Jun 232023

Once again I’m beginning what I hope will be a three-stage march backward through some of the better metal I came across over the past week, most of it brand new and some of it only newly discovered. Stage One is today, with the next two stages planned for the weekend. (None of the stages will include the bludgeoning and blistering new Cannibal Corpse song, but only because you probably already know about that one).

ALKALOID (Germany)

The last time I included Alkaloid in one of these round-ups we had news and cover art to share, but no music from their forthcoming third album Numen. Now we do. You might assume from the song’s title — “Clusterfuck” — that Alkaloid are going to throw your head into an instrumental blender set to liquefy, but if so you might be surprised.

I read this in a press release before listening to the song: “‘Clusterfuck‘ might have a clean and catchy chorus, but even the fiery, finger-tapped solo that squiggles loose around the four-minute mark is crushed like an ant between colliding moons”.

I also read the following comment from the band (now a quartet consisting of Morean (vocals, guitars, concepts), Hannes Grossmann (drums), Christian Münzner (guitars), and Linus Klausenitzer (bass)), which reveals that the song’s title has perhaps more to do with its subject matter than its sounds:

“It’s one of our shorter and more moderate tracks – maybe uncharacteristically so, once you see the whole album. But ‘Clusterfuck‘ still covers the classic Alkaloid spectrum between groove, hooks, brutality and complexity. The lyrics address the question of why we as a species should aspire to greatness at all, when we know that in all probability, we’re going to fail anyway”.

No clusterfuck at first, but ghostly, gothic, and gloomy instead, the music does eventually start contorting in strange and unsettling ways, including that weird and wailing guitar solo, albeit with some sledgehammer jolts along the way. Eventually, of course, it does start jumping pulses and giving heads a swifter spin after its slower hallucinatory start. And sure enough, the clean chorus is indeed pretty catchy.

Numen will be released on September 15, 2023 by Season of Mist. It’s 70 minutes long!





Next up you’ll find a psychedelic video for “Crawl Space“, a new song from this Seattle-based band who started life as Fucked & Bound, and obviously have significantly re-shaped their sound, at least based on this new song.

I’m influenced by the fact that I know some of these people, and they are very good people. I’m also influenced by the fact that Lis Di Angelo has such a powerhouse voice, that Brian McClelland spins out a fleet-fingered solo that magnifies the trippy ingredients in this grunge/punk song (on top of his woozy and grimy but propulsive riffage), and that bassist Rah Davis and drummer Emily Salisbury give the song such a head-hooking, hard-driving groove.

The song is from an album named new album Find Out that will be released in September by MNRK Heavy.





Okay, I know full well that most people who come slumming here are expecting something more extreme than that last song, so try this next one on for size. Entitled “Dwells“, it’s a thoroughly head-spinning and genre-hybridized new single from a forthcoming album by the Finnish band Omnivortex.

The guitars do mysteriously and menacingly ring and swirl, and their chiming but dissonant tones are a big part of the song’s appeal, but the drums go like automatic weapons, the vocals roar and scream like the denizens of a rabid bestiary, and the bass slugs as well as bubbles. The overarching mood of the music is one of an unfolding catastrophe — until it briefly segues into a less turbulent and more mesmerizing phase.

Even after the band start storming and screaming again, the twists and turns of the guitars create sensations of mental and emotional disturbance, but they do so in often captivating ways, and the guitar solo near the end is a glorious spectacle.

The very cool cover art is by Petri Ala-Maunus. The song is off the band’s sophomore album Circulate, which is set for release on September 29th.

(Rennie from starkweather turned me onto this song, and I’m damned glad he did.)




TÁLTOS (Hungary)

I decided to close the first stage of my planned multipart roundup with a complete new album that was just released on June 20th. It happens to be one of the most fascinating records I’ve heard all year.

After being pointed to it by my Serbian friend Miloš I got intrigued, even before listening, when I saw that the instrumentation includes didgeridoo, shaman drum, jaw harp, and a keyboard performance on the final track by something called New Antique Music, as well as the band’s own description of their music as “multiculti tribal black metal”.

You get a taste of the shamanic drumming and the didgeridoo right away in the first song, “A remény kora – Age of Hope“, and from there the music gets even more interesting. The vocals sound a bit like what I’d expect from reggae (or voodoo); the drumming resembles conga and samba; the bass strikes a big groove; and the rich collage of surrounding sounds, which sear, scrape, blurt, and blare, are strangely inviting but also kind of dangerous.

The remaining songs are also mind-benders, bringing into play a mad scattering of ingredients that includes funk, brass, psychedelia, jazz fusion, and a multitude of ethnic drum traditions (which to my ears seem mostly to connect with Africa and Latin America), plus singing. But black metal?

Well, the vocals do get ugly — growling, snarling, and screaming like maddened vampires with fangs bared. And at times the music does begin to seem demonic — I’m thinking particularly of how the third track ends and what happens in the fourth track “Turul könnyek – Turul Tears“, which doesn’t jump as much as the first three and seems poisonous, dismal, and nightmarish instead of buoyant and bizarre — at least until the music begins to race and cavort in its latter half, and to bring in haunted-house organ tones.

As for that final song, “Főnix – Phoenix“, it just proves that Táltos still had some cards up their sleeves that they hadn’t yet showed us (hard to believe as that may be). As I hear it, it brings in ingredients from industrial, electronica, and ska punk, plus additional singing styles, and mashes them up with the cut-throat snarls and a fantastical whirl of previously displayed ingredients.

Like I said, a fascinating and addictive album, though I’m not expecting all of our usual visitors to swoon for it like I have. Its name is A remény kora and it’s digitally available at Bandcamp. Don’t be dismayed by the price of 1,500 HUF. At the exchange rate used by Bandcamp when I bought it, that Hungarian currency translates to $4.42 (U.S.).

P.S. The sole member of the band is the mysterious JesterOfDestiny, but the Bandcamp page credits the remarkable drumming to Damjan Stefanović (MRTVI) and the guitar performances to Gavin Brooks (Voidthrone).



  1. Absolutely stoked about the new Omnivortex album! Their first album was killer!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.