Apr 192019


The Toronto-based black metal band Panzerfaust are about to embark on a very ambitious project. With their fourth album, The Suns of Perdition I: War, Horrid War, they will begin a planned tetralogy of full-length releases devoted to some of history’s most awful events. This first chapter in that monumental effort, which will be released by Eisenwald on June 14th, takes as its subject matter many terrible occurrences of the past century, creating a synthesis that mirrors a vision of the future described by George Orwell as “a boot stamping on a human face forever”.

Today we bring you the first advance track from War, Horrid War, a song of punishing physical power and brain-mangling intensity, yet one that proves to be as spellbinding as it is titanically ravaging. The band describe the inspiration for the song’s name, “The Day After Trinity“, in these words: Continue reading »

Apr 192019


This is a song dominated by two powerful voices, one male, one female. As you see and hear the lyrics in this video, you can interpret their interaction as a dramatic conversation that indeed happens on the edge of an abyss — one voice bitter, resigned, and hopeless, and the other offering earnest encouragement to go on. The hard-hearted among us may dismiss the encouragement as too earnest, and find the bitter resignation more familiar and realistic. But the music and the voices are so emotionally powerful that perhaps they will pierce even the hardest of hearts.

Obviously, that’s what happened to me, or you wouldn’t be seeing this premiere at our site. And it happened even though — or more accurately becauseMarianna Laba‘s soprano voice is so clean and pure, which of course makes the song (in part) an exception to the “rule” in our site’s banner. It’s only an exception in part because that other voice is harsh and harrowing — and gargantuan in its gravelly tone. Continue reading »

Apr 182019


In October 2017 we premiered a demo named Astral Necrosis by the Italian band Devoid of Thought, whose name I thought would also describe the mental state of listeners exposed to the demo’s three tracks. The music was a whipsawing amalgam of death metal and thrash, with the kind of blazing instrumental performances and brain-spinning intricacy that might lead one to slap a “progressive” label on the ingredients as well — except the music seemed too maniacal and vicious for that word. It was insanely good, and also just insane.

Now Devoid of Thought are returning with a new EP, which proves to be just as severely destabilizing and perhaps even more ghoulishly fascinating than Astral Necrosis. Entitled Cosmic Apoptosis, it will be released on April 19th — tomorrow! — by Caligari Records, but we’ve got a full stream for you today. For those who’ve encountered  the earlier demo, you’ll have a decent idea of what’s coming. The following paragraphs are for everyone else — because it would just be cruel to expose newcomers to these three tracks without some kind of warning. Continue reading »

Apr 182019


Roughly 18 months ago I came across Saudade, the debut album of a French atmospheric black metal band who call themselves Cepheide. Though commenting about only the album’s first advance track here, I found that it was very easy to get caught up in the music’s wrenching passion, and to get carried away as it rocketed toward a glorious crescendo. Its atmosphere was a mix of depressiveness and delirium, an experience both mortifying and majestic, with a swirling, intense, symphonic melody that glimmered and soared, and rising choral voices mixed with scalding rasps.

The album as a whole proved to be just as gripping, and so it was exciting to learn that Cepheide would be participating in a new split release, especially because the other band on the split, Time Lurker, had also proved through their 2017 self-titled debut album to be such a formidable new force. We’ve already paid attention to one of Time Lurker‘s new tracks on the split, and today we get to present Cepheide‘s contribution, a thoroughly engrossing song called “Lucide“, in advance of the split’s release by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions on May 3rd. Continue reading »

Apr 172019


Five notes, one minute, a medley of blast-beats, and scorching vocal fury. Those are the key ingredients to “Useless Fake“, though the impact is far greater than such a simple description might suggest. But there’s something else about the song that’s almost equally important, and that’s its historical significance — so let’s begin there.

Useless Fake” first appeared on Expect the Worst, the first EP and second release overall by the Bay Area band Antagony, who became one of the pioneers of deathcore, integrating elements of death metal, grind, and hardcore in ways that really hadn’t been done before. After a decade of making music (from 1999-2009), the group disbanded, and its members went on to form or join such bands as Oblivion, All Shall Perish, Hacksaw to the Throat, Suffokate, Oblige, Misericordiam, Connoisseur, and more.

