Aug 302017


It’s been a long time since my fucking day job has severely impinged on my blog life, but it’s happening again. The interference began on Monday and the situation has gotten increasingly worse since then.

I’ve fallen far behind in searching out new music and barely had time to listen to anything yesterday. This morning I have to get on an airplane and fly across the country, and when I get where I’m going I’ll be buried in work until turning around and flying back on Friday. So the volume of stuff at our site will dwindle over the remaining days of this week.

My brief listening session last night did lead to the discovery of excellent music by the two bands I’m writing about now. And so, without further ado, let’s get to them.


Convocation is a relatively new Finnish project consisting of L. Laaksonen, who writes the music and performs all the instruments, and M. Neuman, who handles the lyrics and vocals. Laaksonen is also the musician behind Desolate Shrine, and Neuman is also the vocalist for Dark Buddha Rising.


The Convocation Bandcamp page is now populated with unmastered versions of four tracks, all of which appeared just a few days ago. I’ve only had time to listen (twice) to one of those tracks — “Ruins of Ourselves“.

“Ruins…” is a staggeringly heavy union of funeral doom and death metal. It’s punishingly crushing, with titanic, gloomy chords and gut-punching percussion that together make the earth quiver. Spectral guitar melodies, eerie ambient layers, and Neuman’s own haunting clean tones give the music a ghostly atmosphere — though most of the time Neuman’s vocals are terrifyingly craggy.

In addition to being stunningly heavy, the music is mesmerizing — but in passages when the pace of the music does increase, the effect is head-hammering.

Just based on this one song, I would say Convocation is a brilliant new entry into the annals of doom/death. Very anxious to hear more.











I was recently reminded of this next EP by starkweather, who pronounced it “feral”. The name of the EP is Bestiale Battito Divino, and it’s the creation of a chaotic Italian black-metal/punk band with “Italian estoteric-folkloristic themes and lyrics.”

It’s a kind of conceptual recording, focusing (in the band’s words) on “the nature of a creature stuck between bestial and divine, carrying inside two poles… the coexistence of submission to animal instinct and the search for something higher than mere reality.” The EP was released on tape by Caligari Records in January, and on August 17 it was released by Avantgarde Music on CD and digitally.

One other note of interest: The band seem to have taken their name from the Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran, whose best known works are On the Heights of Despair (1934) and The Trouble with Being Born (1973).

For the reasons explained at the beginning of this post, I haven’t yet spent much time with Bestiale Battito Divino, but when I listened to the first couple of tracks last night I had sensations similar to those I experienced when listening to Dragged Into Sunlight’s Hatred For Mankind (2009) for the first time.

The music is abrasive, bone-bruising, bleak in its tone, and harrowingly violent. Listening is like being caught in a cyclone and being bombarded by boulders. The vocals are the excruciating shrieks of a man being boiled in oil or being torn into strips of raw meat by wolves. Brutal stuff, but absolutely electrifying.





  1. Great post! I really like both of these, though I think Cioran is my music of choice for today while I tear up flooring and move furniture.

  2. I apologize for hijacking this post, i just want to share a link. One of our cats had a medical emergency and I’m trying to raise money to cover the bad check we wrote to pay for her treatment at the animal emergency clinic. If you would like to help, please follow this link which will lead you to my Bandcamp page where you can donate any amount and get some great metal in return. No donation is too small, any amount will help. Thank you and please share this link.

  3. I ordered that Cioran EP the other day and I’ll damned if it isn’t one of the more violent records I’ve heard this year. Also flipping through a couple quotes from ‘The Trouble with Being Born’ and it’s like looking into a mirror haha.

    Great picks today!

  4. When reading that Desolate Shrine’s L.L. was behind Convocation, my expectations shoot through the roof. And it doesn’t fucking disappoint. €616 per song is a bit steep though, but I guess Islander will lend $3000 if I ask politely. The surplus goes to to Derek’s feline fret.

    • L.L. here. The purpose for the ridiculous price is to prevent people from downloading unmastered tracks. The album will be mastered soon(ish) and there will be, at some point, a physical release. More on that later. Thanks for support!

      • But you see it’s the perfect way
        to keep all the posers at bay
        Don’t sell out, don’t be cheap
        Now be brave, take the leap
        For it’s a cost only trve devotees would pay

  5. the cover of Convocation blow my belly… reminded of soulside journey.. and in a way.. atma

  6. holy shit, what happened to convocation? that stuff was so great, but now everything vanished from the internent

    • I hadn’t realized that until seeing your comment. My guess (and that’s all it is) is that they’ve secured a label release, and the final tracks will later reappear in the lead-up to that.

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