Feb 222017


In January of last year we quickly spread the word about a new song stream that had just appeared by the Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade. The song’s name was not disclosed, nor was any information provided about the release on which it might be included.

A couple of months later we learned about a teaser of new music that had been released by the Swedish band Mortuus, and by then word had circulated that Mortuus and Thy Darkened Shade would be participating in a four-way split along with Nightbringer (U.S.) and the Austrian black metal band Abigor.

Now, at long last, that split has been released.

Feb 162017


We’ve been following the evolution of the Shadow Woods Metal Fest since before its inaugural appearance in 2015, and have published lively reviews and photos from the first two fests (here and here), thanks to our contributor Kaptain Carbon, who has had a hell of a great time at both of them. The next edition of Shadow Woods Metal Fest shows all signs of being another fantastic event.

With an announcement yesterday, 20 bands (out of nearly 40 that are expected) have now been confirmed for Shadow Woods 3, which will again take place at White Hall, Maryland on September 14-17, 2017 — and we’ve learned that early bird ticket sales are now scheduled to go live on February 17 — tomorrow — at noon Eastern Time. First, take a look at the line-up of performers announced so far:

Feb 152017


Yeah, I know I did one of these round-ups yesterday, but I found myself with some extra time and some worthy new discoveries, so here we go again.

I’ve organized the following items in a back-and-forth, alternating sequence, between more melodic tracks and more savage ones. Hope you find a few things to like.


Do you ever get talked into going to a tear-jerker movie knowing that your emotions are going to be cunningly manipulated, and being conscious of it as it happens, and getting weepy anyway? That’s kind of how I feel about Shade Empire’s new song and video that premiered at DECIBEL last Friday.

Feb 142017


As previously announced, No Clean Singing is partnering with Invisible Oranges to co-present a series of events that many people thought would never happen: a visit to the U.S. by the UK doom legends Warning, performing their phenomenal 2006 comeback album Watching From A Distance in its entirety at a small number of exclusive locations. One of those performances will take place at the first annual Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle on June 17 (also co-sponsored by NCS), but the band’s first appearance on this trip will be at the 2017 edition of the Sound and Fury Fest.

This year Sound and Fury will take place at the Regent Theater in Los Angeles on June 9 and 10. A full line-up of confirmed bands can be found HERE, and the ticket pre-sale began earlier today.

Feb 142017


I was tempted to name this post “Eye-Catchers“, especially since I haven’t written a post in that series for years, but since I was already quite familiar with most of the bands whose new artwork caught my eye, they didn’t really fit the theme of that series. But the new artwork is damned appealing, and so is the promise of new music from these groups.

And that’s how this post begins — with eye-catching new artwork for four forthcoming albums. Following that, I want to recommend advance tracks from four other forthcoming releases, which themselves also include eye-catching cover art.


The first piece of attention-grabbing artwork I’ve collected here (above) was created by the Chilean artist Nekronikon for the new album by Italy’s Antropofagus. Entitled M.O.R.T.E. – Methods Of Resurrection Through Evisceration, it will be released May 12 on CD via Comatose Music and on vinyl via Everlasting Spew Records.

Feb 122017


I tend to go overboard with the volume of music in these Shades of Black posts, but this one includes even more minutes of listening than usual. In this one you’ll find streams of two full albums, three full EPs, one single, and advance tracks from two forthcoming releases. And lots of my words, of course. In the middle, I’ve also spliced one very exciting piece of news.

Due to the size of this post, I’ve divided it into two parts. Part 2 is almost finished, but because of the volume of music here in Part 1 and in yesterday’s post, I think I’ll wait until first thing tomorrow to unveil it.


Hetroertzen is a Chilean band now based in Sweden. I first discovered them through the music on their last album, 2014’s Ain Soph Aur (which I reviewed at length here). Their new album, Uprising of the Fallen, is now set for release by their new label Listenable Records on February 24.

Feb 112017


Happy Saturday to one and all, and if you’re not feeling particularly happy, maybe the recommended new music collected herein will improve your mood.

This is another Seen and Heard post, but with a title that’s more specific to the music I chose for this collection. Most of it could be considered shades and phases of death metal or, in the case of the first item, death-themed.


The Spell snuck up on me. I learned about it yesterday through an e-mail from Nuclear Blast Records that included a link to the lyric video you’re about to see. Like virtually everything else I’ve heard from Mantar, it exploded my brain.

Feb 092017


A few days ago we announced the names of the first 15 bands confirmed to appear at the first annual NorthWest Terror Fest that we’re co-sponsoring in Seattle on June 15-17, 2017, and now we’re bringing you news about another festival that’s coming up even faster — the first edition of Austin Terror Fest, which will take place deep in the heart of Texas on March 16-19.

As with Northwest Terror Fest, we’re helping to present the first edition of Austin Terror Fest with Invisible Oranges and the folks behind Southwest Terror Fest. For this first installment of what will also become a continuing festival series, The Lost Well and Worshiper Cabinets are also backing the event. Here’s the (nearly) full line-up of the more than 40 bands who will perform at Austin Terror Fest 2017:

Feb 072017


On June 15-17, 2017, in the Emerald City of Seattle, Washington, No Clean Singing will be partnering with the tireless Terrorfest honcho David Rodgers and Invisible Oranges to present the first edition of Northwest Terror Fest, and today we’re leaking the names of the first group of confirmed bands. Actually, this is the second leak, because yesterday David disclosed through an interview with Metal Injection that Warning from the UK will be headlining the final night of NWTF, with Young And In the Way also appearing on that closing night of the fest.

The appearance of Warning is big news, made even more special by the announcement that they will be performing their 2006 comeback album Watching From A Distance in its entirety. Warning’s NWTF performance will follow shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco that we’re also co-sponsoring.

But today we’re announcing the names of 13 more bands whose NWTF appearances have been confirmed, including another headliner: the mighty Cephalic Carnage from Denver, who will be playing their experimental 2002 sludge/doom EP Halls of Amenti in its entirety, in addition to other songs from their head-wrecking discography.

Here are those names in alphabetical order, followed by more details about NWTF and the people involved in making it a reality:

Feb 062017


I decided to give the “Seen and Heard” caption a brief rest, but that’s basically what this post is — a round-up of new songs and videos. It just happens that everything in this round-up is the sound of slaughtering, though translated through difference metallic prisms. In essence, we’ll do a death metal/black metal back-and-forth, though you’ll hear differences even within those broad genre umbrellas, and the boundaries blur as well.


Over the weekend Sinister released an official video (created and directed by Sebastiaan Spijker) for a song called “Neurophobic” off their new album Syncretism, which will be released on February 24 by Massacre Records. This is the 13th studio album by these Dutch death metal veterans, and judging from the new song, it’s going to be lethal.

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