Mar 132023

After a silence spanning nearly 20 years, Unpure are returning with a new album named Prophecies Ablaze, which will be released at the end of March by Invictus Productions and The Ajna Offensive.

Twenty years (or nearly so) is a long time, and even Unpure‘s last album (2004’s World Collapse) thus pre-dates the start of our site. From time to time we do divert from focusing on new music in order to dig back into histories we missed before our current interests in metal took root, but I don’t remember ever exploring Unpure‘s discography as it grew from 1993 through that last album. And so I’ve come to Prophecies Ablaze with no expectations.

That’s probably just as well, since the Unpure that recorded the album now includes two new guitarists, Watain‘s Pelle Forsberg and Degial‘s Hampus Eriksson, as well as erstwhile Degial drummer Emil Svensson (who apparently joined the band in 2019), with only vocalist/bassist Kolgrim remaining from all the earlier days. So it could be considered a re-start in more ways than one. Continue reading »

Mar 132023

Today we have an example of music that seems to arrive straight out of the sky without much warning, something that dazzles and destroys with such devastating heaviness and mind-bending but unnerving inventiveness that it’s startling to realize it’s a band’s debut effort. But that indeed is what we have — two songs from Ensemble Under The Dark Sun, the first full-length by the Turkish quintet Serpent of Old.

We don’t yet know very much about the band’s background, though it appears  they share members with the technical death/thrash band Archaic Vanity (who have one 2020 EP to their name). But the music tells us enough to pay very close attention as we wait for the album’s release by Transcending Obscurity Records. Continue reading »

Mar 102023

The PR material for Thysia‘s debut album Islands in Cosmic Darkness punch lots of buttons. It informs us that the band-members’ collective experience includes participation in Haemophagus, Messa, Undead Creep, Assumption, and Nox Interitus. It makes stylistic comparisons to Craft, Varathron, Mayhem, Celtic Frost, Tangorodrim, and early Rotting Christ. It further suggests that the album will appeal to fans of Negative Plane, Malokarpatan, Cultes des Ghoules, and Funereal Presence. And thereby it creates very high expectations.

The band’s name is an ancient Greek term that refers to “ritual sacrifice,” and lyrical references in the new album are also rooted in Greek mythology. That also creates expectations — as does the album title — of ancient, supernatural, and bloody connections.

But the true proof, of course, is in the music that this Italian collective have created, and as of today we have two audio signs of the new album in advance of its April 7 release by Chaos Records — the first single “Psallo“ and the song we’re presenting today, “Communicating Halls of the Netherworld“. Continue reading »

Mar 102023

A complete biography of the NY band Dimentianon would consume many chapters, and probably test the patience of most readers. The thumbnail sketch is that the band was born in 1995 under the name The Forgotten and then changed to Dimentianon seven years later after releasing a pair of demos, a debut album, and a split. In the ensuing years Dimentianon experienced numerous lineup changes, participated in many shows with numerous household names in the metalverse, and released four more albums, most recently the 2021 “comeback” album Dreaming Yuggoth, which emerged after an 11-year gap.

Fortunately, the lineup has remained stable since then, resulting in a new album set for co-release this year on April 14th by Symbol of Domination (Moldova), Paragon Records (US), and Pest Records (Romania). Entitled Chapter VI: Burning Rebirth, it’s an hour-long work that again features founding member and vocalist M, drummer and cellist Matt Hass, keyboardist and additional vocalist Don Zaros (Evoken), and guitarist/bassist Joe Fogarazzo (who also performs church organ on the record).

Once more, Dimentianon have interwoven ingredients from black, death, and doom metal, but the eclecticism of the stylistic alchemy doesn’t end there, as you’ll discover from the song “Black Angel” that we’re premiering today through a lyric video. Continue reading »

Mar 092023

This year the Hungarian black metal band Aetherius Obscuritas celebrate their 21st year of existence by releasing their ninth album overall. Bearing the name A sors szürke pora (“The Grey Dust of Predestination”), it will hit the streets on April 15th through the cooperation of Ukraine-based GrimmDistribution and the U.S. label Paragon Records.

