Mar 272020



(Andy Synn prepared this collection of reviews, all addressing fine albums that are being released today.)

It’s a very busy Friday for releases this week, both big and small. Some of them we’ve covered here already (Aodon, Perdition Temple, The Malice), some of them we’ll probably get to over the next couple of weeks… maybe… and some of them have already received significant coverage elsewhere.

The purpose of today’s column however is to highlight a handful of bands/albums which might not necessarily receive the same amount of attention and/or adoration as some of the bigger or more high-profile releases, beginning with… drum roll please… Continue reading »

Mar 272020


With 18 years of continuous work and five studio albums behind them, the Colombian band Vitam Et Mortem are now returning with their sixth full-length, which is set for release on April 13th by Satanath Records (Russia) and Exhumed Records (Ecuador). Entitled El Río De La Muerte (River of Death), it is a conceptual work that functions as an exercise in historical memory — focusing on the armed conflict that has scourged Colombia for the past 60 years. In doing so, the album makes a comparison between the Magdalena River in Colombia and the Acheron river of Greek mythology, one of the five rivers of the underworld, known as “the river of woe”.

The band’s significant years of work and ever-evolving musical explorations have resulted in a truly fascinating listening experience, and an unusual stylistic amalgam that intertwines elements of black and death metal, ritual and folk influences, and the union of ravaging brutality and mesmerizing melody. As a great example of these achievements, we present today a lyric video for a song called “Los cuerpos en el río” (“The corpses in the river”). Continue reading »

Mar 272020


Fane is the forthcoming debut album of the British black metal band Ante-Inferno. In its inspirations and conceptions, it embraces a dark view of ancient and perilous mysteries hidden within the natural (and supernatural) world, its title representing a place where those eternal secrets persist:

The Fane is a house of secrets, a house of stories, a vault of the treasured knowledge that mankind has forgotten; it is a chalice of truth in an age of lies. It stands within the great forest that covers this land from coast to windswept coast, its glades and glorious canopy unseen by blinded eyes. The way to its door is written between the notes of the old songs and behind the lines of the tales that reverberate with the honesty of the ages. Behind its many doors are many pathways and many are the eyes that watch from the shadows that gather around its blazing hearth. It teems with restless ghosts and creatures whose thirst for blood is as endless as the Fane itself. It is all your world is not – the eternal centre of what was and will forever be.”

In its music, the album is incredibly intense, but intense in different ways. To quote from the advance press materials, because this passage is spot-on, it combines “aching atmosphere and rabid ferocity, icy grandeur and raging flames against a midnight sky”.

No one song completely reveals all the sensations created by the album, whose songs flow into each other and represent steps along a winding path. But the song we’re presenting today through a stunning video — “Oath” — is certainly a compelling example of the album’s achievements. Continue reading »

Mar 262020


Although a new alliance, the Finnish black metal band Bythos boasts a seasoned line-up of performers who come from other groups whose names will be known to every fan of black metal — Behexen, Horna, Sargeist, and Ajattara. In this new formation they’ve combined their talents to create an album that is thematically “an interdimensional view of the underworld and its deities, emphasising strongly on the spiritual evolution to liberate the imprisoned powers, and make one with the outer darkness”.

As further described, The Womb of Zero deals with: “The resetting of the divine plans through destruction and rising above limitations of life. Beauty in destruction, destruction in beauty. A sonic interpretation of what once was, and our constant path of devolution towards the Luciferian dawn”.

We share these insights first, because the music within the album translates these lyrical themes so well, and so powerfully, creating sensations of both chaos and transcendence, of fury and exultation, of menace and magic. We have a great example of these achievements in the song we’re presenting today through an occult-themed video, in advance of the album’s April 24 release by the esteemed Terratur Possessions. Prepare for “Sorath the Opposer“. Continue reading »

Mar 262020

photo by Belfry Photography


A dozen years into their career, the masked marauders in Black Pestilence from Calgary, Canada, will be discharging their sixth studio album on May 1st, and it’s a scorcher — a high-flying, hard-hitting, blood-lusting hybrid of black metal, punk, and noise that floods the system with adrenaline.

