Jan 202020


Rage and disgust fuel the music on Zifir‘s new album Demoniac Ethics, most of it directed at the calculated lies of religious institutions and the submissive delusions of their followers. Of course, within the realms of extreme metal such inspirations aren’t unique to this Turkish black metal trio. But how they have translated their intense convictions into sound is very much out of the ordinary, as you shall witness for yourselves.

Today we present a full stream of this new album, just days before its release by Duplicate Records, preceded by further impressions of the remarkable music. Continue reading »

Jan 172020


In retrospect, we should have foreseen the surge of bands over the last five years and more who have brought elements of black metal into the traditions of metallic hardcore. Both genres have found their own ways of expressing rage and disgust, and combining them was a natural and potent means of pushing the cathartic intensity of those emotions further into the red zone.

The Italian band laCasta (from Monopoli) made their own furious foray into that hybrid musical soundscape through their 2015 EP Encyclia, and on February 28th they’ll follow that debut with an album entitled Æternvm on the label of Argonauta Records. laCasta mince no words and pull no punches. Their name itself, as the label explains, “was inspired by the system that surrounds us and controls the entire planet, where all the castes hold more power day by day”, and their music gives a powerful voice to their nihilistic world-view. We have a prime example today in our premiere of a video for a track off the new album named “Vultures“. Continue reading »

Jan 162020


Roughly five years into their existence, the Belgian metal band Sons Of A Wanted Man have sought to blaze a musical path that reflects the varying interests of its members and to find the right combination of genre elements to express the feelings and convictions that inspire them. Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions, the label that will release the band’s debut album Kenoma on February 7th, describes their hybrid of sounds as one that “incorporates the melancholic atmosphere of post-metal, the rhythmic intensity of black metal, the layered approach of shoegaze and the ethics of hardcore punk”.

The results of the band’s efforts, as revealed through Kenoma, is multi-faceted music of great emotional and immersive power, and the lyrical content of the songs is equally engrossing. The song we’re presenting today, “Absent“, is a vivid example of these qualities. The track is a meticulously embroidered tapestry of emotional change, although you could also think of it as a panorama of a pilgrim’s travel through the heart of darkness, through kingdoms of desolation and death. Continue reading »

Jan 152020


Victor Costa‘s cover art for the debut EP of the Portuguese death metal band Innards is a perfect accompaniment for the ghoulish delights the EP holds in store. The music, like the art, is an eruption of cemetery horrors coming right for your throat. In other words, this isn’t lurching, cadaverous death metal, even though it’s decidedly gruesome and rotten to the core. No, Innards (true to their name) are coming for your guts with unhinged relish. The EP’s title is thus similarly appropriate: Back From The Grave, Straight In Your Face.

There are only three songs on the EP, but they make for an explosive first strike. Two of those songs have previously debuted, and today we’ve got the premiere of the third one, an absolutely crazed onslaught wonderfully named “Enlightenment Through Hate“, which features none other than guest vocals by Kam Lee of Massacre and a guitar solo by none other than Frank Blackfire from Sodom. And with all three tracks now out in the world, you have a fully informed basis for picking up the record well in advance of its February 21st release by Transcending Obscurity Records. Continue reading »

Jan 142020


We all know that “old school death metal” isn’t really a single institution of lower learning (underground, to be clear), or if it is, it’s one with a quite divergent curriculum. And so to say that the music of the Greek band Plague is OSDM leaves questions unanswered. They are forthright in disclosing that they are heavily influenced by death metal’s early beginnings, but which beginnings?

In spreading the word about the forthcoming debut album of these Athenians, who formed Plague in 2011 and released their first work (the Abyssdiver EP) in 2014, Redefining Darkness Records makes reference to the early ’90s American scene — to the likes of early Death, Massacre, Brutality, and Skeletal Remains. And today we have a vivid further sign of Plague’s inspirations (and formidable talents) in the premiere of the new album’s first single, “Portal Into Reality“.

That new album, Portraits of Mind, will be released on February 14th by Redefining Darkness in the U.S. and by Nuclear Winter Records in Europe. And if you couldn’t guess, it’s adorned by the stunning artwork of the maestro Paolo Girardi. Continue reading »

Jan 132020


We have been following the activities of the talented one-woman Swedish black metal band Nachtlieder since 2014, commenting on the 2013 self-titled debut (here), 2015’s second album The Female of the Species (here), and the third album Lynx in 2018 (here). Nachtlieder is a prime example of a band that began strong and grew stronger with each successive release.

