Scriptures as soon as you can. You won’t regret that decision. The stream is below; the album is being released today (November 17).

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