Jul 152014

 

There’s some kind of party going on at the beginning of “Gods of Grungus”, the song we’re premiering today by Portland, Oregon’s Blackwitch Pudding. It sounds like a party that’s about to get way out of hand — and then the pounding starts, bones begin to splinter, and the splash of viscera begins to paint the walls red. Or at least that’s what I was imagining while I banged my head ’til the vertebrae began to disjoint.

The song is one of four that will appear on the band’s forthcoming EP, Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, which follows the 2013 debut album by these three robed wizards, Taste the Pudding. It’s a methodically pulverizing concoction, loaded with craggy monolithic riffs, gut-jarring bass and drum hammering, and vocals that are choked with gravel, booze, and the contents of a full ashtray. As this demented and doomed party continues, the guitar begins to squall and wretch like the victim of a ritual sacrifice. The song is a putrescent mass of riff infection, and it’s really damned easy to catch the disease.

If you’re in the mood for some filthy stoner doom that you can carry around in your head all day, look no further. Bonus points if you can figure out the song that these doom wizards are parodying.

Jul 112014

Millennia of evolutionary adaptation are supposed too have given human beings certain survival instincts, and yet we’re inexplicably drawn to explore dark, haunted places where hidden dangers lie in wait and comfort, warmth, and light have been banished. Michigan’s Empire Auriga have seemingly made it their mission to capture those frigid, bereft sensations in their music. Eight years after their debut album Auriga Dying, they’re about to deliver a new album named Ascending the Solarthrone, and today we bring you the premiere of a new song from the album: “Jubilee Warlord”.

The word “jubilee” connotes a kind of celebration, but there is no joy in this song, only a dense atmosphere of mourning and anguish. The music moves glacially across icy waves of eerie, distorted, ambient melody punctuated by cannon-blast drum beats and wretched, skin-clawing howls. Prolonged piercing notes rise up and fall again, like rays of light trying to escape a crushing gravity well — without success.

Jul 102014

Greece has long been a spawning ground of powerhouse metal in the underground scene, but 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year. It has already delivered excellent (and quite diverse) releases by the likes of AetherianBurial Hordes, Dead Congregation, Dodsferd, Hail Spirit Noir, SepticfleshSpectral Lore, and Suicidal Angels. Now we must add to that list Fire and Brimstone by Principality of Hell – and we’re giving you a chance to discover its vicious pleasures by premiering a song from the album named “Codex Inferno”.

Principality of Hell may be a new name, but it’s composed of veteran musicians, including three members of Thou Art Lord: The Magus (also Necromantia), El (also Nergal, Soulskinner), and J. Maelstrom (also Dephosphorus, Dodsferd, Ravencult). In this new project, however, the trio have turned their obsidian energies to the creation of black thrashing hellfire.

Jul 082014

We warned you yesterday that today we would be cooperating with Kydoimos Records in the Bandcamp release of a free 20-track compilation of music from 20 UK grind violence bands, featuring artwork by Mark Rennie — and it is now a live thing. Go here to listen and to download the music, either a track at a time or as an entire album:

http://nocleansinging.bandcamp.com/album/hold-fast-grindviolence-compilation

The album download also comes with a special 27-page zine created by Alex Layzell (of Grind to Death and Kydoimos) that includes band interviews and a lot of cool artwork.

Big thanks to Alex for doing all of the really hard work to make this a reality, and of course huge thanks to the bands for contributing their music. Eventually, the comp will be released on cassette tape with accompanying hard copies of the zine, and we’ll let you know when that happens. The album stream comes next…

Jul 072014

Boston’s Fórn hit our radar screen about a week ago when Invisible Oranges premiered “Dweller on the Threshold”, the first advance track from the band’s forthcoming new EP, The Departure of Consciousness. I’m still trying to recover from that obliterating experience; the recovery has taken longer than originally predicted because just when I feel about ready to get out of bed, I go back and listen to the song again. I’m going to be bed-ridden for a lot longer, because I’ve also been listening to a second song from the EP, which we have the good fortune of sharing with you today in this premiere.

The song you’re about to hear is “Suffering In the Eternal Void”. Chiming like bells, the slow, melancholy melody at the song’s beginning catches hold very quickly. Five or six minutes of that could prove to be thoroughly hypnotizing. But just as the music has succeeded in gently pulling you into its embrace, it then  tightens its grip and drags you bodily into a pit of deep, suffocating doom. That seductive melody becomes a crushingly heavy dirge, though no less seductive — this misery is mesmerizing. And the vocals, they sound like sulphuric acid eating through steel, or like some shrieking poltergeist that has become your companion for this slow fall into the void.

