Jan 192018


I can’t say there was really an organizing theme or strategy that motivated my decision to group together these three new additions to our Most Infectious Song list. They simply happened to be close together on my master list of candidates, which is alphabetized by band name. And they also happened to be easy choices for me… though all three tracks had serious competition among others on the albums from which they came.


It was a given. in my mind, that something from Immolation’s new album would be on this list. With Atonement, they proved again (as they have over and over) that they “are one of those untouchable bands”, to quote from TheMadIsraeli’s review of the album. They were pioneers, and they remain inimitable… and they just never give up, never surrendering to the weight of years or the burdens of expectations.

Sep 052017



(DGR has again stepped forward for round-up duty and has pulled together 9 new songs and videos that caught his eye between last week and yesterday.)

Last week saw a tremendous on-rush of heavy metal news, and of course, since many people knew that we here in the States (or at least many of us) would get a long three-day weekend, a lot of it hit in the back half of the week. As the site’s resident hoover vacuum, I’ve compiled an itemized list of nine… items… that caught my interest over the course of the week that we didn’t get a chance to cover that I will now lovingly shove right into your faces.

If you’re a big fan of death metal and its chugging ilk, this roundup is mostly for you, as it seemed like a large chunk of what I found came from that sphere of influence. There’s definitely the requisite world-traveling element as well, as we go from England to Canada to Italy to the States to Greece to Sweden (twice), and you can see where this is going from here. So let’s quit goofing off and get to the fun stuff.

Jun 062017


(KevinP brings us this interview of Enrico Schettino, guitarist of Italy’s Hideous Divinity, whose superb new album Adveniens was reviewed by us here and is available now via Unique Leader.)


K:  How does it feel to exceed expectations with the new album for the second time?

E:  It feels good indeed, if this is what people truly believe. I mean, to exceed expectations sometimes looks like the only way in death metal nowadays. Competition’s insane. And also, people’s judgments leave you disoriented.  This is our life, sometimes we are at ease with the pressure, it compels us to push the envelope.  Some other times, we decide to take a deep breath, a step back, and do our thing:  rewrite, relisten, erase, rewrite. “Ad libitum”.

In other words, I really didn’t know what “expectations” were!  Too many different awkward ideas about how a band should sound today.

Apr 082017


I had planned to conclude an ever-expanding round-up of new music and videos yesterday, but missed my target. Based on the gagging and gurgling sounds, I think my arrow hit someone in the throat.

So here we are, a day late, and late in the day also. Plus, it’s a Saturday, which means damn few people will even discover this post, and to exacerbate the problems I’ve thrown in music from ten bands, which is probably more than most people have patience for. Oh, but it could have been so much longer! I still have much more music to recommend, some of which will be in tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK feature.

Because this third part of the week-long round-up has metastasized to such a great extent, I’m dividing the tumor evenly into two parts, which means there will be a Part 4 a bit later today — and I’ll also be brief with my own words. Enjoy the music… and do share your own reactions in the Comment section if you’re so inclined.


Vallenfyre‘s new album is Fear Those Who Fear Him, set for release by Century Media on June 2nd. This is an eagerly awaited return from one of our favorite bands, and the video below is for the album’s first single, “Kill All Your Masters”.

Mar 282017


(DGR turns in one of his typically detailed reviews, this time focusing on the new album by Italy’s Hideous Divinity.)

I tried something different with my first few listens of the new Hideous Divinity album Adveniens. I put the whole thing into a shuffled order, so that the first few times Adveniens breathed life into my speakers, it was done in a random order each time. I did so because I wanted to really see what songs captured my attention, which ones really reached out into the ether and punched me hard enough to make me check what song I was on.

I say this, in part, because the branches of the hyperblasting brutal-death metal tree that Hideous Divinity hail from are many, and at times it can be difficult for bands to stick out. Now three albums deep, Hideous Divinity have never had too much of an issue with it — having written their music like lyrical mad scientists unleashed upon the brutal death world — but the line between a solid hunk of speedy and caveman-level groove-heavy death metal and the monotonous whirring of a truck engine can be a little thin, and even the best of bands have failed the wire-walking act and fallen into that crevasse before. Adveniens does not.

