Aug 052023

Hey there, how’s your weekend shaping up? Is it shaping up like this, or like this? Either way, after you make your way through what I’ve picked for this Saturday’s roundup it may be re-shaped into something like this.

I decided to arrange the following new songs and videos in reverse alphabetical order by band name, mainly so I’d be able to start with…


When I think of WarCrab‘s music I think of the kind of whumping sound that would be produced by a giant battering ram pounding against concrete pylons and ejecting the rebar out the other side. I also sometimes think of Bolt Thrower and Crowbar, and not just because Transcending Obscurity Records refers to those bands in the context of describing WarCrab‘s forthcoming album The Howling Silence.

But in the case of the first two singles from the new album, those aren’t the first impressions that come to mind.

In the case of “Orbital Graveyard“, you should prepare for a faster assault than you might be expecting, a delirious battering barrage laced with barbaric howls, ecstatically swirling and sizzling leads, and an exultant solo.

The more recent single, “Black Serpent Coils“, creates sharp contrast with the first one. Leading off with a mercurial bass solo, it evolves in ways that make one think of an alchemical cauldron bubbling and ritual drums tumbling. Perhaps needless to say, WarCrab eventually bring out the battering rams, but those weird and woozy riffs persist, extending the atmosphere of strange sorcery (or drug-induced hallucination). Fretwork seizures also ensue as the vocals scream with teeth bared and the drums snap at your neck. There’s a solo in this one too, even more delirious and longer-lasting.

I’m now very curious to see what else the album holds in store. Maybe I should shift into the promo without further delay….

The Howling Silence will be released by Transcending Obscurity Records on November 3rd.




Anders Biazzi seems to have death metal for blood, and it keeps pumping in his veins without slowing a beat. Does sleep never come?

September will bring us another album from his war-themed Just Before Dawn project, and he has again enlisted a lot of distinguished co-combatants to complete the attack. The new album, A War Too Far, includes guest appearances by David R Kreft (Graceless), Matias Nastolin (Decaying), Damien Terry (Envig), Filip Fougstedt (Creeping Flesh), Sebastian Gustavsson (Envig), Daniel Gustavsson (Demonical, Tormention), and James Murphy (Disincarnate, Death, Obituary,Testament) — along with his usual JBD allies Gustav Myrin and Jon Rudin.

This new album is intended as a tribute to all veterans of the Vietnam War, and the first single released from it is named “Operation Arc Light“. That name rang a bell, but I still needed to do some googling, which revealed that Arclight was an 8-year bombing campaign by the U.S. Air Force intended to support U.S. ground operations in Vietnam (as well as in Laos and Cambodia). The campaign used long-range high-altitude strategic bombers such as the B-52 Stratofortresses, and included more than 125,000 sorties, with an average tonnage of bombs per mission of between 15 and 30.

With inspiration like that, you’d expect the song to represent a megaton bombing campaign, and the rhythm section do deliver a bombardment. The riffing, well-distorted in the distinctive SweDeath style, could also be taken in as the massive whine and whir of huge aircraft engines delivering their payload.

The music also creates a grim and grievous mood, channeling incendiary destructiveness and fiery agony as the vocals roar and scream. In berserk fashion, the guitars scath the senses, but also seem to wail in pain, and the soloing seems to scream. In total, it’s a very intense experience, but not one (as I interpret it) that glories in pulverizing mayhem, but instead shakes its head in horrified dismay.

(With Biazzi performing guitars and bass, and Jon Rudin manning the drumkit, the song features vocals by Filip Fougstedt and a guitar solo by Daniel Gustavsson.)

P.S. Just Before Dawn has had another release this year already — a compilation called …Of the Battlefields from Raw Skull Recordz, which includes 14 tracks, most of them drawn from previous cassette releases issued by Into It Records but also including three new bonus songs. You can find the album here.)



