Apr 082021


Every year brings debut releases from up-and-coming bands that put a jolt of electricity into hungry fans and fortify the conviction that heavy music is alive and well. That’s already happening in 2021, bolstering those of us who believe that, for whatever reason, metal is in the midst of another Renaissance.

Having said that, we all get just as big a jolt from the return of bands who’ve given us thrills and chills in previous years, and that’s definitely true of the UK group Ninkharsag.

Andy Synn reviewed their 2015 album Blood of Celestial Kings for us, acclaiming it as a proud standard-bearer in the lineage of such bands as Dissection and Absu: “They’re not afraid of a big, bold, brutally effective hook when they come across one, as the nine songs which make up their debut album are positively bursting at the seams with brash, full-throttle riffs and coldly intoxicating melodies… as well as a hefty helping of pure blackened spite and vitriol”. Continue reading »

Apr 072021


Most people probably know the Genesis tale in which Lot and his family escape the destruction of Sodom, and Lot’s wife is turned to a pillar of salt after violating a divine command not to look back at the city. Lesser known is the subsequent story of what happened when Lot and his two daughters took up residence in a mountain cave. There, after becoming drunk, Lot has sex with them, eventually leading to the births of the incestuous offspring Moab and Ammon.

The Danish death metal band Shadowspawn have taken this tale as the subject of the song we’re premiering today through a lyric video, a song off their new album The Biology of Disbelief, which will hit the streets on April 16th via Emanzipation Productions. The band introduce the track in these words: Continue reading »

Apr 062021


Almost seven years after the appearance of their debut album Evil Seeds, the Danish melodic death metal band Sylvatica are at last returning with their sophomore full-length Ashes and Snow, which will be co-released on April 20th by Satanath Records and Pest Records. Two songs from the album have surfaced so far, and today we premiere a third one through a lyric video. Its name is “Helios“.

The words narrate the apocalyptic impact of extravagant solar flares on Earth and its human inhabitants, whose fragility is exposed by the invasion of those ravishing solar spirits. But while the lyrics are harrowing, the music is, in a word, spectacular — the kind of experience that gets the heart pumping and the head spinning. Continue reading »

Apr 062021


Last September the eccentric Norwegian grindcore band Beaten To Death made a vinyl release of a new album named Laat maar, ik verhuis naar het bos (which Google translate renders as “Never mind, I’m moving to the woods”). In keeping with other enticing peculiarities about the band, they then made a digital release of the album — but divided its four segments into four EPs that emerged every other week during November and December.

Each of those four segments was ostensibly devoted to a different forest — the Dutch forest Mastbos, the Japanese forest 青木ヶ原 located northwest of Mount Fuji, the Norwegian forest Østmarka near Oslo, and the forest moon of Endor (of Star Wars fame). If it seems odd that a grindcore band would devote themselves to the beauties of woodland nature, it’s not entirely clear that they did, given the presence of such song titles as “Flatulence of Emotions”, “The Night Is Young and We’re All Out Of Nekro”, “Rectal Dark Ages”, “If Your Music Were A Blowjob It Wouldn’t Suck”, and the song that’s the subject of the video we’re premiering today — “Hallway To Hell“.

On the other hand, there are surprising moments of beauty in Beaten To Death‘s music, which is part of what makes their unusual approach to grind so enticing. Continue reading »

Apr 052021


The creative energies of Swiss artist Bornyhake Ormenos seem boundless, and so multifarious that each impulsive surge of them may give rise to some new project, which seems to be the case in the spawning of his solo project Nivatakavachas.

Undoubtedly, this new menace has been gestating for some unknown period of time, building up its stockpile of evil power, but it is now ready to be revealed through a debut album named Ascraedunum, set for release by Satanath Records and Azif Records tomorrow (April 6th). One day early, we have a full stream of it for you. Continue reading »

Apr 022021


On the 4th day of April the German black metal band Phreneticum will release their debut album Der Stille Zerfall through the collaboration of Satanath Records and Onism Productions, but you won’t have to wait until then to be consumed by it, because we’re presenting a full stream of all the madness today.

From the band’s inception in 2015 the line-up has varied, but this new full-length is the work of only two performers — vocalist Leichenfresse and multi-instrumentalist Tino Fluch (from Abigorum, Trond, and Wulfgar). As a hint of what they’ve done together, the releasing labels recommend the album for fans of Sarkrista, Imperium Dekadenz, and Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult. But here are a few more hints about what you’ll be experiencing: Continue reading »

Apr 012021


Before hearing a single note I was magnetized by the brilliant title of Gexerott’s new album, Hallucinetic Violet Ignition, and the equally attention-seizing and entirely complementary cover art. Together they kindle intrigue while simultaneously creating an otherworldly chill, the first hints of danger swathed in violet allure. It turns out that the danger blooms in the music, in blood-freezing and mind-altering ways.

This new album is Gexerott’s third, and in it they continue to follow an occult spiritual path, translating ceremonies and epiphanies with roots in chaos-gnosis. The music is fundamentally black metal, but takes a visionary form that is genuinely unearthly, and deeply sinister in ways that may leave you feeling shaken, and maybe even poisoned. That is certainly true of the song we’re premiering today in advance of the album’s April 18 co-release by Satanath Records and Exhumed Records. Continue reading »

Apr 012021


Blood Harvest Records has unearthed a real gem. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the label has caught a comet that came unexpectedly rocketing into the atmosphere from some distant constellation. Universally Estranged seems to have no prior releases, instead immediately blazing across the sky with a full-length that truly is eye-opening in both its extravagant adventurousness and its technical acumen, presenting a vision of sci-fi-inspired death metal that is (in the vivid words of the label’s publicist) “both cosmically levitational and grossly subterranean”.

Replete with bizarre but somehow fitting song titles, and wild cover art that’s also entirely suitable, Reared Up in Spectral Predation delivers one mind-boggling, bone-breaking escapade after another, collectively creating a pan-dimensional thrill-ride that’s likely to stand out from the pack this year even though it’s “just” a debut effort from what seems to be a solo creator (who also seems to prefer anonymity).

As an electrifying sign of what the album holds in store, today we allow you to witness the band “Despoiling Souls of Flesh Across the Galaxy“. Continue reading »

Mar 312021


We’ve been following the progress of Ohio’s Plaguewielder since discovering their 2017 single “Writhing in Mental Torment” almost exactly four years ago — a single that was the first release after their 2015 debut album Succumb to the Ash. The name of that single captured a through-line that continued emerging in the band’s music in the following years, feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and fury that always seemed to be fighting to get out into the songs — music as catharsis.

But the music itself has changed over the years, as Plaguewielder has found increasingly multi-faceted and expansive means of expression. In its creative evolution Plaguewielder has reached an apotheosis in Covenant Death, the album that we’re proud to premiere in full today. Undeniably the band’s best work yet, it’s also one of the most striking and memorable works yet to emerge in this still young and still wretched second year of the plague. Continue reading »

Mar 312021


The last time we wrote about Funebria was almost six years ago, in connection with their second album, Dekatherion: Ten Years of Hate and Pride. We wondered if we had missed something in the many years since then, but no, there has been nothing new from this Venezuelan horde (now based in Colombia) — until now. And now they are looking ahead to April 17, when their third album, Death Of The Last Sun, will be released by Satanath Records in collaboration with Dark Terror Temple.

Based on what has been released from the album so far — including the track we’re premiering today — the music of Funebria is still a furious (and blasphemous) union of black and death metal, but even more dynamic, multi-faceted, and technically impressive than before. Today’s song premiere, “Dawn of Black Inericon“, is great proof of that. Continue reading »