Sep 192018


When I first encountered the music of the French black metal band Hyrgal through their 2017 album, Serpentine, I was left stunned by its union of stupefying violence and mystical sorcery, shaken by its immensely powerful and dense cyclones of sound, moved by its dark, tormented melodies, and chilled by its haunted moods and apocalyptically grand vistas. And now Hyrgal are returning with new music through a very special split release with two other French bands, Bâ’a and Verfallen, who have proven through this split that they are formidable forces in their own right.

This new album-length split (more than 53 minutes in length) will be released on October 12th by the respected Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions. It includes two tracks by each of the three bands, and we present the first of Hyrgal’s two tracks today, a composition called “Césure“. Continue reading »

Sep 192018


(DGR reviews the new album by Pig Destroyer, which was released on September 7th by Relapse Records.)

It’s been five years since it happened, but when it comes to Pig Destroyer, this article here is always going to elicit a small chuckle out of me. Not because of the lineup shift or anything of that magnitude, but the way the news posting plays out. It almost reads as if the addition of a bassist to the lineup was an absolutely massive thing for these noise-grind stalwarts. It may very well have been, but the idea that the addition of a low-end to the band — something we commonly take for granted as part of a traditional metal lineup — was so important that Pig Destroyer issued a press release to announce it (again, entirely inferred and not the purpose of the article) is so off-kilter that I can’t help but smile a bit.

But, if you had to pick anything to describe the chaotic-ping-ponging around the metal genre-sphere that Pig Destroyer‘s overall discography has represented, Off-Kilter may just work for what the band have made their bread and butter — flying right on the edge of grind, and pushing at its boundaries. In fact, it has often felt like every single Pig Destroyer release has been a soft re-launch of the band, as they’ve played with drone, doom, adding various electronic samples to the overall sound, all of it roughly translating to never quite knowing what you’ll get upon first picking up a new release, outside of the band’s trademark speed.

Which is why the group’s newest release Head Cage proves to be interesting, if not polarizing, in part because it represents the hardest right turn the band have made yet — like a car screeching against the outside railings of a highway off-ramp — taking on a groove-heavy sound in the midst of all that grind, resulting in an album that is overall far less chaotic than what they’ve put forth before, and also a hell of a lot of shameless “fun”. Continue reading »

Sep 182018


The night holds unmistakable allure for this Swedish band, whose name is Night Crowned and whose song “Nocturnal Pulse” we’re premiering today. But while feelings of isolation and gloom, and of the chilling presence of hungering shapes shifting in the darkness, come through in this intense new song, the music is also vibrantly and viciously explosive, like the incandescence of meteors (or wraiths) rushing through cold midnight skies.

Nocturnal Pulse” is one of three tracks on Night Crown‘s debut EP, Humanity Will Echo Out, which will be released on November 30 by Black Lion Records. But while Night Crowned may be a new formation, its line-up includes current and previous members of The Crown, Dark Funeral, Nightrage, and Cipher System, with a combined catalogue of more than 20 albums to their credit, and thus this new record is far from a fledgling flight — which will quickly become apparent as you listen. Continue reading »

Sep 182018


We’ve been following, and helping spread the word about, the Montreal death metal band Samskaras since 2014, premiering both a track from their debut single Consecrate and a song from their 2017 EP, Asunder. Now this talented duo — vocalist/guitarist/bassist Eric Burnet (ex-Derelict, Unburnt) and drummer Alex Dupras (Unhuman, Teramobil) — have recorded a new EP, and once again it’s our pleasure to premiere a song from it.

The new EP, Lithification, is set for release on October 26th and includes four tracks recorded with Cryptopsy’s Chris Donaldson at The Grid Studio in Montreal. The music represents a further stylistic expansion of the sounds displayed on previous releases, adding doses of black metal, doom, and even deathcore into the band’s head-spinning framework of progressive tech-death. Continue reading »

Sep 182018


I was afraid something unfortunate had happened to Verminlord — death, dismemberment, or even worse, a decision to stop writing and recording music. An entire year had passed since this usually prolific musician’s last release (a track recorded for a Crushing Intolerance compilation), a year of silence after a string of impressive recordings (all of which I’ve enjoyed and almost all of which I’ve reviewed) that left me sadly resigned to the likelihood that the project had ended.

