Feb 252020


The name Pete Helmkamp will be a familiar one to fans of underground terrorists such as Angelcorpse, Order From Chaos, Revenge, Kerasphorus, Terror Organ, and Feldgrau — all of them bands whose ranks have included Helmkamp at one time or another. But he also has a project named Abhomine, and on February 28th Hells Headbangers and Osmose Productions will jointly release Abhomine‘s second album. Like the 2016 debut, Larvae Offal Swine, the title of the new record evocatively stitches together three words — Proselyte Parasite Plague.

On this new album, Helmkamp is accompanied by drummer/vocalist Cazz Grant, known for his work with Crucifier and Grand Belial’s Key, and together they race through a non-stop barrage of neck-snapping, mind-mauling, black/death barbarism, and we’ve got a full stream of it for you today. Continue reading »

Feb 252020


(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the new EP by the UK-based progressive black/doom band Lychgate, which will soon be released by Debemur Morti Productions.)

It’s getting hard to ignore Lychgate, not that anyone should be trying. This UK based Extreme Metal band continue to push their awe-inspiring blend of Black Metal, Death, and Doom into more progressive and experimental realms with each release, and their latest EP is a case in point. Also sprach Futura is due out on Debemur Morti Productions on March 13th and illustrates beyond any doubt that Lychgate is one of the most exciting bands going right now. Continue reading »

Feb 252020


(Seattle-based NCS contributor Gonzo brings us this review of the the fifth studio album by U.S. progressive metal pioneers Psychotic Waltz, and their first music in 23 years, released on February 14th by InsideOutMusic.)

Maybe it’s just me, but I love it when a criminally underrated band emerges from the ether after years of radio silence and releases some of their best work. Since that seems to be the trend lately for metal bands, reformed prog metal gurus Psychotic Waltz have decided to follow suit, surprising the world with the release of their newest album, The God-Shaped Void. Continue reading »

Feb 242020


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the French band Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, which is set for release by Season of Mist on February 28th.)

One thing which struck me, in a way that it didn’t first time around, when listening back to the first two albums from underrated Black Metal coterie Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, was just how much their sound, their style, and their whole approach, reminds me of Abigail Williams.

Seriously, just take a listen to the slow-burning menace and spiteful savagery of songs like “They Came… To Take Us” and “The Incandescent March” (from 2015’s Exile) and try to tell me you don’t see/hear the resemblance to Ken Sorceron and co. circa In The Absence of Light/Becoming.

Of course the fearsome French five-piece are far more than just a European derivative of their American cousins, and others have also pointed out some of the band’s sonic similarities to artists like Altar of Plagues, Amenra, and their countrymen in Celeste too, but now that I’ve made this connection in my mind it’s impossible for me to un-hear it.

It also makes me wonder whether the reason for the band’s relatively low profile, at least when compared to some of the French scene, might be because – much like Abigail Williams – they don’t neatly fit into some people’s perceptions of what a Black Metal band should sound like or how they’re supposed to present themselves.

But, just one listen to Ascension makes me think that not only are Regarde Les Hommes Tomber fully aware of all this, they also don’t give a damn about fitting neatly into anyone’s preconceptions. Continue reading »

Feb 212020


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new double-album by the one-of-a-kind Czech band Cult of Fire, which has been released today.)

Czech Black Metal collective Cult of Fire have never been ones to follow the stereotypical path.

Whereas much, if not most, Black Metal styles itself as adversarial – not surprising considering the genre’s rebellious roots – Cult of Fire have always seem less concerned with pushing back against the outside world and more focussed on exploring their own inner world, taking instead their inspiration from Buddhist teachings and Vedic mysticism.