KRONREST (Romania)

As is often the case, I have Rennie from starkweather to thank for the discovery of this next song in today’s playlist of destruction. In one form, it appeared as a single released by this Romanian duo in June of this year.In a different form it was included on a compilation entitled Fertile Soil that Loud Rage Music released last month.

As a single from the band, “Humility of the Crushed” lasts for a hair over five minutes. To prepare, you get a collage of weird chiming and quivering tones, bursts of static, maybe a crow or maybe a human cawing, and some eerily shimmering ambience. But it really doesn’t prepare us at all for the eruption of maniacally thundering drums and turbocharged bass tones, blistering skies-on-fire high-end mayhem delivered with piercing intensity, or the monstrous roars and howls.

Eventually, the drums gallop and those acetylene-torch guitars melt lead in start-stop bursts. The music strangely twangs, spins up into screaming tornadoes of flame, spasms in rhythmic paroxysms, and booms like giant pipes being shivered to pieces. And then suddenly the maelstrom stops sucking the wind from your lungs, replaced by eerily echoing ambient radiations, because Kronrest apparently decided they hadn’t flipped your brain upside-down enough times already.

The version of the song that appears on the July compilation is a little more than a minute shorter, and the difference comes from stripping off the oddities that emerge at the end of the single after the cataclysm suddenly vanishes.



CVINGER (Slovenia)

We haven’t heard from the Slovenian black metal band Cvinger in a while, not since the 2016 release of their second album Embodied in Incense, which we had the pleasure of premiering here. But at last they’re back, with a new album named Doctrines by the Figures of Crnobog that’s set for release on August 25th by the Via Nocturna label. What I chose next for today’s roundup is a recently revealed video for the album’s title track.

I picked this one in part because it’s in keeping with the theme of destructive (and frequently head-spinning) mayhem that runs through everything in today’s selections. As the bass bubbles away at the outset the riffing roils in madness, and the protracted screams don’t sound sane either. However, the song soon reveals other dimensions, more occult and harrowing ones (they do call their music “Occult Slavic Black Metal”), in addition to keeping listeners off-balance with continuous shifts in pacing and mood.

The guitars drag and groan as well as whine in despair and blare in contortions of dissonance; the vocals utter deep growling and gagging tones and fiendish pronouncements; the drums stomp and whomp as well as clatter in unusual spasms; and the bass is a constantly morphing presence, in keeping with the continual mutations in everything else.

All in all, it’s a devilish and discombobulating escapade, and come to think of it, nothing about the song sounds remotely sane.




Well, we’ve finally worked our way from W down to A, and hence the end of this Saturday roundup — and what an end it is.

The final song selected for today is “Tightening the Screws“, the opening track on this New York band’s third album in a long, albeit significantly interrupted, career. They recommend the album “for fans of chameleons, frogs, clouds of smoke, that which wriggles in the haunted abyss and alternative rock.”

This new song tightens the screws quickly, lasting less than two minutes. The riffing drills into the head, the drums and bass bound about and convulse with skull-busting glee, and the vocals sound like crocodiles snarling and gurgling from sewer pipes where they found a nasty home, and you can hear victims screaming as well. Apart from the drilling sensations, the guitars (and keys?) maniacally cavort — feverishly darting, swirling, and screeching like demented sirens.

No, it doesn’t last long, but it’s an instrumental tour de force and thoroughly head-spinning, like mad scientists given free rein. The impulse to keep it on repeat is irresistible.

The album is named In But Not Of, and it will be released by Willowtip Records on October 20th. In addition to recording, mixing, and mastering the album, Colin Marston pitched in with keys and synths, and Cory Peterson (Thaetas) and John Collett (Nightmarer) contributed guest vocals. The fascinating cover art was created by Alex Eckman-Lawn.


  1. I would hope they sound like Crowbar

    At least two of those guys are Kirk Windstein

  2. That 8-year carpet bombing campaign against Laos which Before The Dawn is praising targeted and massacred civilians and farmers. This evil episode is not something to glorify.

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