Nov 122019


Ex-Asphyx drummer Bob Bagchus and Acheron frontman Vincent Crowley, who’ve been friends since 1991, finally got fed up with what they perceived as an overdose of political correctness in the metal scene, and decided to do something about it. Determined to express their disgust with a culture in which “everything is offensive and so-called victims are a plenty” (as Crowley put it in an interview), they collaborated to create Infidel Reich, a head-moving riff machine that now includes early Asphyx guitarist Tony Brookhuis and a bassist named McNasty.

The band’s name is itself intentionally provocative, though not intended to convey any political, religious, or racist dogmas. The “Reich” refers to the band’s own self-contained “empire”, while the name of their debut album, Reichenstein, is a play on Mary Shelley‘s classic novel, and (like the cover art by Triple Seis Design) was conceived as a way of capturing the monstrosity of the musical beast created by this band of metal mad scientists.

Musical inspirations of course come from a myriad of experiences and convictions, and no doubt those which animated Infidel Reich will succeed in pissing off some segment of the listening public before they hear a single note of Reichenstein. It’s hard to shed any tears over that, because that’s exactly what Infidel Reich anticipated. On the other hand, those who reject the particular kind of disgust and rage that drives this album will miss out on a remarkably well-crafted and relentlessly addictive collection of songs which successfully integrate a wide array of old-school heavy metal traditions. Continue reading »

Nov 112019


“Prepare yourselves for a death metal rocket-ride that may leave your eyes rolled back in your head, your teeth bared in your frothing mouth, your head banging in a fury, your body convulsed in a seizure.” That’s how we began introducing our June 2017 premiere of a track off Verthebral‘s debut album, Regeneration. It’s not a bad way to introduce today’s premiere either, because in the two-plus years since their debut release these high-octane death-dealers from Paraguay haven’t mellowed in the slightest.

The song we’re presenting today — “The Art of Perversion” — comes from the band’s new album, Abysmal Decay, which has a December 27 release date via Transcending Obscurity Records. As you can see, the colorful cover art by Marcos Miller is an eye-popping come-on for the album, and the music is just as hellishly attention-grabbing. Continue reading »

Nov 082019


After recording and independently releasing three records from 2013 into 2017, the instrumental post-rock band Glories (who live in Birmingham, Alabama) were shaken by the death of guitarist Zachary Cooner. During the heartbroken hiatus that followed, the band’s remaining members — Dallas Kelley, Adam Blevins, and Kyle Posten — wondered how, or whether, to proceed with the project they had created with him. Ultimately, they decided to forge ahead, and the album they wrote became a way of both working through their grief and a tribute to their lost brother.

The name of the album is Distant After, and it will be released on January 24, 2020. In its sensations the music spans an array of changing emotions, but perhaps most of all (in the accurate words of the advance press for the record) “a sense of uplift and triumph following melancholy and struggle”.

Although the album was meant to be heard as one continuous piece, the song we’re presenting today, “Make the Hills Echo“, all by itself seems to capture much of the emotional journey that animates the album as a whole. Its poignancy is unmistakable, but it becomes even more powerful once you know (as you now do) what lies behind it. Continue reading »

Nov 072019


At this site we make strenuous and steadfast efforts to search for appealing new sounds from bands whose names aren’t the ones everyone already knows and who tend to dominate attention at most other locations. The daily flood of new metal is so torrential that the search for unheralded underground gems can sometimes feel exhausting. But all it takes to recharge the batteries is to come across the kind of megawatt thrill delivered by an album like Descendants Of Sodom.

This debut album by the Los Angeles death metal band Infirmity is a very big and very welcome surprise, and we’re delighted to present a full stream of it today, on the verge of its November 9th release by Lost Apparitions Records. Continue reading »

Nov 072019


Three years on from their 2016 debut album Chaostorm, the Turkish marauders in Hellsodomy are storming the gates of civility and innocence once again with a new full-length blast of blackened death/thrash named Morbid Cult. This new scourge of full-throttle ferocity shows the benefit of the band’s prolific live appearances, which have included not only shows in Istanbul but also festival and tour appearances across Europe. The music is razor-sharp in its execution, but blazes with high-octane intensity and lethal intent.

