Apr 222015


(TheMadIsraeli introduces our premiere of another new song from the forthcoming album by Mendel, the solo project of Aborted guitarist Mendel Bij de Leij.)

Time to serve up another tasty morsel courtesy of Mendel. His new album Oblivion is coming soon and it’ll blow you away. We premiered the first single “Discover” earlier (here), and now we bring you the second track, “Horizon”.

This song is more of a display of Mendel’s riff-writing capability. This song lacks any notable lead playing, and instead is a technical riff showcase. There IS a solo in this song, but it’s a sax solo and it fits quite nicely with what he’s got going on. Let us know what you think.

Apr 222015


(Comrade Aleks returns with an interview of members of the Peruvian doom band Reino Ermitaño, whose latest album Aleks reviewed for us here.)

Reino Ermitaño are well-known as followers of the doom path. This Peruvian band was born about fourteen years ago and since then they’ve proved that they have good taste and know how to play solid and nontrivial doom metal. Their mix of traditional doom and traditional elements of their native culture make a good balance, and the vocals of Tania Duarte are one of band’s features along with hypnotic, driving riffs and highly skilled guitar solos.

Reino Ermitaño finished their 5th full-length record Conjuros de Poder in Autumn 2014 and brought the power of their spells to Europe in a brief tour right after that. It’s a band that always have something new to show, and its members always have something interesting to say. I got in touch with Marcos Coifman (bass) to do this interview, and Tania Duarte (vocals) and Julio Almeida (drums) joined our conversation, too.

Apr 212015


Just a couple of quick notes before I sign off for today:


I’ve already said my piece (here) about Four Phantoms, the new album by Seattle’s Bell Witch. In a nutshell:

Four Phantoms will dismantle your defenses, reduce your bulwarks against the bad days to a pool of molten slag, leave your vulnerabilities exposed, and touch those raw places you try to hide. How it can do this and yet leave you feeling transcendent is a wondrous mystery.

Apr 212015


(Our Kansas-based friend Derek Neibarger is not only the man behind the Godless Angel death metal project and the inventor of the Cat Hand Rest©, he also proved himself to be an energetic and successful interviewer during his recent day-long takeover of Metal Sucks [all the interviews are linked here]. In fact, he was so energetic in lining up interviews that a few responses arrived too late to be posted at MS — and so we get to be the lucky host of this interview of Fabricio Bertolozi of Dying Breed.)


When it comes to death metal there are certain geographic modifiers that immediately demand my full attention. Florida, Swedish, and Brazilian are geo tags that speak volumes to the death metal aficionado. Even before hearing a single note, these modifiers can provide a fairly accurate idea of how the band in question will sound, from the guitar tone and percussion to the lyrics and vocal style.

And so I was very excited when I came across a mention of the debut album from Brazilian death metallers DyingBreed in my Facebook newsfeed. The South American region has provided a great deal of killer music to my collection, and DyingBreed most definitely lived up to my expectations. Their music is raw and intense, overflowing with vicious riffs and ferocious roars.

I had the great fortune of being granted an interview with bassist Fabricio Bertolozi, who was more than happy to talk about the band’s formation, the new album, and what the future holds in store for DyingBreed.

Apr 212015


(DGR reviews the new EP by The Resistance.)

Torture Tactics is a weird release. The release itself isn’t weird, but as a whole Torture Tactics is an odd duck amongst EP releases. More on that in a second, as some folks may need some quick catching up.

Torture Tactics is the new EP by Gothenburg, Sweden-based melodeath supergroup The Resistance. If you’ve never crossed paths with The Resistance before, their members have quite the histories in other bands and somehow found their ways into one congealed group, constructed out of some fairly big names to make some pretty straightforward and punishing thrash and death.

For instance, in my case, The Resistance were a way to keep track of the Dimension Zero gentlemen, as both guitarists Jesper Strömblad — yes, he of ex-In Flames fame — and Glenn Ljungström have spent time within their ranks. Also on the roster, in terms of slightly more recognizable names, is Marco Aro, current vocalist for The Haunted – although at the time of The Resistance’s inception he hadn’t stepped back into that role yet.

