Islander

Feb 152024
 

Metal genre labels begin to resemble scrambled eggs cooked with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes, with a sprinkling of cheeses and spices. The thought comes to mind in contemplating “experimental post blackened sludge metal”, which is how some have characterized the music of the long-lived Greek band Sun of Nothing.

But just as a flavorful breakfast scramble causes the mouth to water, Sun of Nothing‘s music is also very enticing, even though it might also make you think it’s the last meal you’ll be eating before the world ends. Continue reading »

Feb 142024
 

On March 8th the Canadian metal band Kelevra (from Regina, Saskatchewan) will release a new album named Oneiric, which follows by a significant 8 years their last record, 2016’s Lividity.

For all of us, those 8 years brought an immense amount of change and challenge, and no exception was allowed for Kelevra. Among other hurdles they had to surmount, their bass player Adrienne suffered severe heart damage caused by an extremely rare and usually lethal autoimmune disorder, damage that led to multiple surgeries, the implementation of an electronic device (which powered her heart even as she continued playing live shows), and eventually a heart transplant.

We mention Adrienne‘s experience here at the outset, because she is one of the performers you’re about to see in a guitar-and-bass playthrough video for a thrilling song named “Cleanse With Fire” off Kelevra‘s new album. Continue reading »

Feb 142024
 

What shall you give your love on this Valentine’s Day? This person advises against store-bought flowers because they’re not planet-friendly. Boxes of sweets that rot teeth and burgeon butts? Maybe not the best idea either. Is there anything you can do that isn’t damaging in some way (even though love is almost always damaging at some point)?

How about showing your affection with a gift of some thundering music that includes “elements of anthemic, epic, traditional heavy metal with torrents of harmonized savagery and brief ventures into the likes of punk, classic rock, and more”?

That’s the PR come-on for the self-titled debut album by Hands of Goro, which is set for release on March 1st. It’s a seductive come-on, and becomes even more seductive when you see that the band’s three participants include members of Spirit Adrift, Nite, Slough Feg, and former live members of Carcass and Angel Witch. Continue reading »

Feb 142024
 

(We bring you DGR‘s review of a new EP by the Venetian band Obscura Qalma, which was released earlier this month by the Dusktone label.)

The nice thing about Italian symphonic death metal group Obscura Qalma is that they make absolutely no pretense of the style of music they’re going to make nor are they hiding who their influences are.

Obscura Qalma have been kicking around since 2018 and already have two albums and a few EPs – though one of each of those is the instrumental and orchestral version of songs from a previous album, much in the same way Fleshgod Apocalypse have taken to including the purely symphonic tracks as bonuses to their full-lengths recently. Adding to their name, all you need to do is look at a press photo of the band and you can tell there’s likely going to be a rich vein of SepticFlesh running through the group’s DNA.

Obscura Qalma don their lab coats and joyfully smash their death and symphonic elements together, cackling all the while, with lightning crashing in the background. Drawing heavily from the occult for lyrical inspiration – recently pulling large buckets up the well from the Aleister Crowley mines – Obscura Qalma are playing in a very wide musical sphere. The group’s latest EP Veils Of Transcendence punches in at four songs and a little under twenty minutes of boulder-heavy death metal with a huge symphonic and synth line buttressing the events and doing the melodic heavy lifting. Continue reading »

Feb 132024
 

Let’s pretend you can’t listen to Stellar Remains‘ new EP right now, even though you can if you just scroll further down the screen you’re now looking at.

Let’s take our game of make-believe a move further and pretend you have no idea who this band is and have never heard a note of its music. That requires less suspension of disbelief, because Wastelands is in fact the first release of Stellar Remains, and only one song from the EP has been available for streaming before today.

Moreover, all that most of us know or could find out about the band (apart from that one song) is that it’s the solo work of Brisbane-based Dan Elkin, who has no resume on Metal-Archives yet.

