Apr 192014

This is a collection of recommended new music and videos, all of it except one discovered by your humble editor over the last 24 hours. What they have in common, apart from the fact that they’re really good: you will be bludgeoned, gutted, and left for worms.


I had a passion for this Swiss band’s 2013 EP, Aura, that bordered on the unhealthy. I listened to it so much that I became convinced an alien entity had taken up residence in my skull (and lord knows there’s enough space in there for a roommate). I also included “Entranced By the Wolfshook” on my list of 2013′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. I’ve been tremendously eager to hear what Bölzer would do next. Now I know.

Thanks to a tip from KevinP, I discovered this morning that the band had started streaming a new song named “Steppes” on SoundCloud. It is one of two tracks (totaling about 18 minutes) that will appear on a forthcoming EP named Soma. The artwork will again be prepared by Alexander L Brown, and it will be released by Invictus Productions.

Apr 182014

Between pulling my hair out two days ago because our site was down and then frantically trying to catch up yesterday with posts we had promised to do on the day the site was down, I haven’t been as on top of new happenings as I’d like. So, to catch up a bit, here are a trio of new-ish things I’d like to share. There will be another round-up later today.


My NCS comrade Austin Weber sent me the photo you see above. Hiding behind that absurdly large, absurdly metal mask is Mel Mongeon of Canada’s Fuck the Facts, putting on her metal face for a show in Chicago last night.

If you don’t know, the band have just begin a North American tour. Even without a mask of such epic qualities, Ms. Mongreon,  Topon Das, and their brothers in arms will still shake you to your core. Here’s the tour schedule as it now stands:

Apr 162014

Agalloch – photo by Veleda Thorsson

These are things I noticed over the last 24 hours that I thought you might want to notice as well.


When I found out that Agalloch was going to play a special show at Highline in Seattle on May 17 with YOB and Wounded Giant, I didn’t crow about it on our site. I can be pretty boorish when I want to be, and even when I’m not trying to be, but even I recognized it would be a dick move to express my joy about something I could see but the vast majority of our readers couldn’t. But now, finally, Agalloch has announced an official tour — Serpens In Culmination.

No doubt, the news will still be painful to fans who aren’t within reach of one of the stops, especially people who are also fans of Obsidian Tongue, Vex, and Jex Thoth, because those bands are also appearing at select stops on this tour. But on balance I feel okay about posting this news. Here’s the first part of the schedule, as announced late yesterday by Agalloch and Profound Lore:

Apr 142014

You might think that having posted 23 very recent song and video premieres over the weekend (here and here), I’d be fresh out of new material to toss your way. But you would be wrong.  Here are four more that surfaced over the last 48 hours that I’ve been enjoying, and the music is so varied — including two exceptions to our Rule — that I’m betting you’ll find something to like as well.


As I previously reported, on May 27 in NorthAm (and May 23 in Euope) Season of Mist plans to release a special 2-disc compilation entitled One And All, Together, For Home. The project was initiated by Drudkh’s  Roman Sayenko and it will consist of 17 songs by eight excellent bands performing traditional song interpretations from their native countries, cover versions of folk songs, or the use of themes and melodies from their musical heritages in original compositions. All of the songs will appear exclusively on this release.

I’ve already streamed the track by Primodial (here) and today I bring you the song contributed by Norway’s Kampfar.

The song is called ”En Hymne Til Urd” (A Hymn for Earth)”. Here’s the band’s explanation about the song:

Apr 132014

John Martin: “The Deluge” (1834)

As I mentioned yesterday, the past week brought good song and video premieres in a flood, which was unfortunate only in the sense that I didn’t have time to write about all those discoveries day-by-day as they happened. So this weekend I decided to just flood you with them, leaving behind all but some short snippets of my own sparkling prose and mainly delivering the streams, along with release info.

Yesterday I collected 11 (!) new songs and videos, plus a couple of tantalizing news items, and today I’ve got 12 more, plus a few more news items. Once again, I present them in alphabetical order:


The Song: “Apotheosis of the Hangman”
From: Dismembering the Image of God
Release info: self-released by the band on April 7; below is a new video for the opening track

Vicious melodic death metal with flying fretwork that gets more interesting and seductive as the song progresses. Punches pretty damned hard, too.

Apr 062014

Mile markers along the pathway into the void:

In February we brought you video of a previously unreleased song by the mysterious entity known as Ævangelist, a video announced in a message that concluded as follows:  ”For now, we will withdraw into the temple of our muse and begin the recording of Æ III.”

On April 2, we observed a further message: “Progression of the aeon-dead academia of transcendent evil; Soon we will reveal the name of the third Ævangelist album.”

Today, a video message appeared, emanating from the Abysscape wherein Ævangelist dwell.

We have obtained the text of what you will hear. It follows the video below.

