Mar 022015


We’ve had the pleasure of premiering two decimating new songs by the Polish band Neolith from their fourth album, Izi.Im.Kurnu-Ki. — and today we have the privilege of helping to premiere a stream of the entire album on its release day.

As good as those first two songs were (“Of Angel and His Orison” and “Enlil”), the album as a whole is equally good. It’s a dynamic combining of melodic death metal and black metal, both atmospheric in its creation of a chilling, infernal aura, and absolutely pulverizing in its frequent explosions of grinding/thrashing riffs and hammering grooves.

The band make effective use of keyboards throughout the album, principally to enhance the music’s eerie atmosphere, but also to help the guitars carry the infectious melodies that move like slithering serpents through the high-speed bombardments and strafing runs that Neolith unleash.

Mar 022015


After releasing a debut EP, a couple of demos, and a split with Drones for Queens, Philadelphia’s Occult 45 have signed with Broken Limbs Recordings for the release of a new EP named Human Abhorrence – and we’re bringing you the premiere of a full stream right now.

The seven tracks on Human Abhorrence will only take about 12 minutes of your time, but Occult 45 pack a lot of highly varied mayhem into those minutes. If you’re like me, your first impulse after finishing it will be to let it run rampant through your head all over again, just to pick up what you missed the first time through.

Mar 022015


(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a song from the new album by the Athenian metal band Sickening Horror, to be released by Deepsend Records on March 17.)

Like a lot of people, I first heard about the Greek technical death metal band Sickening Horror in 2007 by seeing the mention that drummer George Kollias (Nile) was in the line-up on their first record, When Landscapes Bled Backwards. He departed after the release of that album, but the band has continued on just fine without him.

We last heard from them when they released their worthy sophomore follow-up, The Dead End Experiment, back in 2009. Then the band seemed to drop off the map for a few years, finally emerging toward the end of last year with an announcement that their third album, Overflow, was on the way. Today we give you a tantalizing taste of what Overflow is all about with our premiere of a new song entitled “Interstellar“.

Mar 012015


I discovered an album named Evolve by a Chicago band named Of Wolves in the summer of 2013, and it made a big impression, a lasting impression. As discussed in my recent interview of the band’s vocalist/guitarist Steve SherwoodOf Wolves have been working on a new album that they’re hoping to complete and release before the end of this year, but in the meantime they have a brand new video for one of the songs from Evolve — “Dead Wait” — and we’re premiering it right here, right now.

As I attempted to explain in my review of Evolve, the album is an eclectic mix of music, but if there’s a unifying thread in the songs it’s the frustration and fury that drives them. Lyrically, Of Wolves have vented their anger at everything from churches to governments to pervasive greed to the treatment of Native Americans to the mass of their fellow citizens (aka “sheep”) who allow themselves to be brainwashed, duped, and distracted from protecting their own self-interests — and as you’ll see in a minute, they don’t mince words about it.

Feb 272015


It’s a true pleasure to bring you a full stream of Nocel by the Polish black metal band Furia. The album was released last fall on CD by Pagan Records, and on March 6 the label will be releasing the album on double-gatefold-vinyl. It deserves that kind of treatment — in a word, Nocel is fascinating.

Furia’s name means “fury” in English, but the music on Nocel is not so easily summed up. “Fury” is only one of many moods expressed in this impressively creative and highly variable work. Over its hour-long course, Furia vividly convey alternating moods of wild freedom, slashing anger, cold isolation, hunger, meditative tranquility, and even despair. It’s so full of contrasts and surprises that it will remind listeners of the avant-garde exuberance of bands like Deathspell Omega rather than the warlike savagery of a group like Marduk.

Feb 272015


Alright, it might be a stretch to call this song a “premiere”, because some of the lucky ones among you have already discovered this music for yourselves. The debut EP Yearwalker of Sweden’s Gloson was self-released digitally last year, but it’s getting a proper international release on vinyl this coming March 23 by Art of Propaganda and Catatonic State Records. Apart from satisfying the vinyl hungers of Gloson’s fans, this new release achieves another admirable objective: It spreads the word of Yearwalker to the previously uninitiated — which included me. And I’m damned glad I’ve now been introduced to this surprising new band.