Fortunately, none of my fears was true. Neither death nor dismemberment befell Verminlord, and the man behind the project (Teo Acosta) hasn’t put aside music in favor of more mundane pursuits. He just needed some time to try to clear his head, and now, following a move from the Pacific Northwest to southern California, he has given us a new three-song EP, which we’re now sharing with you on the day of its release. Continue reading »

Sep 172018


With a bit of spare time left to me this morning before having to turn to more mundane tasks, I picked the following four new songs from three forthcoming albums to share with you. All of them are dramatic, all have a kind of larger-than-life scale of intensity, and the first two come with lyric videos that are based on history, and slaughter. From a larger group of new tracks I heard this morning, they stuck together in my head, and so I’m sticking them together here. Because I’m hurrying, I’ll keep the words brief.


These long-running Dutch favorites of our site have a new album entitled V2 – Vergelding (“Retaliation”) scheduled for release on November 30th. It’s described as the follow-up to the band’s 2017 album Versvs and the second instalment of the V-Trilogy, dealing “with the aftermath of the events that formed the theme of the first part”. It also includes two live performances from Graspop Metal Meeting 2017. Continue reading »

Sep 172018


Out of one death comes a new birth. The untimely passing of Frank “Killjoy” Pucci this past spring brought a halt to work on a new album by his long-running death metal band Necrophagia. Necrophagia guitarist Serge Streltsov then chose to turn his full energies to what had begun as a black metal side-project, a band called Automb that he had formed with vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Danielle Evans. They enlisted the aid of Morbid Angel drummer Scott Fuller, and have completed work on a debut Automb album named Esoterica, which will be released on October 22nd through Satanath Records (Russia) and Final Gate Records (Germany).

Whether there will ever be another Necrophagia album is an unknown, but what is abundantly clear is that Automb have created a new album (dedicated to Killjoy) that’s fueled by passion and delivered with immense dark power. One attention-grabbing track from the album has already premiered (“Into Nothingness”), and today we present another: “Call of Hekate“. Continue reading »

Sep 172018


One strong clue to Nuisible’s world-view could be found in the title of their last release, 2016’s Inter feces et urinam nascimur (“We are born between feces and urine”). Their new album is named Slaves & Snakes, and based on the music, it’s an easy guess that this title sums up the character of the human condition after birth. It’s a bleak perspective, and one that this French band channel into sound with traumatizing fury.

In describing their brand of brutalizing heaviness the band make references to Tragedy, Darkthrone, and Entombed. Crust and hardcore form the backbone of their assaults, which are undergirded by massive low-end weight and driven to heights of murderous blackened frenzy. The music is as merciless as the open mouth of Hell and meaner than a pack of rabid dogs, and yet the band have a knack for embedding both rhythmic and melodic hooks in these ten mauling tracks, and of switching gears often enough to keep you in harness for the whole bruising ride. Continue reading »

Sep 172018


(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the debut album by the Spanish brutal death metal band Fixation On Suffering, which is set for release by Pathologically Explicit Recordings on October 28, 2018, but is streaming at Bandcamp now.)

This Sunday sitting in my favorite chair I am listening to some new albums, including the one I am going to talk about today by a new band (formed in 2016) called Fixation On Suffering. They hail from Spain and are signed to Pathologically Explicit Recordings.

This band made their debut back in 2017 with their EP Relevation of Tortured Imprisioment. It showcased a level of musicianship that was well-respected in the scene, and vocals that got the job done. This 15-minute EP was a good one, and made me look forward to new music, though I felt it did not get the promotion it needed and faded away behind so many other releases. So if you can, dear reader, give it a listen. Continue reading »

Sep 162018


Unlike most of the music I chose for Part 1 of today’s collection, black metal isn’t the dominant ingredient in everything I’ve included in this second Part, though it always plays a role. I’ve segmented these five choices by design, with some connections I hear between the first two, and some different connections between the last two, and some HelCarpathian Black Metal in the middle.


Ulthar‘s 2016 debut demo made quite a vivid impression on me, which I likened to “the musical equivalent of rabid wolves in a feeding frenzy”. Of that demo I further wrote: “The focal core of Ulthar’s music is corrosive, distorted, head-ramming, d-beat crust, but they spread out from there, incorporating bestial death bellows and deranged shrieking along with massive, spine-shattering chugs, violent blackened riff swarms, and melodically dismal and alien slower passages”. Continue reading »