Dec 122018


Our fascination with Barshasketh began with the discovery of their remarkable 2015 album Ophidian Henosis, which in turn led to the exploration of their two preceding albums, 2013’s Sitra Achra and 2010’s Defying the Bonds of Cosmic Thraldom, and then carried us forward to their 2017 Sein/Zeit split with Poland’s Outre (which we premiered here). It was thus with a mixture of excitement and intrigue that we learned W.T.C. Productions would be releasing a new 54-minute Barshasketh album in January of next year — and that it would be self-titled.

Self-titled albums sometimes have a way of signaling a band’s re-birth, or of reaching a different kind of turning point in their progression. In this case, given the nature of the music on the album, it seems to represent not so much a re-invention of the band as it does a new zenith in what Barshasketh have achieved. Continue reading »

Dec 122018


(This is Karina Noctum‘s interview of Sindre Solem, guitarist/vocalist of the Norwegian death metal band Obliteration, whose new album Cenotaph Obscure was released by Indie Recordings on November 23rd.)

Since I moved to Oslo I have been fortunate to be able to attend several special shows, including one for the release of Obliteration’s new album. It was an energetic gig and the band gave it all they had, in a completely heartfelt way. I have always had the band in my mind when it comes to old school oriented music, and there they will remain now more than ever with their new release because it fulfills my expectations.

Years have gone by since their last release, and everyone in the band developed musically without losing their essence. I think that is an important quality to applaud since many bands go in pretty strange ways as the years pass by. Cenotaph Obscure is true to the core of what Obliteration represents, and that is the Norwegian old school blend. I have to mention that they are influenced by the Kolbotn scene, and with that I mean Darkthrone, and that’s a huge advantage that you notice here and there in small details for all the audience’s pleasure. Continue reading »

Dec 122018

Coffin Birth


(DGR continues a week-long effort to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA, with two more write-ups today. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)


Coffin Birth – The Serpent Insignia

It’s easy to imagine that Coffin Birth initially grabbed a lot of headlines based on the almost jaw-dropping resumes of the musicians involved: The band are constructed out of a large chunk of the current Hour Of Penance lineup, a foundational pillar of Fleshgod Apocalypse (and a former Hour Of Penance member), and a vocalist whose credits are vast amongst the death metal scene, including Beheaded as well as being credited on Metal-Archives with having appeared on a Hydrocephalic release, which is something I haven’t thought about since that initial 2010 demo hit with Matti Way of Pathology handling vocals. Continue reading »

Dec 112018


Here’s another entry in the part of our annual LISTMANIA orgy where we re-post lists of metal from “big platform” web sites and print zines — the kind of places that get a lot more eyeballs on them than festering little metal-only hovels like ours.

To justify our selection of Noisey for this part of the series, consider these statistics: Noisey is the on-line music channel of Vice Media, which began as a Montreal-based print magazine in 1994 and has expanded into a global media presence. Noisey was started in 2011 and now has 1,299,822 Facebook followers and (according to this site) receives about 899,500 unique visitors and 1,277,290 page-views — per day.

About one week ago Noisey published its staff’s list of “The Best 100 Albums of 2018“, but due to my vacation, I overlooked it until today. By my count, 11 of those 100 albums are metal (up from 8 last year), or close enough for me to justify including them in the count. Most of those appear to have made the list as a result of recommendations by Noisey editor Kim Kelly, whose by-line appears on the mini-reviews that accompany many of these picks. Continue reading »

Dec 112018


(Andy Synn‘s week-long series of personal year-end lists continues today with his list of 2018’s “Good” albums.)

As we’re all well aware by now, there’s simply so much music, and too many albums, released each year for any blog/zine to keep up with them all, although we do try our damnedest to do so.

Case in point, there’s over 170 albums on the list you’re about to read, with another 90-ish (I haven’t counted yet) to follow on tomorrow’s list of the year’s “Great” albums

Combined with the “disappointing” entries from yesterday’s article that makes almost 300 albums which I’ve managed to listen to and form an opinion about over the last twelve months, and yet that’s still barely even a drop in the (blood) ocean when you consider how many other releases I’ve completely missed out on (or, as is the case with a few of the missing albums, simply not had time to properly assess and evaluate).

