Oct 142014


Here’s a rather large selection of new songs and videos released in the last few days that I decided were worth your time — and who better than me to decide how you should spend your time?  Exactly.

I’ve arranged these offerings in alphabetical order by band name. It’s quite a varied selection, so I’m hoping everyone will find something to like.


We’re now two songs into the ramp-up for one of the most highly anticipated extreme metal releases of the year — Grand Morbid Funeral, the first album by Bloodbath since 2008. The second song, “Famine of God’s Word”, was revealed yesterday through a lyric video. I’m of two minds about the song.

On the one hand, the instrumental music is just downright vicious — a brutally heavy, galloping, squalling, skin-flaying, gut-punching romp, with an eerie lead guitar melody that floats through the song like a phantasm.

On the other hand, Nick Holmes’ gravelly gargle doesn’t seem to quite match up with the power and ferocity of the rest of the song. I confess that I may be (unavoidably) influenced by the memory of the two vocalists who preceded him at the front of this super-group; I suspect that if I had known nothing of Bloodbath other than this one song, my reaction would have been different. I’d be interested in your reactions — leave Comments if you’re so inclined.


(via Revolver mag)









Yesterday Germany’s Dark Fortress unveiled a video for a song from their recently released seventh album, Venereal Dawn (reviewed by our Andy Synn here). The song is “Chrysalis”, and it’s a magnetic piece of music. As Andy wrote, “the distorted reflections and unearthly ambience of ‘Chrysalis’ take the more atmospheric material of Ylem another step further into the unknown, filtering it through the same sort of unconventional prism as recent material by Ihsahn to create something unexpectedly poignant and unique”.

As for the video, it’s an eerie, shadow-shrouded, hallucinatory piece that’s engrossing to watch and a fitting match for the music. The band provided this introduction to it:

“We are proud to present our newest clip to the song ‘Chrysalis’ off our new album ‘Venereal Dawn’, created by our cover artist Daniël van Nes in collaboration with Sanja Maier-Hasagic, Morean and acclaimed American modern dancer and choreographer Jack Gallagher. Both Daniël and Jack got deeply into the song and its story and managed to hit exactly the right vibe for what we wanted.

“Our music and lyrics are visually very evocative, so we felt the song calls for an approach that almost feels more like a short movie than a regular metal music video. We are very pleased with the final result, and think the images superbly manage to capture the desolation of the protagonist, whose infection by living light (and subsequent initiation of a process that leads to him changing species) becomes apparent in this chapter of our album. Enjoy!”










As we previously reported, Season of Mist will be releasing a new album by Finland’s Ghost Brigade named IV: One With the Storm. The album is due on November 11 in North America and November 7 everywhere else, both on CD and in various vinyl formats.

Yesterday two different songs from the album were premiered — “The Knife” and “Electra Complex”. The first one should get your head moving from the first moments, the jabbing rhythms accompanied by a dark, somewhat Eastern-tinged verse melody, and the shining chorus providing an appealing contrast (with clean vocals).

The second song is a long one, more subdued, melancholy, and ethereal than the first — but with another chorus that takes flight. It gets heavier and more intense as it moves along, driving the ample melodic hooks even deeper into your skull.

Pre-orders available now at the Season of Mist E-shop. Listen to “The Knife” here and to “Electra Complex here.








The Blood Music label will be releasing the sixth album from the Russian band Kauan (now located in Ukraine) on November 4. The album consists of re-recorded versions of six songs from the albums Lumikuuro and Tietäjän Laulu, in addition to the recording of a new song called “Unsoi” (with two bonus tracks on the vinyl edition). The album’s name is Muistumia (“Reminiscences”).

In recent days Blood Music uploaded that previously unreleased song “Unsoi” to YouTube. You listen and you imagine giants striding the Earth with a purpose, and it sounds like a destructive one. The riffs are huge, the drum strikes like cannon shots, the vocals scarring and vehemently impassioned. Accented by piano and strings, the plaintive melody cries tears of blood. Doom on….








I’ve written about Spokane, Washington’s Odyssey many times, but the last of those times was two years ago, which was when their last release appeared (an EP entitled The Conscious Device). Yesterday brought the news that the band have signed with Monolithic Records for the November 4 release of a new five-track EP, The Turning Tide. Accompanying the announcement was the debut of a play-through video for one of the new songs, “The Devil’s In the Details”.

If you’re unfamiliar with Odyssey, their music involves no clean singing — or any other singing. What it does involve, as this new song shows you, is a skillful approach to instrumental metal that effectively integrates varying moods and styles, with flavors of soulful, cool jazz partnered with punchy rhythms and jabbing riffage. Check it out below.