To help spread the word about the new album, the title of which is Hail the Flesh, today we’re premiering an official video for “Spurn All Gods“, a track that’s fast and filthy, feral and ferocious, and a non-stop thrill-ride in both sight and sound. Continue reading »

Mar 262020


If you’re okay with this, I’m just going to continue pulling together big batches of new songs, with only brief introductions. Not that I would know one way or the other what you think. But please trust me — I’m not having to bend over backwards to find so many songs and videos to recommend. As it always is, even when I’m including more rather than less, you’re still seeing only a fraction of the new music that fires me up.

I did make one exception to my usual rule of not publishing news if it’s not accompanied by music, because Enslaved is always in a special category. After that, the bands are listed in alphabetical order. There are a couple of exceptions to another rule in here too.


The news is that Enslaved have completed a new album named Utgard, but that they and their label Nuclear Blast have decided to postpone the release until the coming fall. The first single, and an accompanying video (filmed in Iceland), will be released on May 22nd. Continue reading »

Mar 252020



(Herein, Andy Synn sings the praises of three recent releases by French bands who present varying forms of Gallic metallic extremity.)

While many of us may be locked down right now, waiting for the current crisis to pass (which it will, I promise you), that doesn’t mean we can’t travel the world… musically speaking anyway… so today we’re off to France to check out three killer new records from three exceptionally talented bands. Continue reading »

Mar 252020


This makes the third time in our long, wretched history that we’ve had the honor of premiering music from Vancouver’s Heron. First, three-and-a-half years ago, it was a stream of their second EP, Fire Twin. The second occasion, two years ago, was a track from their debut album, A Low Winter’s Sun. And now, we present “Void Eater“, while helping to announce the new Heron album on which it will appear.

That album, entitled Time Immemorial, will be released in a variety of formats on May 15th by Sludgelord Records. And while Heron have already proven themselves through their previous releases to be a formidable force for skull-fracturing, soul-shattering intensity, Time Immemorial leads them (and us) even deeper into dark dimensions of dread and despair, of physical trauma and mental dislocation, and its ravaging, visceral impact is undeniable. Continue reading »

Mar 252020


Derek Carley fuckin’ practices what he preaches! In this video for a song called “Gluttony” he stuffs his gullet with kebabs while howling like a rabid demon at his rabid audience — and then self-eviscerates, spewing gore across all the greedy faces and then feeding their ravenous hungers with his own intestines. Deeeelicious!

It’s a hilariously grotesque film, with a little surprise at the end which proves that gluttony survives even death. And speaking of death, the song itself is a berserker blast of electrifying death-grind, vicious and wild and… eviscerating. Continue reading »

Mar 252020


(The heavy-hitting Swedish doom band Ocean Chief will release their sixth studio album on April 17th via Argonauta Records, and in this new interview Comrade Aleks talked about it with guitarist Björn Andersson.)

Long-liver of Swedish underground scene, Ocean Chief close toward their twentieth anniversary. Since 2001 this hard crew has driven their ugly and heavy drakkar through sonic tsunamis of sludge, doom, and stoner. I found them with the release of their third album Sten (2013) and was blown away with its massive and thick sound representing the primitive power of the ocean at full capacity. Their next work Universums Härd (2014) was a bit different thing with twice shorter tracks (in comparison with Sten’s 15 – 20-minute huge monsters) and then…

Then Ocean Chief almost disappeared from radars, so I was surprised when I get the promo of their new CD Den Tredje Dagen. I hope that virus panic won’t delay its release and that we’ll witness Ocean Chief’s return on April 27th through Argonauta Records. The band’s guitarist Björn Andersson sheds some light on this work. Continue reading »