Aug 142018


The effect of listening to the new EP by the French black/death band Absolvtion is similar to what I imagine I’d feel if I turned a corner and found a cobra immediately at my feet, its head raised, its hood open wide, swaying, about to strike. I’d feel shock and fear mixed with repulsion, but I’d be transfixed, mesmerized by the terrible beauty of the thing, frozen in fascination.

Gallow’s Destiny exerts a similar mesmerizing attraction, a similar capacity to freeze you in your steps, and at the same time it’s unnerving and poisonous. It tends to blot out rational thought, paralyzing that part of your mind and then sinking its fangs deep. Continue reading »

Aug 132018


When we first encountered music from the blood-pumping debut album of Buffalo’s Rebel Scum two years ago, we were moved to write: “Rebel Scum are churning out some devilish rock ‘n’ roll that will make you want to get loaded, jump on a big, smoking chopper, and eat up the highway, with Satan as your co-pilot.” With one more short leap of imagination, we might also have referred to a full-throttle chase across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the kind of marauding rush so vividly captured in the Mad Max movies.

We’re fiendishly happy to report that Rebel Scum are returning, and this time they’ve made that leap of imagination for us. On September 3rd they’ll be releasing a new self-titled EP, and the first single we’re bringing you today has a title that evokes the Road Warrior — “Guzzoline“. Continue reading »

Aug 132018


The debut album of the Texas death metal band Infuriate won’t be released by Everlasting Spew Records until the 31st of August, but we’ve already devoted quite a lot of attention to it, and are about to do so again. On July 2nd we premiered a track called “Juggernaut of Pestilence”; last week we published a guest review of the album in which our friend Vonlughlio proclaimed it his favorite debut album of all time (and yes, he keeps a list of such things). And today we have yet another premiere, one that showcases a merciless but enormously infectious track named “Mori Terrae“.

If you suspect that we’re just looking for fresh excuses to emblazon Jon Zig‘s remarkable cover art for the album at the top of our site, that would be a well-founded suspicion. But that’s not the only reason. The music is also just ridiculously good. Continue reading »

Aug 102018


The Portuguese black metal underground is home to a connected group of musicians (who conceal their identities) known as the Aldebaran Circle. That circle includes such bands and projects as Ordem Satânica, Trono Além Morte (whose music we premiered here), a band named Occelensbrigg whose music I included in a round-up at the end of July (here), and a band named Espírito Aldebaran, whose 2017 demo I reviewed here.

But the member of the Aldebaran Circle I discovered first was Voëmmr. They (or he?) released a debut album, Nox Maledictvs, in the fall of 2017, and we presented its streaming premiere. Now we have the good fortune to announce and premiere a new Voëmmr demo named Sombr Moebrd in advance of its release on August 15th by Harvest of Death. Continue reading »

Aug 102018


It seems everyone these days is wearing a black hood, pulled down low so you can’t see the faces. Well, maybe not you (though with a face like yours, you should think about it). No, I’m talking about metal bands who want to add a sense of menace and mystery to their personas, in keeping with the menace and mystery of their music, or perhaps as a way of underscoring the message that “it’s not about us, it’s about the music — and if you didn’t notice, we don’t use names either.”

The Australian rebel wizard NKSV who has adopted the name Rebel Wizard doesn’t wear a hood. He obscures his face with the kind of hat Gandalf wore, pulled down low, brandishing a guitar instead of a wand. He’s also drunk on the wizdom of unicorn semen. Continue reading »

Aug 082018


The abstract cover art by Synckop for the new album by the French band P.H.O.B.O.S. is remarkably vibrant, yet enigmatic.  It could be seen as a pure abstraction, the colors and shapes evoking an emotional response that’s dependent at least in part on what the viewer brings to the experience. But when you listen to the music of P.H.O.B.O.S., you may see it in a different way. You may see in it the emergence of a terrible visage, an inhuman one streaked in blood.

Smothered In Scoria” is the name of the song we’re presenting today, the one that closes this eight-track album, the name of which is Phlogiston Catharsis. It has the capacity to pin the listener in place like a moth affixed to a display, still wriggling. Visions of immense and implacable terror rise up through the music; the peril is palpable, the impact of the sound riveting but unnerving. Continue reading »

Aug 072018


It’s rare to find a video that suits a piece of music as well as Simon Risbridger‘s video for “Solar Storm” by the UK band Sons of Alpha Centauri. You listen to the song, and you can’t help but feel it’s telling a story, even without the narration of a vocalist. Your imagination will reflexively want to fill in the details in its own way, but the collaboration of the band with this director has produced a damned fine vision of their own, one that’s as much fun to see as the song is to hear.

As they say in the trade, it was a long wait for SOAC‘s new album, Continuum, which includes this song. It arrived on June 1st via H42 Records and Cobraside Records, a mere 10 1/2 years after the band’s self-titled debut album. There were a handful of splits in between, but nothing of the size and substance of this new record. Contrary to the proverb, good things don’t always come to those who wait, but they certainly did for us in this instance, and “Solar Storm” is a prime example of Continuum‘s rewards. Continue reading »

Aug 072018


Every genre of metal has its own distinctive hallmarks, the sounds you expect, the sensations you look for and maybe hunger for. Thrash is electrification. At its most exciting, at least for this writer, it’s even more than that — it’s thermonuclear incineration, the kind of full-throttle rush that not only lights up your bloodstream and triggers the reflex muscles in your neck but also sounds viciously unhinged. That kind of thrash doesn’t grow on trees, especially when it turns out to be addictive as well as ferocious. Psykopath have got that kind of stuff — the right stuff.

This young Norwegian band from Bergen have recorded a new three-track EP named Primal Instinct that’s explosive and contagious. In addition, it has impressive style and flair. The cover art by the great Kim Holm nails the feeling. We’re very happy to present the EP’s title track to whet your appetite in advance of its August 24 release by Loyal Blood Records. Continue reading »

Aug 062018


Destroy Your Fucking Life. Our Dawn Is the End. There Is No Hope. Supreme Misanthropic Darkness. And now Hail the Coming End.

Those are the titles of the releases so far by the Texas band Endless Disease, the last of which is out today. The titles alone, not to mention the band’s name, proclaim a world-view steeped in bleakness and boiling with disgust. If there is any hope here, it seems to be the hope that the pestilence of human existence will be extinguished sooner rather than later… and not one tear will be shed by this band when that day arrives. And therein lies a paradox about the music — because the music is electrifyingly alive, like a fight that will rage to the bitter end. Continue reading »

Aug 032018


Stellar Descent’s first three albums ranged in length from 48 minutes to two hours. Each of them was a single track. So is their fourth album, The Future Is Dark, a single track of 46 minutes, the very definition of “long-form black metal”. For some who haven’t encountered this duo’s music before, that might be an imposing barrier to entry. I’ll try to explain why the time shouldn’t be considered a barrier at, but a key factor in the album’s considerable appeal.

The reasons why all those uninterrupted minutes should be welcomed, at least by those with a certain turn of mind, are necessarily explanations that can’t be validated by a mere five-and-a-half minute excerpt, but that’s what we have for you now. It’s at least a strong opening statement, if not nearly the whole case. Continue reading »