Oct 232019


We’re told that “Odio Sordo” is the Italian translation for “Deaf Hate”, a phrase that connotes bitterness, fury, holding a grudge. And while the Italian trio Odiosordo have embraced those words in their name, and those sensations in their musical hybrid of hardcore and black metal, their new album Con Il Buio Nel Sangue becomes a musical journey in which different experiences also come to the surface. As they tell us, the name they’ve chosen represents internal struggle against personal challenges — “born by the need of merging a strong sense of discomfort, deep disorientation, but also the will of fighting back and finding a way through life.”

As you will have probably guessed by now, the music isn’t “easy listening”. It’s raw, bleak, and ravaging, stripped of pretense, authentic in its channeling of despair and rage, and of misery and defiance. Alternately bruising, oppressive, searing in its intensity, and soaring in its grasp for a way out of harrowing times, it proves to be a relentlessly gripping experience — and we’re giving you the chance to learn that for yourselves through our full-album stream today, before the record’s October 31 release by Third I Rex, VBMF (Italy), and the Third I Rex affiliate, Imperatrix Mundi Records. Continue reading »

Oct 232019


(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the French duo Alcest, which will be released by Nuclear Blast this coming Friday, October 25th.)

Back in the days of yore, it was commonly believed that the world we inhabit, the terrestrial sphere, was surrounded and permeated by an omnipresent, invisible essence called aether.

More fundamental than earth, more intangible than wind, more primal than fire, and more fluid than water, the search for this unseen fifth element (which, thanks to Luc Besson, we now know was actually “love” all along) consumed the lives of many of the most prominent scientists, thinkers, and philosophers of the time but, ultimately, was all for naught.

Of course, if they’d had access to the music of Alcest then the results might have been very different. Continue reading »

Oct 222019


Denial of God are a distinctive presence in the long ranks of black metal bands. For one thing, the Danish brothers Azter (guitars) and Ustumallagam (vocals) have been creating music under that name since 1991. Apart from the fact that few bands have lasted so long, Denial of God have also crafted an unusual aesthetic for their music, moving in increasingly cinematic and theatrical directions, with a pronounced supernatural atmosphere, that has given birth to the description of their creations as “Black Horror Metal”.

Seven long years have passed since the band’s last album, Death and the Beyond, with only The Shapeless Mass EP (released this past June) as a sign of renewed activity. That EP was intended as a springboard into a new full-length, and that new album is now fast approaching. Entitled The Hallow Mass, it will be jointly released by Osmose Productions and Hells Headbangers this coming Friday, October 25th, and today it’s our privilege to bring you a complete stream of this massive new work. Continue reading »

Oct 222019


(Here’s Vonlughlio’s review of the first full-length by the Filipino death metal band Pulverized.)

Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus has proven to be a great surprise this year. Released by Pathologically Explicit Recordings on October 20th, it’s the debut album by the brutal death metal band Pulverized, who hail from the Philippines.

The band have been active since 2015. Their first EP, Realm of Sufferance in 2016, was an example of raw, in-your-face, straightforward BDM that captivated me right away, and they followed that with a 2017 demo the includes three songs which are also on the debut album. Continue reading »

Oct 212019


In the ten years that have elapsed since the formation of Tyrant Goatgaldrakona, this Hungarian death metal duo have been measured in their release of music, with only one album (2013’s Horns In The Dark) and a pair of EPs to see the cold light of day since 2009. But now there’s a third EP on the horizon, a two-track offering named Marquis of Evil that’s set for an October 25th release on 7″ vinyl by Blood Harvest Records — and we have a full stream of it, in all its monstrous glory, for you today.

As trained medical professionals, we strongly advise you to get your neck loose before listening to the opening song, “Conspiracy With Marquis“. Okay, we’re not really trained medical professionals, but we still know sore-neck-trauma when we feel it, and this track is a merciless neck-wrecker — though it doesn’t begin that way. Continue reading »

Oct 212019


(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Italian death metal band Hour of Penance, which is set for release on October 25th by Agonia Records.)

Being in a band is hard. I can tell you that right now. Simply being good at what you do isn’t enough to guarantee you’re going to be successful (whatever that means).

