Jun 302020


The northern square-lipped rhinoceros, also known as the northern white rhinoceros, used to range over parts of Uganda, Chad, Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But years of uncontrolled poaching and civil war in their home range decimated the species, and they are now considered extinct in the wild. Only two of them remain, both of them protected in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy on a 700-acre nature preserve in Kenya that’s also the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa. Both of the last survivors are female.

The story of the critically endangered northern white rhino is unusual subject matter for a slamming death metal band (or any extreme metal band), but the conceptual focus of the Swedish group Extinction encompasses not only that story but many other narratives of once flourishing species terminated by the actions of humankind.

Their forthcoming EP Smoldering Enfoulment, as they explain, “encapsulates a variety of disasters, degradations and extinctions of 2019 — from trees lost to sand mining and bird species loss to habitat destruction, and international conflagrations wiping out landscapes and exploited by monoliths of power”. The band further explain:


(Photo by Ami Vitale)


“As the lungs of the planet collapse, Extinction is the word carried on those ever weakening breaths.

“These are creatures that will now live only in our images, memories, writings, internet searches, and music. Never again will they contribute to their former ecosystem, crawl, climb, scurry or slither. They will be missed by those that depended on their critical role, now empty”.



The song we’re presenting today is, not surprisingly, decimating. A short, sharp shock to the system, it delivers electrifying snare-drum fusillades, thunderous bass tones, low-frequency gurgling vocals, and ravaging riffs that pound, skitter, and blare like sirens. It’s an enormously destructive juggernaut that sometimes sounds like a gigantic excavating machine gouging through the earth, but the shrill leads also seem to channel a feeling of despair. Maybe it’s in part because we know what the song is about, but those anguished tones seem like a frantic message that time is running out.

For such a short song it makes a riveting impact, and the impulse to continue playing it over and over is irresistible.



More information about the northern white rhino and the efforts of Ol Pejeta to preserve them (which now includes costly in vitro fertilization techniques and stem cell technology for the two remaining females) can be found here.

Extinction will release Smoldering Enfoulment on July 21st, digitally and on cassette tape. The merchandise is made from repurposed thrift store items, and all proceeds will be donated to one of the following charities/causes:


These organizations are added to a group of wildlife and conservation organizations that have been the recipients of other donations generated by the band’s music, which are identified at Extinction’s Bandcamp page. Smoldering Enfoulment is available for pre-order now.



  1. I kno, rite? if only the lyrics were about sodomizing the rhinoceroses instead so i could listen without my frail ego being called into question.

    • First decent comment so far — but no one will know why it’s decent because I deep-sixed all the moronic ones you’re answering by people who also probably think wearing a mask is an infringement on their freedom.

      • Well said, Islander. Your blog has a new fan.

      • I wear a mask all the time. Sorry to poke holes in your worldview. Why is anything that’s not fawning praise taken as an assault here?

        • Fawning praise is never necessary. If someone doesn’t enjoy the music, they’re free to say so, hopefully with an explanation that is understandable and hopefully expressed in respectful terms. The comment of yours that I removed said nothing about the music but castigated it as “woke metal, tastes like tofu”, which I assume was some kind of sarcastic jab at this band’s conceptual focus on species extinctions. I don’t understand why someone would go out of their way to make fun of musicians for expressing a genuine concern about a serious issue. I’d rather people just keep that kind of crap to themselves instead of spoiling our comment section with it.

          • I didn’t care for the music either, I just chose to encapsulate it differently. Bands with messages that are overt about those messages grate on me, so I thought I was just expressing my opinion, not that anyone has to like it. I find the growing flood of “white knight” content obnoxious and wanted to comment on it. People go out of their way to mock all kinds of things, but they don’t get scolded or finger pointed about it. For that matter, you should have a way of telling me tthe comment was deleted the first time around, rather than have the comment go through and then disappear. I thought it was a glitch.

            To top it off, you then acted like a bit of a condescending tyrant about it and framed it so I sounded stupid, just because I don’t know how the back-end of your site works. Not a great look either. I’d say you definitely have a bias, especially with the uncalled-for mask comment. I guess I’ll keep my powder dry to comment on stuff I actually like, then.

            • I don’t see much point in continuing this discussion. We’re hijacking a post that was intended to focus on a band’s new music.

            • Why is it that when an artist tries to make a positive impact on the world, it’s necessarily “white knighting” or “being woke”?

              ‘Member when people just wanted the world to be better?

              • Irrelevant. I was referring to a narcissistic trend of people talking the talk, so to speak. I find that annoying in escapism and art. Just my preference, which apparently I’m not allowed to have. The actual DOING of good is just fine, and I approve heartily.

  2. Mmm, woke metal. Tastes like tofu. Pass!

    • Dude, you don’t seem to have learned from the last deletion that these kinds of comments aren’t welcome here. Go find some other site to litter. I don’t put up with that bullshit here.

    • Now I’ve got no love for the finger wagging exceptionals that seem to be everywhere these days myself, but you’re going to have to explain how thinking the extinction of the Northern White Rhino is a bad thing is somehow a “woke” take…

      …because that’s some exceptional thinking in its own right

    • I’ve had some amazing tofu dishes, maybe you just haven’t tried a really good one yet.

  3. I also am offended by extinction.
    i think rhinos are neat.
    Their extinction offends me.

  4. What a breath of fresh air, a metal band that thinks caring about things is cool.
    Few and far between these days.

  5. I’m glad that I chose to override my judgment of the album cover because this is some solid, blasty shit and who can argue with environmental consciousness? Count me a fan.

  6. Awesome song, great lyrics and fantastic riffing.

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