Apr 142021


The part-Brazilian, part-German death metal band Incarceration have compiled a discography that includes a pair of splits, an EP, and a 2016 debut album named Catharsis. To that collection of releases they are now adding a new EP entitled Empiricism that’s set for release on Friday of this week (April 16th) by Dawnbreed Records.

On this newest effort the band’s core duo of Daniel Silva (who performs vocals and bass on this release) and Michael Koch (drums) are joined for the first time by guitarists Pedro Capaça (Violator) and Alex Obscured (Speedwhore, Obscured by Evil). Whether for that reason or others, the band seem to have thrown themselves without reservation into the most furious and unhinged side of their sound.

And thus, as you’ll discover through our full streaming premiere today, the new EP generates adrenaline-fueled mayhem with explosive, savage power, although that ruthless, visceral intensity is accompanied by spectral leads and coruscating solos that generate a frightening aura of the occult. Continue reading »

Apr 132021


Daniele Valeriani‘s cover art for Acausal Intrusion‘s debut album Nulitas perceptively connects to the experience of the music. Both are malevolently frightening (even monstrously so), disturbingly surreal, and transfixing. The linguistic preview of the music offered by I, Voidhanger Records (who will release the album on May 21st) also effectively summons some of that experience:

Acausal Intrusion play chaotic technical death metal tapping into regions beyond time and space, a vessel for ancient and unknown forces to channel into this earth, to dismantle the psyche and destroy the ego”.

And so too does the expression of the album’s concept provided by Nythroth, one of the two men who joined forces to make the music (the other goes by the name Cave Ritual):

“The acausal realm is the source of all true life. It lays beyond our causal world and is inhabited by ancient entities and chaotic energies usually too terrifying for humans to behold. Their intrusion into our reality can spark an alchemical process of transformation through which the individuals emerge on the other side with renewed self-consciousness.” Continue reading »

Apr 122021


The long history of The Blood of Christ (aka Blood of Christ) began in 1994 in London, Ontario, Canada, and from then until now (with one long hiatus) the band has been anchored by guitarist Jeff Longo and drummer Jason Longo, and for their newest release they have been joined by vocalist/bassist Hank Bielanski. That newest release, which dropped last December via CDN Records, is an album-length split with the Japanese extremists Vomit Remnants entitled Eastern Beast – Western Wolf.

Blood of Christ‘s four contributions to the split capture the band’s genre-bending union of death and black metal, shrouded in dark, epic atmospheres and lyrically focused on subjects often atypical for such diabolical sounds.

For the first of their songs on the split, “Forgotten Divinity Chapter 1“, the band resurrected a song that was first included in a 1998 demo and breathed new life into it — and today we’re presenting it through a new lyric video. Continue reading »

Apr 122021


The Loire is the longest river in France, rising in the French Massif Central, flowing north through Nevers to Orléans, and then west through Tours and Nantes until it reaches the Bay of Biscay at the Atlantic Ocean, more than 1,000 km (roughly 625 miles) from where it began. The history of human civilization along its course is ancient, still evidenced by the presence of over a thousand châteaux along its shores, ranging in their inception from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods.

There was a time not so long ago when the Loire was also a major channel of commerce, crowded with merchant vessels, as well as a means of transporting people across the country. Among the commercial vessels were flat-bottomed barges used to move salt and other goods as well as sand dredged from the river itself and used in construction. In time, all the economic activity and transport dwindled and decayed, and today the Loire has largely returned to a wild state, though the surrounding architectures are still reminders of long-gone eras.

In the west, on its way to Nantes, the Loire enters Bretagne (French Brittany), the home of the black metal band Hanternoz and the two people who collaborate in it — Hyvermor (Véhémence, Grylle, Régiment) and Sparda (Créatures, Cataèdes). Their newest work as Hanternoz, an album named Au Fleuve de Loire, is a tribute to the great river, one presented in many ways, “from the natural point of view of endangered species to the many drowned souls it carries, from the Industrial Era and mechanization to the medieval history, from the fishing industry (viewed from the fishes’ point of view!) to the memories of the lyricist’s childhood”.

The album will be released by Antiq Records on May 3rd. Two songs from the album have been previously revealed, and today we present a third one — “Bateliers de Loire“. Continue reading »

Apr 092021


The multi-national project Hammer of Dawn first took shape as an online studio project between guitarist Zed Kelley and drummer Beau Tilley, but quickly grew into a fully fleshed-out band that includes vocalist/lyricist Mac Smith (Krosis, Alterbeast) and bassist Stefano Franceschini (Aborted, Hideous Divinity). Drawing upon themes developed through the Gears of War universe, and bringing in the participation of some very well-known guests, the band have created a debut six-track EP of technically impressive blackened death metal entitled Ketor that’s now set for release on May 28th.

