Sep 272016



On October 15, two very interesting and very talented one-man bands from California — Oskoreien and Botanist — will release an album-length split. The Oskoreien side is called Deterministic Chaos; the Botanist side is named Green Metal. Later this week we will be publishing a special guest review of the split, but what we have for you today is the premiere of one of Oskoreien’s two contributions on the split, “Without You I’m Nothing“.

Oskoreien is the alter ego of L.A.-based Jay Valena. This split is Oskoreien’s fourth release overall, with the last being a 2011 self-titled debut album. Along the way, Oskoreien’s music hasn’t followed a single, predictable path, instead reflecting variations in style and strategy. Of the two tracks on Deterministic Chaos, the title song is a 13-minute piece, and the one you’re about to hear is an unusual cover song.

Sep 272016



The bloodlines of metal are deep and varied. They’ve mixed and morphed in countless ways over more than 30 years, but some of the original strains have proved to be timeless — they haven’t lost their appeal, and they summon the primal force of evil, blood-pumping heavy metal in ways that more recent permutations have trouble matching. Vornth carry one of those primal strains in their own blood. Its purity hasn’t been diluted through interbreeding in the passage of time. Yet their music doesn’t sound worn out or too by-the-numbers. Instead, it sounds hot as hell.

Vornth come from Uddevalla, Sweden. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2013, and their second one — Black Pyres — will be released by Iron Tyrant on October 31. Today we’re bringing you the premiere of one of the new songs, “Traveller Of The Dark“.

Sep 272016



(Last year we were fortunate to bring you a report from Kaptain Carbon on the first annual Shadow Woods Metal Festival , and now we are fortunate to welcome him back with his report on the second edition of the festival, which took place on September 15-18, 2016, in the vicinity of White Hall, Maryland. He also took the photos that you’ll see in this post. Kaptain Carbon operates Tape Wyrm, a blog dedicated to current and lesser-known heavy metal. He also writes Dungeon Synth reviews over at Hollywood Metal as well as moderating Reddit’s r/metal community.)

The Shadow Woods’ second event is an important step for a festival still attempting to set its roots and find an identity. Held in the woods of upper county Baltimore, Shadow Woods caters to a diverse array of acts, but with a concentration on extreme metal. With a festival’s life this young, its future is always in jeopardy and dependent on press, attendance, and overall happiness of its guests. There was some speculation and conjecture whether or not Shadow Woods would even have a second gathering. This was further jeopardized with the ongoing drama of alcohol licensing and the looming calculations of cost versus return.

By the time the campfire of the second night was winding down and shrieks were heard throughout the woods, immediately swallowed by hideous laughter, the number of people who attended this year were convinced that this may be a thing to do every year.

Sep 262016



The name of Eufori’s new album — Humörsvängningar — is a mouthful of a tongue-twister for those of us who don’t speak Swedish or any other Scandinavian language. To understand how it is pronounced, you can hear the word spoken at this page. And if you were to google the word in an effort to understand its meaning in English, you would find definitions that refer to rapid or inexplicable “mood swings”, sometimes in the context of mental instability brought on by stress, drugs, problems sleeping, or disorders of various kinds.

Of course, you need not understand the album’s title in order to follow the sense of the music, but understanding it may lead to a deeper appreciation of what you will hear — and hear it you can, at the end of this post.

By the way, if you’re in a googling mood, you can also look up the word “eufori”, and will likely find that its English equivalent is “euphoria” — a strong feeling of happiness or intoxication. But don’t forget the name of the album….

Sep 262016



(Todd Manning wrote this review of the new album by Britain’s Winterfylleth.)

The ever-prolific British Black Metal madmen Winterfylleth are poised to release their newest full-length, and first for Spinefarm Records, entitled The Dark Hereafter. Drawing inspiration from Britain’s venerable heritage, Winterfylleth construct their own take on rustic and hypnotic Black Metal.

The group prove once again to be experts in walking the fine line between mood and atmosphere and sheer aural violence. In only five songs lasting around forty minutes, The Dark Hereafter” is able to maneuver a vast number of emotions. Opening tracks “The Dark Hereafter” and “Pariah’s Path” both showcase the band’s more immediate and brutal side. They alternate between blast beats and mid-paced double-bass-heavy sections with powerful, throat-shredding vocals. The riffs are simultaneously melodic yet razor sharp and drenched in distortion. Despite the immediacy of these tracks, they also possess a hypnotic quality as well. This allows for a smooth transition between the first and second halves of the release.

Sep 262016


In the spring of this year we premiered the latest album by the Finnish band Solothus (No King Reigns Eternal), along with a review that praised the album as “an artful combination of staggering heaviness, neck-snapping aggression, and cold, alabaster beauty,” one that “generates an atmosphere of emotional collapse and physical decay, but… gets the blood pumping, too.” Little did we know then that Solothus vocalist Kari Kankaanpää was also in the ranks of Sepulchral Curse, whose debut EP A Birth In Death appeared two years ago. And now we also know that Sepulchral Curse have recorded a new EP that will be released in December, the name of which is At the Onset of Extinction.

The first track on the new EP is “Envisioned In Scars“, and we have the premiere of that song for you today. It’s as powerfully appealing as the latest Solothus album, though it diverges significantly — and dynamically — in its musical strategies, culminating in a very interesting display of black/death metal.

Sep 262016



(Wil Cifer reviews the new split by Louisiana’s Barghest and California’s Teeth.)

This is a split that captures two different shades of metal. They are both dark.

The first side of this cassette release showcases Baton Rogue’s Barghest, who are just as feral as in their earlier releases, but this time around the buzz-saw of rapid fire guitar you face is smoothed out by the more cavernous production, giving them the needed ambience for me to fully digest their sonic venom.

Sep 252016



Time to make the Sabbath black again. I had great difficulty pulling together this week’s collection of black metal, and music next door to it (I’m apparently forbidden from using the term “blackened”, at least temporarily). I have a massive list of new music in this vein that I’ve assembled over the last week alone. I wish I had time to make this collection two or three times longer than it is. In other words, just another Sunday.

Lots of eye-catching cover art in here, too.


Almost exactly one year ago Metal Blade announced the signing of the Greek black metal band Ravencult, and now, roughly five years after their last album, a new one is on the horizon. Bearing the name Force of Profanation, it’s set for release on November 11. The first song in today’s collection is the album’s first advance track, “Beneath the Relics of Old“. Here’s what the band said about it:

Sep 252016



We post lots of premieres for music we like (and only for music we like). The opportunities don’t all come to us through labels and PR representatives. Some of them are requested by bands who are doing their best to spread the word on a DIY basis. That’s how this one came about.

The band is WOES, from Copenhagen, Denmark, and the video is for a new single named “Lost & Alone“. Before watching this video for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect. It left me gasping.

Sep 252016

Rearview Mirror


Okay, I know some of you are probably laughing, or trying not to laugh. But I’m serious here. Yes, Tim Lambesis tried to hire a hit man to whack his wife and he’s now in prison for that. And yes, he’s now suing personnel at two San Diego County detention facilities for failing to provide medication to ameliorate the side effects of steroid withdrawal, leading to “painfully sensitive breast enlargement”. But even though reports of this latest occurrence are what dragged As I Lay Dying up from the depths of my memory, let’s just put all that embarrassment aside for a few minutes and reflect upon the music of As I Lay Dying.

Actually, I only want to reflect on six songs, two from Shadows Are Security (2005), two from An Ocean Between Us (2007), and two from The Powerless Rise (2010). All but one come with official videos.

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