Oct 122018


(In this post Andy Synn reviews both The Outer Ones, the new album by Revocation (released by Metal Blade on September 28th), and Visitant, the new album by Arsis (which will be released on November 2nd by Nuclear Blast and Agonia Records).)

It doesn’t take a genius to identify the multiple similarities between the career progression(s) of Arsis and Revocation.

Both bands have become pretty big names in (and around) the Tech Death sphere, both bands are fronted by an impressively talented vocalist/guitarist (James Malone and David Davidson, respectively), and both bands have a rather notable ’80s Metal obsession bubbling away under the surface (stadium-sized Hair Metal in the case of the former, classic Thrash for the latter).

But the similarities don’t end there.

Not only are both bands pretty cover-happy (Revocation have, to date, released covers of Exhorder, Death, Metallica, Morbid Angel, and Slayer, while Arsis have pursued a slightly more eclectic path, covering tracks from Alice Cooper, Depeche Mode, and Corey Hart… as well as a mooted King Diamond cover which, for some reason, never saw the light of day), but both groups also participated in the Scion A/V EP programme in 2012, leading to the creation of the Leper’s Caress and Teratogenesis EPs.

And, even more recently, both bands have just produced (or are about to produce) brand new albums which are amongst the heaviest, and most Death Metal focussed, of their careers. Continue reading »

Oct 112018


Black metal isn’t a linear axis, with more of “this” on one end and more of “that” on the other, or a spectrum whose shades move smoothly through varying degrees of deepening darkness. Perhaps a better analogy would be a constellation of moons in differing elliptical orbits around a hostile, burning planet with chaos at its core.

Adverso’s new demo, Ex Inanis, tends to provoke such cosmic comparisons. Unmistakably, there is chaos at its core, and in its own orbit it travels in a ranging course toward ever-freezing reaches of isolation and hope-extinction but also looping inward toward the heart of its energy, crossing into dimensions where flames of dangerous glory heat it to a vibrant shine. But it might just as easily be taken as a merciless mirror to the inner turmoil, torment, and aspirations of a single soul. Continue reading »

Oct 112018


(Andy Synn reviews the brilliant new album by the Finnish black metal band Sargeist, just released by W.T.C. Productions.)

Surprise releases seem to be all the rage these days and, wouldn’t you know it, Finnish Black Metal beasts Sargeist seem to have decided that they want a piece of that action too, so they dropped their long-awaited fifth album via the WTC Bandcamp page late last night.

So I thought that, much as I did with the new Behemoth album (a record whose overall status and impact I’m still pondering), it might be fun to address the release of Unbound with an extra degree of spontaneity by basing this write-up on my early impressions of the album, going track-by-track, now that I’ve had a few chances to listen to it in its entirety. Continue reading »

Oct 112018


(Wil Cifer reviews the new album by Evoken, which will be released by Profound Lore on November 9th.)

Funeral doom might be my favorite subgenre of metal, with depressive black metal not far behind. It invokes deeper emotional layers and creates powerful sonic places than doom bands content with just worshipping Black Sabbath. Jersey doom band Evoken might be America’s best when it comes not only to funeral doom, but to doom as a whole.

On their new album Hypnagogia they pick up where they left off with Atra Mors. There are a few changes, such as synths being more prevalent in the mix, which creates thicker atmosphere. Mood-wise the album is dark yet not as filled with despair as the previous album. Lyrically, it uses World War I as a metaphor regarding more personal topics. This is done without the need to maintain some contrived narrative that concept albums tend to have. Continue reading »

Oct 102018


The advance press for Rodent Epoch’s debut album, which emphasizes “the filth and fury for which Finnish black metal has become renowned”, its “crude ‘n’ rude aesthetic”, and its “rockin’ thrust”, is accurate as far as it goes, but in my humble opinion those evocative phrases really don’t do Rodentlord justice. The music certainly reaches cathartic heights of punk-fueled snarling, savage lust, and devilish depravity, and there’s a blasphemous, fuck-the-world sensibility to the lyrics, but there’s a lot more going on here, too.

Of course, you won’t have to take my word for it, since what we’re bringing you today is a full stream of the album in advance of its October 12 premiere by Saturnal Records, but I’ll nevertheless attempt to explain why the album amounts to so much more than raucous deviancy and carnal lust. Continue reading »

Oct 102018


(Andy Synn reviews the new EP by the English death metal band Seprevation, which was released on September 9th.)

The last time we checked in on Bristolian Death/Thrash droogs Seprevation was… just over a year ago, when they released their Echoes of Mercy EP (and you can read all about that here).

Luckily they haven’t been resting on their laurels in the intervening time, and have not only been gigging their collective arses off, up and down the country, but have also spent some time putting together this brand new collection of sonic savagery which I’m pleased to be able to draw your attention to today. Continue reading »

Oct 092018


Many of the more adventurous and steel-nerved among you will have already discovered the terrible wonders to be found in the music of Pa Vesh En. After all, in 2018 alone this remarkable black metal project from Belarus has already released through Iron Bonehead Productions the Dead Womb demo, a two-song 7″ named A Ghost, and a split album with Temple Moon. But all of those recordings were preludes to what you’re about to hear, a debut album named Church of Bones that Iron Bonehead will release on October 12th.

As the album’s title might suggest, these seven tracks sound as if they were recorded in a vast sepulcher far beneath the surface of the earth, all the shuddering and shattering tonalities drenched in reverb, the music profoundly haunting and deeply oppressive in the weight of the desolation it conveys. The album is sweeping in the scale of its apocalyptic grief and shattering in the intensity of the pain it channels into sound — an expression of emotional collapse that’s so profound it begins to seem majestic, an intense and immersive experience so all-consuming that it swallows up the listener, as if engulfed by the maw of a leviathan. Continue reading »

Oct 092018


(Andy Synn reviews the debut album by the Greek death metal band Carthage, which was released on October 5th by Amputated Vein Records.)

I don’t know about you guys, but I am absolutely swamped at the moment, with various issues in both my personal and professional life constantly competing for my valuable time, which is leaving me with surprisingly few opportunities to put digital pen to electric paper and get some damn writing done!

Ok… breathe… phew… anyway…

Despite all of this, however, I’m going to endeavour to get as many pieces published this week as I can – including a mix of big names and new contenders – starting with the debut album from Greek Death Metal duo Carthage. Continue reading »

Oct 092018


I’ve chosen so much new music to feature in this stylistically eclectic round-up that I’m going to dispense with any further preface and just get right to it.


Veins” is the first track released (just yesterday) from Majestic Downfall‘s new album, Waters Of Fate, which will be released on December 7th by Solitude Productions and Weird Truth Productions in Europe and Asia and by Chaos Records in the Americas. If you couldn’t guess based on how much praise we’ve heaped on this Mexican death/doom band over the years, this album is one we’ve been eagerly looking forward to. If possible, I’m even more eager now that I’ve opened those Veins. Continue reading »

Oct 082018


(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the debut recording by The Heretics Fork, which will be released by P2 Records on October 31st., and whose name refers to this torture device used in the Inquisition.)

For me 2018 has been a good year in music, across different types of metal genres. As some of you know by now, I usually review albums in the BDM genre, though from time to time I do write about albums outside that genre. This time I’m about to speak of a band that took me by surprise, which I discovered through a FB post in a group I am part of.  The band is The Heretics Fork.

We don’t know where they are from or who the musicians are behind this project. The only thing we know is that they are signed to the P2 label from New York. This label serves as a distro as well. They were responsible for the release of Encenathrakh’s debut self-titled album (which Islander reviewed here) — one of the craziest BDM projects ever to be released. Continue reading »