Jun 272019


With their second album, released in 2005, the Greek band Order of the Ebon Hand began drawing Tarot cards from an unholy deck, embarking on a plan to explore the signs of each card drawn through the perspectives of black metal. The plan has been slow to evolve. That second album, XV: The Devil, followed the band’s 1997 full-length debut by eight years, and their new album, VII: The Chariot, is now arriving a long 14 years following the second one. It is so sweepingly powerful that we can only hope the next card in the deck will be revealed much sooner.

Today marks the official release of VII: The Chariot by the Russian labels Satanath Records and More Hate Productions, and coinciding with the release we have the good fortune to debut a full stream of this tremendous album — preceded by a flood of thoughts about the experience. Continue reading »

Jun 262019


The devotion of Burial Remains to old school Swedish death metal is extravagant, and masterfully expressed. But it’s almost misleading to call the death metal of Burial Remains “old school”, because that assumes they’ve left the beloved institution still standing, when it sounds instead like they’ve taken sledgehammers to teh structure and then burned the remnants to the ground.

Burn With Me” is in fact the name of the song from their debut album Trinity of Deception that we’re premiering today, in advance of its July 12 release by Transcending Obscurity Records. Actual flames do come to mind in listening to it, but perhaps more often the heated imagery is of the racing fever of a fatal disease. But those aren’t the only images spawned by the track. It proves to be a changing mix of rampaging violence, gruesome putrefaction, and funereal grief. Continue reading »

Jun 262019


With a name like Mourner, a musical genre described as doom/death, and a debut album entitled Apogee of Nihility, one might expect the music created by this Russian trio to be a relentless descent into dragging oppressiveness and the extinguishment of hope. To be sure, they have a sure-handed talent for creating sensations of gloom and anguish, but what really sets their music apart is how multi-faceted and utterly captivating it turns out to be.

The song we’re presenting today, “Cobweb of Captivity“, is a stellar example of Mourner’s dynamic talents, a constantly changing and ultimately enthralling sequence of movements that merits that perhaps over-used phrase “a musical journey”. Continue reading »

Jun 262019


Voiceless visions vary, with highly variable results. Subtracting the vibrations of a human larynx doesn’t diminish the appeal of most orchestral compositions or of jazz, for example (though solemn choirs enhance a requiem, and the smoky sultriness of a soulful voice brings dimensions of sound that a saxophone can’t capture). But in genres of extreme metal, entirely instrumental performances seem to face special challenges. It’s not immediately clear why this should be so — after all, a voice is just another instrument of sound, and usually a harsh and ugly one in our circles — but the absence of such assaulting sensations seems to leave a void that many instrumental performers have difficulty filling, leaving the attention of listeners to wander.

On the other hand, the music of the instrumental Belarusian band Essence of Datum leaves no noticeable void at all. To the contrary, it might not go too far to say that the addition of vocals to their music would be a subtraction — an unwanted intrusion that might prove to be a distraction and a diminution of their achievements. That’s quite a testament to their powers, especially because this duo are firmly rooted in the extremity of death metal rather than feeling compelled to layer in symphonic excesses or indulge in meandering proggy diversions as a way of filling the voiceless void.

Essence of Datum‘s success in surmounting the challenges identified above led to their signing earlier this year by Season of Mist, who will release the band’s new album Spellcrying Machine on August 30th. How they achieved that success is not fully revealed on any single song; listening to the entire album provides the best answer. But the first single we’re bringing you from the album today through an attention-grabbing performance video — “Pendulum” — is certainly a great introduction to the album’s manifold attractions. Continue reading »

Jun 252019


It’s unlikely that you’re unfamiliar with Plaguewielder if you’ve been a frequent visitor at our putrid site, because we’ve paid a lot of attention to them over the course of a career that now includes two albums, including 2018’s excellent Surrender To the Void (reviewed here). They describe themselves as “a three-piece blackened sludge outfit from a decrepit mill town in Ohio”, an extreme metal power trio “embodying the misery of our times and the determination of Ohio’s forgotten working class”.

