May 232016

Corbeaux cover art


In December 2014 we had the pleasure of premiering a full stream of Hit the Head, the fascinating debut album by the French noisemongers Corbeaux, and today we’re fortunate to deliver a full stream of their full-length follow-up, Kind Words.

But there’s very little about this new album that’s kind. If anything, it’s more bleak, more unsettling, and more cataclysmic than its predecessor. It’s also even more accomplished and self-assured, even if you’ll find almost no solid ground on which to plant your feet or comfort for your addled mind.

May 232016



(Allen Griffin reviews the new self-titled 7″ EP by Hissing.)

Seattle trio Hissing is one of the latest additions to Southern Lord’s formidable roster and they are poised to release their self-titled 7″ in early June. Consisting of two crushing tracks, a little over eleven minutes of music, their sound can be described as an amalgamation of abyss-trawling blast beats, thick gutter sludge, and oppressive, mysterious atmosphere.

While drawing from a range of influences, Deathspell Omega, Portal, and Autopsy are the most obvious touchstones, and while these are not uncommon influences in the current scene, Hissing succeed where others often fail. There is a certain x-factor bands of this ilk rarely possess, but Hissing seem to have in spades. The material here, inspired by the human psyche trying to survive in hostile urban environments, is utterly convincing in both composition and execution.

May 232016

Dying Sun-band


(In this 73rd edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy reviews the discography to date of Maryland’s Dying Sun.)

Recommended for fans of: Altars of Plagues, Cult of Luna, Massive Attack

Every so often a band comes out of nowhere and blindsides you with how utterly fantastic they are, making you wonder how in the world you ever managed to get along without them.

Dying Sun are one such band.

The Maryland three-piece deal in a brand of intensely metallic, immensely atmospheric Post-Metal not quite like anyone else I’ve heard (although general comparisons to both Cult of Luna and Altars of Plagues are certainly valid, to an extent), packed full of titanic, weighty riffs, anguished vocals, and cosmological waves of pulsating programming.

Ever since discovering them I’ve had all three of their releases (arguments can be made as to which of them counts as an EP or as an album) practically glued to my playlist, and I’ve just been waiting for the right time to share their moody magnificence with you all.

Well, that time has come.

May 222016

Nuisible cover


Formed in 2014 by two former members of the French hardcore band As We Bleed, Nuisible is a new enterprise whose debut EP Inter Feces et Urinam Nascimur  will be released by Deadlight Entertainment on June 23. It’s a seven-track affair, and today we introduce you to this onslaught with the premiere of a track appropriately called “Out Come the Wolves”.

Someone or something very much like a wolf is behind the mic, howling in a red fury on this stunner of a song, which moves from a bounding crust melee to a thrashing, pulsing broadside of electrifying punishment to a brutal meltdown that’s hard and heavy enough to split concrete.

May 222016

Sxuperion-Cosmic Void


I continue my efforts to char your weekend to a crisp with this second part of a two-part post I started yesterday, collecting music in a blackened vein that I’d like to recommend. This collection is heavy on blackened death metal rather than unadulterated black metal, with a couple of other twists and turns thrown in. Yesterday’s offerings were mostly on the melodic side of the extremity scale. We’ll eventually get to something like that today, but not until the end. In the meantime, prepare for some monstrous, apocalyptic experiences.


I discovered Sxuperion only this past January through the band’s split release with a Nebraska black metal band named Verräter (discussed here), although Sxuperion had preceded that split with two full-length albums and an array of shorter releases. For those who might not be familiar with Sxuperion, it’s the solo project of the drummer (Matthew) for two other excellent bands, Valdur and Weverin.

May 222016

Rearview Mirror


Despite the fact that it’s a Sunday, we’re going to have at least three new posts on the site today, beginning with another installment of this series in which we reflect upon metal from yesteryear. Our focus for this edition of The Rearview Mirror is the NY death metal band Mortician.