The last time we spoke of this veteran band was in 2020, when they released Mártír, the immediate predecessor to A sors szürke pora. We wrote then:

The Hungarian black metal band Aetherius Obscuritas are certainly capable of mounting musical assaults of cut-throat savagery and spine-tingling wildness, but what makes their new album Mártír stand out from the barbaric pack is, for want of a better word, their adventurousness. The compositions are elaborate and multi-faceted, and the results can seem like musical potions that produce enthralling as well as electrifying effects.

We’ve repeated that little summary because you’ll find some of those same adjectives in our following descriptions of two songs from the new album, one of which we’re happily premiering today — “Cloak of Wolves“. Continue reading »

Mar 092023

Undoubtedly, many of you visiting this page will already be familiar with the avant-garde Italian black metal project Derhead, thanks to the increasingly distinctive music captured on a pair of demos and a pair of EPs that have seen release since 2016 (though the project’s existence can be traced back to 2001). But for those who may be newcomers, we’ll disclose that Derhead is the solo work of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Giorgio Barroccu from Genoa, who is also the founder and co-owner of Brucia Records.

At last, Derhead will be releasing a debut album this month. Entitled The Grey Zone Phobia, it’s a 37-minute opus set for release by the same Brucia Records on March 30th. When you hear it, you’ll discover that Derhead‘s interests have continued to evolve. The label’s preview reports that this time the music has been “contaminated by an incredibly heterogeneous range of sounds spacing from Doom / Gothic Metal to what Satyricon released during the Rebel Extravaganza era.” We’ll also share Derhead‘s summing up of the album’s thematic conceptions: Continue reading »

Mar 082023

At the end of 2020 the French atmospheric/psychedelic black metal band Bacchus made their recording debut with a self-titled EP, and we had the pleasure of premiering it. As we explained then, the record was composed by Moïse Mestriaux, and he also performed synthesizers and selected samples used in the music. Aiding him were members of Abyssal Vacuum, Dysylumn, and Ominous ShrineSébastien B. (guitars, bass, vocals) and drummer Camille Olivier F.B. (who, who also mixed and mastered the EP.

Continuing to draw inspiration from the cult of the Roman god of wine, ecstasy, and madness, these three are now returning with a debut album that’s set for release by Debemur Morsi Productions on April 7th, and we again have the pleasure of doing a premiere, this time for the second song to be revealed so far from the new full-length, along with a brief interview of vocalist/guitarist Sébastien B. Continue reading »

Mar 082023

Just two days from now, on March 10th, the Italian label Lethal Scissor Records will release a new EP named Metastasis by the German band Bloodjob. True to their name, Bloodjob give us a bloody piece of work, an explosive five-track onslaught that’s foul and ferocious, bringing to bear ingredients of both brutal death metal and technically electrifying death metal, as well as the kind of grindcore zealotry that spawns visions of mosh pits gone wild.

The EP features the talents of a new rhythm section that joined the fold after the band’s 2019 debut album Sick Concept Humanity. And so the new EP includes re-recordings by the new lineup of two cuts from the band’s 2012 demo Misogynic Obsessions, as well as three new songs inspired by the band’s “dystopian view on the degenerating civilization we live in” — and we’ve got all five of the songs for you to hear today. Continue reading »

Mar 072023

In the midst of daily reminders from around the globe that humans are in fact plagued by a god disease (masking won’t help and there’s no vaccine), the band God Disease are about to land a new album, with a title that makes clear what this Finnish group see in their crystal ball: Apocalyptic Doom.

That title is also a fine summing up of the music on this Helsinki band’s second full-length, and a sign of how much further they’ve moved in their evolution from death metal to the most soul-stricken and earth-quaking doom. Continue reading »

Mar 072023

I fucking love the promotional photos of The Grifted. I admit I’m influenced by the fact that they look closer to my generation than most current death metal bands, but it’s more than that. It’s that they are making a statement.

Surely the suit jackets, the vest, the shorn heads, and the setting are no accident. The gaze at the watch suggests they’re about to be late to some kind of professional meeting (and not with a tour promoter). It seems a way of saying (with a sense of humor), we have other lives, we’re not pandering to expectations but are more interested in confounding them, we know who we are even if you might not guess… and we’re quite happy to let our music speak for itself.

Well, you might not guess who they are, but once you know their connected histories it will come as no surprise that The Grifted‘s debut album Doomsday & Salvation is so damned good. Continue reading »