Mar 232017


I have a much-delayed round-up of new music to post later today. I resisted the desire to make it even longer by including still more new music that surfaced since I first began putting it together three days ago. But I don’t want to overlook this new song by the Italian band Hideous Divinity that premiered yesterday at two European sites. The song is “Angel of Revolution“, and it’s from the band’s new album Adveniens, which will be released on April 28 by Unique Leader in the U.S. and Everlasting Spew in Europe.

This new track follows another one named “Ages Die” that debuted earlier this month, and in case you missed that one, I’ve included it below as well. I’ll also share a comment about the newest song by guitarist Enrico Schettino:

Mar 072017


As I looked through my list of candidates for a SEEN AND HEARD round-up, and having siphoned off some of the more blackened entries for a continuation of the latest SHADES OF BLACK column, it dawned on me that many of the remaining songs were of a deathly variety. And so I’ve compiled them here with a different post title. Different forms of death, to be sure, but plenty of heaviness and savagery is to be found below.


Tremendum is the name of the new album by the Polish leviathans (note, I did not say “behemoths”) in Hate. It will be released on May 5 by Napalm Records. This morning the band debuted a lyric video for the first single from the album, a track called “Asuric Being“.

Feb 042017


It’s been a crazy week for this half-witted editor. Interferences by my fucking day job coupled with interferences by my non-blogging personal life prevented me from posting any news and new-music round-ups all week. That means I’ve accumulated an enormous list of things since last weekend. Unfortunately, I still won’t have time to catch up this weekend.

I’ve got work I need to do today for an annual event I’m attending tonight with my spouse, and based on past experience, I’ll be in no condition to write anything on Sunday morning. I’ve agreed to post one premiere tomorrow, which I’ll get ready today, but there probably won’t be anything else on the site tomorrow. Maybe the coming week will be less crazy and I can do a delayed Shades of Black thing and/or a “That’s Metal!” post after the new week begins.

Okay, enough with the excuses. On to a regrettably small but diverse collection of new things I noticed last week.


When I first started using the title “Seen and Heard“, it was because I intended to include both news about, and artwork from, new albums, even when there was nothing yet to hear, as well as streams of new songs. And I have items in both categories to recommend today in this large collection, beginning with the artwork at the top of this post.

Nov 222016



I bet you thought we were finished posting for this Tuesday. Nope, I just got waylaid by my day job on the way to finishing this thing, but now having surmounted those obstacles, I give you this round-up.

This collection a bit different from the norm, in that I’m including a couple of items that aren’t hot off the presses. But we’ll begin with two that are, and then conclude with a new Megamix treat from Crypticus that you probably won’t hear anywhere else.


The artwork up there is by one of my favorite metal artists, Berlin-based painter Eliran Kantor. I’ve already posted it on our site’s Facebook page and made it the cover photo on my personal page. How could I not put it here as well? The artist describes it as “an apocalyptic homage to Vermeer’s ‘The Astronomer'” — and here’s what that famous work (completed in 1668 and on display at the Louvre in Paris) looks like:

May 072016

Denouncement Pyre-Black Sun Unbound


Some people may have noticed that I failed to compile even one round-up of new music all of this past week (unless you count that little Warriors in Forests thing). I’ve still been spending hours every afternoon or evening in a hospital ICU trying to help support my injured friend and her family.

For those of you who have been following my scattered references to this tragedy, my friend came out of her coma yesterday, though she still drifts in and out of consciousness and is now beset with other medical issues in addition to her injury.  It’s too soon to tell exactly how seriously impaired she will be as a result of the injury to her brain.  She can answer some simple yes or no questions by moving her fingers or foot, but she hasn’t attempted to speak and doesn’t move much. I’m trying to remain hopeful, but this is still heart-breaking.

Though I haven’t had time to do much for NCS this week besides write introductions to premieres, I have been keeping a list of new song and album streams and videos that I’ve noticed. As usual, there’s a shitload of them, far too many to write about in one post. I picked a handful to include in this post (and Austin Weber wrote an introduction to one of them as well). I’m also planning to prepare a Shades of Black post for tomorrow to collect others.

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