Dec 092015

Cannibal Corpse tour


Here’s a round-up of news, new album artwork, and a couple of new songs I spotted over the last 24 hours.


We’ll start with some tourism news: Yesterday it was announced that Cannibal Corpse will be headlining a big North American tour that begins on February 12 and runs through March 20. And the direct support for the tour is pretty eye-popping: Obituary, Cryptopsy, and Abysmal Dawn will be along for the ride.

Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 11, at local and national ticket outlets. Here’s the schedule, which I copied and pasted from Blabbermouth:

Jan 052015


Today we present Part 12 in the continuing rollout of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

Today’s songs come from two outstanding albums by death metal bands who are quite skilled at putting a vigorous bludgeoning on your ass — and doing it in the context of actual songs that prove to be quite memorable.


Abysmal Dawn’s Obsolescence came loaded with highly infectious material, and so morbid that it might have been hand-delivered by the grim reaper. I think “Inanimate” is the most infectious track on the album, but only by a hair. It had lots of competition all around it.

Nov 072014


(Andy Synn delivers three reviews for three very strong new albums — with accompanying full-album streams.)

Let me level with you. At the start of 2014 I was convinced that this was going to be Black Metal’s year. There have been so many frankly awesome albums from across the kvlt-spectrum, from the Post- to the Progressive to the Necro, that, in truth, I just didn’t see how Death Metal was going to keep up.

But as the months have ticked by I’ve seen a slow and steady resurgence from the DM crowd. From the progressive wizardry of bands like Allegaeon and Beyond Creation to the shameless brutality of Aborted and Beneath… from the old-school ugliness of Cannibal Corpse and Vader, to the megaton grooves of modern legends like Misery Index and Decapitated… it’s been an incredible fight back… and that’s without even mentioning the wealth of underground and underappreciated deathsters toiling away in relative obscurity!

Now, since I’ve been so busy over the last couple of months, there’s been a number of recent releases I’ve simply not had the chance to celebrate properly. Which upsets me. On a deep and fundamental level. And this simply will not stand.

So, to compensate, here’s three albums, arranged in order of release and all available to stream right now, that have been making the tail-end of 2014 a darker, deathlier place for me!

Nov 072014


We probably devote more attention to album art than the average metal blog, and the Swedish artist Pär Olofsson has been one of our favorites for years. His cover for Obsolescence, the new album by Abysmal Dawn, is a striking example of his work — and the album is damned striking, too.

So it’s a genuine treat for us to bring you this feature, narrated by Pär Olofsson and Abysmal Dawn vocalist/guitarist Charles Elliott, about how the album art evolved, with step by step images of the artwork, as it eventually took shape in the exchange of ideas between the two.

If you haven’t yet listened to Obsolescence, which is out now on Relapse Records, do yourself a favor and dive into that (you can here it and buy it on Bandcamp). It’s superb. You can find out more about the band and the artist via these links — and at the end of this post, check out their new video for the song “Inanimate”:

Oct 222014

Byzantine, celebrating

Here are a few things that caught my eye yesterday.


There aren’t many bands that all the long-tenured writers at this site like, but West Virginia’s Byzantine are one of them. Their 2013 comeback album got loads of praise here and elsewhere, and so we were stoked to find out that the band had launched a crowd-funding campaign to help finance production of a new album — To Release Is To Resolve.

That campaign surpassed its goal (though contributions can still be made here, which will get you a pre-order of the album), and yesterday brought the announcement that the band have now finished recording all the music for the new record, with only Chris “OJ” Ojeda’s vocal tracking left to be done. But one thing will happen first — and that’s the second piece of Byzantine news we want to spread around: Beginning today, the band are embarking on a tour that will run through the end of October, with Thy Will Be Done and IKILLYA. The dates are after the jump…

Sep 242014

This has been a big day for song and video premieres. In fact, all we’ve done today is post about song and video premieres. And in this post you’ll find three more.


As previously reported (with glee), Abysmal Dawn have a new album named Obsolescence coming out October 24 (Ger/Benelux/Finland) and October 27 (US/UK/World). It will be released by Relapse Records on CD, LP, and digitally. About an hour ago the band dropped another new song from the album named “The Inevitable Return To Darkness”.

