Nov 152018


This is the second part of a death-metal-oriented round-up of new music that I began earlier today (here); the ones here are more melodic than those in Part 1.

I’m still not quite finished with this death-leaning collection, and will try to deliver the final installment tomorrow. As mentioned in Part 1, I also have some new songs to recommend from other genres that I’ve discovered recently. Some of those will find their way into Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column, and I might mention a few others on Saturday.


Black Frost is the new album by the German band Nailed To Obscurity (who traffic in doom-influenced melodic death metal), and their first on the Nuclear Blast label. To begin paving the way to its January 11th release, the band recently released a beautifully made video (credit to director/producer by Dirk Behlau) depicting the band’s performance of the title track.



This new song is haunting and head-moving, sinister and seductive. It has a great beginning — a booming tribal drum rhythm (which reappears again and again), joined by a gravelly bass line and then the whine of feedback. The song’s gloomy, sorcerous melody is at first carried by clean vocals and simmering guitars, although the singing is soon replaced by harsh, vicious growls.

The guitars become even more luminous and otherworldly, but also more dark and jolting, and the music is further embellished by moody and mesmerizing guitar instrumentals and by a sinuous, sensuous, and soaring solo. It’s all very appealing.












Hatchets For Hands are a San Francisco-based duo (Brian Parks and Cullen Poythress) who released a debut album (Convulsions of A Dying Empire) earlier this year, and earlier this month they divulged a new single named “Bad Men“.

I missed the album, but “Bad Men” has hooked me like big harpoon. It’s ferocious, heart-palpitating, and enormously infectious. Rushing at a turbocharged pace, it takes your breath away damned fast, thanks to rapid-fire, mortar-like drumwork (which later includes some massive, jolting blows) and a hard-punching riff. But the song further includes glorious melodic cascades that are sweeping and searing, and the array of livid, bestial growls and vicious roars add more adrenaline to a song that’s already brimming with it.












Bane was first established in Serbia but is now located in Canada, and their new album (the third in their discography) is named Esoteric Formulae. It will be released on November 30, and it’s home to the final selection I’ve made for this collection, a song called “Bringer of Pandimensional Disorder“.

Much like the last track above, I found this one highly infectious and packed with vibrancy, and it’s a big head-mover too. The music is fiery and warlike, sometimes with a galloping rhythm and sometimes propelled by blast-beats, but it also includes sublime melodies that are somehow both defiant and melancholy.

The opening melodic lead is immediately affecting, just as the subsequent rapid pulse of the riffing gets your blood up. In the vocal department you’ll encounter nasty snarling vocal extremity paired with rising cries and gloomy roars. Put everything together and you have a very enticing prelude to this new album.





  1. With Bane—as far as I can tell from the tracks that have been released–we have a band that actually does remind of Dissection; as opposed to many other bands that the moniker is thrown at.

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