Jul 292014

So far today we’ve written about Canadian post-hardcore, Japanese rock performed with traditional instruments, Phoenician death metal, German chthonic cervical exhalations, and whatever it is that Junius play.

Still, it’s possible we haven’t yet succeeded in confusing everyone, so here’s a new video of Felix Martin covering a song composed by neoclassical metal guitarist Jason Becker in the late 80s, followed by something that will tear off a few dermal layers from your face without so much as a topical anesthetic, followed by… well, you’ll see.


During the video, you can read what Felix Martin wrote about the techniques used in his performance. It’s Greek to me, but the performance left me awe-struck and slack-jawed. I mean, more than usual.

Jul 292014


Less than one week ago we had the pleasure of discovering the existence of Germany’s Khthoniik Cerviiks, whose debut demo tape entitled Heptaedrone will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on August 15. At that time, two impressive tracks from the album were available for streaming, and after only a small amount of pathetic begging we obtained authorization to premiere a third one — because this band’s music really deserves to be spread like the mutant plague that it is, and we want to be help carry the infestation. The song we have for you today is the album’s first track, “Khthoniik Cerviiks Exhalement”.

We still don’t have confirmation that our guess about the meaning of the band’s name is correct, but muse upon it anyway: Our guess is that the band’s name is a variant spelling of the words “chthonic” and “cervix”, especially after learning that “chthonic” (which means subterranean) is from the Greek word khthon, a word for “earth”. Per The Font of All Human Knowledgekhthon “typically refers to the interior of the soil, rather than the living surface of the land…. It evokes at once abundance and the grave.” And then consider what exhalations may emanate from the chthonic cervix…

If your imagination is failing you, open yourself to the imaginings of the band, as the opening track exudes a disturbing fog of ghostly wails, obscure proclamations, and skittering noise. It makes for a fitting introduction to the unpredictable but wholly transfixing and otherworldly black/death savagery to follow.

Jul 292014

We first came across Arizona’s Lago in early 2013 after discovering a two-song demo named Tyranny they had recently released. It made a strong impression in short order, and now the band are on the verge of releasing their debut full-length, bearing the same name: Tyranny. Today we bring you a taste of what’s coming with the intergalactic premiere of the album’s first advance track — “Concede To Oblivion”.

There’s a lot to like about this new song, from the high-voltage riffs, to the rumbling bass line, to the blistering drum work, to the flamethrower soloing, to the thoroughly cavernous vocals. Lago deliver top-shelf death metal, like some hellish blackened offspring of early Morbid Angel and Disma, fully armed with an arsenal of impressive technical chops and infectious hooks. The music is suitably ominous and fearsome, but performed with distinctive flair. From this song alone, Tyranny has vaulted onto our list of highly anticipated 2014 albums.

Jul 292014

(In this 49th edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy Synn reviews the discography of Junius from Boston, Massachusetts. Their music is an exception to our Rule.)

Recommended for fans of: Deftones, Katatonia, Solstafir

I first heard about this band in a rather unusual way back at the tail-end of 2011, when they stepped in at the last minute as replacements for Ghost, who were forced to drop off Enslaved’s North American tour at the last minute due to visa issues. Having no prior knowledge of the band at all, I was particularly intrigued when I started to see a quiet shit-storm floating around certain parts of the internet about “that indie band opening for Enslaved”, and felt compelled to check them out… after all, there must be something to them to be causing such a fuss.

And I’m glad I did, because the music they make is astonishingly beautiful and moving, with a sense of haunting atmosphere and blooming melodic power. The guitars shimmer and blossom in great waves of light and shade above an electric foundation of looping bass lines and lithe, progressive drum work, while the vocals – pulsing with echoes of both Joy Division and The Smiths – weave their own distinctive spell of captivating, clean-sung poetry and passion.

The band have been described in several ways… “Alt Metal”, “Post Rock”, “Indie Metal”, “Art Rock”, “Shoegaze Doom Metal”… though none of them really hit the spot. There’s certainly elements of Post-Punk and New Wave in their DNA, that’s obvious enough, as well as a fascination with the metallic atmospherics of acts like Neurosis and Isis, but really their sound is quite unique – oddly anthemic, yet strangely apocalyptic.

Ultimately then, the proof is in the listening. Perhaps start with their latest EP, and work your way backwards. After all, this may not be typical NCS fare, but you trust me… right?

Jul 292014

I haven’t managed to compile a round-up of noteworthy new things in a few days, so this one is largish, though still not large enough. I’ll try to keep my own verbiage to a minimum so you don’t lose interest and drift away like hyperactive children, or like me when I hear a firetruck going by. I’ll begin with a trio of news items and then move into the music.


Yesterday came an announcement that Machine Head, Children of Bodom, Epica, and Battlecross will tour North America together beginning on October 4 in Denver and ending on November 1 in Hollywood. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Machine Head’s new album on Nuclear Blast should be out around the time of this tour. I can’t honestly say that I’m very lathered up about this tour, but if you are, please send photos of yourself. Here are the dates (continued after the jump):

10/04/2014 The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
10/05/2014 Aftershock – Merriam, KS
10/06/2014 House Of Blues – Dallas, TX
10/07/2014 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
10/09/2014 Hard Rock Live – Orlando, FL
10/10/2014 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA

Jul 282014

(In this post Austin Weber reviews the new album by Norway’s Diskord.)

