Jan 282017

Morta Skuld

It seems that some lessons can’t be learned no matter how many times they’re taught. A case in point: Once again, I’m now recovering from alcohol poisoning, probably not severe enough to require hospitalization but debilitating enough that even typing hurts and coherent thought is a goal that’s out of reach.

Fortunately, I picked the following songs and videos yesterday, before severely damaging my coherence with an end-of-the-work-week blowout last night. If you find more mistakes than usual in what I’ve written today, you’ll know why.


The first item in this collection blind-sided me without warning yesterday, though I probably just wasn’t paying attention as carefully as I should have. The news is that Milwaukee-based Morta Skuld have returned with a new album. Entitled Wounds Deeper Than Time, it will be released by Peaceville Records on February 17 and it follows the band’s comeback EP Serving Two Masters (2014). Like the EP, it includes cover art by Patrick Kachellek:



The new track that blind-sided me yesterday is called “Breathe In the Black”. Monstrous old-school death metal monstrosity created by skilled monsters awaits you below… and don’t miss the queasy little instrumental outro either.

(Thanks to Grant Skelton for the tip on this one.)










Below was damned good, one of my favorite albums released in 2013 (reviewed here). Judging by the next song in this collection, I bet the new album from Lantern is also going to be damned good.

The new album is II: Morphosis, and it will be released by Dark Descent Records on March 17. The fantastic cover art was created by the fantastic Zbigniew M. Bielak, and it’s reportedly a collage of various concepts developed in the songs. On this recording, the original Finnish duo have been joined by three other members.

Two songs from the new one are out in the world, “Cleansing of the Air” and “Black Miasma”. You can listen to the former below and the latter at DECIBEL. These songs make a good complementary pairing with that Morta Skuld track. They have a strong old school flavor (with strident vocal proclamations expelled from a throat seemingly choked with clotted blood), with a dynamic interplay between ghastly staggering, ravenous rampaging, and trampling gallops. But these well-written songs also include vibrant melodies and are dismally atmospheric as well as head-hammering.










In October we premiered a debut EP named From Sacred To Profane by the Indian black metal band Démonos. I really enjoyed the EP, as I explained at length in a review accompanying the premiere. Now, one of those songs — “A Clarity of Indignation” — has become the subject of an amazing animated video created by Tropikal Dream Studios and directed by Venezuelan filmmaker Ricardo Jabardo. The story is described as follows:

“A conquistador on his deathbed is waiting for the priest who will come to take his confession of the killings and looting he performed during his trips to America. Under a mysterious spell, his past materializes in a macabre procession of Easter, which the priest must avoid on his way to the dying conquistadors’ home.

“Upon arrival, the priest finds a sick conquistador in a frenzy of madness, seeing plants and American Indian Gods in his room. The priest tries to reassure him but he dies shortly after. Upon leaving the conquistadors’ body, his spirit is received by American Gods, demons created by his guilt, to lead him to the labyrinths of his new reality.”

It appears that at the moment the setting of the video prevents me from serving you an embedded stream. Until the setting is changed, go here to watch it:




DÉMONOS / A Clarity of Indignation from Ricardo Jabardo on Vimeo.








The Forces of Darkness is the name of the new album by a German death metal duo who call themselves Rebel Souls. It features eye-catching cover art by Vlad Marica and it will be released on February 24 by Art Gate Records. I haven’t listened to the whole album yet, only the two publicly streaming songs that I found. One is “Decay Of A God”, which it appears the band uploaded to Bandcamp a couple of years ago, and the other is a track called “Descent”, which is included in a free Bandcamp compilation released at the end of last year by Necromance Records.

Listening to these songs is akin to having a live electrical appliance tossed into the bathtub where you’re soaking. They’re rocket-fast and fiery, with incandescent soloing and tyrannical vocal bestiality to go along with those electrifying riffs and jolting rhythms.

By the way, that Necromance compilation includes tracks by 15 other bands and looks worth exploring further.









A couple of days ago the Portuguese band Destroyers of All released a video for the song “Tormento”, which appears on their album Bleak Fragments, released in March of 2016 by Mosher Records. The video was filmed and edited in Coimbra, Portugal, by director Guilherme Henriques (Belphegor, Acranius, Helheim, Wormed, Noctem, etc.).

The classically framed acoustic introduction is beautiful, and the rest of the song swept me up and carried me away, too. It’s a dark genre-bender that combines earth-shaking heaviness and vaulting melody, voracious growls and soaring clean song (and scarring shrieks, too). Quite a memorable track, and one that makes me kick myself for not discovering this album sooner.

Bleak Fragments is available on Bandcamp:










To conclude this playlist I have a mesmerizing song called “Fosca”, which appears on Nessun Luogo, the new album by Italy’s Asofy. It will be released by Avantgarde Music on February 22.

Asofy is now the one-person project of Tryfar, though there were other participants in the past. In addition to creating music, Tryfar is a talented visual artist.

Slow and dreamlike, “Fosca” begins weaving its spell from the opening seconds, drawing the listener into an eerie dimension clouded by unsettling vapors that harbor menacing forms. Balanced against the slow, warm thrum of the bass and the riveting power of the drumming are strange, dissonant arpeggios and shrill chimes that chill the skin.

You may have to shake yourself to remember where you are by the time “Fosca” ends. Looking forward to hearing the rest of Nessun Luogo.



  1. Lantern was one of my faves of the year as well. It’s great to hear some new material, and to behold that amazing artwork.

  2. This was a great S&H. I thoroughly enjoyed all the songs on display here except for Asofy.

  3. Damn, that Rebel Souls album art is fucking sweet.

    The Destroyers of All song was really interesting. A pleasant surprise. Adding that album to my list of stuff to listen to.

  4. As if an unnerving hangover wasn’t disturbing enough without being battered to death by pummeling eeriness.

    • In the more clear mental light of a Sunday afternoon, I honestly don’t know how I completed this post yesterday. I consider the fact that I did so to be a meaningful measure of true obsession. I mean, true devotion.

  5. “Breathe In the Black” is killer! Nice job, Scott! 🙂

  6. Destroyer of All! Wow! The pace of the song has such “heft”, so plodding, so dense. Great share!

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