Apr 212015


If you’re new to our site, “Shades of Black” is the name I put on round-ups of recommended new music when everything I’ve found coincidentally happens to have some connection to black metal. As you’re about to find out, my definition of “connection” covers a big swath of territory.

Some of the songs featured in this post come from albums that are already available for streaming in their entirety. I’m mentioning them now because I’m afraid if I defer writing anything until I can listen to the whole album and prepare a review, there’s a chance I won’t write anything at all.


The fact that my tastes in metal are so wide-ranging has good and bad consequences. I think it’s good for the site, because without trying very hard I can contribute variety to the music we feature simply by writing about what I like. It’s bad because I don’t have the kind of depth of knowledge that comes from really immersing myself in just one or two sub-genres.

Apr 202015


We’re premiering a new Six Feet Under song today. I’m actually not sure that 4/20 is the best date for the premiere of “Gruesome“. I was thinking that something like the birthday of Ted Bundy might make more sense.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t blaze one before listening to “Gruesome”, as long as you understand the risk of warfare in your brain chemistry — between the part of you that wants to sink into a couch and dial out for a pizza and the part, awakened by this song, that wants to skin your obnoxious neighbor with a lemon peeler and then set him on fire before he bleeds out.

Apr 202015


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Drowning the Light, which is available now on Bandcamp.)

With so many quality releases coming from Down Under these days, you have to think there must be something in the water…

Actually, with this being Australia, there probably IS something in the water, and it’s probably trying to kill you / eat you / lay eggs in you… so maybe it’s not all that surprising the country’s producing some absolutely top-notch Black and Death Metal at the moment.

Drowning The Light are far and away one of the most prolific acts on the scene today, with twelve (now thirteen) full-length albums to their name, along with an almost uncountable number of EPs and split releases, each one a brilliant distillation of blackened spite and vitriol, layered with an exquisite sheen of sorrow and melancholy.

Apr 202015


We discovered the Swiss band Schammasch through their 2014 album Contradiction (reviewed for us here by Andy Synn), which was one of last year’s best releases and quickly became a favorite of our site. Contradiction was the band’s second album, and now Prosthetic Records is poised to re-issue the band’s debut full-length Sic Lvceat Lvx in re-mastered form, and we’re privileged to bring you a stream of the second single from the album, a song named “INRI“.

The album was originally issued in 2010 as a limited-edition CD. In addition to having it re-mastered, Prosthetic has revamped the cover with striking artwork by Valnoir of Metastaszis (Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murder) and is making it available not only on CD but on vinyl, along with a double-sided t-shirt.

The band’s vocalist C.S.R. has described “INRI” as “one of the few groove songs we wrote so far — thrashy, simple, forthright and still a great one to play live.” As for the song’s title, he explains: “Unlike it’s usual meaning as the cross inscription, the letters “INRI” refer to the alchemist aphorism ‘Igne Natura Renovatur Integra,’ pointing out purification through the flame of consciousness.”

Apr 202015


(Our Kansas-based friend Derek Neibarger is not only the man behind the Godless Angel death metal project and the inventor of the Cat Hand Rest©, he also proved himself to be an energetic and successful interviewer during his recent day-long takeover of Metal Sucks [all the interviews are linked here]. In fact, he was so energetic in lining up interviews that a few responses arrived too late to be posted at MS — and so we get to be the lucky host of this interview of Steve Jansson of the amazing Crypt Sermon, whose debut album came out of nowhere to take the metal world by storm this year.)


In 2013 members of Infiltrator, TrenchRot, Labyrinthine, and Hivelords came together to form Crypt Sermon. The Philadelpia doom metaller’s debut album, Out of the Garden, was released February 24th.

A chance meeting with their drummer, Enrique Sagarnaga, led to the opportunity to ask guitarist Steve Jansson a few questions about the new album and the band’s future plans.


Derek: Hi! Thank you for granting me an interview! In February of this year you released your debut album, Out of the Garden, on Dark Descent Records. Are you happy with how it turned out? How has the response been to the album?

Steve: We are definitely really pleased with how the record came out. Of course when I listen back, there are things that I wish I had spent more time on and done a little better on my end, but that’s the name of the game. As far as the response, it’s been extremely positive and we are certainly stunned at how much attention the album has been getting.

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