Sep 212023

Death comes for some people suddenly, and often far too soon. For others it waits at the end of a slow process of physical and mental decline, far later than some would wish.

In times greatly distant from our own the harshness and hardships of life, coupled with an inability to treat illnesses, caused people to age and diminish faster and die sooner. But even then, as well as now, it has often fallen to children to care for declining parents, past the point when the pleasures of companionship have vanished and only pain remains.

In many cultures at different times around the world the problems of aging were solved by the practice of senicide — the killing of the elderly. In some places the aged were expected to relieve the burdens on their clans by killing themselves. In others, they became the victims of ritual sacrifice.

It is said that in ancient Scandinavia “the practice consisted in elderly people throwing themselves, or being thrown, from precipices after becoming unable to take care of themselves or perform everyday tasks.” And that practice, as described by the Portuguese band Lacrau, is the subject of their debut album Axioma, which we’re premiering in full today on the eve of its release by Monumental Rex. Continue reading »

Sep 212023

For those of you who might be experiencing the music of the band Dungeon for the first time today, don’t misunderstand their name: They don’t play dungeon synth or creeping and rotten old school death metal. In fact, you’ll soon discover that they’re somewhere over on the opposite end of a spectrum that might include those other genres.

But surely many of you already know that, because Dungeon (whose members are divided between the UK and Germany) have already made their searing mark through three previous releases whose titles very openly brandish the kind of music they’ve been making: the Unholy Speed Attack demo in 2015, the English Hell demo in 2016, and the Purifying Fire EP in 2018.

Fans have waited five years for Dungeon‘s next audio attack, and today you’ll hear it through our full stream of a new EP named Into the Ruins that’s set for release tomorrow by Dying Victims Productions. Those five years, it turns out, have done nothing to quench the hellfire that burns in their songs. Continue reading »

Sep 202023

The Norway-based duo Hammerfilosofi came together in the plague year of 2020 with the goal of creating primeval black metal that would represent a “cleansing fire that aims to eradicate every trace of the civilized, the harmless, and the mediocre”, and to function as “an instrument to initiate a violent cathartic inner journey – and a celebration of strength and vigor, of terror and strife, and of glorious death.”

The results of their dark and imperious endeavors are captured in a debut album entitled The Desolate One, which is set for an imminent release on September 22nd by ATMF. Did the band achieve their goals? You’ll be able to answer that question for yourselves through the music player below, which provides all six tracks and nearly 45 minutes of sound.

Of course, we have our own answers. Continue reading »

Sep 202023

(Didrik Mešiček prepared the following review of a debut album by the Budapest-based band Grymheart. It will be released soon by Scarlet Records.)

You wouldn’t have thought so if you knew me today, but power metal was my entry point into metal and, for a while, probably my favourite subgenre, However, as years passed and tastes evolved I realised I’m not finding many new power metal releases that are interesting or engaging, yet alone complex enough to really satisfy my desires.

But once in a while something pops up that seems fun as well as actually musically interesting, which is why I’ll be talking about the debut album, Hellish Hunt, from the Hungarian Grymheart today, which will be released on the 22nd of September on Scarlet Records. Continue reading »

Sep 192023

The stories and ideas that inspire the lyrics and music in metal albums are, at least in the minds of most listeners, of secondary importance to an album’s audio sensations, even when those narratives and notions were vital to the people who created the album. The same is true of stories about how an album came to exist at all.

To be honest, many times (most of the time?) a metal album’s conceptual themes just aren’t that novel or compelling, or they’re poorly rendered, especially in the lyrics. Just as often, the events that brought a band together and led to the making of the music, usually involving the surmounting of myriad misfortunes, turn out to be not very interesting, which in many instances might mainly be the fault of how the story is told.

In all these respects, however, the comeback album of the Belgian death/doom band My Lament is an exception to the norm. Continue reading »

Sep 192023

(This is Wil Cifer‘s review of Common Suffering, the new album by Chicago’s Harm’s Way which will be released by Metal Blade on September 28th.)

