Feb 152018


Lendas Baixo O Luar is the debut album of the pagan black metal band Lóstregos from Galicia in the northwest corner of the Iberian peninsula, where the border of Spain meets Portugal. The album was released last November by the Spanish labels Darkwoods and Damnatio ad Bestias, and on tape by Fólkvangr Records (U.S.). It was an album that we somehow overlooked, although it received an extremely positive response from people who were more attentive than we were. And that brings us to today’s video premiere, the subject of which is a track from the Lóstregos album named “Gallaecia“.

One benefit of lyric videos like the one you’re about to see, apart from whatever visual value they might have, is to enable the discovery of music that you might have missed when it was originally released, as this one has done for us. And what a killer discovery this is.

Feb 142018


“Crushing” is a word we see tossed around frequently in the case of death metal and some doom metal bands. Bible Black Tyrant isn’t either of those (sludge might be the closest genre term, though it’s an imperfect term here), but you’d have to look long and hard to find any album this year, in any metal genre, more stunningly crushing than this band’s debut album, Regret Beyond Death. The sound is overpowering, the mood is catastrophically bleak, the overall impact is nothing short of flattening. It is, in short, a devastating assault on the senses — and it exerts a primal appeal that’s just as unstoppable.

Bible Black Tyrant is the collaboration between three experienced musicians based in the Pacific Northwest: vocalist/bassist/guitarist Aaron D.C. Edge (Lumbar), percussionist Tyler Smith (Eagle Twin), and additional guitarist/vocalist and soundscape engineer David S. Fylstra (KVØID). They come from different musical backgrounds, but in this project they’ve found a meeting ground and executed on a vision that really is remarkable.

The album will be released on February 14th by Argonauta Records (CD) with a tape release coming from Anima Recordings, and today we have the honor of presenting a full stream of the album, which we’ll introduce first with comments by the band, and then with a few more impressions of my own. This is how Bible Black Tyrant introduces the album:

Feb 142018


Morbid Angel’s release of Kingdoms Disdained last year provoked a lot of discussion (and heated arguments) about where the album stood among the most revered works of that hugely influential band. Meanwhile, Australia’s Depravity were readying an album that might be an even more powerful bringing-forward of Morbid Angel’s legacy into the current era. Its name is Evil Upheaval.

Transcending Obscurity Records, who will be releasing Depravity’s new album on April 30, also recommends it to fans of the New York Death Metal elite — Immolation, Suffocation, and Incantation — as well as such bands as Hour of Penance, Ingurgitating Oblivion, Drawn and Quartered, and The Furor, whose Louis Rando (also in Impiety) is Depravity’s drummer.

Such adjectives as “vile”, “twisted”, and “deafeningly heavy” also appear in TO’s promotional missives, and that’s not fake news, as you’re about to discover through our premiere of an album track named “Insanity Reality“.

Feb 142018


The opening bars of “Heathen Shores” transports the listener’s mind like a time machine, deep into centuries long lost. And then, without losing the thread of the melody, Wallachia rocket forward again, jabbing and jolting, galloping and gliding, snarling and shrieking, in a display of highly head-bangable heavy metal might.

Heathen Shores” is a track off Wallachia’s new album Monumental Heresy, which will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on April 13th, and we’re joining with other sites around the globe in bringing you the premiere of the song.

Feb 132018


In 2015 we devoted significant attention to the Saskatchewan band Altars of Grief, premiering a track from their superb split with fellow Canadians Nachtterror, publishing an interview by Comrade Aleks with Altars guitarist Evan Paulson, and naming that same song from the split (“In Dying Light”) to our list of that year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

Now, roughly three years later, Altars of Grief will be releasing their second album, Iris, through Hypnotic Dirge Records, and it’s our pleasure to bring you the stream of an album track called “Desolation“.

Feb 132018


More than three years ago the Montréal black metal band Basalte released a debut album named Vestige that hit me like a bolt from the blue. It affected me so strongly that I did what I have a tendency to do when experiencing such episodes of euphoria — I launched into a spontaneous spate of metaphors (here):

Vestige consists of three long songs (from 9 minutes to almost 17), ‘Mirage’, ‘Luminaire’, and ‘Obtuse’. They are guitar manifestos, strange journeys across distortion-shrouded alien soundscapes that sometimes seem like the eruption of volcanos on a Saturnian moon and then at other times shine like the Saturnian rings themselves, shimmering with the glint of sunlight on ice crystals. The drumming is just as unpredictable and just as transfixing, like a comet with a mind of its own that moves around and through the cosmic lightshow, heedless of the pull of gravity.”

I didn’t stop there, but the subject of this post isn’t a reminder of Vestige but an introduction to Basalte’s new album Vertige, which is being released today, and which you can stream after the bulwark of paragraphs I’ve written on this occasion. I’m not surprised I’ve become euphoric again; I am surprised that Vertige not only reaches the heights of its predecessor but exceeds them.

Feb 132018


In the summer of last year Dark Descent Records released a sampler of music that consisted of nothing but previously unreleased tracks from forthcoming albums — 11 premieres in one fell swoop. One of those was a song called “The Unchaste” by the veteran Southern California death metal band Gravehill. I was sold immediately, fired up like a Roman candle by that grisly, gruesome, up-tempo dose of barbarity, which included both spectral and face-melting solos and a highly headbangable interlude.

The Unchaste” is one of 8 tracks on a new Gravehill album, The Unchaste, the Profane, & the Wicked. It’s now set for release by Dark Descent on March 16th. Pre-orders have just gone up today, and to help spread the word, we get to bring you the premiere another track from the album. To go along with “The Unchaste”, today we present “The Profane“.

Feb 122018


The Stockholm group Setsuko think it’s fine for screamo bands to move more in the direction of metal (and grindcore in particular), and for grindcore bands to move more toward screamo as well. They’ve chosen to position themselves in the middle between those two camps, with a laudable objective:  “to combine the most violent sounds of both hardcore and metal and play the fastest, angriest stuff we possibly can”. And these Swedes do mean what they say, as you’re about to find out.

Setsuko’s debut album is The Shackles of Birth, which will be released in March on the UK label Dog Knights Productions. The song we’re bringing you is “Child Without Brain,” which according to Setsuko follows a “theme of paranoia and living in a world somewhere between lucidity and psychosis”. In fact, most of the songs follow that theme as well.

Feb 092018


The Bednja is a river in northern Croatia that rises in the mountainous forested areas near Macelj and follows a winding path until it flows into the larger Drava River. Bednja is also the name of a small village located near the river’s spring, well-known for the hard-to-understand dialect of its people… and for being very cold. And Bednja is also the name of the three-man Croatian band whose debut album, Doline Su Ostale Iza Nas, we’re now premiering.

When the band contacted us about the possibility of a premiere, I began listening to the album, as I always do before deciding whether to host a premiere. By the end of the second song, I was completely captured by the music and hurriedly wrote YES! before the third song began. As I eventually discovered, the rest of the album is every bit as good as the way it begins, striking like an unexpected bolt from the blue.

Feb 092018


Andrew James from Edmonton, Canada (and a member of Eye of Horus and Shotgunner) is completely open and forthright about the passions that have inspired his creation of the solo project North Hammer and the music on the debut album Stormcaller, which is set for release on March 16th.

He names the mighty Quorthon as well as Wintersun, Ensiferum, Amon Amarth, Aether Realm, and Blind Guardian as the revered sources of his musical inspiration, and ancient Norse legends as the wellspring from which he has drawn the new album’s thematic and lyrical concepts. The name of the project itself was meant to invoke winter (as well as his native Canada) and of course Thor’s formidable hammer, Mjölnir.

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