Sep 182014


(Austin Weber provides the following introduction to our premiere of a song by Germany’s Under the Pledge of Secrecy.)

I was made aware of Under The Pledge Of Secrecy quite recently, and at just the right time it seems, as this talented German band have a new album, Black Hole Mass Evolution, coming very soon. I heard their last album, The Convoluted Line, described to me as sounding like Between The Buried And Me stripped down to their early primal aggressive style, and while I hear that, I would say they are also equal parts early Dillinger Escape Plan and early The Red Chord. Their Facebook and Soundcloud describes them as experimental grind metal, and those three intertwined certainly encompass the feel and flow of their music.

This is high-octane musical rabies, a convoluted yet precise wrecking ball of grind and death metal — shot through with a strong melodic counterbalance. Their music has always eclectically drawn from a wide swathe of sounds, though this new album embraces a greater death metal focus — a trait inherent in the rampaging track “The One Eyed God Prophecy” that we are premiering today.

The first few seconds bring the triumphant evil of Behemoth to mind, until the song ignites into a white-hot fury of thunderous roars, a conveyor-belt approach of frenzied riff after frenzied riff, bustling bouncy bass lines that exhibit a keen presence in the mix, and lightning-fast drumming interlocking with the guitars in pure rhythmic bliss. A multitude of grind bursts ratchet the intensity ever higher, feeding the frenzy and fire of the song’s scorching death metal primacy. After the pummeling, the track fades out into a section that sounds like a horror film score, an effective slip back into the abyss.

Sep 182014

From the Vastland began life as the one-man project of an Iranian multi-instrumentalist known as Sina, following the end of his involvement in the prolific Iranian black metal band Sorg InnkallelseFrom the Vastland’s debut album, Darkness vs Light, The Perpetual Battle, was released in 2011. That was followed by Kamarikan in 2013 (which we reviewed here), and then by a striking live performance that same year at Oslo’s Inferno Festival (reviewed here), where Sina was joined onstage by a such luminaries as Thor Anders “Destruchtor” Myhren (MyrkskogZyklonMorbid Angel) on second guitar, André “Tjalve” Kvebek (Pantheon IDen Saakaldte, Horizon Ablaze) on bass, and Vegard “Vyl” Larsen (Keep Of Kalessin) on drums.

From the Vastland has now recorded a third album — entitled Temple of Daevas – and it’s scheduled for release by Non Serviam Records on October 6, 2014. For the new album Sina again composed all the songs, performed lead vocals, and laid down the guitar tracks. He was joined in the recording by Vyl on drums, Tjalve on bass, and by Terje Olsen (ChtonKhonsu) as a guest vocalist for backing vocals.

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of premiering (here) a stream of one of the new album tracks, “Wrath of Aeshma”, and today we bring you another one: “Kamak”.

Sep 182014


This morning I spotted three new album covers that grabbed my attention, not only because the cover art in each case is very cool, but also because the bands are, too. In the first two instances, we don’t have music yet, though we do in the third case.


We’ve written many times about this fine Icelandic band, most recently in Gemma Alexander’s review of their 90-minute set at this year’s Eistnaflug festival, and so I was especially excited to see the artwork you’re now looking at, because it’s a harbinger of a new Skálmöld album.

The new album, MEÐ VÆTTUM, will be released by Napalm Records later this year. The cover art was created by Ásgeir Jón Ásgeirsson, whose website is here and who also made the cover art for the band’s last album, Börn Loka. I don’t have any of the new music to share with you at this point, but I’m sure we’ll be featuring it as soon as the songs begin to appear. Here’s the staggered release schedule for the album:

Sep 182014


Blood Mantra, the fantastic new album by Poland’s Decapitated, will be released in 8-10 days from now, depending on where you live. Our man Andy Synn has reviewed it for us (here), writing that it “can be appreciated just as much for its cerebral prowess as its sheer physical intensity.” “It hits as hard and as fast as any Death Metal album you might care to mention, with Vogg’s mind-bending guitar work and Rafal’s cannibalistic bark (not to mention new drummer Mlody’s weapons-grade performance behind the drum kit) able to go toe-to-toe with the best of them.” And not long ago the band premiered the new album’s title track in the form of a lyric video — which you can see and hear right after the jump.

