May 182017


Part 1 of this late-week round-up can be found here. I’m still not finished throwing recommendations your way, but Part 3 will have to wait until tomorrow. They’re closing the door on my airplane now.


Yesterday Integrity released an official video for “I Am The Spell“, a track off their new (12th) album Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume, which is described as “a conceptual foretelling of the final days of Armageddon”. It will be released by Relapse on July 14th. The lyrics tell you a lot about the sound of this new track:


Photo by Jimmy Hubbard


I am the Spell
Sacrifice is serenity
The overwhelming whisper of annihilation
The cold lechery of spidered dreams
As winter’s sun eclipses the shattered moon
Abandoning angels, devour us
Conjuring illusion
Cauldron of lies
Born from the shadows
Of flickering fires
Blood on the edge of eternity
Smoldering beneath ritual pyres

The song is heavy, hard, and dark from the beginning, anchored by a gut-busting bass and drum rhythm — speared almost immediately by the first of several shrill, shivering, swirling, adrenaline triggering guitar solos in the track. Soon enough it begins to rumble and rampage as Dwid’s raw howl comes for your throat. And yeah, it slows to a grim, clobbering stagger, as a prelude to a roof-collapsing breakdown.











What first interested me about the genre-bending Danish band kollapse was a video for a song from their new album Angst named “Void“. It’s still a transfixing thing to watch — mysterious, ominous, and even frightening. It’s a great visual accompaniment to the song, which is itself mysterious, dark as old blood, and brutally crushing. The buzzing riffs ratchet the tension mercilessly, aided by the boiling extremity of the vocals, and even in the song’s quieter moments, there’s a sense of creeping derangement. When the hammer comes down, it pounds like a sledge against the skull.

I wrote about that song soon after discovering it, as well as two other songs — “Gueules Cassées“, which is every bit as dark, as massive, and as riveting as “Void” — and ““Til Hølle” (also the subject of a video), an intense track about an old friend of the band who committed suicide.



The entire album possesses a searing emotional intensity, along with bone-breaking heaviness and gloomy melodies that prove to be very memorable. A trip through the album is a dynamic one that includes such tracks as “Blinding Light”, which is slow, deeply bereaved, and hopeless, but magnetically gripping, and the closing track “Abandon”, which is part full-throttle, head-nodding obliteration, and part plague-infested stomp.

But really, there aren’t any weak links here. The entire album is very impressive — and I’ve been given the chance to provide a full stream below, in advance of its release tomorrow (May 19).

The album was engineered, produced, and mixed by Jacob Bredahl, and it was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. The cover painting is by Thomas Martin Hansen.


kollapse on Facebook:









The Slovakian band Necroheresy have recorded a debut album named Asylum that will be jointly released on June 16th by the Belarusian label Symbol of Domination (Belarus) and two Russian labels, Wings of Destruction and Darknagar Records. The two tracks from the album now available for listening roughly seized me by the throat and then jammed live electrodes into my brain stem (so to speak).

Both songs represent a kind of blackened death/thrash, with feral, blood-thirsty howls and deranged roars in the vocal department. “Consecration” is a vicious, heavy, eruption of thrash on the brink of exploding into lacerating shards, which decelerates into a murderous mid-paced march before rocking and ripping in full throttle again.

By contrast, “Four Rooms of Sanatorium” is anchored by a massive, pile-driving riff that provides the framework for bursts of crazed guitar excretions and maniacal drum fusillades. It becomes even more frenzied at the end, erupting into a slashing, swarming attack. Both tracks are hell on wheels.

Bandcamp pre-order:











The Italian black/speed-metal band Barbarian are coming to the U.S. for a tour this August, and to celebrate that, Hells Headbangers will be releasing a new 7″ EP, self-titled Barbarian. One of those two tracks — “Simulcra of the Ageless Need” — was recently made available for streaming, and I can hardly get enough of it.

It’s a very dynamic, multifaceted track that rocks the hell out. It’s loaded with fireball riffs and compulsive rhythms, as well as barbaric, serrated-edge vocal ferocity. It’s an electrifying and highly infectious ride, with space for an anthemic solo with an epic atmosphere, right up through the tumbling, gut-rumbling drum progression and jabbing chords that close the song.

The EP will be released on July 21, in digital form as well as vinyl.










I readily confess that I’m pretty ignorant about what’s happening in virtually all genres of music outside metal. I blame this blog. For example, I thought I knew what “screamo” music was, but it’s evident that I really don’t, at least judging by the EP with which I’m closing Part 2 of this round-up.

Portrayal of Guilt are based in my old hometown of Austin, Texas (where I’m flying today as you read this). They apparently incorporate elements of screamo into their sound, but there are other ingredients in there, too, ingredients that I do recognize.

This self-titled EP was released on May 2, both digitally and on vinyl through Miss the Stars Records. The music is intense, as heavy and bleak as a pile of fresh corpses, and with rippling, shimmering melodic elements that cause all three of the songs to catch in the head. And yes, the vocals sound like a man being shredded by scalpels.

I’m very high on this EP and hope you’ll enjoy it as well. Listen below.

Digital Download:

Vinyl Order:



  1. great review of Kollapse. the bleakness of this music fits my mindset perfectly. wonderful band. i’d like to have a beer with these guys. now, just for fun, let me impose a label on the band–post metal. killer post metal at that.

  2. and Integrity–excellent. i love those (also bleak) lyrics. this made me want to go back and listen to their previous stuff like Humanity is the devil (ain’t that the truth).

  3. Integrity is a blind buy

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