Feb 112017


Happy Saturday to one and all, and if you’re not feeling particularly happy, maybe the recommended new music collected herein will improve your mood.

This is another Seen and Heard post, but with a title that’s more specific to the music I chose for this collection. Most of it could be considered shades and phases of death metal or, in the case of the first item, death-themed.


The Spell snuck up on me. I learned about it yesterday through an e-mail from Nuclear Blast Records that included a link to the lyric video you’re about to see. Like virtually everything else I’ve heard from Mantar, it exploded my brain.



The Spell is a new Mantar EP that’s set for digital release by NB on March 31. The cover art (at the top of this post) was created by Aron Wiesenfeld. Mantar’s guitarist/vocalist Hanno explains the source of two of the three previously unreleased songs on the EP, with more specific explanation about the title track:

“After recording Ode To The Flame we had a really hard time deciding which of the 12 recorded songs should be on the final record. Since we both don’t like long records, and after getting completely lost in the process, we finally agreed on which 10 songs should be released. So we had two additional tracks left and thought it might be a good time to put them out before we forget about them. Two old fashioned MANTAR tunes, aggressive and groovy.

“‘The Spell’ is actually one of MANTAR’s first ever jams, and the instrumental was recorded in a first/one take back in 2013 during the sessions for our debut Death By Burning. You can really hear that it’s more like jamming along and we didn’t really know where this song would take us when we started playing. But we always liked that raw but also elegant vibe, so a few months ago we finally decided to ask our good friend Okoi Jones from BÖLZER to contribute some guest vocals and make it some sort of duet between me and Okoi. Vocals were recorded in Switzerland and in Tampa, Florida. The world is small nowadays…”

The lyric video for “The Spell” was made by Wayne Horse (using footage shot by Mantar in South Carolina), and it’s brilliant, as are the lyrics. The music is as dark as the words, moving from a massively catchy opening riff (reprised later) to a poison-black stagger to a gnashing seethe augmented by head-battering drumwork. The vocals, both Hanno’s and Okoi Jones’, are flesh-rending. No one else really sounds like Mantar. And they know where you sleep….

The Spell is available for digital pre-order now at iTunes (here), or via the first link below; people who pre-order will get an immediate download of the title track.










Ardent lovers of old school death metal undoubtedly know about Memoriam’s new album, but I’ll provide the basic facts just in case:

Memoriam is the band formed by Bolt Thrower’s Karl Willetts after the death of Bolt Thrower drummer Martin “Kiddie” Kearns led the surviving members to put the band on hold indefinitely. Joining Willetts in Memoriam are guitarist Scott Fairfax (ex-Life Denied, Benediction (live)), bassist Frank Healy (Benediction, Sacrilege), and drummer Andy Whale (ex-Bolt Thrower).

The band’s debut album is For the Fallen, and it includes songs on themes of death, loss and war. The cover art (which is fantastic) was created by Dan Seagrave. Before offering some thoughts about the lyric video for “Surrounded By Death” that debuted a couple of days ago, I’ll quote Karl Willetts’ comments about this new song:

“The lyrics to this song work on many levels. initially it relates to the literal interpretation of death all around on the battlefield.

“The song was written when there was a lot of high profile celebrity deaths e.g. Lemmy Kilmister 28/12/2016, David Bowie 10/01/2017, this was all over the media at the time when i was writing the lyrics to the song and had a major influence in the process. It seems that we all live in a world where we are all surrounded by death.

“Death itself is a taboo subject that we never really think about or discuss until it actually happens to someone we know and love, in this respect the song is a reference to Martin “Kiddie” Kearns and also to Frank’s dad who died not long after Martin.

“It is in some way a tribute their lives along with all the other people we have known and respected that have now passed on.”

“Surrounded By Death” is a rushing, rumbling, rampaging freight train of destruction, hugely infectious and highly headbangable. Willets‘ raw, hoarse, murderous howls and growls are great, too.

For The Fallen is available for pre-order in various formats from the Nuclear Blast web shop HERE. Below I’ve also included a stream of a previously released track, “Reduced To Zero“; both tracks can be downloaded immediately by those who place digital pre-orders HERE.











The next song in this collection is “From Ear To Ear“, the first single off the new album Wherever They May Rot by the Swedish band Cut Up. I have a quote to provide as an introduction to this song too; it comes from guitarist/vocalist Andreas Bjornson:

Wherever They May Rot is an utter bloodbath from start to finish. We have managed to push the savagery even further than before, also broadening our sound without compromising one inch of aggression. Everyone has performed at the top of their game and the new songs are without a doubt the strongest we’ve ever created, reaching new heights in both speed and heaviness. We have sharpened our blades and the thirst for blood is unquenchable. The year of 2017 belongs to Cut Up!