But now Antagony has risen from the ashes, with a line-up that includes all original members from that first decade of the band’s existence, and they’ve recorded a new album named… Ashes. The album includes new recordings of a selection of tracks that all date back to demos and EPs released from 1998-2000, and the title track, which is brand new. But even the old songs sound new, in part because the performances have now been executed by a veteran group of musicians, and in part because of the power of the production.

Antagony are unveiling one new song every week, concluding with the title track “Ashes” on the day of their album release/comeback show May 25, 2019, at the Oakland Metro Operahouse, and we’re happily presenting this week’s new song — that righteous blast named “Endless Fake“. Continue reading »

Apr 172019


2019 is shaping up to be a banner year for medieval black metal. For those who are paying attention, it’s also proving the diversity of that particular sub-genre of music as different bands interweave strains of ancient melody from different parts of Europe into their compositions in different ways, and using different instruments, some very old and some modern.

The Spanish band Calyx will certainly be among the front rank of what 2019 has to offer to fans of medieval black metal — or fans of black metal of any stripe, for that matter — through their debut album Vientos Arcaicos, which will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on May 17th. Their inspirations are described as “firmly entrenched in the Middle Ages, sweeping across the native legends of the Iberian Peninsula as well as castles, ruins, Aragonese Pyrenees, and decrepitude”, but they have channeled those inspirations in melodically memorable black metal of tremendous power and emotional intensity — as you shall discover through our premiere of a track from the new album called “La Sima“. Continue reading »

Apr 172019


Kneel is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Pedro Mau from Ponte de Sor in central Portugal, a former member of Kneeldown and Wells Valley. In 2013, with the aid of guest vocalist/lyricist Filipe Correia (Wells Valley, Concealment), Kneel released an album named Interstice, on which Mau was composer, guitarist, bassist, and drummer — and he produced and mixed the record as well.

On May 22nd, the Portuguese label Pulmonary Records will release an updated version of Interstice, which features new mixing and mastering of the music as well as ghostly new cover artwork drawn by Hernan Marin. Today it’s our pleasure to premiere a track from this revamped version of Interstice, a song called “Amend“. It’s a prime example of the visceral, bone-breaking, thoroughly electrifying impact of the music on Interstice. Continue reading »

Apr 162019


Those of you who are already familiar with Gabriele Gramaglia‘s work in his progressive black metal project The Clearing Path, or his progressive-sludge-post-metal endeavors under the name Summit, know that he is technically accomplished, compositionally inventive, and continually evolving. In his new project, Cosmic Putrefaction, he has turned all those talents in the direction of death metal — and the results are predictably unpredictable.

With the aid of some talented guests, he has recorded a debut album entitled At the Threshold of the Greatest Chasm, which will be released by the always-distinctive I, Voidhanger Records on April 19th, and today it’s our fiendish pleasure to present a full stream of this savagely head-spinning record. Continue reading »

Apr 152019


Two main impulses drive the music of Suspiral, and as you read what they are, they might seem incompatible.

On the one hand, they embrace chaos, unleashing terrific storms of gale-force intensity, with waves of blackened death metal slaughtering geared toward mind-rending impact. On the other, they draw influence from Kraut and drone bands such as Ash Ra Temple and Faust in a manner designed to induce trance-like immersion and the gradual accretion of aberrant psychoactive effects, reshaping the mind rather than obliterating it.

These strategies might seem incompatible, but Suspiral manage to unify them, and the experience is perhaps most stunning when they accomplish both things at the same time — as they do on the song we’re premiering today.

The track you’ll be able to stream below is “Crown of Chaos“, which opens their new album Chasm — set for release on May 10th by Sentient Ruin Laboratories in the U.S. and by Clavis Secretorvm in Europe. Continue reading »

Apr 152019


On their impending third album, the Portuguese band Martelo Negro (“black hammer”) have whipped up an intoxicating but thoroughly evil musical concoction. With ingredients that range from black metal to thrash, from death metal to d-beat punk, the music is brutish and bruising, bombastic and barbaric, demented and demolishing, occult and orgiastic. By turns it’s a demolition job, a chaotic romp, a dismal plague, and a ghoulish vision of ultimate horror. It’s also catchy as hell.

That’s a lot of diverse qualities for any one band to pull together in an organic way, and Martelo Negro do it in every song, which makes the album a relentless thrill ride (and a really nasty one too). You’ll get the chance to experience it yourself right now, because we’ve got a full album stream to share. And if you’re as high on it as we are, you won’t have to wait long to pick it up, because Helldprod Records is releasing it on April 17th. Continue reading »