Oct 112019


As the title suggests, VI-Dantalion is the sixth album to be released by the Belgian band Slow (although the fourth album was separately released on three occasions in varying manifestations of sound). Now firmly ensconced in their own citadel of atmospheric funeral doom, Slow earn their name on Dantalion, but as you’re about to discover, the music is not only slow, it is shattering in the magnitude of its crushing emotional impact.

The means of discovery comes through our premiere of a track called “Géhenne“, which we present through a lyric video in advance of Dantalion’s release on November 8th by code666, a sublabel of Aural Music. Continue reading »

Oct 112019


With their self-titled debut EP released in 2014, the French band Mur (whose six-person line-up includes former members of Today is the Day, Glorior Belli, Mass Hysteria, Comity, and Four Question Marks) began feeling their way, searching for an identity for their music and beginning to establish one. When you listen to their new full-length record Brutalism, which will be released on October 25th by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions, it becomes apparent that they have arrived, at a place where their confidence is strong and their identity (albeit a multi-faceted one) well-defined. It isn’t so much a sea-change in sound compared to the EP as it is a giant stride ahead on the path they began five years ago.

The album is a fascinating experience because it is such a dynamic one. It offers constant surprises, but does so without losing the bonds that forge all the experiences together into a whole, and without sacrificing the explosive, searing intensity that’s the main hallmark of the record. Today we’re presenting a new song from the album (“Third“) that in itself embodies dramatic change — as well as serving as a blazing example of just how devastatingly powerful Mur’s combination of hardcore and black metal can be. Continue reading »

Oct 102019


In March of this year Apathia Records released Espérer Sombrer, the debut album of the French band Vesperine. Through their integration of progressive, noise, and hardcore elements into a foundation of powerful post-metal, Vesperine created an experience that should appeal to fans of such bands as AmenRa, Cult Of Luna, Impure Wilhelmina, Neurosis, and Rosetta.

What we have for you today is a phenomenal video for one of the phenomenal songs on Espérer Sombrer, a track called “Nous, Si Photosensibles“. The combination of the surreal and visually arresting imagery and the emotionally shattering sounds makes for a sublime match, and provides an equally arresting reminder of Vesperine’s unnerving power. Continue reading »

Oct 102019


I first stumbled across the Swiss band Matterhorn in the spring of last year when they had two songs up for streaming in advance of Iron Bonehead‘s CD release of their debut album, Crass Cleansing, and came away very impressed. I had a tough time categorizing the music, describing it then as a stew of extremity that included elements of thrash, speed metal, punk, black metal, and death metal. I further wrote:

“The overall impact is electrifying, not merely because of the speed and explosive energy of the tracks, but also because of the band’s skill in shifting gears on a dime, which they do frequently. The intricacy of their movements and the songwriting skill on display here, coupled with their palpably feral ferocity, set this apart from the vast majority of debuts.”

Now, Crass Cleansing will be reissued on November 22nd by Redefining Darkness Records (U.S.) and Dying Victim Productions (Europe) on CD, and in a new vinyl edition that has been remixed and remastered. The new edition also includes two new bonus tracks (recorded live), as a sign of what the band have been working on for the second album. One of those bonus tracks (“Bydying”) surfaced in August, and today we’re premiering the other one. Continue reading »

Oct 102019


(TheMadIsraeli introduces our premiere of the new EP by the Norwegian band Fleshmeadow, which will be released via Bandcamp on October 11th.)

I try to avoid hyperbolic statements about how a new or new-ish band to the scene are paving the way for their style or how they’re the sickest fucking thing I’ve heard in forever, but Fleshmeadow are one of those bands to me.

I reviewed and we premiered the band’s debut album Umbra back in 2016‘s final days, and it was one of my favorite records that came out that year.  Their uncanny mastery of technical black metal mixed with touches of ritualistic death metal and a bit of deathgrind really hit a note in my soul that screamed with feral ecstasy.  I’ve listened to Umbra regularly since I discovered it and have eagerly awaited what I would hear next from these blasphemous Norwegian carnage mongers. Continue reading »

Oct 092019


It has been a very long time coming, but Tampa’s Immanifest are finally following up their eye-opening 2010 debut EP Qliphotic with an album named Macrobial, and what a hell of an album it is! Animated by dark, occult themes, it is a sonically dense, bewilderingly intricate, viciously punishing, and thoroughly otherworldly combination of symphonic black and death metal, integrated with the speed and kaleidoscopic instrumental fireworks of technical death metal. The music is both machine-like and insectile, ethereal and bludgeoning, alien and monstrous, eerily majestic and savagely mauling.