Speaking of bloodbaths, that’s a good description of this ripping, tearing, mauling advance track. Speed and heaviness indeed… plus grooves… plus maniacal explosiveness.

Wherever They May Rot will be released by Metal Blade on March 24, and it’s available for pre-order HERE.

(Thanks to TheMadIsraeli for the tip on this one.)










Beginning with my own review of Ascended Dead’s Arcane Malevolence EP in 2014, we’ve written about this San Diego band a half dozen times, most recently in praising their electrifying performance at the 2016 edition of Famine Fest. Now we can report that their debut album Abhorrent Manifestation will be released on March 17 by Invictus Productions and Dark Descent Records.

To quote from the labels’ description, “most of the album’s ten songs are exclusive to this release, with only three being newer, more focused versions of tracks already presented on side A of The Advent tape and “Ensnared for Eternity” from the Arcane Malevolence EP, which has been given a new lease of life”.

The song below is “Subconscious Barbarity”. It delivers (in spades) what I enjoy so much about this band’s music — furious, hyper-adrenalizing savagery that’s as technically jaw-dropping as it is blood-lusting and borderline unhinged. It veers, vaults, turns on a dime, and leaves a lot of head wreckage in its wake.

Pre-order here:


Ascended Dead on Facebook:








As previously reported in these pages, the lethal Polish death metal band Deivos have a new album named Endemic Divine coming our way from Selfmadegod Records on February 15.

I included the first advance track from the album, “Dust of the Universe“, in a mid-January round-up, and now a second one has appeared. The new one is “Sisters of Mercy“, but Deivos show no mercy in this song. However, while the music is remorselessly brutalizing, it’s also loaded with high-speed fireworks and punishing grooves, and laced with a swirling lead-guitar motif that gets its hook in the head (along with an eye-popping solo). It left me gasping….

You can listen to both songs released so far from Endemic Divine below; pre-order vis the first link here:









Andy Synn reviewed the new album Animus by Venom Prison in a “Best of British” post at our site last November, calling it “nothing less than a neck-wrecking explosion of audio ultra-violence that fans of Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy, and Cattle Decapitation should already be salivating over.”

In the case of “Corrode the Black Sun”, Andy described it as a song that’s “blast-infused, riff-soaked, and chug-friendly enough to bring in the Old-School Death Metal crowd”. And now the band and their label Prosthetic Records have released a video for that song, which is next up in this collection.










To conclude this Saturday collection I’m sharing a lyric video for a song called “Tamuya” by the band Gökböri from their forthcoming second album Erlik, which includes a guest appearance by Christopher Amott.

The lyrics are in Turkish because although the band is based in the U.S., it was formed by a Turkish immigrant named Emre Balık, who was a member of the Turkish band Pagan dating back to the late ’90s and who plays guitars and handles vocals on the album. The band’s line-up also includes drummer Jesse Haff from Daylight Dies and bassist Koray Önder, who also adds vocals.

The album is described as follows:

“In the 8 songs album, again the lyrics are in ancient Turkish language and theme is ancient Turkish mythology, but this time they talk of the darker sides. The ruler of the underworld ‘Erlik’, the hell ‘Tamu’, the ghosts that appear at dusk and dawn ‘Körmösler’ and more…”

Although the lyrics to “Tamuya” are in a language I suspect most readers here won’t understand, the music can be universally understood, and the voice that expresses those lyrics is raw, brutal, and vibrant. Gökböri describe their music as “heavy/black/thrash n’ roll”, and this song is definitely a high-energy thrasher, performed and produced in a way that enables it to hit with electrifying power. And it’s catchy as hell, too.

Erlik will be released by Hammer Muzik in a CD edition and digitally on February 17; a vinyl edition is expected on April 21. The lyric video was made by Uygar Kurtar, and Dilek Baykara created the cover art. Pre-order links can be found HERE.

Gökböri on Facebook:

Gökböri on Bandcamp:



  1. Very good stuff here! I’m particularly interested in the Ascended Dead and Cut Up releases. 2017 is off to a phenomenal start for the death metal genre!

  2. Is the Mantar cover art Max from “Where the Wild Things Are?” It looks like he’s returned from that sweet ass island and now must deal with America again.

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