Blood Mantra is coming our way from Nuclear Blast… on September 26 (EU), September 29 (EU), and September 30 (NA). CDs, vinyls, and assorted bundles are available for order hereDecapitated will be accompanying GWAR and American Sharks on a U.S. tour this fall — the schedule appears after “Blood Mantra” — which you will hear next…

Sep 182014

I originally intended to write about only one song from this album, as part of a collection of three striking songs from different bands that I heard back-to back a few days ago. I’m still going to do that — later today in fact — but after I made my way through the rest of this album I felt compelled to write about the album as a whole. Why?

Because Deathsteps To Oblivion is one of the most apocalyptically crushing albums I’ve heard all year, and also one of the most exotic — it really doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve heard. And for an album that’s terrifyingly bone-crushing, it’s also ridiculously addictive.

Deathsteps To Oblivion is the third album by a band from Brisbane, Australia named The Dead. It’s my first exposure to their music, so I’m not competent to compare this new one to what has come before. But if what preceded Deathsteps is in this same collapsed and cut-down vein, I want to hear it.

Sep 172014


Last month Anaal Nathrakh premiered “Idol”, the first advance track from their new album Desideratum, which is coming from Metal Blade on October 28. And today Decibel premiered a second song — “Monstrum In Animo”.

If you’re in the mood for a violent, howling, skin-flying barrage of blackened industro-alien-grind-demolition with concrete-splitting grooves and lead-melting soloing, you damned well need to hear this, because I don’t know where else you would be able to get that fix. It sure as hell did the job for me.

This is an exclusive stream, so you’ll need to go here to listen to the song — as well you should:

Sep 172014


I just got a tip from our friend Leperkahn about the just-released new video by Iron Reagan, with these thoughts: “Whitey McConnaughy strikes again with FUCKING GOLD”.

Whitey McConnaughy is the director of this new video for a song called “Miserable Failure” from the band’s Relapse Records debut, The Tyranny of Will. The video features cameo appearances by members of Red Fang, Toxic Holocaust, and Mudhoney. And yeah, it’s fuckin’ gold — a shitload of fun to watch and to hear.

Sep 172014


I’ve had quite a fruitful morning of listening to new music, and among the fruits I tasted were the following three premieres and one teaser, which I’ve grouped together as examples of razor-edged black metal that will jolt you wide awake.


That album art at the top of this post is so damned cool. It grabbed my attention immediately and led me to explore what it signified. And what it signifies is the coming of a new album (the third one) by Norway’s Posthum. Entitled The Black Northern Ritual, it’s scheduled for both CD and vinyl release by Indie Recordings on October 13.

Having been seduced by the album cover, I discovered that Norway’s NRK P3 Pyro (the internet radio station of the state-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) has begun streaming an advance track from the album named “To the Pit”. It’s loaded with riffs and rhythms that both rip and rock, and at its core is a sombre melody that will get its hooks in you. Beautiful guitar solo in this song, too.

Sep 172014


I’m a couple of days late with this news, but it’s too exciting to overlook.

Almost exactly four years have passed since Sweden’s The Crown released their comeback album Doomsday King, which Andy Synn praised in one of his earliest posts for our site as “a masterpiece of wild fury and calculated aggression, blurring the lines between razor-sharp thrash and full-speed death metal.” The album made several of our 2010 year-end lists, and I included the song “Blood OD” on our list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Needless to say, we’re very stoked about The Crown’s announcement that on January 15, 2015, they will be releasing their eighth album, Death Is Not Dead. Above, you can gaze upon the album’s cover art by Björn Gosses of Killustrations.

The announcement appeared on a new web site that the band have established, which also includes the news that on October 27 the band will be releasing (via Century Media) their first 7″ single, which will include one of the new songs — “Headhunter” — plus the band’s cover of “Unfit Earth” by Napalm Death. Pre-orders for that will begin on September 27. Here’s the cover art for the single, rendered by Giannis Nakos:

Sep 172014

On September 30, Sacrilege Records will release the fifth album by Austria’s Woodtemple, Forgotten Pride, and in advance of the release we’re giving you the chance to hear the album’s title track.

The song is both melancholy and inspiring, both meditative and surging. It includes folk elements, such as acoustic strumming and the sound of hand drums; a mix of Aramath’s cracked, harsh rasp and the soaring beauty of clean choral voices; a shining keyboard melody that moves in drifting waves throughout the song and jagged riffs that give the music roots in the earth to accompany the almost ethereal quality of the keyboard refrain.

The music is an atmospheric approach to pagan metal that preserves a sense of ancient conflicts and bloodied swords, with the dead and dying illuminated in the flickering glow of bonfires at night, yet inspires spiritual visions as well.

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