May 222020


Time for me to resort to this format again in an effort to pack in as many new songs and videos as I can — a format that’s short on words (and cover art) and long on sounds. I’ve alphabetized the selections by band name and then divided this mega-roundup into two Parts. Part 2 isn’t quite finished, so you’ll have to tune in here tomorrow to catch the rest.


We begin with frightening yet enthralling funeral doom that has the gravitational force of a black hole yet also levitates — monstrous groaning and pounding heaviness speared by gleaming shards and surrounded by shimmering effervescence and shuddering feverishness, with a haunting instrumental break and an atmosphere that becomes one of ominous majesty.  The variable vocals (both harsh and clean) are absolutely stunning in their intensity, to the point of being terrifying…. and presented through a video that’s also fascinating.

From Ashes Coalesce, the second album by this Finnish duo (members of Desolate Shrine and Dark Buddha Rising), with artwork by LL. Release date of July 3rd via Everlasting Spew Records and Sentient Ruin. (Everlasting Spew is offering vinyl and CD in a bunch of different bundles with merch.)







GRRRMBA / BORU (Hungary)

Grrrmba deliver bleak, roiling menace, slow, crushing body-blows, massive seizures of violence, and a preternaturally eerie atmosphere. Accompanied by shattering growls, the song is dissonant and laden with dread, and is as devastating and hopeless as a sucking chest wound.

Boru‘s long track is a match for Grrrmba in bludgeoning heaviness, dissonant anti-melody, and in the hopelessness of its mood. Waves of searing riffage and blackened shrieking create moods of despair and derangement, and Boru also punch the accelerator and ratchet up the heat, with a giant bass rumble, vicious sewing-machine chords, and wailing leads combining with hammering drums to amplify the song’s already considerable intensity. And the music also rings like funeral bells, brings down hammers of doom, and shimmers like wraiths in the mist.

These two songs are parts of a split that was released in February, which I discovered thanks to a recommendation by Rennie (starkweather), who wrote: “Boru is blackened hardcore. Sort of in keeping with This Gift is a Curse, Muka, etc. Grrrmba more of a pulverizing metal.” Be sure to check out Boru’s video for their song, which is also below.










Maniacal death metal with some -core elements, delivering full-bore, riotous energy — electrifying riffs that turn on a dime, high-speed percussive mania often delivered in start-stop and jackhammering bursts, fret-melter soloing, and barbaric vocal ferocity. This shit is capable of waking the dead, spinning them in a cyclone of violent ecstasy, and then mercilessly hammering them back into the ground.

These three songs are from Cannibalism for dummies (what a great name!), to be released on June 15th by Great Dane Records.







HYLE (Italy)

A ravaging and highly adrenalizing amalgam of death/crust that crushes, cavorts, and ferociously attacks in equal measure. Massive bass tone, flesh-slashing and hornet-swarming guitars, bone-splintering drumwork, and raw, red-throated vocal intensity. This will set all your nerves on fire and simultaneously beat you senseless.

This is Weapons I’ve Earned, an eight-track record that was released today (it had its premiere at CVLT Nation).







LVA (Italy)

After an ominous intro, this becomes a raging black-metal conflagration of hyper-blasting drums, waves of white-hot riffing, scorching screams, and imperious growls. There’s a weird and wailing quality to the melodies that somehow survive this napalm strafing run, giving the torrential dementia a preternatural aspect. This will leave the whites of your eyes showing all the way around, even when things slow down near the end and become frighteningly dismal and despairing….

From an album named Ας αρχισει η τελετη, which will be digitally released by this Italian duo on June 5th, with a physical edition due in the summer.






MANTAR (Germany)

Mazzy Star‘s “Ghost Highway” gets the Mantar treatment in this next song and video. And what a fucking good treatment it is — pretty faithful to the original but of course with Hanno‘s vocals making it a lot more vicious.

The song is from Grungetown Hooligans II, an EP of cover songs recorded by Mantar, paying homage to their influences from the ’90s. It will be released by Brutal Panda Records on June 26th. You can see a list of the other cover songs at Bandcamp.







PULSE (Austria)

“Cyber metal” and “death industrial” genres don’t usually grab me, but the sci-fi nerd in me ate up this lyric video by Pulse. It’s damned catchy, powerfully bouncy and scintillating in its vibrancy, and if you’re like me, you’ll be singing and growling right along in the chorus (at least in your head):

I am the perfect creature

And I was sent to watch your sky

So let me be your guide

I am the perfect creature

The darkest drone no nature light

I am the Black Knight satellite….

Black Knight” is a single that will be released on May 29th by NRT Records.







ROPE SECT (Germany)

The music in the final video in this installment will also get heads moving, and maybe drug them at the same time. It’s an exception to our rule about singing, a sinister and seductive potion of gothic post-punk and death-rock that winds up hammering at the end.

This track, “Hiraeth“, is off Rope Sect‘s debut album The Great Flood, which has an August 12 release date through Iron Bonehead Productions.





  1. Is it me, or are Italian bands really putting out rather engaging material lately? And don’t throw Italy’s boring death metal bands in my face, please; great, but samey. No, Im talking about Valgrind, LVA and Hyle (for which thanks, NCS)!

    In bocca al lupo, you magnificent bastards!

  2. That LVA is TIGHT A/F

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