“The Aftermath/Beginning” is the final song on this four-track, 32-minute release. Entrancing guitar notes transform into pile-driving riffs, dreamlike melody is overpowered by an avalanche of rumbling darkness, caustic howls scrape against vulnerable flesh. As the song continues to unfold, yet another entrancing guitar melody spirals over the crushing low-end rhythms, like northern lights shimmering over mountain crags. The sludgy power of the song will get your head moving while it casts a spell at the same time.

Feb 272015


Exactly one week ago we posted Andy Synn’s extravagant review of Kaiserschnitt, the extravagant new album by Germany’s Porta Nigra, which is being released today by Debemur Morti Productions. As of this moment, you can now download the album or purchase one of the beautiful physical copies — but perhaps most important, you now have a chance to listen to all of it before taking the plunge.

If you haven’t yet discovered the stream that just went live on Bandcamp, all you have to do is skip to the bottom of this post and there you will find it. And if you need any further encouragement to let it into your head, here are a few choice words from Andy’s review, with which I almost whole-heartedly agree:

Feb 262015


Not long ago we included a feature about the title track to a new album by Poland’s Kurhan in one of our occasional round-ups of impressive new songs. Now we have the pleasure of bringing you a full stream of the entire album, the title of which is Głód (“hunger”).

When I first heard the title track, it really grabbed me by the jugular. I compared it to taking a ride on a whirlwind, or something like being caught in a swarm of bats embarking on a night of feeding at full speed.  But in addition to unleashing a plethora of technically impressive high-speed riffs and hard-hitting percussion, Kurhan made the song a rhythmically dynamic work and threaded appealing strands of dark melody into their blazing tapestry as well.

Now having heard the entire album, more metaphors come to mind. Listening to it is like being dropped into a war zone, with shrapnel flying fast and furious and bursts of adrenaline flooding the bloodstream from all the imminent peril.

Feb 252015


There’s nothing wrong with metal that wholly honors the purity of the particular sub-genre in which it dwells, whether it be black metal, death metal, thrash, or something else. But there’s still something particularly intriguing about bands who branch outside the traditional confines of individual genres and attempt  to integrate a variety of musical influences, creating sounds that can’t be classified with any well-defined purist labels. That’s what the London-based band Beautality have done on their new album Einfallen: A Tale Ov Torment & Triumph.

Even the band’s name signals their intent to dissolve genre boundaries and express ideas through a hybrid of moods, atmospheres, and styles, and that mission is reflected in the songs they’ve created. In this post we bring you the premiere of one of the new album’s tracks — an epic-length work entitled “From the Abyss” — which follows previous premieres at Metal Hammer and Invisible Oranges.

Feb 252015


This is a “feel good” story accompanied by badass music, which makes it a very metal story.

Derek Neibarger, who makes his home in Lawrence, Kansas, with his wife Chrissy and a menagerie of pets, began his musical life as a teenage bassist in 1984. In 1990 he added lead vocalist to his resume. He has recorded and toured with multiple bands covering every genre from punk and hard rock to jazz and blues. At one time or another he has shared the stage with such artists as Neurosis, Green Day, Local H, and The Urge. Beginning in 2012 he decided to start writing and recording music as a solo project that he named Godless Angel.

By that time he had become a daily reader and active supporter of this site, and we watched as he began turning out individual songs on a completely DIY basis, and eventually entire collections of songs in the form of two digital releases — the album-length Year One (2013) and the Dying Dead Undead Unholy EP (2014). And then, on January 20 of this year, we saw the happy announcement that Godless Angel had signed with the Finnish label Inverse Records for the release of a new album named Harvester of Shadows.

Inverse explains: “Drawing inspiration from horror and science fiction genres, the lyrics for Godless Angel paint portraits of everything from axe murderers, vengeful aliens, and zombies to demons, mutated rats, and a vile creature lurking in the shadows of an insane asylum.” And as you’re about to find out, the music is more than a match for the viciousness and brutality of the subject matter — because today we’re stoked to bring you the premiere of an official lyric video for one of the new songs: “Containment Breach In Sector 6“.

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