Here is a band I was reluctant to give a chance due to the whole straight-edge thing. Given my personal beliefs and lifestyle choices, the straight-edge sub-genre feels conflicting in the same way that causes me to avoid Christian bands.

I was lured into being more open-minded thanks to King Woman’s Kristina Esfandiari guesting on the single “Undertow”. The simmering darkness and willingness to explore eerie melodies set the Chicago band apart from the tough-guy hardcore I expected from them. Thus began my descent into their fifth full-length Common Suffering.

Their second album for Metal Blade carries a great deal of crossover appeal, though from a different angle than their previous release Posthuman, and I felt inspired enough by this album to dig back into their catalog and visit that as well. Continue reading »

Sep 182023

It’s been an interesting day at our site today. We began with my compatriot Andy‘s review of a well-hyped death metal album that he lauded for (among other things) its “outlandishly proggy approach” and “indulgently weird wavelegths”. Now we’re following that with something that has all the elaborate nuance of a atomic detonation.

Don’t get the wrong idea — Uranium‘s weaponization of power electronics, industrial noise, and black metal (among other ingredients) does create weird, head-twisting experiences, but in service of channeling mental ruination and inflicting terror on a seemingly world-ending scale rather than exercising a listener’s higher faculties.

In their sonic assaults, Uranium grasp the “godliness” and horror of nuclear annihilation most famously summed up by Robert Oppenheimer‘s somber yet shattering (and all too accurate) reflection: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds“.

Not for naught, Uranium have named their new album Pure Nuclear Death, and it’s the album’s title track we have for you today. Continue reading »

Sep 182023

The first song on a new EP by the Italian band Magnitudo, and the first single from it released for streaming, is named “Monument“. As we wrote here when we first heard it, it proves to be a fitting title given the immensity of the sounds.

The band erect a towering wall of guitars above humongous pounding drums, and then they make the wall writhe as horrific roars and howls intrude. Bent on destruction, Magnitudo also inflict slugging jolts as the drums hammer the spine, and they also spin out sweeping waves of ominous melody and slowly slithering filaments of sonic poison that put the frighteners in the bloodstream while the band attempt to break every bone in your body.

And so with that one track Magnitudo don’t just demonstrate the worthiness of the song name, they make one wonder whether the EP’s other three songs create music of similar imposing magnitude. You’re about to get the answer to that question. Continue reading »

Sep 172023

Code (December 2022)

Today’s collection will be somewhat shorter than usual. I have a mid-morning appointment for some cosmetic work. The forked tail keeps growing back and needs to be cropped again, and the cloven hooves need trimming. The price one must pay for wearing pants and shoes.

Of course that’s not true, but I do have a mid-morning appointment and the work is analogous. I hope the following selections will ruin your day, in the best ways. I’ve presented the choices in alphabetical order by band name.


Last Friday Code (a favorite among the denizens of our putrid site) released a two-track single named Hunting For Caesar, “two brand new tracks of bile and intrigue”, another way to help fill the space between their last album and their next one. Continue reading »

Sep 162023

I had such sprawling ambitions for this Saturday roundup before I went to sleep last night, because the past week seemed even more extravagant than usual in terms of new music releases. But then, even though I opened my eyes at 5 a.m. and then again at 6 a.m., I couldn’t make myself leave the comfortable tomb of my bed until much later. Big sigh.

So, as I sit here now, I know that if I wrote about everything that got me excited in my music-surfing the last few days I wouldn’t finish until a really late hour for a big segment of the people who typically visit us. On top of that I have to do some things for my fucking day job today (and tomorrow as well), or the start of the next work week will be sheer Hell.

I made a compromise with myself, giving fairly close attention to just five new songs and videos, focusing on lesser-known bands instead of the many big names who surfaced with new stuff last week, and then including more music (also from lesser-known names) without much commentary. I’ll have tomorrow to build on this with shades of new black metal. Continue reading »