While many of the bands we’ve remembered in this series are long gone, Mortician aren’t officially dead yet, though more than a decade has passed since their last album. For most of their career they existed as a duo, originally formed by Will Rahmer and Roger Beaujard in 1989 under the name Casket but soon re-named Mortician in honor of the late Angus Scrimm’s character in the 1979 horror movie Phantasm and its sequels.

This isn’t going to be a retrospective on Mortician’s discography. I simply want to play for you the band’s 1996 debut album Hacked Up For Barbeque, which was discharged following a hand-full of short releases. I hadn’t thought about the album in eons, but a conversation on Facebook yesterday reminded me of it, and I impulsively dived back into it.

May 212016

Sol Sistere-Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum


Over the last week I’ve accumulated a long list of new advance tracks and recent releases that I’d like to recommend. As usual, it’s too much stuff for me to cover completely or in depth. What I’m planning to do is make two collections for this weekend, focusing on black (and blackened) metal, and then compile some additional releases for a Seen and Heard post on Monday. So here’s the first part of a two-part Shades of Black post; the second one will appear tomorrow.


Sol Sistere are a Chilean melodic/atmospheric black metal band composed of veteran members from other groups. Their debut album Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum (which follows a 2014 EP on the Pest Productions label) is set for CD release on June 6 by Hammerheart Records, but a digital version of the album has recently become available for download on the label’s Bandcamp page.

Hammerheart describes the music as a “combination of past elements such as Dissection, Vinterland and Dawn, completed by influences of today” — referring to such bands as Altar of Plagues, Drudkh, and Wodensthrone. These are all worthy reference points, and pretty accurate ones as well (though there’s also a noticeable post-metal ingredient in play as well). This album was intriguing on a first listen and my affections for it have only grown stronger with repeat spins. (The album cover by Misanthropic-Art is also fantastic.)

May 202016

Sanzu-Heavy Over the Home reissue


Australia’s Sanzu have garnered quite a bit of praise at our site (and just about everywhere else you might care to look within metaldom). Andy Synn proclaimed their 2015 EP Painless “one of the best releases I’ve heard this year… aggressive and abrasive, designed for maximum killing capacity”, and then heaped more praise on the band’s debut full-length Heavy Over the Home: “The overall package provides one of the heaviest, deepest, and most intimately rewarding (not to mention crushing) listening experiences I’ve had all year. Let’s hear it for Sanzu… the undisputed masters of southern hemisphere hydro-groove.”

Both the EP and the album were initially self-released, but now Listenable Records is re-releasing the music worldwide on CD and limited-edition orange vinyl. This new edition bears the title of the album — Heavy Over the Home — but includes the Painless EP as bonus tracks. As icing on the cake, the reissue edition comes with a revised version (above) of the eye-catching and memorable cover art that adorned the original. And we’ve got a stream of all the songs below.

May 202016

It Djents-This Doesn't Djent


(Austin Weber brings us news about a new free comp that he helped curate.)

While I’m constantly pitching spur-of-the-moment ideas to Islander that relate to growing the scene as a whole, not every vision and concept comes to pass in the end, usually because of an unfortunate lack of time to do everything on my end. Luckily, two other metal music writers and myself decided to join forces and craft a free Bandcamp compilation for the masses called This Doesn’t Djent. Every song/band is worth your time and attention.

Rounding out the swath of bands and songs that I helped curate is content assembled by It Djents head honcho Chris Delano and MetalSucks/Invisible Oranges contributor Mark Ehmahre (bandleader/main composer of Existential Animals, whom I have covered before — and who appear below, too).

May 202016



(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Withered.)

Make no mistake, despite the almost six-year gap between albums, and a significant line-up shift in the intervening years — with Primitive Man’s Ethan McCarthy and renowned uber-bassist Colin Marston stepping in to replace the departed Mike Longoria and Dylan Kilgore – Atlantean (shut up, that’s the right word) filth-mongers Withered are back with a vengeance… even though I’ll admit Grief Relic didn’t quite “click” with me the first time around.

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