Sep 132019


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by the Swiss band Voice of Ruin, which is set for release on September 27th by Tenacity Music.)

Voice Of Ruin is a band that I get A LOT of promo and PR-related material about in my NCS inbox, and have since the band came about in 2014.  I’ve, like, SORT of listened to these guys?  But have never given them much of a chance because I’ve been confused by the references to melodic death metal, black metal, thrash metal, and metalcore, all of which have been attached to their name.

However, after receiving a promo for the band’s upcoming record Acheron, I decided why the fuck not, I’m going to sit down and really take in an album from these guys for the first time. Continue reading »

Sep 132019


(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Norwegian destroyers Blood Red Throne, which is being released today by Mighty Music.)

Now, I’m aware that I’ve caused a fair bit of controversy and upset over the last few weeks.

And I apologise for nothing.

But perhaps now it’s time for us (well, most of us, some people just won’t let things go) to put aside our differences and begin the healing process.

And what’s more healing than a good dose of Death Metal? Continue reading »

Sep 132019


The four marauders in Wayward Dawn from Skanderborg, Denmark, may not be grizzled veterans (in fact, their ages range from 19 to 21), but you’d never guess that from listening to their music. The brand of death metal they’ve embraced is ferociously powerful, demonically sinister, furiously enraged, and delivered with explosive energy. And they’ve already demonstrated precocious song-writing talent, injecting their slaughtering assaults with booming grooves and the kind of riffs that get stuck in a listener’s head.

Wayward Dawn made their mark last year with their debut album, Soil Organic Matter, and participated in a four-way split this past spring (Carriers of the Disease), and now on this lucky Friday the 13th, they’re releasing a new single through Mighty Music named “Prophet“. To commemorate the occasion we’re cooperating with a few other sites to present the debut of the song through a video that captures the band’s live energy. Continue reading »

Sep 122019

Hour of Penance


Much as I hate to do this, I’m going to resort to the format I used last Saturday when I was similarly pressed for time — just serve up some of the new songs and videos I’d like to recommend from what I’ve encountered this week, sans verbiage from me (except in one case). I’m probably going to do the same thing tomorrow, because I have a long list of recommendations.

My shortage of time is going to persist from now through the weekend, thanks to travel, meetings, and nose-to-the-grindstone efforts required by that thing that pays all the bills around here (my fucking day job). Continue reading »

Sep 122019


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by Imperium Dekadenz, which was released on August 30 by Napalm Records.)

I’ve known the name Imperium Dekadenz for quite a number of years but never checked them out. Their music was classified as black metal, which I hated in my early years as a fledgling metalhead and later on because the label “atmospheric black metal” in particular seemed to be frequently assigned to the absolute worst of bedroom production and gimmicky tripe.

Nevertheless, with the impending release of their new album I decided to check them out for the first time ever, because my metal palate has expanded and because, while atmospheric black metal as a label can still be associated with some of the worst music I’ve heard in my life, I’ve discovered that it also harbors an interesting form of black metal, one that embraces the vocal style and the vibe of occult or generally spiritualist mysticism, but is just doomy melodic death metal when you really break it down. Continue reading »

Sep 122019


You scuffle along dirty sidewalks that edge mean streets, kicking the detritus in front of you, head down and lost in your own gloomy and frustrated thoughts. Suddenly the gloom becomes a fury. Maybe you’ve walked right into someone else in your blind momentum, and the shock springs a fragile lock in your head. Maybe everything that’s been seething just suddenly reaches a violent boil of its own accord, because nothing you’ve been thinking leads to any solution, and all the agony and rage you’ve been trying to work through or suppress just won’t be held down any longer.

Repression only works for so long, and the growing pressure you’ve been trying to contain only magnifies the explosiveness of the release. Nothing is solved, no solace presents itself. But what else are you supposed to do? You eat yourself alive, or you let it go, and give the nitroglycerine in your veins something else to consume, with fire.