Apr 032014

“The return of Mournful Congregation is imminent.” That’s the way an announcement began that I just saw from the 20 Buck Spin label. It perked me right up. Here’s the rest of the announcement, which concerns the first new material from this influential Australian funeral doom band released since 2011′s The Book of Kings.

The band will released a new mini-album titled Concrescence Of The Sophia on June 24th via 20 Buck Spin in North America. The European release will be handled by Osmose Productions.

The release consist of two tracks “Concrescence Of The Sophia” (21:42) and “Silence Of The Passed” (8:57) totaling just over 30 minutes of completely new music from the Gods of Extreme Doom. The vinyl release for North America will be the band’s first domestically available vinyl pressing and will come on black vinyl and two additional color variants. The CD version will be a digipak. A t-shirt design based on the album artwork is also planned.

If all goes well the album will be in the hands of the band on both formats in time for their headlining appearances at Martyrdoom in New York City at the end of June.

Also for those keeping track, our good friend Tim Call (Aldebaran, The Howling Wind, Nightfell, Parasitic Records, etc etc) handles drum duties on this recording.

Apr 032014

Almost every day we read about new crowdfunding campaigns by metal bands. We don’t try to mention even a small fraction of the ones we see; there’s just not enough time or space. But there are three in this post we wanted to spotlight, in part because all three involve bands we’ve supported in the past — because they’re damned good. And to remind you of that, music is included.


This first appeal for funds was spawned by a tragedy involving two Italian bands. One of them, Nero di Marte, delivered a self-titled 2013 album that our reviewer Andy Synn called “a phenomenal debut” — “an unusual form of technically twisted death metal with a taste for sudden, erratic explosions of extremity, and a progressive streak a mile wide.” (The review is here.) The other, Void of Sleep, are a sludge-rock band whose 2013 album was Tale Between Reality and Madness.

On Sunday, March 23, after playing a show in Rome, both bands were robbed of all their instruments and gear. Here’s their statement of what happened:

In less than 30 minutes someone broke into our van and was able to take everything. It happened in broad daylight near a police station in Rome, despite there being a massive amount of police forces surveilling the area but, alas, no security cameras.

Guitars, amps, pedalboards, drums, merchandise and personal belongings… a total amount of 25.000€ was stolen from both bands. They took everything. A full list can be found here:

The sad reality of this situation is that without any instruments we cannot continue as a band. We can’t play, rehearse, tour, record a new album.

It took us years to buy our gear, and to start from absolutely nothing, without any help, means paralyzing anything we could do for a long time or seriously put ourselves into debt beyond what we can afford.

Apr 022014

The debut album by Sweden’s Just Before Dawn — Precis innan gryningen – was one of the best old-school, Swedish-style death metal albums I heard last year. I attempted to explain why in this review. In a nutshell, it delivered lethally infectious riffs and grim melodies that gave each song a distinctive and memorable personality; the production made it sound massive; and the top-shelf instrumental chops of mastermind Anders Biazzi (Blood Mortized) were matched by the horrible roars of an impressive line-up of guest vocalists. And today I’m delighted to report news about Just Before Dawn’s next album — The Aftermath – and to give you a taste of the new music.

First, we’re pleased to bring you one of the record’s two album covers, created by Benny Moberg, who also mixed and mastered The Aftermath (the second cover for an edition of the album that includes a different bonus track has yet to be revealed). As in the case of the band’s first release, The Aftermath’s lyrical themes are derived from the history of World War II, and the music is dedicated to the fallen heroes of all wars throughout the ages.

Second, Anders Biazzi has once again lined up a stellar array of vocalists to join their roars to his guitar and bass ferocity, as well as some noteworthy guest guitar soloists. Check out the track list and the vocalists who contributed to each song:

Apr 022014

My close friends and family members will tell you that I’m one of the most gullible people you could ever encounter. I prefer to think of it as an innately trusting nature, but my history of being duped is so long and rich that I can’t really quarrel with their judgment. Even on April 1, when I try to be on guard, I still get suckered like a carnival rube.

There were lots of metal-oriented pranks yesterday that were funny even though they were obvious — such as the 50 reviews that suddenly materialized on Metal-Archives for the ingeniously named Penis Metal by Hades Archer. At least I think that was a prank. Sometimes gullibility can work in reverse.

One prank I fell for, hook, line, and sinker, appears at the top of this post. I have such a hard-on for Oak Pantheon and Amiensus, and their 2013 split Gathering, that I took one look at that flyer — and the appearance of a Seattle date — and started marking my calendar and exclaiming enthusiastically about it on Facebook. I didn’t dwell on the logistical difficulty of a tour that would start on the US East Coast, jump to a bunch of European capitols, and then pick up on the US West Coast, all within the space of a month. I also completely missed the two tiny words in the lower right-hand corner of the flyer.

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