Aug 302023

Here we have another hump-day roundup of new songs and videos. This one is a little shorter than usual but that’s because I have ambitions to make this a two-part edition. Indeed, I’ve already picked the stuff for Part 2, but I didn’t have time to write up everything for a single post — I have to turn to an upcoming album premiere I haven’t quite finished.

However, I didn’t call this Part 1 because between now and when I can turn back to Part 2 some kind of shit could unexpectedly rain down on my plans. Time will tell….


JFAC released their last album Sun Eater nine years ago. In his review, my colleague Andy opined that it saw them “taking some big leaps, and some big risks, with their sound, going proggier and more melodic overall, without pandering to notions of popularity and accessibility”. “That’s not to say it doesn’t absolutely crush when it wants to,” he wrote, “it’s just that it’s now more intricate, more layered, and more expansive in its vision, than ever before”.

Based on some of the surprised reactions to JFAC‘s new single, nine years later, you’d think Sun Eater had been forgotten. The band didn’t forget. They seem to have picked up almost right where they left off nearly a decade ago.

Photo by Tom Couture

The new single, “The Agony Seeping Storm“, is the work of a somewhat-changed lineup consisting of original vocalist Jonny Davy, long-standing guitarists Tony Sannicandro and Al Glassman and bassist Nick Schendzielos, and new drummer extraordinaire Navene Koperweis.

In this new single (which arrived with a very cool video) the band waste no time giving listeners’ heads a swift spin, opening with rapidly morphing bass notes and drum patterns and a fleet-fingered solo that sounds deliriously crazed.

From there the tempos and the instrumental performances twist with abandon, but with razor-sharp execution, which is to say that the head-spinning continues unabated. As this demented musical kaleidoscope rapidly turns and opens up like a musical tesseract, it becomes both chillingly hallucinatory and viciously exultant; Jonny Davy‘s electrifying vocals are relentlessly vicious, but in their own way just as multi-faceted.

The new song is the first to be revealed from a new JFAC album, as yet untitled, which will be released next year via Metal Blade Records. It’s a concept album that Jonny Davy describes this way:

“The concept was inspired by a close friend who embarked on a relentless quest for profound enlightenment through the incessant abuse of hallucinogenic drugs. However, as they delved deeper into their religious-like experimentation they began exhibiting symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They came to believe that they could access an alternate, esoteric reality through hallucinogenic intoxication, where they encountered gnostic and biblical figures and imagery.These songs reflect their thoughts, ideas, and experiences.”




We’ve been closely and happily following the progress of Hinayana ever since the band’s first demo back in 2014 when it was the solo project of Casey Hurd. Since then, they’ve pulled themselves up by their Texas bootstraps to the point where their forthcoming second album Shatter and Fall will be released by no less than Napalm Records. That will certainly help spread the word about it — yesterday, for example, I received six e-mails from three different publicists about the new album and its first single.

That first single, “Reverse the Code“, carries forward Hinayana’s doom-influenced melodic death metal but does so in a way that both ruthlessly pounds and viciously blisters. Shining keys and a glorious solo make it soar, and mighty growls give it teeth, but haunting, melancholy melodies surface and re-surface in the midst of the hard slugging and feverish frenzies. It comes with a very good video too….

Napalm Records plans to release Shatter and Fall on November 10th. It was mastered by Dan Swanö at Unisound and features cover art by Travis Smith.

In other Hinayana news, they’re joining headliners Wolfheart and Before the Dawn on a tour of Europe and the UK in November. Those bands will mesh very well together.




Like both of the first two bands in this roundup, Maze of Terror are another one we’ve been happily following for a long time — and the following continues. Just last month the band released a hellraising new EP named Into the Jaws of Terror (which you can find here), and they’ve already got another one set for release next month.

The name of the new EP is The Night Where Evil Prevails, and yesterday brought us the debut of one of its five tracks — “Nightmare in the Street of Hell“. It sure sounds like hellish evil has prevailed on this song.

Maze of Terror are past masters of thoroughly evil thrash riffing, of the kind that gives your adrenaline a mean kick in the ass, and they show that again here. The guitars pulse in deranged, high-speed spasms, writhe in demented whirls, blaze in brazen fanfares, spin out delirious, shrieking solos, and wail like apparitions.

Meanwhile, the rhythm section mete our varying forms of punishment, and the vocals snarl and shriek like rabid demons that would like nothing better than to chew open your jugular and hungrily drink its spurting contents.

The Night Where Evil Prevails will be released on September 4th by the Portuguese label Selvajaria Records. It’s up for pre-order on Bndcamp now.


  1. Great news that Job For A Cowboy has returned after so long. Sun Eater was actually my initial introduction to the band and it really impressed me. I return to it often. I was wondering what they were up to.

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