Sep 292022

Contemplate the artwork of Chase Slaker that introduces people to the second album by Morbific. Take in the wretched, lifeless vision of skeletons strewn about and piled high in chilling monoliths. Consider also the album’s name — Squirm Beyond the Mortal Realm — and song titles such as “Meal From An Open Skull”, “Initiation Into Oblivion”, “Malignant Germination”, or the track we’re premiering today, “Suicide Sanctum“.

All of that foretells death (metal) and the presence of the supernatural.

These signposts are also very accurate. Morbific‘s brand of death metal is undeniably raw and foul, well-calculated to channel sensations of disease, putrefaction, and madness while giving your bones a brutal beating — and creating an atmosphere of supernatural horror while they do all that.

That would be enough for most fans of rotten-to-the-core death metal, but it turns out that Morbific are ridiculously good at making their creations head-moving and “catchy” as well as hideous. Continue reading »

Sep 282022

Last year we had the chance to premiere a song from a debut album that seemed to come out of nowhere and landed on the Blood Harvest Records label. At that time we wrote this:

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'”.

That album, Reared Up in Spectral Predation, delivered one mind-boggling, bone-breaking escapade after another, collectively creating a pan-dimensional thrill-ride that we forecasted was likely to stand out from the pack in 2021, even though it was “just” a debut effort from what seemed to be an anonymous solo creator.

Letting no solar flares or satellite traffic deter it, Universally Estranged is swooping into our atmosphere again with a follow-up album named Dimension of Deviant Clusters, and we again have a chance to present another song premiere (in the midst of another torrent of words). Continue reading »

Sep 282022

“Ripping riffs, bursting artillery, blood-spilling bass pulsation, and vomit from the infernal pit for eight hymns of black death and damnation, all forged in Satanic power and hammering darkness throughout endless morbidity.”

That’s how Osmose Productions has vividly announced Oath of Abhorrence, the forthcoming third album by the Italian decimators in Necromutilator. And if that message isn’t clear enough, we have these words from the band themselves: “Your god is still dead and we, servants of the Adversary, are still vomiting blood and pissing acid on his corpse and soul”.

No finesse or nuance there, and certainly no mercy. But words are one thing, and the sound is another, and the former must be tested against the latter. We give you the test today through our premiere of a track off the new album named “Cremation Sorcery“. Continue reading »

Sep 272022

As you can see, Mark Erskine of Erskine Designs has created cover art for the debut album by Fall of Seraphs that’s guaranteed to seize attention with its colorful rendering of supernatural monstrosity and fiery, storm-tossed chaos. It really is the kind of eye-catcher that’s likely to pull listeners into the record, even those who know nothing about the music. But more than that, it also provides a great match for the kind of death metal this French band have created on this debut album, which is both dazzling and monstrously malignant.

The album’s name is From Dust to Creation, and like the title it flips lots of things on their heads. The music is brutish in its skull-busting thuggery and as hostile as rabid wolves, but incorporates the kind of guitar work that spins heads and sends them shooting off into the stratosphere, and the band blend it all together with a vivid sense of dynamism and infectiousness in the songwriting.

You’ll learn that for yourselves through today’s premiere of the album’s fifth track, “Psychotic Troubled Senses“. Continue reading »

Sep 272022


Abyssic‘s last album High the Memory, which we reviewed and premiered here, prompted us to wax poetic

“In these complex and richly textured compositions, which draw upon ingredients of funeral death/doom, black metal, and prog, augmented by classical orchestration (and the use of Mellotron, Minimoog, and upright bass), Abyssic create combinations of crushing power and mystical evanescence, of oppressive gloom and fragile, gleaming beauty. Dread and devastation stalk this vast musical landscape, furrowing the earth with great troughs of misery and despair, while brilliant stars wink overhead, blazing comets streak the night sky, and the borealis shimmers in unearthly brilliance. The effect of these juxtapositions is harrowing and hypnotic, magisterial and monstrous.”

Well, “poetic” is of course a relative term here at our putrid enclave, but you get the idea: This Norwegian band’s music has a way of firing the imagination, and trying to describe it in more conventional terms falls flat by comparison. Now we find ourselves in a similar place, because Abyssic have a new album on the way, and we’re again hosting a premiere to help advance the cause. Continue reading »

Sep 262022

Some fans of extreme music are also fans of interesting album concepts and well-written lyrics, perhaps because such things are so few and far between in the great and continuing flood of new releases, like finding a scattering of diamonds in your sock drawer. Other fans could really care less about that, focusing instead on the music and the vocals (where the words are rarely decipherable anyway). But today we’re going to begin with concept and words, and perhaps you’ll soon understand why.