So, if you indulge all this pretending, then you have to put some amount of weight on what we now have to say about Wastelands. How nice for us. Continue reading »

Feb 132024
 

(We present DGR‘s review of a new EP by the Andorran band Persefone, which was released not long ago by Napalm Records.)

A guarantee with Andorra’s Persefone is that you are going to get a lot of music. Persefone have made a career out of albums hybridizing progressive metal, melodeath, and as wide a smattering of other genres as they could into a form of tightly controlled chaos with multiple vocal approaches serving as the icings on the cake.

They’re a full-album band and very rarely, throughout a surprisingly long career, have done any sort of single or EP as part of their discography. Persefone have always dealt in releasing densely packed albums, and as of 2022’s Metanoia were up to a grand total of six.

With all of those elements making up Persefone‘s career it is surprising that the band have seen relatively little change on the lineup front – especially since they really found their groove with 2013’s Spiritual Migration. Since then, other than a re-recording of their first album Truth Inside The Shades in 2020, the band have refined upon the eastern sprituality subject matter and massive keyboard-wall approach to their writing style.

Which is why it is both fitting and very interesting that the group’s newest release is just an EP but also has a ‘Part I’ tacked onto its name. Continue reading »

Feb 122024
 

As one dictionary tells us, the German word zeitgeist means “the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time”. It combines two words that mean those very things — time and spirit.

Now, take a guess about how the Swedish band CHILD think about our current age, given that they’ve named their new album Shitegeist. Continue reading »

Feb 122024
 

(Today we present an excellent interview that Comrade Aleks conducted with the two members of the Italian black/doom band Urluk, with apologies to all concerned for our delay in publishing it.)

The grim Italian duo Urluk was founded by M. (drums, vocals) and U. (guitars) in 2020. They started their underground career with the EP Loss (2022), followed by the full-length More after a formal one-year-long pause. Five new compositions fit into 34 minutes, slightly ahead of the first release in total duration.

More is the spiritual successor to Loss, and the main motives of these five compositions are identical: loneliness, despair, occultism, and obsession with negative states, clothed in the form of black doom.

It is worth noting that “Urluk” in the Lombard dialect means “tawny owl”, an owl often found in this region and, in the context of the album, associated with abandoned dwellings and forests. In this strange way, the duo demonstrates a close connection with their native land and emphasizes an interest in mysticism and darkness in various forms. Continue reading »

Feb 092024
 

(Here’s DGR‘s review of a new EP by Creepsylvanian splatterthrashers Ghoul, out now on the Tankcrimes label.)

If you’ve been trawling around the underground long enough, you’ve likely crossed paths with the crazed crossover thrash and death metal hybrid that is Ghoul; they’re a name that probably needs little introduction at this point – having battled out a career for years that is combination tongue-in-cheek shock horror, community theater, public-access TV, pirate radio, and puppet show.

The band, in all their murderous muppety glory, seem to appear out of the ether at shows and crank out crazed sets before vanishing into the night. You’d never know that they’ve been subsisting on a series of splits and singles since 2016’s Dungeon Bastards and prior to that had been on a slightly more sollid rotating albums/eps collection every three or four years.

The upshot of this is that Ghoul have five full-lengths to their name already, but their most recent EP Noxious Concoctions is the most substantial collection of material – four originals songs, one cover, for a grand total of eighteen and a half minutes of music – that the masked madmen have cranked out in almost eight years. Continue reading »

Feb 092024
 

We’ve been following the progress of the Dutch black metal band Verwoed (the solo project of Erik Bleijenberg), and becoming increasingly intrigued and viscerally moved by each successive release. And so it was exciting news to learn that Wolves of Hades and Argento Records will be releasing a new Verwoed album named The Mother on March 29th. Getting the chance to premiere a song from it was another thrill.

The song is called “The Madman’s Dance“, and madness does burn within the music, with such intensity and such wholly enveloping power that it’s easy to feel consumed by it, witnessing not merely derangement but bloody splendor. Continue reading »