Apr 172018

 

In August of last year we premiered a video for “We Are the End“, a tremendous new single by the electrifying Colorado death metal band Skinned. As we reported then, the song was to appear on Shadow Syndicate, the forthcoming fifth album in this band’s slaughtering career, which dates back to the mid-’90s. But the months passed, and the album didn’t arrive….

But now it finally has a label (Xenokorp Records) and a release date — May 4th – and today we get to bring you another video for another single from the album, this one called “As Their Bodies Fall“, which features guest vocals by Josh Welshman of Defeated Sanity and lyrics by Paul McGuire of Cerebral Bore, who also directed this lyric video.

Apr 172018

 

In November of 2015 we premiered an album named FVCK by Slovenia’s The Canyon Observer. As I wrote then: “It will fuck you up. It’s almost unremittingly intense — as heavy as a pile of corpses, as hallucinatory as a drug-induced nightmare, chaotic, deranged, and powerfully disorienting. It’s also spellbinding, a descent into a subterranean demolition zone that proves to be as hypnotic as it is harrowing.”

Today, we again find ourselves in the fortunate position of premiering an album by the same band. This new one is named NØLL, and it will be released on April 20 by Vox Project (France) and Kapa Records (Slovenia). For this new album, the band haven’t completely left behind their post-metal influences, but the new album amplifies the elements of sludge and doom in their sound, mixes in a variety of disturbing experimental textures, and even more dramatically increases, to truly stunning levels, their propensity for inflicting violence.

Apr 172018

 

Collectively, the founding three members of the Louisiana band Excommunicated have more than 75 years of experience in the metal underground. When you add in the balance of the line-up on their new album Death Devout, the combined experience goes well over the century mark. They’ve been involved in numerous other groups across a range of extreme genres, but it’s clear that they all have one passion in common, one that’s reflected in this new album’s title — a devotion to death (metal).

Excommunicated’s 2011 debut album, Skeleton Key, was a collection of 10 original songs conceptually making up “a dark treatise on the medieval Catholic Church; centering on corruption, abuse, as well as strange and ghoulish habits”, and they have plans to record a sequel in the near future, with the tentative title of The Exterminating Angel. But what they’ve done in the meantime, with Death Devout, is to pay homage to a pantheon of death metal greats. This is an album that consists mainly of cover songs, and we have the premiere of one of those covers today in advance of the album’s April 20 release date.

But before we get to that premiere, let’s take a look at the track list:

Apr 172018

 

We shall now have a block of Scottish noise.

SECTIONED

Sectioned have been releasing singles from their new album Annihilated, each one with its own separate photographic cover portraying images of decay and abandonment. They’re up to three singles now, the most recent of which is “Release“.

The appearance of these songs has been sort of like landmines going off. You’re walking along, minding your own business, and the next thing you know pieces of you are rocketing in all directions, enveloped in obliterating sound. “Release” is a particularly explosive experience — electrifying drumwork; punishing riffs you can feel in your bones; crazed string flurries; maniacal vocals. It savagely ravages, brutally pounds, and sprays blood like a hellish firehose.

Apr 172018

 

(On February 14th of this year, Vaelmyst released their debut EP, with cover art by Travis Smith, and now we present DGR’s review of this promising first release.)

 

This will always be something of a private entertainment given my residence in California, but sometimes the location of a band and the music they play can prove to be equal parts interesting and amusing. When you think of Southern California, oftentimes you get the gussied-up, made-for-tourism brochures-picture of the area in your mind. The usual checkboxes: nice weather, attractive people, palm trees galore, and glorious views of miles-long beaches. What you don’t expect are the heavy metal groups that appear from time to time with a distinctly European flavoring.

While that region doesn’t have a monopoly on the sound, you’d be forgiven upon listening to Vaelmyst’s first EP, Earthly Wounds, for assuming their location is somewhere a little bit more melancholy and with a whole lot more snow, rather than the wide concrete expanse of Los Angeles.

The new band, which counts amongst its members Ronny Lee Marks, Tom Warner, Jeff Martin, Jonathan V (artist-behind-the-curtain in a variety of Fredrik Norrman projects, the recent October Tide, for instance), and session drummer Mike Ponomarev, traverse multiple spheres within the melodeath genre on Earthly Wounds, with each of its five songs drawing from different inspiration than the one before it. Earthly Wounds has a solid through-line, but the different prongs of it point in multiple directions, which gives the sense that Vaelmyst are still trying to zero in to one overall sound.

