Mar 192018


(The Canadian death metal wizards in Augury will be releasing a new album on March 30 via The Artisan Era, and today we present DGR’s extensive review of this eagerly awaited new work.)


This first third of 2018 is proving to be an insane time for groups coming back from the obscure voids of space to which they had retreated, and the angular prog-tech-death madness that Augury specializes in is the latest example of that trend. Prior to the March 30 release of the band’s upcoming album Illusive Golden Age, the gap between their previous two releases Concealed and Fragmentary Evidence was a little under five years. When Illusive Golden Age sees the light of day via The Artisan Era, that previous gap will have been eclipsed, as Illusive Golden Age comes sailing in at a little under nine years since Augury’s last disc.

Through Illusive Golden Age’s eight songs, Augury basically pick up right where they left off. By the opening notes of its title song, there is absolutely no need to make guesses about whether this is an Augury disc or not — everything is served up on an incredibly dense plate from moment one, and from there Augury zig-zag through an increasingly complicated obstacle course, purpose-built to leave its listeners with the equivalent of auditory whiplash.

Mar 052018


(This is the third and final part of DGR’s round-up of selected new songs and videos that appeared over the last couple of weeks. You can find Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.)


Venom Prison – Devoid (Live)

The last time we checked in with Venom Prison was in late January, to spread the news of the February 23rd Prosthetic Records re-release of their 2016 album, Animus, and the group’s music video for the song “Immanetize Eschaton”. That deluxe edition of Animus is now out with five live songs added to it as a bonus disc, and the group unveiled a live-shot video for one of those songs, “Devoid“, right around that time.

Mar 052018


(This is the second part of DGR’s round-up of selected new songs and videos that appeared over the last couple of weeks. You can find Part 1 here.)


Inferi – Behold The Bearer Of Light

Right now, the hyperspeed tech-death, melodic-death, black-death, everything-kitchen-sink-and-broken-down-freezer-in-the-backyard metal crew of Inferi are out on the road, touring with Aethere, Alterbeast, and Grindmother as part of Alterbeast’s Feast album release tour. It’s been four years since the group’s last incredibly packed album The Path Of Apotheosis, but those moments of silence shall soon wane as the group have an upcoming April 21st release in the form of Revenant.

Feb 282018


(Here’s DGR’s review of the new album by Wake from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.)


Some albums take a while to review. On a personal note: I’ve always been the type to really want to listen to a disc a ton, really learn what each song is about, how it flows, get a general sense of what informed the disc, before writing about it.

Going from a first glance often feels like criminally short-changing bands sometimes, although by that same token the first impression can also be an immensely valuable take on things in a world where time is incredibly limited, and some — like many of our readers here, given the constant refrains about how much music we post — have limited listening time. So it doesn’t hurt to have a sense of immediacy in the delivery.

And therein lies the opposing side of the “album that takes a while to review”. You have the ones that are so up-front, so immediate, the kind that grab you by the throat and ragdoll you around the room so quickly that you can’t help but almost immediately lock-in with the group’s chosen sense of ferocity. The urgency with which the material is delivered becomes the driving force behind it.

Those album’s don’t take nearly as long, because as a listener you can recognize every aspect and every weapon deployed from moment one, and from there the experience becomes more about how a band uses them and with what amount of lethal auditory force. And that brings us to the recently released Misery Rites, by Canadian noise-heavy grinders Wake.

Feb 272018


(Michigan’s seafaring Dagon have set sail again after seven years ashore, and DGR follows along in their wake like a gleeful porpoise with this detailed review.)


Few albums out there start with a song quite as victorious as Dagon’s Back To The Sea does. Its title track is an anthemic opening number, leading off the lengthy excursion back into the world of nautically themed melo-death from the Lansing, Michigan based group after a seven-year absence. Holding more thinly veiled symbolism than one might expect from a band who’ve made their headway in the metal scene by pulling tales from mythology, the history of piracy, and general apocalyptic tales of the ocean, the song “Back To The Sea” quickly throws aside all pretention in favor of a quick-moving guitar part and a constant refrain of “going back, back to the sea!”, which is an event that has been a long time coming for fans of the band.

The comeback disc is a hard trick to execute, but after a succesful crowdfunding campaign (which we posted about here, mostly to get folks some foam shark fins because the merchandising opportunity amused us) the group, who had developed a bit of a cult following after the release of their 2009 album Terraphobic and its followup EP, 2011’s Vindication, have managed to do just that. Back To The Sea contains 13 songs of hydro-powered, lead-guitar-charged melodeath led by a combo of cat-shrieking highs from drummer Truck and hefty low growls from bassist Randall, and while it’s not exactly breaking the mold genre-wise, it proves to be a whole hell of a lot of fun.

