Jan 192017


This is the third part of a mid-week round-up that I had originally planned to post yesterday, along with Part 1 and Part 2.

When I originally planned this tripartite collection of a dozen songs and videos, I had found a kind of musical theme or connection between the songs I allocated to each Part. But since I didn’t get Part 3 posted as planned, in the meantime I’ve changed one of the tracks I had originally planned to include here, and then also added a fifth one. So the theme of Part 3 has fragmented, and now we’ve got a lucky 13 items in this collection as a whole.

The music in here is still damned good though — and I’m still keeping my verbiage (relatively) short.


Man, it has been a long and sorrowful wait for new music from Woe (you should thank me for not saying “woeful”) — because I’ve really enjoyed the band’s previous releases, and four years have passed since the last one, an album named Withdrawal. The wait is over.



The new Woe album is Hope Attrition (which is kind of what happened as I waited for more Woe), and it will be released on March 17. I don’t have the album in my greedy hands yet, but I’ve now heard the first advance track, “No Blood Has Honor”, as you shall too.

There’s a lot of talent in this band, talent that its members have shared with other groups such as Infiltrator, Unrest, Krallice, Anicon, Casket, and Belus, to name only a few. It shows on this new song.

With Lev Weinstein on drums, that part of the song is predictably riveting, but everyone else is firing on all cylinders, too. It’s fiery, frenzied music, but intricate and fascinating as well. Wait ’til the lead guitar leaps into your head at 0:45, and be prepared to have it spear your head repeatedly as the song rockets forward.










Apostate Viaticum are a relatively new Irish band, but the members are hardly newborns. One look at the band’s photo proves that, and in fact it seems that this new group is an outgrowth of the band Morphosis, who came into being in the early ’90s. Their first album, Before the Gates of Gomorrah, will be released by Invictus Productions on March 13.



Before listening to the song you’re about to hear, “In the Shadow of the Monolith”, I was seduced by Invictus‘ comparisons of the album to the likes of Diocletian, Bölzer, and Zom — along with Gospel of the Horns, Vomitor, and Throaat. And then the song itself seduced me.

A melding of black and death, it’s a twisted piece of savagery that doesn’t unfold in a predictable straight line. It squeals, groans, vaults, and veers. It becomes a meat-grinder of morbidity and then a head-nodding, bone-mangling lurch, with a burst of frenzy at the end. My kind of nastiness.

(Thanks to starkweather for pointing me to Apostate Viaticum.)










Yesterday CVLT Nation released the latest in its series of cover-song compilations, and this new one is dedicated to the music of Black Sabbath. It includes eight tracks by a strong collection of bands, but the one track that led to a bombardment of messages to me and posts by friends on Facebook is the cover of “The Wizard” by the Sacramento band CHRCH.

“The Wizard” appeared on the great band’s self-titled 1970 album, and it was also included as the B-side when Sabbath released the title track from their second album, Paranoid, as a single. CHRCH don’t try to clone the song on their cover. What they deliver instead is music that’s so stupefyingly crushing that it will threaten the structural integrity of your home’s foundations, while also unlacing the neurons in your head and twisting them into strange new configurations. A brilliant piece of psychoactive sorcery.

The compilation is available for free on Bandcamp. You should go here to see the entire list of bands and songs, and then download it:










I counted — we’ve written about NecroWretch seven times since 2012, beginning with my review of their Putrefactive Infestation EP. In other words, I’m a fan. And so I eagerly listened to the next song in this collection when it debuted yesterday at DECIBEL. It’s called “Sprawl of Sin” and it will be included on this French band’s next album, Satanic Slavery, which Season of Mist has scheduled for release on April 14.

If this don’t light you up like a Roman candle, I’ll be surprised. It’s a combination of feeding frenzy and head-battering demolition job, with soloing that’s as delicious as it is surprising in its tone and style within the context of this kind of rampaging. A totally electrifying track.

Satanic Slavery is available for order here.










To conclude, I have a song called “The Weightless Grip of Fire” from a two-song, 21-minute-long debut EP entitled Ritual Severance by an Australian band named Consummation. Like the Apostate Viaticum album discussed above, it’s being released by Invictus Productions on March 13 (and I again owe thanks to starkweather for pointing me to it). The EP follows their self-titled demo from 2012 (also handled by Invictus) which I discussed here in 2015.

This is one of those 11-minute tracks that’s worth every minute… so good that you’re not counting the minutes, and probably couldn’t estimate how long you were under its influence even after it ends. It’s both atmospheric and galvanizing. When it races and swarms, it’s capable of putting your head in a cyclonic vortex and spinning it all the way around. When it slows, it stalks like an alien behemoth, shaking the ground and providing glimpses of horrors from another dimension.

It’s hugely destructive, and also mesmerizingly fluid, depending on where you are along its intricately plotted course. The soloing is sinuously snakelike and venomous at times, and utterly deranged at others. And I’ll also single out the wonderful organ-led finale for a round of applause. The whole song is a truly wonderful creation. Very eager to hear the other track.




  1. Holy mother of mercenaries dude! What an attack on the aural senses. Consummation track is awesome! Wish it was going to be a full length. Necrowretch too fucking killer! APOSTATE VIATICUM really got me going as well. I’m pretty sure Starkweather and I share just about the same likes in most bands. “music that’s so stupefyingly crushing that it will threaten the structural integrity of your home’s foundations” is close for sure but it only caused me to knock my beer off the table headbanging , thankfully.

  2. The APOSTATE VIATICUM album is absolutely crushing, and I’m pleased to confirm they absolutely kill it live too, though you’d more than likely have to come to Dublin to see them. I really can’t understate how important Morphosis were in terms of laying the ground work for the tiny Irish scene (death) metal scene we have here now..they’d been at it since the mid 80s under the name Asphyxia.

  3. also seeing as you namechecked two Invictus releases in this post..wait til you hear the ASCENDED DEAD and ENSNARED lps he and Dark Descent are co releasing in March this year. They’re both absolutely fucking ferocious.

  4. Holy hell smoke these are killer tracks. Especially good were Woe (excellent song title: lets get back to basics in black metal shall we–ALL humans are scum, so fuck off nazis), Apostate, and Necrowretch. The latter 2 are new bands for me. Consummation was pretty wicked too; these guys will require more listening. Unfortunately that black sabbath cover was not pleasant for me–really makes a mess of that classic song.

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