Feb 032023

It’s time for a rude ‘n’ crude celebration of filth, fury, and fun! Plus sickness, sleaze, and slaughter!

We stole some of those words, but we endorse them because they well-suit the music on Demonic Assassination, the hell-raising second album by the infernal Italian deviants in Hellcrash which is racing toward a lavish March 24 release by Dying Victims Productions.

Those who’ve indulged in the band’s first album Krvcifix Invertör know that they followed in the cloven-hooved footsteps of such groups as Bulldozer, Slayer, and Venom, whipping up a gnashing and pulse-pounding convulsion of blackened thrash and speed metal. Those ingredients still make the fuel for the new album, but with even more variety and an even tighter execution in the sound. As proof, we’re premiering a song from the album named “Graveripper“. Continue reading »

Feb 032023

The Angolan heavy metal band Kishi first came together in October 2017 and eventually released a pair of singles and a 2018 debut album named Depois da Meia Noite, as well as performing live in Angola, Namibia, and Botswana. And then, of course, the pandemic struck in 2020 and forced the band into a hiatus.

Yet, as happened with many other bands around the world, the songwriting didn’t stop, and in fact took inspiration from the disruptive and disturbing impact of covid’s spread. The result was a new Kishi EP fittingly entitled KHAOS, which is set for release on February 17th by the South African label Mongrel Records and the Portuguese label Nightfear Productions. As the band have explained:

“The Khaos EP reflects the band’s experience and feelings in the face of the social chaos in which the world plunged during and after the pandemic. It talks about wars and personal struggles against demons, without leaving aside Angolan mythology in the theme “’69 Feiticeiros e 14 Fruxas’”.

Speaking of personal demons, what we have for you today is an excellent video for a head-hooking bruiser of a song from the EP called “Dead Lost Rumbled“, which was inspired by vocalist ManKav‘s experience with sleep paralysis. Continue reading »

Feb 022023

On March 3rd of this year Personal Records will release Pale Existence, the second album by the Greek band Ocean of Grief. For those who have become immersed in the band’s debut EP My Dark Self and their debut album Nightfall’s Lament, it is an eagerly anticipated return by a band whose evolving amalgams of melodic doom and death metal have proved to be increasingly captivating.

The world has already been given a preview of what Pale Existence holds in store, thanks to the album’s first single, “Dale Of Haunted Shades“. That song, presented through an official video, was a richly multi-faceted experience — towering and vast, mysterious and mesmerizing, jolting and serpentine, sinister and seductive. Embellished by elaborate, progressive-minded variations and head-spinning guitar solos, it also delivered gargantuan vocals, visceral rhythmic power, and episodes of crushing heaviness.

Now we’ve got a further attraction to this new album through our premiere of its second single, “Unspoken Actions“, and this one features a guest solo by Jari Lindholm, whose work in such bands as Slumber and Enshine was, as the band have stated, “a major influence on their sound and one of the main reasons that Ocean of Grief were created in the first place”. Continue reading »

Feb 022023

Track lengths on albums and EPs can vary significantly, but the most common seem to be in the 4-5-minute range. Even when some song lengths creep up into the 10-minute range, most releases still include enough individual tracks that interested listeners can do some “sampling”, i.e., listening to a song or two in order to decide whether to take the plunge into the entire record.

Scáth Na Déithe‘s new album Virulent Providence does not allow this. It includes only two tracks, each of them in the vicinity of 20 minutes long, and those two are also conceptually connected, so even listening to just one of them diminishes the impact of the album as a whole.

Obviously, this is a risky approach, especially in an age filled to overflowing with distractions, where minds constantly flit from thing to thing and patience is in short supply. The demands for immediate gratification and tendencies toward quick impulsive decisions can make the prospect of investing 20 minutes in a single composition, or two of them that demand that much time, a daunting one. The desire for sampling won’t go away either, and so there’s also the risk that people might just spend a few minutes listening to the start of one of these two long tracks, and make a snap decision based on that alone.

But we’re here to tell you that Virulent Providence is well worth all the attention it demands, because the album is a remarkable one. It’s also difficult to fathom how it could have been broken up into shorter pieces without severely sacrificing what makes it so remarkable. It’s simply one of those albums that, to be fully appreciated, requires immersion in the whole saga. Fortunately, it turns out that becoming immersed in it isn’t difficult at all, and as long as there isn’t some external event that forces you to stop, you probably won’t have any sense of a clock ticking and time passing. Continue reading »

Feb 012023

This article makes the third time we’ve paid attention to Ossadas, the forthcoming second album by the Portuguese band Carma. The first occasion was a commentary on the album’s first single, “Memória“. The second was an unusual review of the album written by Axel Stormbreaker, which integrated the music with the viewing of a movie about Edgar Allan Poe named The Pale Blue Eye. And now we present another single from the album named “Monumento“.

