Dec 252015

Firespawn-Shadow Realms

 

Here’s the second installment in our “most infectious song” list. When you hear them, you might suspect that I hand-picked this particular trio to coincide with this particular day — and you would be right!

FIRESPAWN

I didn’t give this band enough attention this fall. Their debut album Shadow Realms detonated late in the year, and I’m still picking the shrapnel out of my head. It was a surprise in more ways than one — the quality was no surprise, given the line-up of the band, but the style of the music was a surprise (given the line-up of the band):

Alex Friberg (Necrophobic, Unleashed) (bass)
Victor Brandt (Dominion, Entombed A.D.) (guitars)
LG Petrov (Entombed A.D.) (vocals)
Fredrik Folkare (Unleashed, Necrophobic) (guitars)
Matte Modin (Skineater, Raised Fist, Defleshed) (drums)

Sep 302015

Stalingrad

 

(This is Part II of a multi-part article prepared by our Russian friend Comrade Aleks. Part I is here.)

This is the second part of an article describing events that took place on the Eastern Front of World War II through the eyes of few extreme metal bands. This part is written with the musical help of Heaven Shall Burn, Marduk, Jucifer, Hell’s Domain, Vergeltung, and Tank; also here you will find exclusive comments from Darknation, Tales of Darknord, and Caducity… and some historical explanations from Wikipedia, of course, as such huge text would be pretty difficult for me to write and it could eat much more time.

Feb 022015

 

(KevinP inaugurates a new feature in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the preceding month.)

Welcome to my feature on the best releases of each month.  I’m calling this “Albums of the Month”, but demo’s, EP’s, splits, etc., are also viable candidates, as long as the material is good enough.  Ideally this will be posted during the last week of the month we are discussing, but this time life got in the way for yours truly and our beloved CEO.

Anyways, please feel free to share you comments, thoughts and favorite releases in the comments section below.

5.  Mindful of Pripyat…and Deeper, I Drown in Doom (EP)

For being around such a short period of time (formed in 2014), it’s quite stunning how professional and tight the sound is from this Italian trio.  Think Terrorizer and early Carcass with absolute razor precision backed by a solid production. 

Jan 232015

Well, the last time I did what I’m about to do, I had breaking news and new music concerning 18 bands that all became public in a single day. That was two days ago. And now I’ve got a collection of song streams and videos from 19 bands that I spotted since I wrote that last post, all of which I think are worth recommending.

Most of what’s in here is brand new; a few of songs are simply new to me. Once again, because this collection is so overstuffed, I’m presenting what I found with a minimum of commentary… in alphabetical order by band name.

Jan 132015

 

(Andy Synn wrote this review of the new album by the almighty Marduk.)

I think few people would argue that Marduk have long since established themselves as Black Metal legends. With a career lasting 25 years (and counting) and incorporating thirteen full-length studio albums as well as numerous EPs, live albums, and compilations, the Swedish war-dogs have proven themselves time and time again as a force to be reckoned with.

Moreover, there’s a good argument to be made that albums like Opus Nocturne, Heaven Shall Burn…, and Nightwing (and, I would argue, Rom 5:12) are – like them or not — practically legendary themselves, and often cited as key influences and cornerstones of the genre by both bands and fans alike.

So, with such a grand, macabre discography under their collective (bullet) belt, you might wonder where exactly does a new record fit, in the grand scheme of things?

Dec 102014

 

Things have been busy around our metallic island, and I’m afraid I still haven’t been able to catch up on all the new songs and videos I want to hear that have rolled out over the last week. But rather than just throw my hands up in surrender, I at least want to call your attention to two new tracks I heard this morning that brightened my day. And by “brightened”, I mean “blew it to smithereens”.

SICKENING

Man, times flies. More than four years have passed since our last (and only) mention of this band from Firenze, Italy. Four years ago I posted about a song from their then-forthcoming second album (Against the Wall of Pretense), likening it to “the demonic offspring of some unspeakable three-way orgy among SuffocationDying Fetus, and Devourment.” Now, Sickening have finished recording a third full-length entitled The Beyond, which is described as a concept album based on the 1981 horror movie of the same name directed by Lucio Fulci.

Nov 282014

 

Here in the U.S. the day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, when people spend money they don’t have buying gifts for other people who don’t need them. It puts retailers in the black and consumers in the red. Ho Ho Ho and Hail Santa! How about some black metal instead?

MARDUK

As previously reported in these pages, Sweden’s Marduk will be releasing Frontschwein, their 13th studio album, via Century Media in January. Yesterday the band revealed the cover art and track listing and began streaming a new song named “Rope of Regret”.

Oct 062014

 

(Leperkahn once again steps up to the plate during my round-up hiatus with a collection of noteworthy news and new music.)

MARDUK

You can pretty much assume that a new Marduk record will kick ass 100% of the time. Their most recent full-length, Serpent Sermon, is certainly a better testament to that than most of their releases. Luckily for us, January 2015 will give us yet another dose of their feral, maniacal black metal, entitled Front Schwein. I literally don’t know anything else about the record, other than my hypothesis that it’ll be one of the better records January offers. Get psyched.

[Editor’s intrusion: “schwein” is German for pig, and “frontschwein” seems to be an expression for the grunts at the front in wartime.]

https://www.facebook.com/Mardukofficial
http://marduk.nu/

Sep 042013

(Andy Synn delivers this review of the second day at the recently completed Summer Breeze festival in Germany, and again provides video of the performances. To see his review of the festival’s first day, go here. We’ll have Part 3 of his review tomorrow.)

Day 2 of the festival kicked off (for me at least) with some pure blackened misanthropy courtesy of France’s Merrimack who proceeded to shake the cobwebs out of everyone’s brains with an esoteric take on panzerfaust black metal blasting that recalls Deathspell Omega in places (though considerably more focussed and violent).

The band’s frontman Vestal was a particularly difficult figure to look away from, screeching his savage hymns of depravity whilst physically flagellating himself with both his mic and his bare fists. Combine this with the band’s relentless delivery – all jagged edges and harsh, ecliptic angles, and you get one singularly uncomfortable, yet incredibly compelling, live experience.

May 022013

(Here’s another in Andy Synn’s irregular series of things that come in five’s.)

That’s right, with this edition of the column I’m going to try and convince you that your opinions are wrong, and break the Pavlovian conditioning that has led you all to unfairly loathe some genuinely fine albums.

But… this is the internet… so none of that’s probably going to happen.

A little context first off though. A couple of days back I was listening to the new Cryptopsy album (still stunning btw) and suddenly thought to myself, “You know what, I haven’t listened to The Unspoken King in forever… surely it’s not as bad as I remember?”.

And you know what… it is. Ok, so it has a couple of solid songs, and a few that would be pretty good if they weren’t Cryptopsy songs, but overall… wow… it really is bad.

But it did get me thinking about albums towards which the general public consensus is largely negative (often influenced strongly by prevailing media portrayals, and sometimes out and out misrepresentations) but which I think deserve a renaissance, now that the initial furore has died down.

So here I present five of my picks for albums which have been castigated and criticised by the metal community at large, sometimes seemingly without even listening to the actual music, but which I think are actually pretty brilliant, once you get past all the politics and preconceptions. In fact, having spoken to several people about some of these albums, it seems a lot of folks “remember” the albums as being bad, but can’t tell you much about when, or even if, they’ve actually listened to them. So here I intend to rectify that.

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