Feb 202018


(We present DGR’s review of the new album by the Swedish/Finnish trio Afgrund, which was released last month.)


There’s already been a couple of victorious return-from-the-ashes releases so far in 2018, and one of the earliest — after a long period of silence — was on January 5th, courtesy of Swedish/Finnish grind collective Afgrund.

Still somewhat embroiled in a dispute with others in their history over who owns the name has resulted in potentially two versions of the band existing. The three-piece group presented here consists of founding and long-time members Andy, Pat, and Panu, who among the three of them were with the band in one form or another from their first releases up to the 2012 album, The Age Of Dumb. On January 5th, this group returned under the Afgrund banner with a new album, eleven tracks jammed into a little over twenty-three minutes, delivering a dark and pessimistic fiery blast of grind-and-punk under the title The Dystopian.

The Dystopian feels like Afgrund returning home in more ways than one, not only because the lineup consists of founding members but also in the way The Dystopian moves and what it consists of. It sounds like Afgrund knocking down all of their old favorites all over again, reaching into a comfortably familiar bag of tricks in order to dispense high-speed blasts and yells about the world of today. The Dystopian is Afgrund performing a delicate balancing act, viewing the world through a current lens yet throwing themselves back in time in order to effectively restart the band.

Feb 052018

(This is the second part of a new-music round-up compiled by DGR. You can find Part 1 at this location.)


The Kennedy Veil – Bloodletting North America Full Set Live

We ended the first part of this collection with a live music video from Rotting Christ, and speaking of live shows, let’s check in with a Sacramento death metal crew who also wound up with a recorded live show in 2017. This one is courtesy of The Kennedy Veil, whose label Unique Leader recently uploaded the twenty-some-odd-minute full set from when the band were on opening tour duties for the tech-death-packed Bloodletting North America tour, which saw them playing alongside the likes of Origin, Archspire, Dyscarnate, and Defeated Sanity.

Feb 052018


(DGR compiled a round-up of new music to launch our Monday at NCS, an eight-song collection that we’ve divided into two parts, with Part Two slated to come very quickly after this first installment.)


I’m not going to lie to you all, I’ve been pretty distracted around the NCS office as of late. Usually I’ve unleashed a handful of ridiculous-length reviews by this point, but so far the beginning of 2018 has had your buddy here firmly ensconced in the news trenches, freeing up some of the other folks around here to fully dive into the deep and murky waters of all things underground and unlistenable.

It doesn’t help that I’ve also had tabs open alongside the news haul consisting of album streams from Dagon’s victorious return on Back To The Sea, Bloodshot Dawn’s surprisingly tech-death oriented ReanimationAfgrund’s mean and urgently-now The Dystopian, and even the occasional leap back into 2017 with Ireland’s Weed Priest and their stoner doom throwback; all of which are seeing constant listens and hopefully time to deep-dive in the near future. Shit, there is even a new Apophys disc entitled Devoratis that we covered very briefly but need to dive back into.

Of course, now that all of that has been written down, the news flood will get worse and I’ll get something done just in time to watch the moon finally escape Earth’s gravity and go sailing off into space as we’re devoured by the Sun’s outer layers as it goes red giant.

But enough jokes about things that seem preferable to going outside and facing the world. Let’s get on with the music.

Jan 292018


(DGR presents the following round-up of new music.)


My last appearance with a news roundup was, admittedly, a little ridiculous. I will say, however, that I was not initially aware it had gotten so huge as I just kept adding things that I had noticed we had missed in my vain effort to cover everything I thought the NCS crowd might be interested in.

The nice thing about that method, though, is that the act of doing so with such a large dragnet, combined with the massive three-part Shades Of Black post that went up shortly after, means that we’re able to keep this roundup small, covering just three groups that barely missed the bus when those posts went up. One in particular was released right after the post that was perfect for it went up.

So, we return once again to do a little globe-trotting, skirting around the edges of heavy metal and talking about three more newly released songs that have popped up over the past week and a half.

Jan 222018



(DGR has stepped into the round-up void left by our editor this past week and has produced a three-part collection of recent songs and videos. Parts 1 and 2 are here and here.)


Three weeks into January, and judging by the handful of massive Seen and Heard and Overflowing Streams posts we’ve had to put up, you could say that we’ve managed to the get ourselves into gear as our beloved musical genre has already offloaded numerous news bits upon us in the new year.

I, your ever-faithful servant, have also been doing my best to go along with my ragged fish net and catch everything that might’ve slipped by us — which in the case of this post dates back to last week and then some.

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