Yet another powerhouse song from a band whose name deserves to be spread like a plague.

Jul 022014

 

(Austin Weber introduces a new song we’re premiering today from the debut album by Minnesota’s Invidiosus.)

An issue that seems to especially plague metal bands and impede their future is the high number of members many bands go through. It takes a hearty group with guts to stick through a revolving-door line-up, and few can understand this struggle better than Minneapolis, Minnesota natives Invidiosus. Since forming as a group in 2006, they have gone through 20 members, releasing a few demos and EPs along the way and now preparing for the imminent July 7th arrival of their debut full-length, Malignant Universe. It’s an album that includes an eclectic mix of powerful older compositions alongside bold new ones. It’s the silver lining to their unfortunate revolving door issue: With so many different people (collectively) having written the music contained on Malignant Universe, there is a healthy diversity to their generally grind-blasted death. Malignant Universe exhumes the past and yet doesn’t reside their. It takes restrained guidance from modern, more technical deathly forms, and yet doesn’t wholly reside there either.

“Exacerbated Psychosis”, the song we’re premiering today, is a putrid trip to the graveyard, with all the offal trimmings and horror intact. The opening riff and drum combo hints at a barrelling Origin-style sound, and yet the lacerating and churning build that follows gnaws at you with more primitive teeth and bestial vocal charm.

Jun 272014

Display of Decay roam the badlands of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. They released a self-titled debut album in 2012 and have followed that up with a five-track EP named Outbreak of Infection, due for release on August 26. Today we bring you the premiere of the EP’s title track.

“Outbreak of Infection” is a Deicide-al rampage of fast, rapacious riffing and spitfire soloing, with gut-punching drums and a gruesomely guttural vocal performance. These dudes do a good jump injecting the music with snake venom and radiating an aura of ravenous evil. They bring the death metal brutality, spiced up with insidious melody and high-voltage fretwork.

Jun 262014

If you’ve been lucky enough to catch the Southeastern leg of Agalloch’s current tour, then you’ve already had the chance to witness the live performance of Vex from Austin, Texas, who’ve been along with Agalloch for that ride. For those who haven’t had that chance, we’ve got the next best thing — a premiere of a new Vex song that’s destined to appear on the band’s third album, Sky Exile.

This really well-written, mainly mid-paced song employs the kind of heavy, hammering riffs and flesh-raking vocals that will be familiar to fans of classic Scandinavian melodic death metal, but as the song unfolds it moves in increasingly interesting and unexpected directions, becoming a sophisticated, multi-textured work with the power to draw you back again and again.

Jun 252014

On July 15, Unholy Anarchy Records will release a four-song split by Krieg and Ramlord, and today we’re delighted to premiere one of Krieg’s two tracks, “Worthless Nothing” — a cover of a song from the 1993 LP The Greatest Invention by the seminal UK crust band Doom.

As I wrote in my recent review of this excellent split, Krieg’s decision to cover this particular song makes perfect sense in the context of this release. It’s a natural pairing with both Krieg’s other song, an original composition named “Mocking Dead Empires”, and the blackened crust-punk assaults mounted by Ramlord. “Worthless Nothing” drives hard and fast, propelled by a combination of virally infectious jumping riffs and doused in acid by one of the best voices in US black metal.

Krieg long ago cemented its place as one of the cornerstone bands of black metal in the U.S. After two decades in the trenches, Krieg has nothing left to prove — but the creative fires are obviously still burning hot and bright. Listening to Krieg turn back the clock to the spawning grounds of crust while putting the band’s own vicious stamp on the sound is proof of that, and it’s also an enticing tease for the Krieg full-length (Transient) that’s expected later this year.

Jun 252014

I hadn’t even made it to the last song on my advance copy of Fear the Priest before I was blasting an e-mail to the publicist for Exxxekutioner, begging for the chance to premiere a track from this debut EP. I got my wish, and now you’ll get a taste of what got me so pumped up about this six-song main-line of pure mosh fuel.

This group of four twenty-somethings from the vicinity of Manchester in the UK have only been together since the spring of last year, but you’d never guess that from the music they make. They have mature skills and old souls — and by that I mean a direct channel to the early spirit of bands like Venom, Sodom, and Destruction, delivering a brash and authentic blast of thrash, black, and speed metal like they’ve been doing it for decades.

The hell-ripping songs on Fear the Priest fly like a horde of bat-winged demons, the kind of speed you’d reach if you were on fire and the nearest water source was three blocks away. The riffs are to die for — super-charged with adrenaline and loaded with irresistible hooks — and the tumbling, rumbling drumwork and booming bass will get their hooks in you, too.

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