Mar 052021


Today the black metal band Scitalis from the north of Sweden make their debut with an EP named Awakening that’s being released by Vendetta Records, and to help spread the work we’re presenting a full stream of its six ravaging tracks.

Presented through a clear and powerful production (which makes effective use of channel shifting), the music is persistently pitch-black in its temperaments, though it explores them in dynamic fashion and with piercing, mood-altering melodies that become key ingredients within changing episodes of upheaval and surrender. Continue reading »

Mar 042021


On March 12th the Swedish modern death metal band Orecus will follow up their 2016 Conclusion EP with a debut album accurately named The Obliterationist through Violent Groove (a label whose own name is entirely fitting for this band’s music). Today we present a full stream of the album, preceded by a preview of what you’ll be in for.

Orecus choose to begin the album with the title track, and it provides an explosive introduction to their terrifically destructive and disturbing strategies. It delivers jolting and jabbing riffs with pile-driving power and savage energy, accompanied by gritty, ferocious, belly-deep growls and attention-grabbing drum rhythms, which often provide a counterpoint to the rapid-fire riffing and which, in the chorus, transform into maniacal blasting as the music soars in delirious, blazing fashion. The song builds up to an even more brutalizing and compulsive hammer-sequence whose piston-driven blows will send your head pumping like an oil derrick. Continue reading »

Mar 042021


(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Swedish death metal band The Crown, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Metal Blade will release the new record on March 12th.)

One thing I’ve learned, in all my years trapped on this primitive dirtball inhabited by psychotic apes, is that it doesn’t take much for human beings to give in to their tribalistic instincts.

Case in point, although we all know that music isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a competition, we sure do seem to love to pick our sides when it comes to pitting one band, or one genre, against another, and I’ll admit I’ve been just as guilty of this as anyone, especially in my younger days.

In fact, I remember quite clearly that, back in the early 2000s, when everyone else was still riffing on (and ripping off) Slaughter of the Soul I was that kid who was more than happy to tell whoever was willing to listen that they should be listening to Deathrace King instead, since The Crown were so obviously the superior band.

Of course, over the years I’ve grown up a lot and learned a fair few things, the most important of which is…

I was right. Continue reading »

Mar 042021


(This is Vonlughlios‘ review of the new album by the Thai brutal death metal band Biomorphic Engulfment, which will be released on March 31 by Show No Mercy Records, with cover art by Paolo Girardi.)

We are into March and so far there have been some great BDM releases. I am excited to see what the upcoming months have in store for the genre. But I know about one of them already — the debut album by Thailand’s Biomorphic Engulfment, Incubation in the Parallel Dimension, which is set to be released by Show No Mercy Records on March 31st.

The project was born in 2015 under the name Parasitic Infestation until they changed it in 2017 to their current banner. They released the following year a one-song demo called “Pestilent Microparasitic Domination” that at the time I did not get the chance to listen to (which I now regret). Continue reading »

Mar 032021


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Portuguese band Sullen, which will be released on March 5th.)

Despite our site’s somewhat controversial (and, let’s face it, slightly inaccurate) name, there are definitely some of those among our regular readers who actively look forward to the times when we recommend something that falls more on the melodic, harmonious, side of the Metal spectrum.

Recent years have seen us singing (no pun intended) the praises of bands such as Arctic Sleep and Ecclesia, Klone and Close the Hatch, Astronoid and Sinistro, and it was just a few short month ago that I declared the new Protest the Hero album to be one of the very best records of 2020.

All of which, I suppose, is my way of saying that while we don’t go to the clean-singing well that often, when we do it’s because we think it’s something you’ll really like.

Something like the brand new album from Portuguese prog-metallers Sullen. Continue reading »

Mar 032021


(Here’s Gonzo’s review of the new album by the Toronto-based band Sarin, which is out now on Prosthetic Records.)

If you want to consider the future of “post-metal” as a genre, you won’t have to look very far to find the trailblazers showing us the way.

