Jan 312018


It pains me to say it, but this is not only the 20th installment of this list, it’s the last one. I’m feeling some pain because I haven’t really finished the list, but if I don’t stop now I’m afraid you’ll be reading Part 50 at some point in March. Tomorrow I’ll have a “wrap up” for the list, with links to all the tracks I’ve called out since beginning it earlier this month. Please hold off scorching me for not naming your own favorites until tomorrow. Thanks.

Unlike most of the previous installments in this series, there’s no real rhyme or reason to why I grouped these five songs together. It was just one last frantic effort to load in a few more beloved passengers before the train left the station.


“Fall on your knees! Take the oath!” How can you resist the chorus in this track? I can’t. I know that the words are part of Possession’s skewering of the Church, but I like to think of the words as an exhortation to the metal faithful, sort of like, “Swear to the dark, you unwashed bastards!”

Jan 312018


A big brainless chunk of the internet seems to be losing its mind over Elon Musk’s new $500 flamethrower. Save your money. If you want to scorch yourself or blister someone else, just pick up Hammr’s debut album. It costs much less, it’s even more hellish, and unlike that flamethrower novelty, it won’t wear out its appeal after the first week (or the first visit to the ER).

The completely spot-on name of the album is Unholy Destruction, and it will be released by Hells Headbangers in a variety of formats on February 23rd. A couple of incinerating tracks have already appeared (one of which caused me to froth at the mouth over here), and we’ve got a third red-hot offering from the record for you today. This track, also brandishing a spot-on title, is “Sadistic Poison“.

Jan 312018

Redemptor 2016


(We present the January 2018 edition of THE SYNN REPORT, in which Andy compiles reviews of releases by the Polish band Redemptor.)


Recommended for fans of: Decapitated, Anata, Rivers of Nihil

If you’ve been paying attention at all recently you’ll have caught the name Redemptor as one of the bands featured in my Personal Top Ten of 2017, and may also have noticed that I promised to deliver a Synn Report on the group as soon as possible.

Well, today is that day.

Over the course of three albums and one EP the Polish quintet have steadily evolved their sound from the Schuldiner-esque strains of their debut album None Pointless Balance to the angular hooks and merciless precision of 4th Density and The Jugglernaut, with the process finally culminating in the gargantuan grooves and captivating atmospherics of last year’s utterly crushing Arthaneum.

Jan 312018


We tend to take the often extravagant rhetoric in press releases about forthcoming records with a grain of salt. The one we received about the new split by Sartegos and Balmog, which is being released on vinyl by Caverna Abismal Records today, concluded with the claim that it “is essential short-length listening for those sworn to the dark”. In this instance, the music backed that claim to the hilt. The split includes only one song by each band, but each one is diabolically brilliant.

As gratifying as it was to make that discovery, it really was not at all surprising. Both of these bands from Galicia in Spain have already proven their worth and earned the allegiance of discerning followers in the black metal underground. These tracks prove it all over again.

We have premiere streams of both at the end of this post, preceded by some introductory remarks about the bands for those who might be new to them, and impressions of the music.

Jan 312018


The superb Greek death metal band Abyssus was on a pretty regular once-a-year release schedule from their debut EP in 2012 to their most recent split in 2016, but last year came and went without a release, although the band continued to be active on stage. But now a new Abyssus EP named Unleash the Storm is headed our way via the Mexican label Death In Pieces Records. It will be released in March and will serve as a kind of precursor to a new Abyssus album, Death Revival, that’s expected within the next year. And we have the good fortune to bring you a song from the new EP today.

The EP includes two brand new songs (“Operation Ranch Hand” and “Unleash The Storm”) and three cover songs from Bathory (“The Rite of Darkness”), Venom (“Warhead”), and Manilla Road (“Open the Gates”). The track we’re premiering is one of those two new original songs, “Operation Ranch Hand“. It is not a country-western song.

Jan 312018


We have come at last to the final day of this list, which I began rolling out on January 11th, and which I pledged to myself I would finish before February. Like yesterday, there will be two large installments today.

In this one the songs have certain stylistic connections, as I hear them (at least until you reach the final track) — which probably means nothing more than me thinking they make an interesting and powerful playlist.


It seems that every year, at least in recent memory, brings reunions and revivals. The latest Godflesh album, Post Self, wasn’t exactly a reunion or a revival — A World Lit Only By Fire did come out only three years earlier — but it still seemed like a revival, or at least a resurgence, a vivid rekindling of memories without sounding like a cash grab.

Jan 302018


Cadabra Records presents itself as a vinyl-only record label that “specializes in the Spoken Arts, scored with ambient, nightmarish sound” and catering “exclusively to the horror/ weird genre”. The label has already released a rich array of terrifying performances, and their most recent one is an especially fine example of the label’s zealous dedication to their vision.

The new release is a presentation of M. R. James’ Casting the Runes, a  full-cast audio play produced by Bleak December, adapted from James‘ 1911 short story by Anthony D. P. Mann, and featuring acclaimed actor David Warner, known for his roles in The Omen, Titanic, Tron, Star Trek, and many more films. The album also features striking commissioned cover art by an artist well-known to our readers (and many other metal lovers), Adam Burke.

And today we present the premiere of an excerpt from the recording.

Jan 302018


A long and winding road lies behind the song we’re about to premiere, the name of which is “A Blaze In the Aeon Sky“. It’s the first single from a forthcoming five-track EP entitled Apocalypse Horizon by DZSTRKRFT (pronounced “Disaster Craft”, for those willing to buy some vowels).

DZSTRKRFT is the solo project of Los Angeles-based musician roycifer, and he’s joined on this song by vocalist Jason Spawn. Both of them were at one time bandmates in the symphonic black metal band Sanctus, whose debut album Aeon Sky was released 18 years ago by Metal Blade. DZSTRKRFT was hatched much more recently — only four years ago — but its first releases didn’t conform to the original concept for the band. It was conceived as a black metal project, but until now the music has been electronic and experimental, more inspired by acts like Godflesh and Scorn, mixed with the influence of electronic artists such as Atari Teenage Riot and Daedelus.

Jan 302018



This is the second installment of the list today, with two more coming on the final day tomorrow. And once again, because time is running out, I’m loading up this post, with six songs from six great 2017 releases.

Anyone who has followed our putrid site over the 8+ years of our existence has no doubt noticed our continually increasing attraction to black metal, and so it should come as no surprise that in one of these final parts of this latest MOST INFECTIOUS SONG list I’ve decided to focus on shades of black, beginning with a name that surely every metalhead knows, and then moving into increasingly more obscure releases that are deserving of greater attention.


“North” is a direction that figures prominently in the trajectory of black metal, perhaps most famously in Darkthrone’s magnificent A Blaze In the Northern Sky. Sweden’s Witchery aligned their own compass to “True North” in the first song I’ve chosen for this post. It comes from their eighth album, I Am Legion.

Jan 302018


We’re coming down to the wire, and I’m in a frantic state of mind. I’ve now firmly decided to end this list on January 31, but I realized this morning that January 31 IS TOMORROW!!!

I spent hours yesterday afternoon and last night listening to many of the remaining candidates for the list, and reached the conclusion that I have to double-down on these posts. In other words, there will be two installments of this list today and two more tomorrow, and each one is going to include a lot of songs.

This one, as forecast by the title of the post, is devoted to Exceptions to Our Rule (the one in the site’s title). I’ve done this before in previous years, and have already named a few songs to the list this year that include clean vocals. There are some beautiful voices in this post, and a lot of highly addictive music as well (of course).

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