May 072021


The usual insanity of our in-box reached a fever pitch overnight, because it’s another Bandcamp Friday. That fever has been building all week in anticipation of the day, with the typical flood of new music reaching typhoon proportions. I’ve diverted some of that flood into this collection, a baker’s dozen of new songs and videos that range from the dreamy to the decimating, and includes both the re-surfacing of old gods and the emergence of promising new names – but without the usual artwork or my usual wordy reflections. Not everything is available on Bandcamp, but where it is available there, I’ve included links.

Mother’s Day is also on Sunday, but thankfully that doesn’t seem to have added to the torrent of releases. In catch-up mode, I’ll continue recommending more new music that day and on Saturday (if you don’t keep swimming, you drown). By the way, for those of you who don’t live in the U.S., “Mother’s Day” does not stand for Motherfucker’s Day, so most of you won’t have any reason to celebrate.

AMENRA (Belgium)

Dehn Sora‘s strange and haunting video for “De Evenmens” is a fitting (and chilling) companion for the song’s spine-tingling, spellbinding, and shattering sensations.

Album: De Doorn
Release Date: June 25th





Seventeen years after the last Ancient Wisdom album, Marcus E. Norman brings us a new one, preceded by the song “Haec Est Mors Secunda”. Feelings of spectral eeriness and supernatural mystery and peril, enhanced by the changing vocals, radiate from the music, but it’s a heavy and head-moving experience too.

Album: A Celebration In Honor Of Death
Release Date: June 4




COFFIN LURKER (Netherlands)

Be afraid, be very afraid: Maurice De Jong AKA Mories (Gnaw Their Tongues, Cloak of Altering, De Magia Veterum, Dodenbezweerder etc.) and Rene Aquarius (Cryptae, Dead Neanderthals, Imperial Cult, Plague Organ etc.) have joined forces in Coffin Lurker, with the objective of making an especially hideous and horrifying form of doom. Judged by “Of Suffering”, the suffocating first advance track, they have succeeded.

Album: Foul and Defiled
Release Date: June 4





A welcome re-emergence after 16 years. Just two short tracks on this new single, but enough to get the blood rushing in a torrent. A savage, spine-shaking, skull-rattling, pulse-pounding, and head-hooking experience (be forewarned: the melodic and vocal hooks are immediately infectious). Thanks to Kevin P. for recommending this one.

Single: Fleshless and Wild
Release Date: April 30





I would happily watch the members of Enslaved if they were just trimming each other’s toenails, though I admit I’m more eager to watch when they’re playing music, and that’s what they’re doing here. This is an excerpt from a live album on which they performed Below the Lights in its entirety, in Bergen, Norway. This is “The Crossing”.

Album: Below the Lights (Cinematic Tour 2020)
Release Date: June 25





Guitarist Jussi Hämäläinen made this comment about the title track to Hanging Garden‘s new album: “After trying out different arrangements the last thing I came up with was this beautiful guitar lead. I decided to leave out the heavy rhythm guitars and let the song breathe with only synths and some clean guitars accompanying the lead.” A good decision, because the results are sublime — though the monstrous growls and scalding screams (paired with beautifully ethereal singing) add a harrowing dimension to this wondrous but heart-breaking excursion. Amazing video too.

Album: Skeleton Lake
Release Date: May 21





This band features members of Ascended Dead, Ritual Necromancy, and Bloodsoaked (among others), and that ought to seize your attention, as should the black/death onslaught of “Morbid Abnormality of the Ages“. It’s a vicious, electrifying neck-wrecker, but with elements of doom-cloaked misery threaded within the mauling and mangling savagery.

Album: Hellstrike
Release Date: July 16




IDOLOS (France)

The ebb and flow of this next song creates a captivating experience. The music chimes and shimmers, gradually pulls us into moods of increasing despair and mounting intensity, and sends hearts soaring with a magnificent solo. All the vocals, from the wrenching growls to the sky-high singing, are gripping. Such glorious, spellbinding gloom is not soon forgotten….

EP: Náa
Release Date: May





Another welcome re-emergence. Next month these Floridian OGs will release their first album in nearly 30 years (though to be fair, they have released a trio of EPs over the last decade). A great amalgam of sinister menace, frenzied ferocity, stomping cruelty, head-spinning derangement, and abyssal vocal horrors.

Album: Mind of A New God
Release Date: June 1





Loosen your neck muscles for “Demonipaimen” because the riveting rhythms of the song are compulsive (the drumwork is tremendous!), but it’s a nasty and feral piece of work too, from the crazed, throat-ruining vocals to the slashing and clobbering riffs and the gut-gouging heaviness in the low end.

Thanks to Miloš for alerting me to this one.

Release Date: June 18




OPHIDIAN I (Iceland)

I thought for the sake of variety I should include some tech-death, and as a bonus, this offering comes with an intriguing video by Guilherme Henriques. Prepare for a head-spinning whirl-a-gig of fleet-fingered and fleet-limbed instrumental exuberance that will transfuse jet fuel for your blood (and if you’re like me, the closing solo will leave you smiling from ear to ear).

Album: Desolate
Release Date: July 16





This formidable duo made a big impact with their first demo (Exponential Decay) last year, and Debemur Morti Productions was impressed enough to partner with them for the release of their second one, Raytraces of Death. This one ought to make a big splash too, if the first song is any indication. It creates visions of a terrible eminence bestriding a blasted landscape, coupled with unhinged paroxysms of eviscerating violence, bursts of pile-driving destructiveness, and episodes of reptilian menace, lunatic ecstasy, and eerie moodiness.

Demo: Raytraces Of Death
Release Date: June 25





We close with a turn to the lighter side of the music in this collection, with a song and video from the well-dressed, occult-inspired gentlemen in this Swedish band. If you stay tuned in, your heads will bob to the beats and also swim in the seductive, gleaming pools of melody. Klas Bohlin really does have a good voice, and I got quickly captivated by the sound of it, and by everything else about this song.

EP: Kapitel 2
Release Date: May 21

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