Oct 212023

It’s that time of year again, when my wife and I argue about whether to get tooth-rotting treats for potential visitors on Halloween night. Her argument: We haven’t seen a trick-or-treater at our house in 20 years. My argument: But it could happen, and wouldn’t we be embarrassed having to offer something like licking peanut butter from a spoon?

Rather than let the arguments drag on I used to buy tooth-rotters on the sly and hide them, just in case. But she’d always find them and then I’d catch hell for being a moron. I guess I’ll just keep the spoon and peanut butter handy. Maybe two spoons so I can eat some first to prove it’s not poisoned.

Well, enough about familial contention. Here’s some contentious music for your Saturday.



We got a very nice surprise yesterday when Noisebringer Records and Avantgarde Music released the first of two songs on a new 7″ Kanonenfieber EP named U-Bootsmann. This new song, “Kampf und Sturm” (battle and storm), arrived with a lyric video that you can check out below.

The opening of the video includes a place name and a date — Ärmelkanal, 1 July 1915. I discovered that “Ärmelkanal” is the German name for the English Channel, and the song’s name and accompanying imagery indicate that the subject matter concerns the operation of German U-boats during World War I.

I’m not quite sure what happened in the realm of submarine warfare during July 1915, but in May of that year a German U-boat torpedoed the Lusitania, a Cunard passenger liner, off the coast of Ireland, causing the loss of 1,200 lives. The lyrics of the song (available at Bandcamp), when translated, recount a failed U-boat attack on a merchant vessel, a deep dive by the submarine, and the failure of its engine.

After an introductory segment, the song sounds like the jolting assault of weaponry, and then the lead guitar vibrations swirl high in electrifying fashion just before gritty snarls usher in the words. But in between the bouts of visceral jolting and electrifying swirling sensations, the riffing also takes a grim and pounding turn, building moods of oppressiveness and gloom, just as the tale does.

I haven’t heard the second song on the EP, “Die Havarie” (the accident), but based on the name it may continue the story begun on “Kampf und Sturm“.

U-Bootsmann will be released on November 25th or December 8th (YouTube says one thing, Bandcamp says another).





Like Kanonenfieber, Inferi also dropped a surprise single yesterday (at least it was a surprise to me). Entitled “Tainted Pact“, it tells the story of a man of fallen faith wasting away in illness and, to achieve eternal (but infernal) life, he makes a pact with demon forces to join their Legion in an assault on heaven, “Enthralled by Legion’s call / A maddening cacophony of demoniac squall“.

As one might expect from the lyrical narrative, and from Inferi‘s past works, “Tainted Pack” is a blistering and blazing tech-death spectacle, but one shrouded in the vapors of the paranormal. The vocals themselves sound like a maddened demon cacophony, and the music towers as well as brilliantly swirling and darting. Plus, there’s a guitar solo lying in wait that’s a piece of black magic(k) sorcery.

The new single is out now digitally, on The Artisan Era.




SÂVER (Norway)

After that last exhilarating riot from Inferi, I decided to turn down the heat a bit with this next song — at least at first.

At first, “Eliminate Distance” is soft and ethereal, but have no fear, soon enough it begins pounding like sledgehammers and the screaming begins. The song also includes eerily squirming arpeggios that channel increasingly dismal moods, to go along with gunshot drums and the clang of iron-shod chords.

As it proceeds, the song begins to sound hallucinatory, even nightmarish, but the humongous pounding always returns, cold and brutish, along with the screaming, utterly berserk.

Eliminate Distance” is taken from SÂVER‘s upcoming album From Ember And Rust, which is set for release on November 10 via Pelagic Records.





Next up I’ve chosen two new songs by this Swedish three-piece, whose lineup includes members of Martyrdöd and Freedom. Both songs are from Harmagedon‘s debut album Dystopian Dreams, which will be released on November 17th by Svart Records.