You could look as far back as the mid-’90s, when Neurosis began their transformation from sludgy hardcore into a subgenre-defining behemoth.

You could look at the glory days of ISIS circa 2005, when Aaron Turner and co. dished out slabs of ethereal heaviness that defied explanation.

And now, you can look at bands like Toronto-based Sarin, whose nasty, emotive brand of sonic vitriol is poised to bring post-metal into the present – with a vengeance. Continue reading »

Mar 022021


Almost four years have passed since we last heard from Requiem For Oblivion, who make their home in Erie PA. Their last album back then, Burning Nation, was a head-spinning fusion of technical and progressive death metal that was multi-faceted, unpredictable, and electrifying. And now the band is returning… and some things have changed.

Requiem For Oblivion have marked their return with a new EP named Hindsight 2020 that will be released on March 5th, and which you’ll be able to hear for yourselves through our premiere of a full stream. Trying to sum it up as a challenge, but here’s a stab at it:

The music is mechanistic and merciless in its destructiveness but also freakish and twisted in its bizarre and surprising contortions — a display of cold machine power dialed up to titanic levels but operating within a state of untreatable psychosis. The grooves are so massive and punishing that they’ll tempt you to ruin your neck, but everything else about the music (and, to be honest, even the grooves themselves) will keep you (and your sanity) off-balance, to the point that by the end you may be asking, “What the fuck just happened?” You’ll wonder where you’ve been and how the hell you’ll find your way get back to where you started. Continue reading »

Mar 022021


(Andy Synn wrote the following review of the new album by the Danish band Bæst, which will be released on March 5th by Century Media.)

Despite my many years writing, reviewing, and prognosticating about Metal – whether for NCS or Terrorizer or whoever – I still don’t really understand how the hype machine works.

Why does one band get big and another, doing the exact same thing (sometimes even better) not?

What makes one particular style of music suddenly explode in popularity while others seem destined to linger in obscurity?

And what, pray tell, does it take to get your voice heard over the deafening hype hurricane?

You see, ever since they released their first album (2018’s Danse Macabre) I’ve been practically yelling from the literal rooftops about how great Bæst are – easily the equal of your Blood Incantations, your Tomb Molds, or whoever else you might want to mention – and I’ve only gotten louder since they released the even better Venenum in 2019.

So, with the imminent release of the group’s third album, I think it’s high time people came round to the fact that Bæst are simply one of the all-round best bands in Death Metal. Continue reading »

Mar 022021


Raw black metal is a tiny and obscure niche within the greater world of extreme metal, but one with fervently devoted adherents among both performers and listeners. But as small as the niche is, the music within it isn’t all the same thing, any more than it is in other micro and macro metal realms. Some creators, for example, create abrasive and unpleasant assaults on the eardrums, relishing the antagonisms unleashed by such mutilating lo-fi attacks. Others follow different paths, and one of those is the intensely atmospheric one followed by the Italian one-man band Sacrilegious Crown.

Active since 2015, with three demos and two full-lengths in the catalogue, Sacrilegious Crown is about to release a new EP named Plenilunium Cult via Xenoglossy Productions, and we have a full stream of its remarkably chilling sensations for you today in advance of that March 5th release. Continue reading »

Mar 012021


(We present Todd Manning‘s review of the new third album by the New Zealand band Blindfolded and Led to the Woods, which is set for release on March 26th.)

At first glance, one might mistake a band named Blindfolded and Led to the Woods for a brutal, slam-inspired Death Metal group, but while this New Zealand-based quintet is certainly Death Metal, their take on the genre is much more nuanced and complex than their aforementioned brethren.

Blindfolded and Led to the Woods construct a sound based on the dissonance of Gorguts combined with the technical Death-Grind assault of Cephalic Carnage. While they may not be alone in drawing on such influences, what truly sets them apart is their focus on the details of their sound. Continue reading »