Hammer of Dawn have already released a video for one eye-opening single from the EP named “Fleshless” (which premiered at DECIBEL), and today we’re delighted to premiere the official lyric video for a second single. This one is called “Wretches!” — and it features guest vocals by Aborted’s Sven de Caluwé. Continue reading »

Apr 092021


Following on from a brief first demo independently released in 2019, the German band Crypts (which features former members of Mourning Caress, Warhead, Savagery, and Black Space Riders) released their debut album Coven of the Dead last month through the charmingly named German label This Charming Man Records.

That album quickly proved that Crypts have developed a mastery of an old style of death metal spawned at the end of the ’80s and the early ’90s — a style epitomized by such bands as Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Morgoth, and early Entombed (among others). It’s a stripped-down, viscerally compelling, and yet atmospherically evocative style, and though Crypts haven’t reinvented the wheel, they’ve kept it moving with crushing power and sharpened it to a lethal edge.

For those who haven’t yet discovered the gruesome, bone-smashing power of that album, we have for you today a great enticement for it — the premiere of an official video for the song’s horrifying title track. Continue reading »

Apr 092021


In December 2018 the Romanian black metal band Genune released their debut album, Cern Sol. Lyrically, the songs were preoccupied with time — “focusing on the inevitability of death and its distressing effects on us, the encompassing, unstoppable sense of decay that seems to affect everything, but also on the impression of moments experienced in the past, which linger in the mind years later, the remembrance of warmth and on a need to be alone, away, reflecting”. In the music, Genune did not limit themselves to the usual black metal tropes, instead drawing in elements of post-metal and neo-folk to weave their multi-colored, multi-textured tapestry of sorrow, anguish, remembrance, and regret. I attempted to sum up here the spellbinding experience this way:

“The album trip as a whole is like falling into a dream, and while there are bright and even hopeful vistas that pass before the mind’s eye in listening, it’s largely a dark dream in which the shades of lost souls and lost happiness are never far away, and in which anxiety and pain vie in battle with defiant resilience, and are more often than not victorious.”

Now Genune are returning with a second album, this one entitled Inert & Unerring. The core trio of guitarists Dragos Chiriches and Cosmin Farcau and vocalist/bassist Istvan Vladareanu are still in place, but have proceeded without their drummer on the first album, Daniel Neagoe. Their musical approach is not radically different from Cern Sol, but it is certainly no less powerful and captivating. It is, indeed, another triumph, and thus we’re honored to present today a song from the new album named “Eastern European Discontent“, accompanied by a beautifully made video that helps bring to life the harrowing and heartbreaking  subjects that inspired the song. Continue reading »

Apr 082021


More than 15 years after their first formation and almost five years after the release of their debut album Infinite Circles, the German death metal band Betrayal are returning with a second full-length, set for release on April 16th via Rising Nemesis Records. Not surprisingly, over such a span of years the band’s line-up has changed from time to time, and their music has evolved as well, leading to a formulation of death metal that has become strikingly multi-faceted.

For example, the advance press recommends their new album Disorder Remains for fans of Misery Index, Revocation, Death, Behemoth, and Decapitation, and also refers to the band’s incorporation of thrash, technical, and progressive elements, as well as old-school death metal traditions. But those references don’t exhaust the extent to which Betrayal have allowed their creativity free rein, as you’ll discover through the dark, intense track we’re premiering today, the name of which is “Greed and Oblivion“. Continue reading »

Apr 082021


Every year brings debut releases from up-and-coming bands that put a jolt of electricity into hungry fans and fortify the conviction that heavy music is alive and well. That’s already happening in 2021, bolstering those of us who believe that, for whatever reason, metal is in the midst of another Renaissance.

Having said that, we all get just as big a jolt from the return of bands who’ve given us thrills and chills in previous years, and that’s definitely true of the UK group Ninkharsag.

Andy Synn reviewed their 2015 album Blood of Celestial Kings for us, acclaiming it as a proud standard-bearer in the lineage of such bands as Dissection and Absu: “They’re not afraid of a big, bold, brutally effective hook when they come across one, as the nine songs which make up their debut album are positively bursting at the seams with brash, full-throttle riffs and coldly intoxicating melodies… as well as a hefty helping of pure blackened spite and vitriol”. Continue reading »

Apr 072021


Most people probably know the Genesis tale in which Lot and his family escape the destruction of Sodom, and Lot’s wife is turned to a pillar of salt after violating a divine command not to look back at the city. Lesser known is the subsequent story of what happened when Lot and his two daughters took up residence in a mountain cave. There, after becoming drunk, Lot has sex with them, eventually leading to the births of the incestuous offspring Moab and Ammon.

The Danish death metal band Shadowspawn have taken this tale as the subject of the song we’re premiering today through a lyric video, a song off their new album The Biology of Disbelief, which will hit the streets on April 16th via Emanzipation Productions. The band introduce the track in these words: Continue reading »