And that’s not an exhaustive list of the styles and sensations so extravagantly delivered through this electrifying and explosive record. You’ll get a better sense of the band’s off-the-hook creative exuberance (and ferocious spirit) through the song we’re premiering today, in the run-up to the album’s November 8th release by The Artisan Era. The name of this new song is “Wandjina“. Continue reading »

Oct 092019


On their new album, Void Cult Rising, the Neapolitan band Naga have created a meditation on death, not only the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one but also an apocalyptic vision of the end of all things. In approaching calamities of such vastly different scales through their music, the band have fused the bleak, gut-rumbling heaviness of sludge, the downcast resonance of doom, and the nihilistic acidity of black metal. The sound is grim and raging, crushing and inconsolable.

The opening track of the new album, which follows a 2014 debut full-length (Hēn) and a 2016 EP (Inanimate), is “Only A God Can’t Save Us“, a title that seems to be a dismissive play on familiar words, and the music suggests that we can’t save ourselves either. We have a stream of the song for you today, in advance of the album’s November 15 release by Spikerot Records. Continue reading »

Oct 082019


The channeling of fury and violence, boiling over into chaos, has been a strain of extreme metal for decades, reaching its apotheosis in sectors that combine “the cold and malefic grimness of black metal with the most bludgeoning strains of death metal and the blind terror of grindcore” (to quote from the press materials for the debut album that’s the source of the following premiere). At its most unhinged, these black/death abominations of sound become such willfully abrasive, brutally distorted assaults on the senses that sometimes they seem to have no objective other than winning an arms race for who can abuse listeners most sadistically.

Well, one person’s poison is another person’s meat. The musical rendition of large-scale violence, whether spawned by imaginings of biblical apocalypse or nuclear holocaust, or the mutilations of more conventional weaponry, can be thrilling. Whether it comes from the cathartic exorcism of our own violent impulses or the fight-or-flight adrenaline kick that comes from being in a war zone, even if your own life isn’t at risk, the excitement can be undeniable, despite (or because of) all the storming ugliness.

But when a band are capable of producing apocalyptic levels of violence AND doing that with actual riffs AND with melodies you can actually detect and remember (in a genre where “melody” is a dirty word), that makes them stand out. And that brings us to Montréal’s Profane Order. Continue reading »

Oct 082019


Meaning no disrespect to all the other labels whose music we’ve become attached to over the years, it must nevertheless be said that the releases of I, Voidhanger Records are like no others. They are incredibly distinctive, often strangely so, and unpredictable in a way that makes each new announcement exciting. Part of this is the result of the richly idiosyncratic yet incisively perceptive tastes of the label’s owner, and part of it is undoubtedly the gravitation in his direction of musical creators who definitely march to the beats of their own drummers and whose creations often expand the mind in unexpected directions.

We are fortunate to present today two premieres that abundantly illustrate the truth of these observations. One comes from the new album by the French band Les Chants du Hasard, and the other from the new album by the Australian band Midnight Odyssey. Both of these are one-man projects whose releases continue to move from one precipice to the next, way up in rarefied air. Both will be released by I, Voidhanger on November 1st.


I became utterly enthralled by Livre Second before ever hearing a note. Simply reading the lyrical narratives of the nine Chants included in the album, each of which is something like a mythic short story or a “fairy tale”, captured me. The stories are mysterious, frightening, haunting, metaphorical, eloquent, and a bit like ghost hands that grasp and won’t let go. Continue reading »

Oct 072019


From the ashes of two storied French death metal bands, Catacomb and Affliction Gate, a hellish new formation has arisen under the name Nox Irae. The combined experience of these veteran members, as well as the range of their interests, is lividly on display in the band’s new EP, Here the Dead Live, which will be released by Transcending Obscurity Records on November 15th.

Transcending Obscurity has an extensive list of references as a jumping-off point for the music, dropping such names as Morgoth and Death, Demolition Hammer and Kreator, Asphyx and Bolt Thrower, among others. And it turns out to be a useful list once you listen to the music, including the song we’re premiering today. As “Knife Under Throat” proves, Nox Irae‘s song-writing talents are formidable, capable of creating music that’s bone-breaking in its heaviness, crazed in its savagery, ghoulish and sinister in its atmosphere, and highly contagious in the catchiness of its riffs. Continue reading »