It’s one heavy-assed ripper that kicks open the door to a death metal blast furnace. It’s fully loaded with technically impressive (and inventive) instrumental performances and voracious vocal filth, and it includes some cool dual-guitar harmony. Also, I can pretty much guarantee you’re going to want to bang your head like a bobble-head on a roller-coaster.

Aug 112014

Collected in this post you will find news of three U.S. or North American tours. News about the first two is still somewhat incomplete, and I’m a bit late reporting on the third one. All three are enticing.


Last month news surfaced about a tour to be headlined by Deicide, named after their most recent album, In the Minds of Evil. Last night Inquisition posted an announcement on their Facebook page about the tour, which was interesting because when the tour was announced last month Marduk was named as one of the support bands, but now it appears that Marduk are out and Inquisition are in. In addition, Abysmal Dawn have been added to the line-up. Here’s the complete list of bands:


An updated official tour flyer hasn’t been released yet, so I decided to use a photo of an embryo of the short-tailed fruit bat (embryonic stage 19).

Inquisition also included an initial schedule of dates in their FB post, while noting that more dates will be added. Here’s the schedule so far:

Aug 072014

Jet-setter that I am, I’m on the road again this week in my old hometown of Austin, Texas. Until last night I haven’t had as much time as usual to check out new music or write about it. I missed a lot, and am trying to catch up before having to leave the world of metal for the rest of today.

I discovered so many things I want to bring to your attention that I’ve divided them into three parts, this being the second (Part 1 is here). The first three items in this round-up are mainly visual.


Those long-running Floridian death kings Obituary have a new album named Inked In Blood coming out on October 28 via Relapse Records, and yesterday the cover art was revealed. As you can see, it’s brutal. The art is by Andreas Marschall. I’m hoping for equally brutal music.

Jul 022013

It’s been a long time coming, but California’s Abysmal Dawn have just premiered their official video for “In Service of Time”, a track from their very strong 2011 album Leveling the Plane of Existence. The video was self-financed, and the production apparently encountered a variety of hurdles, with the final creation taking more than a year to complete. But everyone involved should be proud, because it’s very cool to watch.

Set in a dystopian urban future that’s intentionally reminiscent of the classic German silent film Metropolis, the video tells a tale of dehumanization and ultimately rebellion (and it may remind other viewers unfamiliar with Metropolis of an updated Bride of Frankenstein story, too). Kudos to director Robert Mestas for creating such an eye-catching work, and to the band for their perseverance.

With about two years having passed since the album’s release, you’re probably already familiar with the song, but if you’re not, that’s an added treat that lies in store for you. Check out the music and the visuals next….

Mar 082012

This is me doing something I should have done long ago. The story begins in May 2011, when my former NCS comrade IntoTheDarkness alerted me to the existence of a band called Bewilderbiest, which was sufficiently intriguing that I promptly wrote this post about them. Despite the absence of any music at that time, the news was intriguing because the band included Sacha Dunable  (Intronaut, Graviton),  Charles Elliott (Abysmal Dawn), Derek Rydquist (ex-The Faceless), and Derek Donley (National Sunday Law, Graviton).

Later I read that the band had changed their name to Bereft and had signed with The End Records to release an album called Leichenhaus (which is the German word for “mortuary”). Later still, I heard a song from the album called “Withered Efflorescence”, which really made an impact. Even later still, MetalSucks premiered another song called “The Coldest Orchestra”, which the band have now added to their Facebook song-player. More impact.

So I decided it was really time to say something at NCS about the band and the music. The first thing to understand about the music is that it’s very different from anything you may have heard by Intronaut, Graviton, or Abysmal Dawn. Here’s Sacha Dunable’s explanation of the band’s origins (from that MetalSucks post):

“Back in 2008, around the time Intronaut’s Prehistoricisms was released, I was unemployed for about four months, and had very little to do with myself besides stay home and write music all day. One thing I did to stay semi-productive was sit in my room and record music for a few fictitious one-man bands. The only one that wasn’t completely embarrassing was basically me ripping off a bunch of old doom metal records that I used to be obsessed with. Four years later, I decided to get some friends together and make it into what is now Bereft.”

That sounds very casual, very oft-hand . . . sitting around the house with nothing else to do . . . ripping off old doom records . . . grabbing some friends and doing some recording. Either there’s a lot of humility in those words, or he’s just embarrassingly talented (and I’m voting for the latter), because Bereft’s music is really good.

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