Mar 292023

We’re going to leap right into the music we’re now presenting, and then backfill with some details about who’s responsible for it and the album that includes it.

The song is “Aspirants of Intemperance“, and it is indeed a belligerently intemperate death metal outburst. With little more than a noxious grunt to announce it, the song quickly begins bludgeoning listeners and broiling their brains with squealing, siren-like strings and viciously roiling riffage. The raw madness in the seething and swarming fretwork channels rabid savagery as the rhythm section rapidly jackhammer syour spine and horrific gutturals vent their vitriol.

And there’s more violent lunacy to come, including a freaked-out guitar solo, gut-plundering bass-lines, crazed screams, bursts of jittery and jolting fretwork, weird channel-shifting yowling tones, constant shifts in rhythmic patterns and tempos, and even more macabre vocal howling and roaring. It’s all bizarre and bamboozling, not just gruesome and barbaric but also intricate and elaborate. Continue reading »

Mar 292023

We are premiering a powerful song in this feature, but we’re also doing much more than that. We’re introducing you to a new band (this is the first of their recorded music to be revealed); we’re presenting the new single’s cover art for the first time; and we’re sharing insights into what inspired the music, and news about what will be coming next.

The band is SOLNEGRE, from the Balearic Islands near the eastern coast of Spain. The band is new, but the members are not newcomers to heavy music. Indeed, the two founders have been bandmates since 1995 and members of the Doom Metal sextet Helevorn. They chose to part ways with that band but quickly re-united in this new project, later joined by two other performers, who also has extensive experience in underground metal.

They have taken their musical inspiration from the old school greats of Doom/Death metal from the ’90s, referring to such bands as My Dying Bride and and early Anathema and Opeth, and more recent comparative references might include the likes of Shape of Despair, Ahab, and Doom Vs.

SOLNEGRE have inked a deal with the Armenian label Funere for the release of their debut album this fall (which includes guest appearances), but in the meantime they will be releasing their first single on April 7th, a song named “Vessel Part I: The Night Within”, and that’s what we’re premiering today through a visualizer video. Continue reading »

Mar 282023

Sahil Makhija (aka “The Demonstealer“) began a long road to recognition in the global metal community roughly 25 years ago. At least in terms of recordings, the road began with Sahil’s band Demonic Resurrection, whose debut album Demonstealer saw release in November 2000. Four more Demonic Resurrection albums followed, along with opportunities to perform outside their native India, and for a time it’s fair to say that DR was India’s best-known and most-celebrated extreme metal band.

Along the way, Sahil activated other vehicles for his musical output, including Reptilian Death and his solo project Demonstealer, and he gained further recognition through hosting the online cooking show “Headbanger’s Kitchen“, which gave him a chance to rub shoulders with members of metal bands scattered far and wide across the globe. And that’s not to mention his founding of a recording studio, a record label, a PR agency, and a consultancy service.

The road to recognition hasn’t been easy. It still isn’t. As Sahil explained in a recent interview with our man Comrade Aleks, he has experienced a fair share of moments when he wanted to give up, not because of a lack of desire to continue creating music but because of all the shit constantly shoveled up by “the business side” of releasing music and performing. And then there’s the fact that metal music is still an alien art form in India — “culturally strange and also sonically not appealing” to the vast majority of the population. “Metal music, unlike in the west, is music that people of a certain privileged and economic background listen to. It’s not the music of the common man.”

Nevertheless, Sahil forges ahead, with music still the mainstay of his life as he approaches his 41st birthday. And more than ever, disturbing conditions in his native land (and around the world) became the subject matter of his songwriting as he returned to his Demonstealer project. Reflecting that subject matter, the name of the new Demonstealer album which we’re presenting today is The Propaganda Machine, which is now set for release on March 31st by Black Lion Records. Continue reading »

Mar 282023

(Andy Synn takes a walk on the weird side with the debut album from Belarus’s Leprethere)

Right from the start, Tarnished Passion is not an easy album to pin down.

The duo who make up the band themselves refer to their sound as a mix of Dissonant Death Metal and Mathcore, and both those elements are certainly present.

But I’ve also seen them referred to as Progressive Metalcore, Technical Death Metal, and even Djent (though that one is really making a mountain out of the proverbial molehill in my opinion) by various different sources, so there seems to be some confusion about how to classify exactly what it is that Leprethere actually do.

And I can’t help but think that’s how they like it.

Continue reading »

Mar 282023

(We present Comrade Aleks‘ interview of Ion Santos, a member of the Basque Country melodic death metal band Hopelessness, whose roots go back more than two decades, and who are now alive and well after a long recording hiatus, with a new EP released last year.)

