May 262015


That cover art by W. Smerdulak is still just as awesome as when we posted it the first time. The first time we posted it was a couple of weeks ago when we premiered a song named “Kill the Fremen” from the new album Dark Matter by Russia’s Distant Sun, and today we’re happy to bring you the premiere of two more songs from the new album: “Zero To Hero” and “Shattered Empire“.

If you caught that first song, then you already have a sense of Distant Sun’s knack for fusing elements of speed metal, thrash, and power metal. And if you missed it, you’ll get another introduction right now. “Zero To Hero” is a complete head-rush of immediately infectious jolting riffs, bounding bass lines, and galloping drumwork, with a mix of ragged-edged and clean vocals. Of course, once you dig into the track you know there’s got to be a guitar solo coming — and it’s a blistering one.

May 252015


Listen to the first 90 seconds of “Weltverloren”, as it moves from a lilting solo guitar melody into a racing torrent that carries the same melody, driving it home, and then changes again to a rocking rhythm, never losing its fast grip on that brilliant melody — nor its grip on you. If you’re not hooked in the first 90 seconds, I’ll be surprised.

But “Weltverloren” is far from finished in 90 seconds. Before it ends, it staggers into a pool of tears, drenched in sorrow but no less transfixing in its emotional impact, and then accelerates into an even more intense, ravishing finish. And this is only the first song in a magnificent album — all of which you will be able to hear through our premiere of a full streaam.

The album is Grausammler. The band is Germany’s Vargnatt.

May 222015


Germany’s Dew-Scented have been discharging blasts of electrifying death/thrash since the early ’90s and they’re now about to unleash their tenth album, Intermination, via Prosthetic Records. Today we bring you the premiere of the new album’s fourth song, “Affect Gravity“.

The dismal, dissonant sounds at the outset of the song are immediately arresting, but the music becomes downright explosive moments later when the full band joins the fray in a tumult of jabbing riffs, booming drums, hammering bass, and scorching vocal howls. It’s a turbocharged rocket-ride of a track that also includes a completely electrifying guitar solo. Heavy, venomous, galvanizing music that will shoot a megawatt charge of energy straight down your spine… and a hugely appealing teaser for the new album.

May 222015


In February of this year I came across the debut of a song from the new album by LychgateAn Antidote for the Glass Pill —  that stopped me dead in my tracks. That song (“Letter XIX”) was so striking, and so strikingly different, that I became both intrigued and anxious to hear more. And now the time has arrived when we can all hear more, because we have the privilege of premiering a second track from the album: “An Acousmatic Guardian“.

Lychgate features the talents of vocalist/guitarist Greg Chandler (Esoteric) and guitarist/organist/keyboardist Vortigern (The One, Spearhead), as well as T.J.F. Vallely (Macabre Omen) on drums, A.K. Webb (Ancient Ascendant) on bass, and  guitarist S.D. Lindsley. Together they have created some very distinctive and unusually compelling music.

May 212015


I continue to have a weakness for metal bands from Austin, Texas, the place where I was born and spent my formative years and to which I still return a couple of times a year. But I’m not so weak-minded about bands from Austin as to lose a sense of perspective about the music — and I’m pretty sure Unmothered’s new EP would have blown me away even if I’d grown up in Bangkok.

This new three-song offering is entitled U M B R A and it’s being released by Crowquill Records on May 26. Today we give you the chance to hear the EP for yourselves before jumping for it on the release date. Since you can listen for yourselves, I’m not sure there is much to be gained by writing about U M B R A, but I can’t help myself.

May 212015


When you’d like to smooth out the start of your day with a bong-load of assistance and you discover to your shock that your stash is as empty as the void in your forgetful head, what the fuck do you do? Some people might let out a long sigh and begin quietly weeping. That ain’t Connoisseur’s style, as you’ll find out in the video we’re premiering today for a song called “Pot Hole“.

The song comes from the band’s new album Stoner Justice, which is being released in June by Tankcrimes Records. Stoner Justice was originally released as an EP last year but has been remastered and expanded to fourteen tracks, including a professionally recorded live set from the Tankcrimes Takeover show on February 13, 2015. As you can see, the new album also includes killer cover art created in a collaboration by Skinner (Mastodon) and Hal Rotter (Atriarch, Cough, Eyehategod, Skeletonwitch, etc.).

May 212015


Miami’s Maruta will soon see the release of their third album, and their first for Relapse RecordsRemain Dystopian. In advance of the album’s street date, Relapse is rolling out five new songs from the album on five days in a row, and today we bring you the premiere of the fourth of those tracks: “Slaying Jehova“.

This is an absolutely savage minute-long assault of hyper-speed grind, an explosive rush of dissonant, raking riffs, near-inhuman drum fusillades, and beast-like roars. To be honest, it’s too much to take in on one listen, and the eerie guitar leads must have some psychoactive substance in them, because the first thing I wanted to do after hearing it the first time was to continue pressing play, without even consciously thinking about it.

May 202015


There are many good things to be said about music videos which follow the release of an album that spawned them. Among other things, they bring to light music you might have overlooked or, in the case of the Frosthelm video we’re about to premiere, they can remind you of how dumb you were not to pay more attention to the album in the weeks leading up to its release. And by “you”, I mean “me”.

Frosthelm’s debut album The Endless Winter, which was released in March of this year, is absolutely excellent — a seamless blend of black metal and thrash that runs like a mega-sized electric dynamo and is almost as addictive as caffeine. You feel that urge to go back to it repeatedly, and thankfully the songs continue to deliver a biting surge of adrenaline even after multiple listens.

May 192015


I’ve been following the Danish band Deus Otiosus since 2011, when I first discovered (and wrote about) their 2010 debut album Murderer. Since then the band have released two more albums, 2012′s Godless and last year’s Rise. The band have begun work on their fourth album, which is projected for release in 2016, but in the meantime they’re releasing a special EP on May 26 via Germany’s Godeater Records. Entitled Sis Mortuus Mondo, the EP consists of two new songs, one of which is a preview of the next album and the other of which is exclusive to the EP. And today we give you the chance to hear both songs in advance of the EP’s release.

“Greater Horror”, the album preview track, is a giant hornet swarm of riffs driven by deeply grooved bass-and-drum thunder, a fusion of adrenaline-pumping thrash and carnivorous death metal malevolence. There’s a lot of fleet-fingered guitar and bass flash in this head-wrecker, including some incendiary soloing. It romps and then it staggers and then it jams the pedal to the floor again just in case it hasn’t already succeeded in tearing your head off.

May 192015


One thing leads to another. On April 27 we announced our sponsorship of a tour by West Virginia’s Byzantine with Mobile Deathcamp from Ohio. That led to our May 8 announcement of a follow-on tour by Mobile Deathcamp with support from Massachusetts-based Carnivora. And that led to what you’re about to hear — our premiere of a Carnivora song named “A Vision In Red” from their new EP The Vision.

The Vision is a four-track offering that follows the band’s 2013 full-length debut, Eternal, and “A Vision In Red” is the EP’s opening song. The song blends together riffs that alternately swarm and jab, a flurry of pugilistic drum strikes, and a couple of flickering, spiraling guitar solos that really light up the song like a Roman candle — not to mention a nimble, thrumming bass line and some bleeding-edge vocal excretions.

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