The band have a multitude of influences that come through in their viscerally powerful music, and they’ve now completed work on a new EP that both pays tribute to some of them and gives their fans a hard strike of vicious new material. Entitled Suffering From Self-Inflected Wounds, it includes covers of G.G. Allen‘s punk anthem “Bite It You Scum,” as well as working-class blues legend Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”, plus three original songs. Today we’re presenting one of those original compositions, and it’s the new EP’s raging title track. Continue reading »

Jun 252019


The song you’re about to hear should probably be delivered with a supplemental oxygen supply — just a mask, a tube, and a small canister capable of feeding your lungs long enough to make it through this 2 1/2 minute hurricane of sound without gasping for air. To avoid utter evisceration, it might also be a good idea to borrow some Kevlar body armor.

Tsantsas” is the name of this breathtaking assault, and it comes blazing at us from the sophomore album of the Italian death metal band Demiurgon. Entitled The Oblivious Lure, it will be released on July 12th by Everlasting Spew Records. It arrives four years after the band’s 2015 full-length debut, Above the Unworthy, whose music we praised repeatedly at this site in the lead-up to its release, and attempted to sum up in this flurry of words: Continue reading »

Jun 252019


On the Fourth of July the Virginia-based symphonic black/death metal duo Warthrone will return with their second album, Crown of the Apocalypse, which follows their 2014 Venomassacre debut full-length. On this new album, Warthrone members Erik Sayenga (ex-Dying Fetus, Witch-Hunt) and Kristel Sayenga (ex-Witch-Hunt, Dark Purity) are joined by an impressive group of guests, including vocalists Nader Sadek, Sarah Jezebel Deva (Cradle of Filth, Hecate Enthroned, Therion), and Kim Dylla (GWAR), and lead guitarist Jim Ross (Cystic Dysentary, Doomzilla).

The album’s opening track, “The Eyes of Kings”, has already been revealed, and today we present the album’s title track, which immediately follows it in the running order. Together they make a powerful one-two punch to launch this new 40-minute record. Continue reading »

Jun 242019


Some melodies are so blatantly hooky that they get stuck in your head immediately, even if you don’t think they deserve the attention and wish they would go away, like bits of fluff that annoyingly get stuck to your clothes. Others adhere to your memory more seductively but in a more lasting fashion, because there is greater emotional substance to them. That’s true of the song we’re about to premiere by the Mexican band Ragnell.

The song is “Divine Eradication“, and it’s one of nine tracks on Rebirth in Darkness, the second album by this band from Toluca and the first release since their full-length debut in 2014. Like that first album, the new one will be released by Satanath Records, joined this time in the release by More Hate Productions and The End Of Time Records. Continue reading »

Jun 212019


Fear and dread, and a certain tingling up and down the spine, are perhaps the dominant sensations that should accompany the announcement of a new album by the Texas duo Hellvetron, whose members have also wrecked havoc through such other formations as Nexul and Black Witchery. Seven long years have passed since Hellvetron’s debut album, Death Scroll of Seven Hells and Its Infernal Majesties, but at last a new one will be upon us come August 16th, through the devilish ministrations of Iron Bonehead Productions.

The portals of Hell open wide through this new album, whose title — Trident of Tartarean Gateways — foreshadows the sulfurous abominations and terrible majesties that reveal themselves through its nine tracks. Similarly, the title of the song we present today — “Draconian Witchblood” — presages both the severity of the punishment it metes out and its air of poisonous enchantment. Continue reading »

Jun 212019


The thrill of witnessing destruction is a large part of Fawn Limbs‘ appeal, like the excitement of being present at the implosion of giant buildings to create space for something new. But there are other thrills within the mayhem of their music which derive not from chaos but from the almost machine-like precision of their otherwise freakish demolition jobs. This may seem paradoxical, but you’ll see what we mean when you check out the song we’re premiering today.

The song is “Pines” (which does not refer to trees) and it comes from this trans-oceanic trio’s debut album, Harm Remissions, which will be released on August 2nd. The album is an amalgamation of grindcore, math-metal, and noise, created by Finnish guitarist/vocalist/noise-producer Eeli Helin and the Pennsylvania-based rhythm section of Lee Fisher (drums) and Samuel Smith (bass). The album also includes guest vocal appearances by Andrew Hawkins (Baring Teeth), Champ Morgan (BLK OPS, Derelict Satellite, Kill the Client), and Mitchell Luna (Maruta, Noisear). Continue reading »