The Basque melodic death metal outfit Hopelessness never hurried. Founded 22 years ago, this band lived through two splits and released only one album, Broken Tears in Solitude, back in 2005. Their road was rocky, but it seems that they found the way out and returned to an active creative pace. I found Hopelessness‘ EP Mukuru, which saw the light of day in November 2022, a decent example of melodeath, and I invite you to taste it right now as you’re reading this interview with band guitarist Ion Santos. Continue reading »

Mar 272023

For those of our visitors new to the band Thørn, they’re a Milanese group formed by members of the Italian hardcore DIY scene. And hardcore/crust-punk does provide a key ingredient to their music, but that’s only one of many, which also include black metal, grindcore, and more besides. Not for naught do they cite the diverse influences of such bands as The Secret, Trap Them, Baptists, Cursed, and Oathbreaker.

They released their first EP (self-titled) through Indelirium Records in 2018, and followed that with a split with the Estonian crust-punk band Ognemot. Now, they’re ready to hit the streets again with a debut album fittingly named Inferno, which will see a limited tape release on March 30th through the collaboration of Vita Detestabilis Records and Fiadh Productions — and today we present the album’s full stream. Continue reading »

Mar 272023

(Today we present Comrade Aleks‘ extensive interview with Kobold from the UK black metal band Old Forest, and under other guises a participant in Ewigkeit, Nattehimmel, Jaldaboath, and more.)

The first stage of Old Forest‘s career wasn’t robust: The band started in London, 1998, released the debut album Into the Old Forest in 1999, and was disbanded in 2001. It was re-formed in 2007 and the wheels turned faster this time. Despite the band’s mastermind Kobold’s occupation in a few more bands since then, Old Forest recorded six more full-length albums and some smaller releases.

Kobold played with the famous In the Woods…, did some “Monty Python” with Jaldaboath, and experimented in his solo project Ewigkeit, but he always had enough time to keep his black metal Old Forest alive, and this March the new album Sutwyke is to be released through Soulseller Records.

So here we are… ready to breathe deep the smell of rotting foliage and the raw soil, and feel the cold wind of ’90s black metal while reading the interview we did with Kobold.

(Thanks to Jan of Sure Shot Worx for organizing the interview.) Continue reading »

Mar 262023

Here are the rest of the selections I made for this week’s column devoted to black and blackened metal. And because daylight is burning (or it would be if it weren’t hidden behind grey Pacific Northwest clouds, I’ll just get right to the music.

HYL (Italy/Poland)

To lead off I’ve chosen the video for “Endless Illusions“, the latest single from Hyl‘s debut EP, Where Emptiness Is All. I was drawn to it after reading that the band is a collaboration among vocalist Shadow (from Black Altar and Ofermod), guitarist/bassist Rick Costantino (from Schizo and Krigere Wolf), and drummer Krzysztof Klingbein (ex-Vader, Belphegor live). I was also intrigued by the label’s description of the music as “atmospheric black metal, which should appeal to fans of Ruins of Beverast, Vemod or Mgła“. Continue reading »

Mar 262023

Into Darkness – photo by Nicolette A. Radoi

As I began making my way through my list of new music I might want to recommend for this Sunday’s column I had one mental WOW! after another. Some actual exclamatory sounds might have escaped my mouth, but the headphones were clamped on too tight for me to tell. After realizing that I’d already found more than enough to occupy this installment I had to make myself stop listening, even with lots of things left to check out,

Maybe I didn’t stop soon enough. There’s a lot here — four advance tracks from forthcoming records, two complete EPs, and one complete albums. To make all this a little more accessiblke, I’ve divided the recommendations into two Parts. I hope you’ll find time to delve into all of it instead of feeling overwhelmed, and that you get a few WOW‘s yourself.


After experiencing the weirdness of time seeming to slow down during the depths of pandemic lockdowns, it now seems that it’s speeding ahead faster than ever. That includes the release of new music, which whizzes by so fast that it almost becomes a blur. That makes it easy to overlook things, and I confess that as a result I missed the release of a new Into Darkness EP about 10 days ago. It certainly wasn’t for lack of interest, since I’ve written enthusiastically about every release by this Italian band since their first demo in 2012. Continue reading »

Mar 252023

Demonaz – Photo by Leander Djønne

How long did I sleep last night? Hey, thanks for asking, it was 10 1/2 hours. You’d think I’d dug a mile-long ditch by myself before collapsing in exhaustion, but I did little more than sit on my ass and peck at a keyboard all day. It’s probably just a sign of how long I’d sleep every night if I didn’t have some binding commitment to keep early every morning (looking at you, NCS). I like sleeping.

Anyway, late start today, and therefore not as many picks in this roundup as I thought I’d have. I decided to pull in some bigger names, whose songs surfaced fairly early in the week, and then round things out with some hard-scrabble fighters from deeper underground.


Dark northern armies go to battle across the ice under blood-red skies in Immortal‘s blazing and bombastic new song “War Against All“. It’s a hot-blooded scorcher, packed with both brazen and febrile fretwork, berserker screaming, and rumbling thunder in the low end. If you’ve just hibernated for 10 1/2 hours it’s as welcome and as effective as a jolt of pitch-black caffeine. Continue reading »