With emotionally powerful music, what we take away from it is always unique, because that’s an alchemical product of the immutable sounds and what’s inside of us, which is never exactly the same as what’s inside someone else, including the band who made it. The first paragraph above is just what I imagined and felt in listening to “Svinakungens sal“, the track we’re presenting today from the new album by M:40. You might get a different feeling, but whatever that might be, it’s bound to be intense — because this is a damned intense song. Continue reading »

Sep 122019


(This is Wil Cifer‘s review of the new album by Japan’s Coffins, which is due for release on September 20 by Relapse Records.)

2019 has been a really strong year for death metal. Here is an album that continues the trend.

Not the biggest fan of these guys going into this album, but familiar with their work. There is still some rough around the edges grit, but here their sound is much more dialed in. When they lock into a more palm-muted chug you can really hear the difference. It’s their fifth album in 20 years, and this sounds like the one they have taken the most time with. There are more sparse touches of punk. They are more deliberate on songs like “The Tranquil End”, but not jumping on this year’s death-doom bandwagon by any means. Continue reading »

Sep 112019


I’ve been closely following the work of Texas-based Wings of Dahak since coming across the tracks released in advance of their 2017 debut album, Unholy Wings. Initially drawn to the music by the pedigrees of the band’s three members — guitarist/vocalist/bassist Dave Tillery (Embalmed, ex-Gruesome Fate), lead guitarist Cody Daniels (Giant of the Mountain, Dour), and drummer Matt Thompson (King Diamond, and more) — I quickly became sold on the ravaging ferocity and immense evocative power of their particular amalgam of death and black metal (to mention only two ingredients).

Named for a legendary three-headed dragon (Azhi Dahaka) created by the spirit of destruction, whose reign brought to the earth “misery, hunger, thirst, old age and death, mourning and lamentation, excessive heat and cold, and intermingling of demons and men,” and creating music “with this spirit in heart and mind”, the band have succeeded in summoning those terrible visions through sound.

Wings of Dahak followed that debut album with a new single last fall — “The Day They Burned” — which we reviewed soon after discovering it. Now, the band are about to release a new EP named Death At Your Side, which includes both that single and two new tracks. Today, on the eve of that release, we’re premiering both the EP as a whole and a video for its title track. Let’s take the songs one at a time, beginning with the one we’re presenting through a frightening video… Continue reading »

Sep 112019


Rapidly approaching their fifteenth year of existence, the Finnish black metal band Aegrus have pursued their visions of Luciferian darkness with unwavering dedication, but with increasing skill. As the years have passed, the band has also grown from its two founding members (vocalist Darkseer Inculta and guitarist Lux Tenebris) to include long-time session live members Serpentifer (drums) and Praestigiator (guitars), and they have all joined forces for the recording of the group’s remarkable third album, In Manus Satanas.

This new full-length will be released on October 11th by the band’s new partner, the cult Finnish record label Saturnal Records. One song from the album (“Nemesis“) has previously surfaced, and today it’s our privilege to present another, aptly named “Ascending Shadows“. It’s a tremendously dramatic and emotionally powerful piece of music, with an atmosphere that’s both reverent and fearsome, both ominous and tortured, and ultimately spellbinding. It builds in intensity at the same time as it’s methodically digging its razor claws ever more deeply into the imagination and the memory, to the point when its haunting after-effects seem to go on and on even after the song has concluded. Continue reading »

Sep 112019


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the debut album by Portland-based Vitriol, which was released by Century Media Records on September 6th.)

I reviewed Vitriol’s debut EP in 2017, which you can read here for context, and I gave it VERY high praise. I found the band to be a refreshing new face eager to return death metal to its late ’90s/early 2000s zenith with a manic style that combined excessive technicality, song-writing prowess, overpowering posture, and commitment to their craft in the vein of Cryptopsy, Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Hate Eternal, Origin, etc.  Don’t misread my words though. I don’t think these guys are THE NEW FACE of death metal, but in the current age they do have an acute and rare understanding of what makes death metal, especially on the more technical front, so cathartic and engaging.

And now we’re here, with Vitriol’s debut LP To Bathe From The Throat Of Cowardice.  One thing worth noting is that all four songs from the debut EP are on this record, with the EP’s title track in fact closing the album.  I’m just gonna put my initial hot take about this album out there, and digress from there. Continue reading »