For those not yet in the know, Diskord are a long-running death metal act from Oslo, Norway. Their last album, 2012′s Dystopics, caught my eye by way of a tip off from the then-editor of Invisible Oranges, Doug Moore. Ever since my initial exposure to it,  I have been hopelessly hooked on these guys and their unique and zany brand of death metal.

Diskord are firmly rooted in old school death metal, but the delivery comes across in a more modern way — revolving around a spastic, stop-start, blast-and-lurch approach. Although the production follows a natural and grimy old school death metal aesthetic, the music itself doesn’t squarely fit into the box of new old school death metal, at least when compared to the purely primitive manner with which other bands are delivering it. This is something else entirely, and to my ears, far more interesting.

Jul 282014

I’ve been following the progress of the Elemental Nightmares project since before it became public, writing about it for the first time in July 2013. It began as an effort to raise money for a subscription series of 13 splits on 7″ vinyl (with digital download options) featuring one exclusive song each by 26 up-and-coming bands from around the world. As the project evolved, the format changed, so that it will now consist of 7 splits on 10″ vinyl, with each split containing four songs instead of two. And, because of the new format, there will be 28 bands instead of 26.

In addition, Elemental Nightmares has offered the splits for sale on an individual basis, as well as subscriptions to the series as a whole, and the digital-only option is still available. To see the names of all 28 bands and for more info about purchase options, go here. The first of the splits will be released in early August; you can find the entire preliminary release schedule later in this post.

Earlier this year Invisible Oranges) premiered four songs that will appear on the fourth installment of the series, featuring music from Porta Nigra (Germany), Membaris (Germany), Ashencult (Philadelphia), and Vuyvr (Switzerland).Today, we’re delighted to premiere two songs of melodic death metal from one more of the 7 splits. The bands are Sweden’s Canopy and Germany’s Harasai.

Jul 282014

The Swedish label Blood Harvest Records plans to release a series of 7″ EPs between now and year-end. Yesterday I reviewed the first two of those EPs to reach the label from the pressing plant (here). In this post I’ve collected thoughts about the next three that are planned for release, which are now at press.


Ascended Dead come our way from San Diego, and include current or former members of Ghoulgotha, whose Blood Harvest EP was one of the two covered in Part 1 of this series. Their release is a four-song collection entitled Arcane Malevolence, which follows the band’s four-song demo released in 2012.

The label pitches the band with references to the likes of Possessed, Necrovore, and the early sounds of Morbid Angel and Sarcofago, and that should give you an idea of what you’re in for. This is thick, murky, grinding death metal, the gears of the monstrous machine choked with grime and spewing noxious fumes as it barrels ahead at a murderous pace.

Jul 282014

(DGR wrote this review of the new album by Toronto’s Tyrant of Death.)

One glance at the track lengths of Tyrant Of Death’s new release Ascendancy should tell you everything you need to know about this album. With each song exceeding a ten-minute run time, Ascendancy is an intimidating as hell disc. Tyrant Of Death has released a few longer tracks in its time on this earth, but has never before collected a bunch of them in one location. At first glance without listening, it looks like Tyrant Of Death gone prog.

Ascendancy is the fifteenth (!) Tyrant Of Death release, with a time gap of about a year since last year’s Nuclear Nanosecond, an album that itself emerged after a longer gap of time compared to Tyrant Of Death’s more prolific days when three or four albums a year would hit. It’s not Senmuth numbers, but this project has a lot of material out there, which has meant that with every release the band has had to work insanely hard to differentiate itself from the pack, not only from other musicians but also from its own huge slab of work.

Ascendancy is the grandest attempt at that yet, with its longer track run-times and a bevy of guest musicians from throughout the circle of bands with whom project owner Alex Rise has long associated — meaning that four of the five songs on Ascendancy have vocal tracks as well as a guest guitarist or two. Ascendancy is an ambitious disc — one that moves from the industrialized chaos of Anaal Nathrakh to the oblivion of blasts and science fiction influences that have long worked their way into the Tyrant Of Death formula. And almost all of it moves at a breakneck pace, with almost no room to breathe until the album’s closer, “Biomechanical”.

Jul 272014


The Swedish label Blood Harvest Records plans to release a series of 7″ vinyl EPs between now and year-end. I’ve received advance digital versions of five of them and thought I’d put down a few words about all five, divided into two posts. In this one the subjects are the two EPs that the label announced yesterday it had just received from the pressing plant. The other three are apparently being manufactured now, and I’ll cover those in Part 2 tomorrow.


Ceremonial are a Chilean band with two previous demos to their credit. Their Blood Harvest release is a four-song offering entitled Ars Magicka. The music is a blazing blitzkrieg of black thrash, a rapacious attack of rapid-fire riffs, booming bass, and acrobatic drumwork, with utterly venomous, echoing vocals.

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