Now, Nachtlieder has recorded a new EP named Views From the North Vol. I. As its title suggests, the EP is the first in a planned series of EPs with material that Nachtlieder’s Dagny Susanne did not feel was a good fit for the albums. This first volume is a collection of demos from 2009-2016 that were re-recorded and properly produced in 2018.

In advance of the forthcoming EP (which will be released by Nigredo Records in late February and has now become available for pre-order), Nachtlieder has just released a digital single from the EP named Avgrunden, which is paired with a B-side consisting of an acoustic demo recoding of “Autumn Walk“, a song from the band’s second demo that won’t be included on the EP.

Today we present a video for “Avgrunden“, along with some insights about the song and video, and some thoughts about the music. Continue reading »

Jan 132020


Youth In Ribbons, the new album by Revenant Marquis, is shrouded in mystery, not merely in the chilling sensations of its sounds but also in its inspirations. No less mysterious is the source of the music, a prolific yet anonymous Welsh musician, whose idiosyncratic creations confoundingly combine the mind-mutilating assaults of raw black metal with a certain style of wraithlike, hallucinatory melodicism that one might even call elegant. Images of a fine-fingered and well-dressed vampire come to mind, seductive in its allure but lethal in its promise.

When I first discovered the album I was struck by the photograph on its cover and by curiosity about what the album’s title might signify in the context of that image. As I wrote here, after listening to the first advance track, I had my own interpretation: The beauty, the innocence, the aspiration in that face, the brightening of the flowers — it’s as if the band were saying, “Here’s what you might have looked like when your dreams for the future were still bright, and now let us show you what life is really like”.

And hence, I thought of the album title as a reference to youth torn to ribbons, rather than adorned by them. Continue reading »

Jan 102020


Greedy fans of classic and crushing death metal should circle January 27th on their calendars in red, because that’s the date on which Memento Mori will release Ceased To Be, the mortifying debut album of the Chilean duo Coffin Curse.

Formed in 2012 by Inanna’s Max Neira (guitars, bass, vocals) and later joined by drummer Carlos Fuentes, (Inanna, Sol Sistere), Coffin Curse have drawn their inspirations from such early ’90s U.S. icons as Morbid Angel, Monstrosity, Obituary, Immolation, and Deicide, as well as the menacing and mind-mauling ministrations of Pentagram (Chile), Death, Possessed, Sepultura, Massacre, Slaughter Lord, and Necrovore.

All those names are strongly suggestive of Coffin Curse‘s horrifying musical mission, as are the band’s previously released demo, three EPs, and one split effort (with Violent Scum), but today we have an even more potent and penetrating sign of what Ceased To Be holds in store, through our premiere of the album’s penultimate song in the track list, “Grave Offender“. Continue reading »

Jan 092020


Granted, we’re not even two weeks into the new year, but listening to Wormhole’s new album is hands-down the most fun I’ve had with a 2020 release so far. And as I think about it, I’m hard-pressed to remember an album from last year that was more fun than this one either.

Don’t get me wrong, The Weakest Among Us will also beat you senseless and leave you staggering toward the nearest ER. That’s actually another part of the fun. But the band’s combination of wild ideas and sheer instrumental exuberance with all that brutalizing obliteration is what brought so many smiles to this listener’s (lacerated) face.  And so, it’s with great pleasure that we’re hosting a full stream of the album today, in the run-up to the album’s January 14 released by Lacerated Enemy Records. Continue reading »

Jan 082020


Alex Weber is a name that will already be known to many of you through his role as bassist (and a vocalist) of the progressive metal band Exist, as well as his session work and his live performances with other bands such as Defeated Sanity and Obscura. What you may not know, but are about to discover, is that Weber has also been devoting time to a progressive death metal project called Svengahli. That project is now looking forward to the March 6 release of its debut EP, Nightmares Of Our Own Design, and today we’re presenting the first single from the record — “Writing On the Wall“.

Before we get to the song — which is a kaleidoscopic marvel — it makes sense to learn about Svengahli‘s inspirations, as related by Alex Weber, and to identify the eye-opening group of guests he enlisted to bring the EP to fruition. Continue reading »