Svart Records allows that “Black Sabbath, Entombed, Neurosis & High on Fire spring to mind” through the band’s amalgam of crust punk, d-beat, and death metal. About the two songs that are available now, guitarist and vocalist Tim Rosenquist says:

Controlled Chaos is about propaganda actions and distractions but Reptilian is about how hard work makes you into this emotionless beast of a being. That song is best served blasting on the factory floor or in the car on your way to the office! Reptilian’s themes are at the core of what Harmagedon is about”.

Reptilian” is the album opener, and it’s a short and savage beast, a bone-smasher and a mind-broiler, coupled with raw and rabid vocals. A little clanging guitar motif becomes a hook, and there’s a rapidly swirling and wailing solo in the mix, which is a big hook all its own, but in the main this song is designed to fracture pavement.

Controlled Chaos” is a skull-crusher too, but more slithering and sinister in its moods, and with additional vocals that are more goblin-like in their madness. It has its own hook-laden (and jittery) guitar bits, plus a witchy guitar solo that’s just as attention-grabbing as the one in “Reptilian“. Come to think of it, the whole song is diabolical.

Both songs will play if you let the player below keep running.





Some of you have been hanging around the NCS slum long enough to remember a writer who went by the name Utmu. I think it’s been about 10 years since the last time he wrote for us, but he’s still out there, and this next selection is one he recently recommended to me, with this message: “They’re pretty similar to Sanguisugabogg imo, but grindier. Have some nice riffs, and even a sample of Werner Herzog.”

Well, that piqued my interest, and so did the music on Omnipresence, a 12-song, 15 1/2 minute album they released last June. If you do the math, you’ll figure out that these songs mostly fly by faster than speeding bullets, though for the hell of it they do throw in a 3 1/2 minute track named “I Just Kill“.

But the music itself doesn’t always fly. In fact, the band splice up their marauding rampages with episodes in which they build visions of hulking, stomping monsters armed with ugly groaning riffs, gut-busting beats, and macabre gutturals. When they do fly, and screeching vocals sometimes come out, the riffing is maniacally convulsive and pitched at ear-ruining timbres and the drums go nuts.

In between, they sometimes scamper or viciously pound like pile-drivers, or just inject the ears with abrasive static and violent lunatic cries, which is actually what happens in that “long” track, “I Just Kill“.

If you don’t want trick-or-treaters coming anywhere near your hovel, just park a speaker near your door on Halloween and put Omnipresence on repeat. It’ll even scare the shit out of adults.




HERZOG (Belgium)

Musical madness comes in many different forms, and to demonstrate the point I decided to follow the madness of Blemish with the madness of Herzog (and yes, it also seemed fitting because of that Werner Herzog sample that Blemish used).

The riffing in the song below, “Melted Tesseract“, has an almost dreamlike swirling and swaying quality; I might even go so far to say it sounds… diabolically romantic… even though the trilling, high-pitched harmonies are also more than a little raw in their tone, which also makes it more than a little disturbing.

The shrieked vocals, on the other hand, are thoroughly unhinged, and the drums are given to blasts and hammering (with a few rocking and punkish beats in the mix as well), and the riffing also channels a kind of dervish-like ecstasy. I’m more than a little mesmerized by the song.

The song is from an album named Furnace, to be released on November 24th by Amor Fati Productions.

P.S. I just discovered that there’s another song from Furnace out in the world (“All Rites“), so I’ve included a stream of that one too.





To close, I have Imperial Triumphant‘s cover of Metallica‘s “Motorbreath“. The original is so frantic and frenzied that it’s not a shock Imperial Triumphant picked that one to cover. It’s also not a shock that Imperial Triumphant‘s version puts different spins on Metallica‘s high-speed fretwork freakout.

It is, of course, a lot jazzier, beginning with the piano overture and including an ethereal and entrancing finale, and we get deathly growls in the vocal department, but the fretwork (and other embellishments) are often even more freaked-out than the original, more spectacularly head-spinning, and so is the drumwork. The single word that first springs to mind in those episodes is “nightmarish”.



  1. Just buy candy and then eat it when you don’t get any rugrats at the door!

  2. Harmagedon’s Reptilian Is A Smash Hit…

 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.