Mar 222018


Wesenwille is a new project that has brought together the talents of two men based in Utrecht, the Netherlands — drummer D. Schermann (a.k.a. ValrWeltschmerz, Wrang, Grafjammer, Iron Harvest) and guitarist/vocalist R. Schmidt (Verval, Iron Harvest, Apotelesma, ex-White Oak). With bass and additional vocals performed by M. Van Der Werff, they have recorded a debut album — I: Wesenwille — which will be released on April 27 by Redefining Darkness Records.

Stylistically, their music draws strongly upon elements of black metal, but with a modern approach that incorporates other ingredients as well, providing an experience that is harsh, barbaric, and unsettling, but also engrossingly atmospheric, emotionally evocative, and quite memorable. The band identify musical influences in the realms of Svartidauði, Svart Crown, Deathspell Omega, and Sweden’s Shining.

Wesenwille’s dynamic approach to songwriting and performance is vividly displayed on what might be considered the album’s centerpiece — a 10-minute track named “Golden Rays of the Sun” that fully earns every minute of the attention it requires of you. And we’re fortunate to bring you a stream of that song today.

Mar 222018


Feast your eyes upon the vibrant cover art up above, which was created by that famous connoisseur of the grotesque, Ed Repka. Now imagine it beginning to move, to swarm, to pulsate with ghoulish life.

Actually, you don’t have to tax your imagination, because the video we’re bringing you today does all of those things with Mr. Repka’s creation. And it provides a very fitting accompaniment to the song you’ll hear — “Rompe El Cepo” — which is one of many electrifying thrill rides on Formador, the debut album by Pánico Al Miedo from Barcelona, Spain. The album will be released by a consortium of fine labels in a variety of formats on April 27th.

Mar 212018


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new 10th album by Swedish stalwarts The Crown, which was released by Metal Blade on March 16th.)

Look at that fucking gorgeous cover art….

The Crown is a band that should be a go-to staple for any true hot-blooded metalhead. The band’s iconic blend of thrash, melodic death, death’n’roll, and straight death metal has been distinctive and, in this writer’s opinion, never really equaled. Johan Lindstrand has one of the most unique bestial voices in metal, the very materialization of a priest turned psychopath, preaching sermons of death and sickness. Marko Tervonen’s riffs feel like getting grenades lobbed at you constantly while you sprint for your life.

I’ve also always felt that over a long stretch of years The Crown have managed to release a pretty consistently baller discography. I don’t think you can classify a single album of theirs as mediocre, or even only “pretty good”. They have set a high standard… but have somehow surmounted it with this latest release.

Mar 212018


Obsessively devoted as I obviously am to the sounds of extreme metal, it’s rare that I’m able to indulge genuinely beautiful music, unless it’s delivered in the context of something heavy and harrowing. With that confession offered as a context of its own for what I’m about to write, I will say that the album we’re premiering here is the most beautiful and the most thoroughly enthralling listening experience I’ve had this year (and longer).

The album is Au Devant du Gouffre by Wÿntër Ärvń, which is the solo project of a French musician who calls himself Arvernian. It will be released on CD by Antiq Records on April 10th, although a digital version has become available today on Bandcamp.

The album is almost entirely an instrumental performance, and the instruments used are entirely acoustic. It could be characterized as Neofolk or Darkfolk, although its creator has disclosed that his influences (perhaps more spiritual than in any other way) “remain very strongly embedded in the black metal of the ’90s”.

Mar 212018


Bodies On Everest are a trio of noisemongers who come from Liverpool and Manchester. They wield two bass guitars, drums, and assorted implements of electronic torture; their voices are also weapons. They describe their music as “Dungeon Wave” — “a caustic mix of drone, doom, noise and cursed psyche-sludge”, as their labels would say. Their new album is A National Day of Mourning, “a funeral dirge for modern life”. It is dedicated to:

“…a car park in Sarasota FL / a wall in Harrisburg, PA / a chlorine tank / A photograph of a fishing net / A fire extinguisher / A lawyer at a railway station / a section of the pacific ocean near the coast of Chile…”

The album is also described by the band as “the very urgent and desperate result of an accident.”  “Welcome to Hell,” they say, and it is an apt greeting they give us.

Tally of  Sevens” is the second single to be presented from the album, which will be released in its entirety by Third I Rex and Cruel Nature Recordings on April 29th. The band have written some words about the song (or perhaps these words are in the song), which are no less cryptic than the others we’ve already quoted:

Mar 212018


(We present Andy Synn’s review of the debut album by Monotheist, which is out now on Prosthetic Records.)