And the thing is, I’m fully aware of and appreciate just how lucky I am to have the opportunity to listen to so much music and to seek out so many new and exciting artists each year. Most people don’t have the same freedom or time to dedicate to listening that I do, so one of the primary purposes of these end of year round-up columns is to provide our readers with a sort of “one stop shop” where they can check out a hefty helping of music which they might otherwise not have discovered and, hopefully, stumble across a few hidden gems. Continue reading »

Dec 112018



(DGR resumes an effort he began last month to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)

I think I’ve done it. I think I’m finally free. I think I’ve finally managed to — not really — clear my review slate and can actually start working on the ridiculous exercise that is my year-end list extravaganza.

What follows, in this part and a few more to follow it this week, may prove to be my final collection of reviews, but you never know what we’ll stumble upon after this and find ourselves going, “Wait, we really didn’t cover that?”. Hell, there’s a few of those in this one, but there’s also a group of more recent November releases that were pretty much slammed onto my review desk with such force that they’re currently on the floor below and I have to research how to get a new desk… and replace a hole in my floor.

I guess that’s what happens when your tastes are made brutally apparent over the time spent writing for a site.

As before, this assembly has a whole lot of world traveling in it, but it also lets me return to my own home state for quite a few of them as well. So, if you’re looking for one final collective of death metal across all spectrums, or a few musical digs into a group’s history, then this final wrap-up should have you covered. Continue reading »

Dec 102018


Early last year I discovered Bardo, the then-forthcoming new EP by a black metal crew from Raleigh, North Carolina, named Mo’ynoq — and it made such a powerful immediate impression that I reached out to them to ask if we could premiere one of the tracks to accompany a review of Bardo (and you can find that here). Now Mo’ynoq have completed work on their debut album — Dreaming In A Dead Language — and once again I asked if we could host a premiere of one of the new songs in advance of its official release on January 11th. Once again, the band agreed.

I hasten to add that we don’t usually ask for the opportunity to host premieres. Almost all the time, the requests come to us. But the new Mo’ynoq album is so damned good, and so damned exciting, that I couldn’t resist. The song chosen by the band is the album’s second track, “The Collector“. Continue reading »

Dec 102018


Earlier this fall Satanath Records (Russia) and Final Gate Records (Germany) released Esoterica, the debut album of the Pittsburgh-based black metal band Automb. We had the pleasure of premiering a track from the album in advance of its release, and now we’re pleased again to present an official video for one of the album’s many riveting tracks, a song called “Mourned“.

For those who may be encountering Automb for the first time, it began as a side-project of Necrophagia guitarist Serge Streltsov and vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Danielle Evans. After the untimely passing of Streltsov‘s Necrophagia bandmate Frank “Killjoy” Pucci (to whom this new album is dedicated), he turned his full attention to Automb, and he and Danielle Evans enlisted the aid of Morbid Angel drummer Scott Fuller to create Esoterica. Continue reading »

Dec 102018


(Here’s Vonlughlio’s review of the new album by the Australian band Habitual Depravity.)

This time around I was given the opportunity to do a small review for the band Habitual Depravity‘s debut album Realms of Abysmal Servitude, which will be released via Reality Fade Records on December 30th.

This project was started in Australia by Jono, and in 2017 the same label (Reality Fade) released a two-song promo, which was well-received and got a lot of us hoping for a full-length release soon. So when the announcement of the debut album was made in early 2018 I was stoked, especially because we learned that the drummer for this effort would be none other than Lord Marco Pitruzzella (Abuse, Hunhau Mitnal, Neurogenic, Six Feet Under, Sleep Terror, ex-Vital Remains, ex-The Faceless), who is one talented speedster behind the kit. Continue reading »

Dec 102018


(We begin a week of Andy Synn‘s year-end lists with a traditional installment that veers off our usual theme of focusing on music we enthusiastically recommend. Feel free to disagree — some of us here may disagree as well — but also feel free to share in the Comments your own thoughts about 2018 albums that disappointed you.)

Despite the fact that the general ethos of the site is to accentuate the positive and to downplay the negative, that doesn’t mean we shy away from constructive criticism when we feel it’s necessary (well, as long as it adds something to the review).

It’s for this reason why I like to start off my annual week-long round-up of the year with the albums which I found to be the most “disappointing” from the last twelve months, as I feel it’s important to acknowledge that not every record released is necessarily a winner, no matter how much we might want them to be, and that it’s always worth pointing out when an artist falls short of the mark.

Now, I’m aware that there are a lot of “big names” represented here, which will probably end up putting the proverbial cat among the pigeons when it comes to angry, offended comments, but I’d like to stress that none of the albums featured here is an objectively “bad” album. And several of them are still quite enjoyable in their own right. But it’s possible for an album to be good while also being a disappointment, particularly in cases where the band themselves have clearly failed to live up to their own high standards. Continue reading »