Last spring the Swiss band Schammasch released their excellent second album Contradiction, which Andy Synn reviewed for us here. I’ll borrow his description of the song “Golden Light” from that album:

“Simultaneously dream-like and nightmarish, ‘Golden Light’ marries irradiated, dead-star ambience and unsettling, occult glamour in a ceremonial death march of clashing, ruinous riffs and grim, asphyxiating vocals, driven by ravenous patterns of distorted drum beats and frenzied blasts.”

And why am I reminding you of that song? Because in recent days Schammasch released a music video for it directed by French artist Valnoir, whose graphic work we’ve featured on many occasions at this site, and filmed by William Lacalmontie. The video was shot over three days in the French Pyrénées, 20 km north of the Spanish border, during this year’s summer solstice,

The band’s C.S.R. explained the video in this way:

“The desolate mountains of southern France gave a well-fitting scenery for this journey, the atmosphere there is unique in many ways, ominous, raw and pure. So was the actual atmosphere during the shoot, torturous in some ways (besides the vespertine red wine sessions), and even the weather played against us, like many other unforeseeable things. Furthermore we only got three days to shoot the whole film, which is quite a short time, so there was pressure which culminated in maximum focus though.

“The concept was simple. The song basically describes the moment before reaching a higher state of being, before receiving the light of progression. The film tells the story onto this point, and gives it a personality, a face. The face of the hermit.”

(via Metal Hammer)

This is well worth watching.







The long-running Greek black metal band Varathron will be releasing their fifth album, Untrodden Corridors of Hades, via Agonia Records on November 21 in Europe and December 9 everywhere else.  It features wonderful cover art by Mark Riddick.

One month ago I praised the first advance track from the album, “Realm of the Obscure”, and today brought us a lyric video for a second song, “Arcane Conjuring”. The title was well-chosen, because the often dirge-like song creates an occult, ritualistic atmosphere while preserving the air of ominous imperial might that shrouded “Realm of the Obscure”. And once again, the instrumental variety and skillful performance of the song makes it mentally engrossing, while at the same time the utterly malignant vocals are causing the hair on your neck to stand up.





  1. Before the inevitable back and forth bickering about Bloodbath starts, let me just say the following:

    It’s OK if people don’t like Nick’s vocals. That doesn’t make them “posers”. That doesn’t mean they “just don’t get it”. That doesn’t mean they only like one sort of vocals.

    It might just be that Nick’s particular style doesn’t click with them. And that’s OK.

    Kudos to Bloodbath in fact for going with something a bit different.

    • Personally, I think that Nick Holmes’ vocals are incredibly awesome. This new song, this style of death metal in particular, is what I truly love, and his vocals are perfect. That’s not at all a shot against the previous guys, but I actually prefer Nick’s sound. Mandatory first day purchase for me.

  2. This post have killer music and I involve the voice of Nick Holmes, I like it, seems a fiend of ancient times from a distant world, good idea tries to do something different, gives to the music that perfect touch of darkness. Videos are good too, the best is the one for “Golden Light.”

  3. Paradise Lost fanboy alert, so grain of salt and all that. I can see the criticism – Bloodbath has had some of the finest, deepest, decipherable growls around with Mikael and Peter. Nick has more of a dirty rasp going on, it’s very different from what we’re used to, but the music behind the vocals is dirtier this go round too, so it fits to me. Frankly, I’m glad they didn’t go with some cookie-cutter cookie monster growler, Nick’s voice here is unique, and hearkens back to the old days.

  4. With the quality of this post you can tell me how to spend my time any day.

    I’m so looking forward to the Grand Morbid Funeral, and I’m a long time fan of Nick Holmes.
    Venereal Dawn is a mighty record. In fact I see it as their magnum opus. And and that says a lot! Nice disturbing video as well.
    I never heard Kauan before, but that raw primal Ajattara like vocals combined with that mighty atmosphere was amazing.
    Schammasch’s Contradiction was awesome. I needed that reminder. And so do other people.
    Varathron’s Untrodden Corridors of Hades seems extremely promising. I really look forward to enjoy the record in its entirety. I just have to judge 15 to 20 other promos first.

    When I think about it, I don’t have time to let you make the call of how I spend it, God damn it 🙂

  5. Loving all of these, even planned on writing about a few of them for the last roundup that may never actually get written. However, I will say that that Schammasch album is way too long, both with each song and as a whole.

  6. i really want to love the new Bloodbath, but Holmes’ vocals are an issue for me. I thought they would grow on me but it’s not happening.

  7. Holy cow, that Bloodbath track is just outstanding, capturing my ears like a giant, rusty and bloody hook.

  8. That Bloodbath track has real impressive acrobatic riffs, and I dig the new vocals, they cut through like razorwire suprisingly cleanly. I just wish they stuck with similar production to Fathomless Mastery, there’s so much going on, the vocals are memorable but the riffs get all churned up and lost in a blur.

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