I must admit, until yesterday I was torn between two albums over which to focus my attentions on next, with my choices split between Occultaclysmic, the upcoming fourth album from resurgent South Carolina savages Lecherous Nocturne, or Scourge, the recently-released debut full-length from much-hyped Prosthetic Records signees Monotheist.

And although, ultimately, my decision was made much easier upon finding out that one of our guest contributors had already submitted a review for the former (a review which, at the time of writing, I have yet to read), the truth of the matter is that I was already leaning strongly towards the latter, if only because while Occultaclysmic is easily summed up as a solid (though not stellar) slab of post-Cryptopsy brutality still struggling to define its own identity, Scourge is much harder to categorise in similarly simple terms, making it, paradoxically, much easier (and more fun) to write about.

Mar 212018


(With a bow toward the Waxing Lyrical series begun by Andy Synn at our site, Karina Noctum posed questions to Morean of Alkaloid (and Dark Fortress) about his creation of lyrics for the ravishing new Alkaloid album, Liquid Anatomy, which will be released by Season of Mist on May 18th. The answers are fascinating.)


Alkaloid are going to release their latest album called Liquid Anatomy on the 18th of May, and I took this opportunity to ask about the lyrics. Musically, we know already it is going to be a remarkable album because the band counts among its members such metal luminaries as Hannes Grossmann, Christian Münzner (Obscura), Danny Tunker (Aborted, Prostitute Disfigurement, God Dethroned), and Morean (Dark Fortress, Alkaloid, Noneuclid).

Morean is not only a versatile vocalist, but also an excellent guitarist and a classical composer. His hymn to the city of Rotterdam was performed by the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest not so long ago. If you are interested in classical music then I recommend you check his double guitar composition Schattenspiel.

We have Morean’s opening insights into his writing of lyrics and choice of themes, and that’s then followed by a more detailed dialogue.

Mar 202018



For a time, it looked like last year’s edition of the marvelous Shadow Woods Metal Festival would be the last one. The Maryland property where the event had been held for three years was sold, and the odds of finding another mid-Atlantic location that could preserve the festival’s unique character as an open-air camping, heavy metal gathering seemed daunting. But inspired by the fervor of previous festival goers who did not want to see this end, festival founder Mary Spiro began working behind the scenes, searching for a new venue and raising needed funds through contributions from past attendees. The work paid off.

Late last week Shadow Woods announced that a fourth edition of the festival — now known simply as Shadow Woods IV — will take place from Thursday, September 20th through Saturday, September 22th in Purcellville, Virginia, at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (HFAC). And that news was accompanied by the disclosure of the entire confirmed line-up of more than 40 bands — which we’ll get to right away, and then provide a few more useful pieces of information.

So, here’s the line-up, day by day, with the bands listed in reverse order of their appearance (with headliners at the top) and brief commentary by the fest:

Mar 202018


Last fall Cult of Extinction emerged from the bowels of some hellish horror pit to deliver the destructive fruits of malignant conceptions, a self-released demo tape aptly entitled Black Nuclear Magick Attack. It seized the attention of both Sentient Ruin Laboratories and Atavism Records, who will jointly be releasing this monstrosity far and wide on March 30th in both 7″ vinyl and tape formats, as well as digitally. One excerpt premiered not long ago at Metal injection, and today we present another, which is the EP’s terrifying title track.

Cult of Extinction is the work of a single anonymous German creator, who seems both possessed by demonic forces and possessed of a certain kind of sadistic genius. He has waded into the toxic territory ruled by such warlords as Blasphemy, Revenge, Nuclearhammer, Temple Nightside, and Necroholocaust, and has emerged with music that upholds the standards of annihilating savagery that govern war metal, yet delivers more than the mere mindless and murky bludgeoning often vomited forth by less talented practitioners.

Mar 202018


On March 11, 2018, a Portuguese duo who have taken the name Oak entered Stone Sound Studio in Portugal and made a live recording of a composition called “Sculptures“. The performance was filmed, and now we present both the song and the video to the public for the first time.

Our interest in Oak began when we learned that the two men in the project are also members of the Portuguese black metal band Gaerea, whose debut EP was one of the best shorter releases of 2016 (and one we wrote about repeatedly, both before and after its release, including a post in which we named “Void of Numbness” to our list of the year’s “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs“).

But in Oak, the two participants have turned their talents in the direction of funeral doom/death — and what they’ve accomplished just with this one song is strikingly impressive.

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