The inspiration for Ascension Beyond Kokytus, the debut album by the Costa Rican band VoidOath, was deeply rooted in the lore created by John W. Campbell Jr. through his 1938 science fiction novella Who goes there? and the novel-length version of that story, Frozen Hell, which was discovered and published after Campbell‘s death, as well as the 1982 film The Thing, John Carpenter’s classic adaptation/remake of the Campbell story. Continue reading »

Sep 232022

For the third day in a row we’re helping spread the word about a new album whose release is fast approaching from the wonderful I, Voidhanger Records. We’ve previously had the pleasure of putting our spotlight on new albums by Acausal Intrusion (U.S.) and Voak (Greece), and today we’re fixated on All-Consuming Hunger, the bombshell debut album by Toronto’s Hussar. I, Voidhanger introduces it this way:

“The effect on the listener’s eardrums is that of a tank that proceeds inexorably breaking through everything it encounters. The metaphor is not out of place, given that in All-Consuming Hunger HUSSAR tell stories of war, denouncing its inhumanity and horrors, the sacrifice of soldiers sent for slaughter by their superiors, the paranoia of the troops in the trenches, the frustration of the war widows, the disfigured faces of those who found themselves too close to an exploding mine…”

With that prelude you’ll already have an insight into the subject matter of the song we’re presenting today — “Dissonant Weeping Of A Thousand Widows“. Continue reading »

Sep 232022

From the Vastland‘s steady rise to prominence in the global realms of black metal began in the spring of 2013 when its then sole creator Sina journeyed from his homeland in Iran to perform at Oslo’s Inferno Festival, backed by a group of black metal luminaries from Norway. It happened to be a performance that our own Andy Synn witnessed and memorialized here. From then, and following Sina‘s immigration to Norway, From the Vastland has put out one impressive album after another, and we’ve continued following the band’s progress all along.

From the Vastland‘s most recent album was 2020’s The Haft Khan, a work that the same Mr. Synn lauded here as “pleasingly raw, yet mercilessly melodic”, delivering “great riffs”. “hideously infectious grooves”, “bold, bombastic hooks which, nevertheless, absolutely bristle with blackened menace”, and an obvious passion for a hallmark style of Norwegian black metal developed in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Throughout From the Vastland‘s rise, Sina has drawn thematic inspiration from wellsprings of Persian history and mythology, and he continues doing so on a new album (the band’s seventh) named Taurvi, which will be released on October 7th by the band’s new label, The Crawling Chaos Records. Continue reading »

Sep 222022

For the second day in a row (and there will be a third tomorrow) it’s our pleasure to premiere a song from a forthcoming album on one of our favorite labels, the always distinctive I, Voidhanger Records. Yesterday it was Acausal Intrusion, and today the focus is the Greek black metal band Voak and their debut album Verdrängung.

The musical drive of Voak is fueled (as the label explains) by their concerns over “societies shaken by racial tensions, sexual discriminations and extremisms of all kinds”. They chose for the title of their album a German word that refers to the suppression of inner feelings and conflicts, which can lead to inaction in the face of wrongs. They write:

“The presence of our inner conflict shall trumpet over the mesmerizing melody of our comfort and fear of quarrel. To identify ‘Verdrängung’ as such, is a step to be taken in order to be able to fight among others, after fighting against the causes of our own inertia…. The oppressed and the ones struggling against the ‘Verdrängung’ may live in different prisons, but they are the majority… And in unity there is hope.” Continue reading »

Sep 222022

In its debut album Death is the Desired Ending, the Dutch solo project Sfeerverzieker invites you to “Embrace depravity, Embrace brutality”. Consistent with that invitation, the songs’ lyrical themes are themselves centered on “brutality, misery, negativity, and the destruction mankind brings to this world”.

But as is sometimes true of metal spawned by such negative and nihilistic thoughts, the music of Sfeerverzieker, which broadly could be summed up as an atmospheric amalgam of sludge, doom, and post-metal, expresses them in ways that are often brimming with vitality and stunning in the scale of their power. Wide-ranging in their variations, the songs are often unmistakably disturbing and devastating in both their sonic force and their emotional impact, but also relentlessly captivating.

We have two striking examples of these accomplishments today, one of them a song that has already debuted but which you might have missed, and the other a track we’re presenting for its first public airing. Continue reading »