Dec 052019


In 2018 the mysterious Swiss collective Death. Void. Terror. released their first album, To the Great Monolith I, through Iron Bonehead Productions. It consisted of two tracks, identified by dashes rather than words, which together created a 41-minute out-of-body experience that was completely unnerving. As recounted in our interview of the band, their objective was to serve as vessels for what was bestowed upon them by an entity they called the Great Monolith, and to do that they sought to purge themselves of all traces of human thought and experience, to achieve the kind of “purity” that would make them receptive to what might become manifest through their performances.

Of that first album, our reviewer Grant Skelton wrote: “Not a trace of what could be called ‘humanity’ is left in this album…. Confronting To The Great Monolith I is to delve beneath pretense, beneath cultural normativity, beneath our waking personality…. To disengage from the world, to shut off the mind and allow it to wander, to blatantly refuse to hurry — these are necessarily a part of listening to Death. Void. Terror. Continue reading »

Dec 052019

Photo by Kamil “Camkam” Janowski


You begin your life in a diaper. If you live long enough, you’ll end it in one too. You begin your life playing with toys, and if you live long enough you’ll be playing with toys again, maybe imagining yourself (again) an armored knight vanquishing sword-wielding foes. If you’re lucky, your treasured toys will include a tiny music box in the shape of a sod-roofed house, one in which Septekh are waiting to be wound up and brought to life, to delight your age-melted mind.

If you’re wondering what prompted these thoughts, you’ll find out soon enough. But perhaps you don’t even know who Septekh are? Perhaps you’ve never seen a Septekh video, or even glimpsed the magnificence of Nils GRZNLS Meseke‘s gravity-defying mustache? How tragic for you if such is the case. But soon enough we can fill those gaping holes in your life, too. Continue reading »

Dec 042019


Altered State, the debut EP by the California project Xantam, creates dramatically contrasting sensations, but all of them seem separated from the familiar mundane world around us. The music hurls the listener into vortices of unchained madness and diabolical violence, but also pierces through into other haunting dimensions that seem extraterrestrial, or perhaps the nether realms of imagination. There is sweeping, hypnotic beauty to be found here, as well as tyrannical terrorism, but in all its manifestations the music is chilling (as well as exhilarating).

Xantam is the solo work of a California musician who has taken the name of a Beholder from the game of Baldur’s Gate. His first published work was the LifeDeathBeyond demo, reissued by Blood Harvest Records in 2016, and the same Blood Harvest will be releasing this new EP on Friday the 13th of December. We are pleased to give you a stream of the full experience today. Continue reading »

Dec 032019


This past June we premiered a song named “Pines” from the debut album, Harm Remissions, by a trans-oceanic noise/grind trio named Fawn Limbs (presented through a video that excerpted footage from the 1933 film White Zombie). Even just that one song made a stunning impact, one that we likened to “the thrill of witnessing destruction… like the excitement of being present at the implosion of giant buildings to create space for something new”, but combined with “other thrills within the mayhem of the music which derive not from chaos but from the almost machine-like precision of their otherwise freakish demolition jobs”.

Those impressions might have seemed paradoxical, but while the track did indeed have its berserker destructive components, there was an impressive degree of precision on display as the musicians rapidly morphed from one kind of demolition to another (and delivered some unexpected groove along the way). The album as a whole — experienced as a whole — was (and is) an even more breathtaking bombardment, one that plays nasty games with your mind as this trio maniacally shift gears without warning and engage in even more extravagant displays of seething and boiling fretwork lunacy and rhythm-section interplay (along with unexpected digressions).

As the year draws to a close, Fawn Limbs have decided to give us one last blast with which to properly bury 2019 beneath rubble — a new EP that will be released on December 6th under the nightmarish title Their Holes Aroused by the Splinters Carved From Their Teeth — and today we’re bringing you a full stream of it. Continue reading »

Dec 032019


Why do noted musicians in well-established and well-known bands form side projects? There are many reasons, but certainly one of them is to pursue musical interests that lie beyond the stylistic boundaries of their main bands — sometimes far beyond them — often coupled with the chance to create and perform with different friends. Some side projects seem to vanish overnight, and some of them become such strong attachments for their members, or become so well-received by listeners, that they persist.

Death Wolf began as a side project, and it has persisted, and we are all the better for it. In this case, the project was started near the turn of the new millennium by Marduk guitarist Morgan Håkansson under the name Devil’s Whorehouse, and with his bandmates released two albums and two EPs under that name. After they changed the band’s name to Death Wolf, they released three more albums from 2011 through 2014.