Apr 172018

 

Let’s take a quick tour through the underground, shall we? Just to see what kind of carnage is happening down there right now, where the sun don’t shine and no one sleeps easy in their beds.

I collected music from 8 bands for this round-up. Normally I would have put all of it together in one humongous post. Today I decided to split it into four parts and scatter the parts around today in between the other things we’ve planned, which include a review and a bunch of premieres).

VERBERIS

If you have any kind of anxiety disorder, extreme fear of the unknown, clinical depression, or deep-seated paranoia, you probably shouldn’t listen to this first song. It’s such a brutally grim, tension-creating, tension-ratcheting, frightful experience that you’d better have your emotional moorings firmly in place before going into it.

Apr 162018

 

Without meaning to denigrate the music of bands whose music goes straight down the middle of specific metal genres, there’s an unusual level of interest (at least in my case) that’s consistently provoked by groups whose ambitions lead them to create intersections of multiple traditions, like audio Venn diagrams. Such amalgamations probably fail as often as they succeed, but when they do succeed, they can provide the kind of exciting surprises that really stand out. And that’s what the Portuguese band Scarificare have accomplished on their new album, Tilasm, which we’re premiering today with a full stream.

This is the band’s third album, but it reflects the work of a new line-up, with guitarist Quetzalcoatl (also the vocalist an keyboardist on this record) being the only mainstay since the band was formed; here, he is joined by bassist Eligos and drummer Luis Leal. And what they’ve done on Tilasm is to draw together elements of black metal, death metal, doom, and (for want of a better term) epic heavy metal to create a wonderfully dark and multi-faceted sequence of songs that are both atmospheric and explosively powerful.

Apr 162018

 

“Think Arsis meets Dissection” — with reminders of “Necrophagist, AngelCorpse, Obscura, Revocation, and Emperor“. When I saw that list of names in the PR recommendations for the debut album by Boston-based Unflesh, it took little else to kindle the fires of intrigue, though the album artwork by Junki Sakuraba certainly added a spark as well.

As it turns out, the music of Savior really does justify such an august group of references, just as it demonstrates both an evolution and an advance beyond the music of the band’s first EP, Transcendence to Eternal Obscurity. As the band’s founder Ryan Beevers accurately observes, the new album “is a lot darker and more aggressive than our previous EP”. And as a prime example of the new heights Unflesh have reached through their integration of technical death metal and black metal, we have the premiere of a track called “The Eradication Commenced” in advance of the album’s May 25 release date.

Apr 162018

 

(We are very happy to present the premiere stream of the new album by Claret Ash in advance of its April 30 release by Casus Belli Musica and Beverina, preceded by Andy Synn’s review.)

 

Reviewing this album has been something of a strange experience for me, since I’ve actually already written about half of it last year, when the first five tracks were released as The Great Adjudication: Fragment One.

Now though, with the addition of seven more songs (which, I suppose, collectively make up Fragment Two), the band are all set to release the complete version of The Great Adjudication next month in its full, seventy-five minute glory.

The big question of course, is whether the Australian quartet’s gamble is going to pay off, whether these additional tracks will serve to enhance and improve that initial experience, or whether their decision to split the record up into two separate sequences of songs – and then attempt to recombine them for the album proper – is going to blow up in their faces.

Apr 162018

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this interview with three members of the Tennessee funeral doom band Loss, whose new album Horizonless was released last May by Profound Lore. All photos accompanying the interview were made by Diana Lee Zadlo.)

 

Some doom bands are really slow in everything they do. The depressive, crushing, unearthly funeral doom band Loss (Nashville, Tennessee) was formed in 2004, yet their first full-length Despond appeared only in 2011. Well, the band recorded two demos before it and took part in three split-releases, but they really used their time in considering Despond. Six more years passed, and then we got the second album – Horizonless.

I’d like to point out that Loss recorded it with the original lineup, so that’s a good sign of healthy atmosphere, however it doesn’t change the fact that Loss’ sound is damned ruinous again… but what else could we expect?

We had a conversation with three of Loss’ members not so long ago. Here it is — John Anderson (bass), Tim Lewis (guitars), and Jay LeMair (drums) tell their story of Loss, Horizonless, and their 14 years of doom.

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