In their own way, of course, this makes them just as iconoclastic as the most rabidly anti-Christian of tremolo-abusers, except that instead of seeking to define themselves by what they’re against, Cult of Fire seek only to define (or redefine) who they are, their true spiritual selves.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising then that the band’s latest musical exploration (released digitally today, with a physical release following next month) comprises a double-disc duology of scorching sounds and meditative moodscapes, as we all know that the search for wisdom is both endless and eternal, and knows no bounds. Continue reading »

Feb 192020


The music of Necrobode is as infernally bestial, as merciless, and as death-crowned as all their outward trappings would suggest, from the cadaverous horned lord on the cover of their new album to their own savage, inverted-cross-wearing, spiked-gauntlet-brandishing visages. Their brand of corrosive black/death is sadistically brutalizing, mind-mauling, and vicious. But as you’re about to discover, there’s a lot more to their debut album besides naked hostility and a fiendish disregard for your mental and physical welfare.

That album, Sob o Feitiço do Necrobode, will be released on February 21st by Iron Bonehead Productions, a label that clearly knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff in sifting through the vast harvests of extreme metal. And today we’re bringing you a complete stream of the record — preceded by the following introductory review. Continue reading »

Feb 192020


(In this article Andy Synn combines reviews of three fine, stylistically divergent albums released in 2019 — by Bull Elephant (UK), Dimaeon (Netherlands), and Triangle Face (UK).)

Ok, Ok… I promise this will (probably) be the last time I go on about albums from last year that you and I may have otherwise skipped over or missed out on.

After all, it’s getting towards the end of February now, and the deluge of new releases and upcoming albums is really starting to ramp up, so if I don’t want to fall behind (any more than I already have done) then I really need to start focussing on 2020.

But I couldn’t let these three artists/albums pass by without making a bit of fuss over them, as while I didn’t get around to covering them when they were first released, I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to them all recently, and needed to share my enthusiasm with you! Continue reading »

Feb 182020


Today we premiere the entirety of Lokabrenna, the hour-long debut album by Nawaharjan, the Berlin-based black metal band whose name reportedly was built from the proto-Germanic word for “Nawaz” (corpse) and “Harjaz/Harjan” (army). The album will be released by Amor Fati Productions on the 20th of February. While we have (as usual) impressions of the music to share with you, in this case it’s worthwhile to first share what has been disclosed about the album’s conceptual underpinnings, because that gives further depth to the abundant array of sensations provided by the songs. To quote from the press materials:

Lokabrenna is a conceptual work based around the Thursian Brandawegiz system, which is built upon the nine locks of Sinmara’s chest within the dark, liberating side of Germanic mythology. Each of the songs on the album symbolizes one of these locks and acts as a devotional hymn to Loki and a way to unlock his potential within oneself. Continue reading »

Feb 182020


I’m scurrying this morning, so I’ll dispense with introductory comments and get right to the music I’ve chosen for this round-up — but did you see Mitchell Nolte‘s fantabulous artwork on the cover of Aborted’s new three-track EP? Of course you did — how could you miss it? The EP is called La Grande Mascarade [sic], with a release date of April 17th.


I’ve previously spilled some demented words here about the truly demented first song and video (“God Knows Why“) presented in advance of the release of Medico Peste‘s new album, ב :The Black Bile. Now I can’t resist crowing again about this Polish black metal band because another song from the album has escaped out into the world. Continue reading »

Feb 172020


(Here we present Andy Synn‘s review of the long-awaited new album by Beneath the Massacre from Montreal, Quebec.)

Sometimes it’s hard to put into words exactly why certain bands “click” with you and others don’t.

And, before anyone chimes in with “but Andy, isn’t your whole job here putting things like that into words?” let me say… shut up, I’m not finished.

It’s particularly difficult at the more Brutal/Extreme/Technical end of the spectrum, where the “everything turned up to 11” approach of the bands means that the differences between them are, more often than not, more of a matter of gradient and nuance.

Can I tell you exactly why I find Wormed so ridiculously fun to listen to, while I find Brain Drill to be just ridiculous? Can I explain exactly why I can listen to Hideous Divinity over and over, but repeated exposure to Origin often just leaves me cold? Not easily, no.

But I can tell you just why I love Beneath the Massacre, and their new album, Fearmonger, so much. Continue reading »