Now a fourth one is at last ready for release on December 10th by Blooddawn Productions (distributed and marketed by Regain Records). Its name is IV: Come the Dark, and we’re proudly presenting a full stream of the album today. Continue reading »

Dec 022019


It has been a long seven years since the release of Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum, the debut album by the Ukrainian band Rattenfänger (discussed here). Although Rattenfänger was a new name then, its members were not newcomers, having already made their mark through Drudkh, Blood of Kingu, and Old Silver Key. Rattenfänger had become their alternate vehicle for indulging an affinity for certain flavors of old school death metal.

But the band’s name is much older than the era that produced the early works of Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, and Celtic Frost, whose influences (among others) played a significant role in the music. The name Rattenfänger was taken from the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin (Rattenfänger von Hameln), who was hired by the folk of that town to rid themselves of the rats that had overrun it. As we know, he was deceived and cheated of his payment, and exacted a dreadful revenge by luring away Hamelin’s children, never to be seen again.

Rattenfänger connected themselves to the Dark Ages in other ways, by writing their lyrics in Latin, in the style of medieval poets, thinkers, and troubadours/minstrels. And now, seven years on, they’re about to release a new album, which we present to you today in its entirety. Continue reading »

Nov 292019


Black Friday is of course a celebration of cannibalistic commercialism, a paroxysm of merchants and consumers crashing together in a frenzied effort by the former to loot the bank accounts of the latter, and of the latter to claw at the former (and each other) in an effort to save while spending. But Black Friday has a different meaning for some of us. We can bend the meaning of the name into a different kind of standard, a different representation of cannibalistic war-zone frenzy. Which brings us to Human Agony.

Today is the day on which Invictus Productions is releasing the debut album of these satanic devastators from Victoria, British Columbia. Not for naught does the advance press for Putrescence of Calvary make reference to the likes of Conqueror, Revenge, Black Witchery, and Blasphemy. If you are adherents to such standard-bearers of bestial black/death, you’ll relish being torn limb from limb by what Human Agony are doing — and we’ll give you that chance through our premiere of a full album stream. Continue reading »

Nov 272019


I have had a soft spot in my heart for Deivos for a very long time — though I also have some soft spots in my head as a result of these Polish destroyers caving it in every time they come out with another album. The new one is no exception, though they again demonstrate that brute-force trauma is only one of the impacts that their music leaves upon the listener.

In fact, their formulation of death metal is just enough outside the mainstream savagery of what you usually find (and is so well-executed) to make them distinctive, although perhaps their resistance to “fitting in” with trends is a reason why (in my opinion) they haven’t gotten nearly enough recognition despite plying their craft for 20 years and creating a discography that’s now six albums deep.

The new full-length is Casus Belli, and the Polish label Selfmadegod Records will be releasing it on November 29th. If you’re looking for something to be thankful for on this day before Thanksgiving, the full album stream we’re about to present should amply satisfy your search. Continue reading »

Nov 262019


Hamelin is a new Belgian band, but when you listen to their debut self-titled EP (which could also be called an album, given its half-hour run-time), it will come as no surprise that the band’s members have worked in other bands and projects. Their experience shows, and so does the breadth of their interests. Every one of the six tracks is wide-ranging, often in unpredictable ways, interweaving elements of black metal, post-metal, and progressive metal (and that’s not an exhaustive list) to create music of tremendous emotional power and dynamic intensity, music that’s melodically rich and atmospheric and also viscerally ravaging. When a band’s creative ambitions not only aim high, as Hamelin’s do, but also result in a cohesive and compelling experience, that makes a debut such as this one stand out even more.

The EP will be released on November 30th through Wolves of Hades, and today we’re presenting a full stream of all the tracks, preceded by thoughts concerning each of them. Continue reading »

Nov 262019


Blooming Carrions is a beautifully chosen name for this Finnish band whose new EP we’re premiering today, as is the EP’s title — Sisters In Blooming Flesh. On the one hand, the music is a stunning display of blackened death metal obliteration and mind-abrading sonic toxicity, capable of completely suffusing the senses with horrifying sensations of sadistic violence, pestilence, rot, and the extinction of hope. On the other hand, within such terrifying encounters the music also seems to revel and to bloom, to reveal the chilling and hallucinatory gleam of rapture in the embrace of death and decay.

Iron Bonehead Productions has set November 28th as the international release date for this new EP, which adds to (and builds upon) a Blooming Carrions discography that includes two preceding demos, 2017’s Sparkling Rotten Dreams and 2018’s Necrosis Twilight (both of them also released by Iron Bonehead). Continue reading »