Nov 252016



Yesterday’s Thanksgiving round-up was so humongous that I decided to restrain myself and only include new music from four bands in this one instead of a dozen. Figuring that at least our readers in the U.S. are still feeling bloated and lethargic from yesterday’s overindulgences, and on top of that are perhaps slightly depressed at being bombarded by Black Friday come-on’s designed to part them from their money, I selected songs for this collection with a particular goal in mind: To put a few megawatts of electricity through your brain and body.

You might also find these songs to be good soundtracks for maiming and killing, if you actually decide to go shopping today.


As previously reported here last month, Italy’s Hour of Penance have recorded a new album named Cast the First Stone, which will be released by Prosthetic Records on January 27, 2017, featuring cover art created by Gyula Havancsak. Conceptually, it’s based on the thesis that “the injustices suffered during the Crusades and Colonialism do not justify the chain of hate that propagandizes the destruction of the West”. You can now listen to the album’s opening track, “XXI Century Imperial Crusade“, via a lyric video.




As an album opener, it doesn’t ease you into things, but since this is Hour of Penance you probably didn’t expect that it would. It’s a militaristic onslaught of raging fury that just gets more heated as it rushes forward, and might leave you breathing hard by he end. Very nice melodic guitar solo in the song, too.

DECIBEL premiered this new song, and even though it’s on YouTube I’m going to send you to DECIBEL for the stream and the pre-order info. They need the clicks; we don’t.

Hour of Penance on Facebook:









My comrade Andy Synn informed me about this next song and video yesterday from The King Is Blind, just minutes too late for me to make it the 13th band to be included in our Thanksgiving Feast of metal. This brand new single is called “Throne of Skulls” and it comes from a revival of an old metal compilation series, with this new edition named Speed Kills 7. The comp also includes 9 other tracks by such UK bands as Acid Reign, Dungeon, Akercocke, and Voices.

The swirling, swarming, pulsing lead guitar at the outset of the song grabbed me right away, and then the song yanked me ahead at high speed, flying along off the ground while the music pummeled my head with iron-hard grooves and pureed my brain with scintillating solos. It’s an irresistibly infectious beast, but make no mistake, it’s still a beast.

The disturbing video was created and directed by Kieran Wakeman at Divine Chaos Art. The album will be released on December 2 and can be ordered here (there will be a digital release, too):

The King Is Blind on Facebook:









I learned of this next item through a Facebook status by metal writer Dutch Pearce (thanks again). It’s a debut EP named The Secartha Demos by the band High Command, who are from Worcester, Massachusetts.

The EP’s intro selection is a bit of a collage, but don’t skip it because it includes one of the juiciest riffs and most head-hammering beats on the EP. I really wanted it to turn into a complete song. But no worries, because the whole EP is made of juicy riffs and body-moving rhythms. It’s a powerhouse dose of crossover thrash that’s thoroughly galvanizing when the pedal is to the metal, and hits hard enough to rupture organs in the mercilessly grim slower sections.

I’ll also mention two other high points: The vocals are scraped raw and thoroughly pissed off, and the searing solos come out of nowhere like someone opening the fuel line on an acetylene torch.

These songs are so damned good that I can’t imagine any true metal addict not slobbering over this EP. If you’re not careful, you’ll get a seriously sore neck hammering your head while it has its way with you. My biggest problem with the EP is how difficult it’s going to be for me to pick one of these songs for our 2016 “Most Infectious Song” list.

The EP is a “name your price” download at Bandcamp:

High Command on Facebook:









To conclude this invigorating selection of metal, I have a song that I stumbled across by accident on YouTube. It was lurking in the column on the right next to a song I had been checking out by an allegedly “progressive metal” band that made me yawn. At that moment, I was more than ready for something gangrenous.

The song is called “Murdered, Dismembered and Burned“, which is pretty much what I wanted to see happen to that band I had just been listening to. It’s by the Chilean brutal death metal group Gangrenous and appears on Necrotic Tumor of Mankind, an album that was just released on November 20. I’ve included the full album stream below, which I haven’t yet checked out in full, only because I’m writing this post at the moment and recovering from “Murdered, Dismembered and Burned”, which is a goddamned slaughterhouse.

Sometimes you just want to be brutally mauled by your metal — eviscerated and torn limb from limb, with the body parts then pounded into a chunky slurry of bone fragments and goo while the vocalist roars and bellows at you like a big rabid dog. If this is one of those times, here’s your fix. Shit, this is destructive.

Check out the album here:

Gangrenous on Facebook:




  1. Damn, those Gangrenous tracks are crushing. Haven’t really heard any slam in 2016 that’s really caught my eye but these guys are pretty cool

  2. I had speed kills 5 on tape as a kid,what a tape.

  3. High Command is fucking awesome! Thanks for that! Reminding me of Cro-Mags and Iron Age and Leeway.

    • They’re so damned good, I bet we’ll be hearing their name a lot more in the future. Some smart label is bound to pick this up and give it a more high-profile release.

      • Hell yeah!

        I wonder who’s in the band.. the dudes up there in Mass are so prolific that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some of the members are in other great bands.
        Do you have any info on personnel?

        • It’s pretty obvious from the music, and from photos on their Facebook page, that this isn’t their first rodeo, as they say. The only thing I’ve found in rooting around for info is that one of the members is also in the Worcester hardcore band Mountain Man. But so far, they haven’t publicly disclosed the line-up.

          • Hah. Of course. Well I noticed Will Killingsworth from Dead Air recorded it and I’ve always loved most everything he’s played on or recorded over the years.
            Curious if he’s a member. 😛

  4. Gangrenous is a great find 🙂

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