Nov 182018


I can already tell that I’m not going to follow through on the plan I announced in Part I of today’s column. The plan was for a three-part post, but time is running out on me, and I’m going to have to stop here.


I’ve decided to introduce the first item in this collection, which is a full stream of the new album, VYR, by the Ukrainian group Sectorial, with a quote from the band: “Capricious and unpredictable streams of life, violent waves and the hypnotic blue of the the universe’s depths… an element that can withstand anything that will happen on the way… a bottomless stellar sky, reflected on a calm mirrored surface that in an instant turns into an incredible dance of the wind and drops, and spins in a gigantic powerful VYR.” Continue reading »

Nov 182018


I’m not sure how many Parts I’ll finish for this Sunday’s column. I have three in mind, even though that may amount to overload for most readers.


There may be some explanation out there in the interhole about how to pronounce this band’s name, but because I’m hurrying I haven’t looked. As I read it, it resembles the sound I make when clearing my throat upon awakening after a night of too many cigarettes and too much booze. Fortunately, the music on the band’s debut album sounds much better. In fact, it’s so good that it’s startling, and often stunning. Continue reading »

Nov 172018


(Andy Synn prepared this essay, with numerous examples of music, about the value that lyrics can contribute to the enjoyment of metal if written and delivered with conviction.)

So in lieu of another edition of Waxing Lyrical (don’t worry, the column’s not going anywhere, it’s just very dependent on the availability of the bands I talk to) I’ve decided to ask you all a very important question:

What’s more important to you, the lyrics or the music… the message or the medium? Continue reading »

Nov 162018


It has become an annual tradition at our putrid site to launch our year-end LISTMANIA orgy with the appearance of DECIBEL mag’s Top 40 list. It has become a tradition in part because, in my humble opinion, it’s still the best print publication out there for fans of extreme metal, and in part because they always manage to jump out of the starting blocks first in the race for publishing YE “best of” lists – and they’ve done it again this year. So here we go!

The DECIBEL list will officially appear in the magazine’s January 2019 edition, which hasn’t yet hit my own mailbox, but because it’s out in the world somewhere already, DECIBEL again decided (for the third year in a row) to scoop their own list rather than letting leeches like me leak it. They published the list on-line yesterday, and so I can now again re-publish their list without too much guilt.

Of course, there will be a lot more content in the January issue (which has Deafheaven on the cover), including commentary about each of these 40 albums and why they were selected. You can order a copy of that HERE. Continue reading »

Nov 162018


Those of you who have been lurking in the dankest, dingiest, and most dangerous recesses of the underground for more than a few years, at least in your listening habits, will guess right away the kind of music you’ll hear from a band named Bestial Warfare, especially when that band have named their debut demo Genocide. And it is indeed an assault of extreme black/death barbarism — tender ears and fragile minds should go elsewhere. But for those with a taste for slaughtering, who yet demand more than mere blasting pandemonium, Genocide should prove to be red meat for your ravenous hunger. Continue reading »

Nov 162018


Blade of Horus is a murderously deranged five-headed cybernetic organism that first achieved sentience (and a taste for human flesh) in Sydney, Australia. It began its slaughtering campaign for superiority with a substantial and accurately titled 2016 EP named Monumental Massacre. Notwithstanding the ferocity of that opening assault, a few huddled enclaves of shivering humanity survived, and so Blade of Horus is returning to finish the job, with an album named Obliteration.

The new album is also accurately titled, as anyone who heard its first single already knows. That track, “Cyber Demon“, featured guest appearances by drummer Dave Haley (Psycroptic) and vocalist Duncan Bentley (Vulvodynia). It also revealed that Blade of Horus have sharpened their blades, stoked the fires of their lust for destruction, and managed to become even more strategically-minded in the deployment of their impressive technical skills since Monumental Massacre. As further evidence of these advances before Lacerated Enemy Records discharges the whole thing on December 15th, we present the album’s jaw-dropping title track. Continue reading »

Nov 152018


This is the second part of a death-metal-oriented round-up of new music that I began earlier today (here); the ones here are more melodic than those in Part 1.

I’m still not quite finished with this death-leaning collection, and will try to deliver the final installment tomorrow. As mentioned in Part 1, I also have some new songs to recommend from other genres that I’ve discovered recently. Some of those will find their way into Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column, and I might mention a few others on Saturday.


Black Frost is the new album by the German band Nailed To Obscurity (who traffic in doom-influenced melodic death metal), and their first on the Nuclear Blast label. To begin paving the way to its January 11th release, the band recently released a beautifully made video (credit to director/producer by Dirk Behlau) depicting the band’s performance of the title track. Continue reading »

Nov 152018


(Forging ahead with his multi-part effort to catch up on reviews of albums he has enjoyed before the year expires, DGR today reflects at length about the new album by Irreversible Mechanism, which was released in September by Blood Music.)

Speaking of building blocks and blueprints, we land here with an album where nearly every element of it can easily be traced back to its sources yet is executed so well that it might — from your writer’s standpoint — have stealthily grown on me enough to become one of my favorites of the year.

Immersion, the second album from the Belarus tech-death group Irreversible Mechanism, is starkly different from its predecessor, 2015’s Infinite Fields. It is also one whose DNA is so recognizable that it might as well be a Blade Runner-esque holographic projection high above a neon-lit city. Lying somewhere at an unholy intersection between the post-metal, recorded-in-a-hurricane leanings of Fallujah and the groove-precision of Rivers of Nihil, Immersion exists as a pretty solid example of how Irreversible Mechanism can dish out some monstrously hypnotic and dynamic records and make it seem so natural that it’s bound to spark some jealousy.

Immersion is also a record that is going be a very different experience for quite a few people who may be coming to the band hoping for the high-speed precision and everything-and-the-kitchen-sink method that they employed on Infinite Fields, because if Immersion is anything, it is certainly not that. Were it not for its near-constant all-out assault on the senses, Immersion would have a dreamlike quality to it, and at times it does manage to achieve just that. Continue reading »

Nov 152018


It seems a rarity to encounter underground metal whose conceptual focus is love, but that is indeed the subject of the second album by the Croatian band Internal Chronicles. Entitled Crimson Storm, it’s described by its principal member (who names himself NoOne) as “a metaphor for love, with all its beautiful, painful, incredible, awful, magical and violent dimensions that true love brings”, and also as “a statement against people who have given up or have decided that true love doesn’t exist”.

But if you’re expecting something lush, overtly romantic, sugary sweet, or naive, think again. At least as displayed on the song from the album we’re bringing you today through a lyric video, the music is a kind of blackened gothic doom that’s haunting, depressive, and wrenched with tension — though it has its moments of soulful, forlorn beauty as well. Continue reading »

Nov 152018


As usual, I have a long list of new songs to recommend. As sometimes happens, I found that a great many of them were different variants of death metal, and so I’ve resorted to the “Death Rituals” moniker for today’s round-up rather than “Seen and Heard” and will leave the songs of other genres to another day. I’ve also divided the group into multiple parts to make it easier for me to squeeze them into the slate of other posts we’ve planned for today. Not sure how many other parts there will be — because I haven’t written them yet!


The Finnish Festerday (named after a Carcass song) released three demos and a split from 1991 to 1992, then fell silent for 25 years (at least under that name) until finding their roar again in 2017 through the release of a split with Total Vomit Experience. Since then additional short releases have followed, and now the band’s first album, lihtallan, is set for discharge by Season of Mist on January 4th. Continue reading »