Truth be told there’s a lot more involved than just being able to string together a series of sick riffs, including (although many don’t like to admit it) a fair bit of luck and good fortune.

But being able to build an actual career out of your music is even harder still. It takes all those aspects alluded to above – skill, luck, ambition – and more.

Perhaps most importantly it takes perseverance, and an ability to weather all the ups and downs, the false-starts and set-backs, that come with the territory. And, even then, lots of bands still don’t make it (through no fault of their own).

All this is a long-winded way of saying that it’s very rare indeed for bands to make it as far as Hour of Penance have here, with the imminent release of their eighth album, Misotheism. Continue reading »

Oct 212019


Having impulsively decided this past weekend to write about two albums whose releases I had been eagerly anticipating for many months, I felt a temptation to compare them, even though that would be like comparing apples and oranges. Both of them are very good, but the two bands occupy very different niches in the extreme metal underground, and one of them (the creator of the album I reviewed in Part 1 of this post) is constantly re-defining its niche. The other one, Spain’s Teitanblood, hasn’t remained static either, but the changes have been less adventurous. And to be fair, their career is much shorter, with three albums to their name now, compared to more than a dozen for Blut Aus Nord.

Rather than transforming themselves, Teitanblood have just gotten better. In fact, their new album, The Baneful Choir, is their best work yet. And we’d better bask in its savage glories as completely as we can, because if the band follow the pattern they’ve now established, we won’t see another Teitanblood album until 2024. Continue reading »

Oct 202019


For this week’s column I impulsively decided to write about two very different albums I’ve been looking forward to for a big part of the year. Why was the decision impulsive, you may ask?

Well, I’ve been sitting with the first one (by Blut Aus Nord) for months, and begin scribbling thoughts long ago, planning to time a review close to the release date — but some asshole leaked it and forced the label to release it prematurely. I then indefinitely deferred completing my review, knowing that fans of the band would already be well aware of its existence, and wondering what the point of a review would be if everyone could already freely listen to it and form their own impressions.

The second one (by Teitanblood) was hinted at back in the spring, officially announced on September 17th, and released late last week with no preview tracks. We received an advance copy of the album only a day or two before the release. Again, I wondered what the point would be in writing about it. Like the first band, the second one has a large and loyal following who would be well aware of the album’s existence and would be able to listen to it on their own.

And then I impulsively decided to stop over-thinking things. There are reasons to express opinions other than the goal of promoting music you enjoy, even if you don’t succeed in bringing even one new listener to the music. It seems that some people are interested in what we think even if they already have their own opinions. There is also pleasure (as well as agony) to be found in trying to explain why appealing music is appealing. And in the end, it also becomes payment of a debt of gratitude for experiences that make life richer. Continue reading »

Oct 182019


(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by New Jersey’s Fit For An Autopsy, which will be released on October 25th by Nuclear Blast and features cover art by Adam Burke.)

There’s a hoary old cliché that says “good artists borrow, great artists steal”.

We all know it, of course, but have you ever thought about what it’s really trying to say?

The point it’s trying to make, at least the way I see it, is that while some artists may borrow an influence here or there from various sources, the really great ones take these influences and make them their own.

And that’s precisely what prominent “Gojira-core” pioneers Fit for an Autopsy have done on their latest, greatest, album, taking the very best elements of the Duplantier brothers’ pre-mainstream work – the powerful riffs and primal vocals, the turbulent, tidal rhythms and melancholy melodies, the ear-catching, attention grabbing pick-scrapes – and stamping them with their own indelible mark. Continue reading »

Oct 172019


Today W.T.C. Productions is releasing Vast Vortex Litanies, the highly anticipated second album by the German black metal band Shrine of Insanabilis. It has been highly anticipated because the band’s first album, 2015’s Disciples of the Void, was so damned good (and the follow-on EP, 2016’s Tombs Opened by Fervent Tongues… Earth’s Final Necropolis, proved that the debut was no fluke). But Vast Vortex Litanies is nonetheless better than everything that has preceded it — as you’ll discover through the full album stream we’re sharing today.

While the band’s song-writing reveals improved dynamism and the enhanced infiltration of sorcerous melodies, it is the heights of glorious yet frightening frenzy that stand out, and that make the album such a continuously exhilarating experience. Continue reading »