The new album is set for release by Saturnal Records on December 6th, and today we’ve got the premiere of an album track named “Pestilence of Black Blood” which proves the truth of those preceding words but also reveals the band’s talent for creating atmosphere and dynamic momentum at the same time as they’re whipping your pulse-rate into overdrive.. Continue reading »

Nov 062019


Nearly three years ago we premiered the debut two-track EP of the Swiss band Charlene Beretah, whose name is in part a tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and the appelation that Private Gomer Pyle bestowed upon his M14 rifle, the one he ultimately used as the instrument of his own destruction. At that time a duo who performed their music using only guitar and drums, the band deployed elements of crust, sludge, black metal, and doom to create sensations of wrenching devastation. We summed it up this way: “Negative, ruinous music for negative, ruinous times, both songs push you toward the abyss, but Charlene Beretah are good at what they do; you may go willingly.

In the years since then the original two-some, Charlene Petit and Thierry Beretah, have been joined by a third marauder, Jean Goisse, and they have also completed work on a debut album named Ram — which does indeed hit like a massive battering ram. It’s supremely destructive. And it also does really nasty things to your mind, and to whatever sense of emotional balance and comfort you might enjoy. It makes an enormous first impression, something like the bomb crater left by a megaton warhead in the midst of dirty urban streets, and the smoldering rubble it makes of a listener’s mental and emotional health isn’t easily reassembled or easily forgotten.

Ram will be released on November 8th by Division Records, but we’re detonating the whole damned thing right now. Continue reading »

Nov 052019


Many of us often hope for unions of visual, musical, and lyrical artistry, the integration of sights, sounds, and words that manifests a cohesive vision, with each part elevating the others and making possible a more compelling holistic experience. Such achievements are less common than we might wish, but the Colorado band Helleborus have given us one through their new album Saprophytic Divinations, which will be released by Redefining Darkness Records on December 6th.

This won’t come as any great surprise to people who are familiar with the band’s 2016 debut album, The Carnal Sabbath, or their 2017 single “Prayer of the Undying“, both of which we wrote about here, and yet the new album seems an even more fully realized reflection of the band’s far-reaching aspirations.

Before today Helleborus had already revealed one example of that artistic integration referred to above, presenting a song called “Alraun Ghost” along with artwork created for the track by Stefan Todorovic (Atterigner) of Khaos Diktator Art, and today we’re presenting another one — revealing both the title track and Stefan Todorovic‘s artwork for the album. (In the days ahead Redefining Darkness will share yet a third track and the artwork created for that song as well; all three pieces of art will be included in the 6-panel digipak CD edition of the record). Continue reading »

Nov 052019


The record to date of Witchbones‘ creativity is something like the sudden and explosive release of immense pressures building within a vacuum-sealed canister. This Portland band’s sole creator, Vardlokker, took the form of Witchbones only last year, but beginning in January of this year has generated a torrent of releases — three EPs, two compilations, a debut album (We Haunt Ourselves), and now a second album, The Seas of Draugen. The previous recordings were self-released digitally (with Death Kvlt Productions handling the Akasha 2 compilation), but this new album will be ushered into the world by Iron Bonehead Productions, on CD and LP.

Like the undead horrors from Norse myth that are referred to in the album’s title, The Seas of Draugen is indeed a preternaturally horrifying black/death assault on the senses, one that seems to intertwine aquatic themes with otherworldly monstrosity. It generates waking nightmares through sound, none more terrifying than the title track we’re presenting today in advance of the album’s December 6 release. Continue reading »

Nov 042019


On November 8th Primitive Reaction will release Nocturnal Bloodlust, the debut album of Finland’s Black Beast — which arrives a long 13 years after their last release (a split with Bloodhammer), so long ago that many of you may not be aware of their existence (I was not). But this debut full-length blazes like a meteor in the night sky, and should quickly elevate them from cult obscurity to a more exalted place in the Finnish black metal star-field.

Nocturnal Bloodlust presents a transfixing blend of bestiality, lust, and anthemic grandeur, with great song-craft to go along with the band’s unwavering devotion to rampant flame-spewing demonism. Continue reading »

Nov 012019


In the spring of this year the Bay Area band Larvae, with a revised line-up, returned after a five-year interlude following the release of their debut album (Grave Descent) with a new EP named Necroptuary. The EP consisted of three tracks that were thematically interlinked, seeming to function as a commentary on the sacrifice and scars, the pain and bodily corruption, that characterize human existence, and of the crossing over from chaos to another plane of existence that comes with death.

Today we’re presenting an evocative lyric video for the new EP’s closing track, “Immortal Corpses“. To introduce it, and to aid in understanding it, we’ll begin with a statement by the band’s founder, vocalist/guitarist Brad Kobylczak (who is joined in Larvae by lead guitarist Dara Santhai, bassist Wyatt Culbertson, and drummer Eric Evert, all of whom shine as integral parts of the music on this EP): Continue reading »