The album is an emotional powerhouse, one that deeply immerses the listener in its concept, which was inspired by the Conchada Cemetery located in Coimbra, Portugal. As described by the Monumental Rex label that will be releasing it next month, Ossadas is an exploration of “various cemeterial aspects, such as the architecture, the burials and the atmosphere, and the related feelings – fatalism, futility, loss, mourning, longing, among others.”

The titles of the record’s nine tracks are the most common words that appear on tombs and tombstones throughout the cemetery, and even the lyrics (in Portuguese) contain certain verses engraved on the cemetery’s tombstones. But it’s the music, which integrates funeral doom, black metal, and ambient, that most deeply involves the listener in the ever-present daunting realm of death and all the feelings that it brings. Continue reading »

Jan 312023

photo by Rex Mananquil

And now for something completely different… a mysterious and spellbinding video… a song of many facets and multiple meanings… and a big musical departure from our site’s usual extremist fare….

The subject is a new video for “Dream Flood“, a song from an album named Future Mirror that’s the first new release in nearly a decade by a band whose name tends to stick in the head — Oakland’s The Atomic Bomb Audition. There’s a significant back story about this group and their eclectic compositions, which have drawn inspiration not only from the geography of Northern California but also a collage of musical influences ranging from cinematic music to prog rock, heavy metal, and new wave.

And we’ll get to some of that back story, but we ought to focus first on what you’re about to see and hear in today’s video premiere. Continue reading »

Jan 312023

Short sharp shocks in life come in a multitude of forms, most of them unpleasant. A pink slip delivered by e-mail. An eviction notice nailed to the door. A semi-truck T-boning your helpless car. A sudden severe headache that turns out to be a tumor.

With “Scum’s Karma” the Japanese gore-grind revivalists FesterDecay deliver their own short sharp shock, and it’s as ruinous as those examples above, but it’s also the kind of macabre mangling music that will bring fiendish smiles to savage faces. You’ll soon see for yourselves…. Continue reading »

Jan 262023

The Australian melodic black/death metal band Dream Upon Tombs has been dreaming in tombs over the course of a 20-year slumber. After the release of a demo (Black Tales of Sorrow And Damnation) in 1997, nothing further was to be heard until another demo (Marble Night In Ecstasy) surfaced in 2020. And now, at last, a debut album named Palaces of Dust is on the horizon.

Founding member and guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Jak Shadows found reasons to begin anew, joined on the album by David (guitar, keys, strings, bass) and Jarrad Taylor (drums). He explains the album’s animating inspiration in these words:

“When mortality has been laid to rest, the streams of existence become a blood ocean unto a distant shore – a land beyond this time, un-chartable; sought by many and ruled by none…”

To help introduce the album, today we’re presenting an official lyric video for a song named “The Call” in advance of the record’s March 3rd release by Sleeping Church Records. Continue reading »

Jan 262023

Last August Transcending Obscurity Records detonated a new album by the Irish band Abaddon Incarnate, and we sat back and happily watched the shrapnel fly, cutting through everyone who didn’t have the good sense to duck and cover. Our reviewer DGR found the brutality, rage, and vitriol channeled by the band’s formulation of death/grind to be a welcome catharsis. He spilled many words about The Wretched Sermon, including these:

Ten of the thirteen songs on The Wretched Sermon don’t even cross the three-minute mark and many of them are an excuse for drummer Olan Parkinson to just blast things into oblivion while a high-low vocal attack hits with about as much percussiveness as their drummer does. The highlights on that front come early, as both “Veritas” and “Gateways” make for a good one-two boxing combo in the opening minutes of this album after the band race through the initial death metal gurglings of “Rising Of The Lights” – whose opening riff sounds like something straight out of the world of Centinex before Abaddon Incarnate lean hard into “tear heads off’” mode.

We quote that passage because “Veritas” is the song that’s the focus of a video we’re premiering today. It’s a good reminder of what a hell-raising album this is, and a good introduction to people who might not have crossed paths with it last year. Continue reading »

Jan 252023

The Dutch band Dead Will Walk pack six songs into their new EP A New Day of Dawning, and you’ll get to hear every one of them today in advance of the record’s January 27th release. Horror and ferocity await you in this music, with its roots sunk deep into the fetid earth of death metal from decades past, but delivered with the killing efficiency of modern mechanized armaments and the kind of songwriting chops that make the songs highly addictive. We share these thoughts from the band:

Our goal for this release was to write songs that underline our roots for the old school underground scene. Here we have tried to convey the same feeling as from the glory days of death metal. Thoughtful songs that remain listenable and always have a small twitch. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we wanted to record an EP that wouldn’t look out of place in a record collection from the late eighties or early nineties.

The humility in that comment is admirable, and so the task is left to us to explain just how damned good A New Day of Dawning really is and why it definitely should not be overlooked in the vast seas of old school death metal that now surround us. Continue reading »