Feb 222024

As described by The Font of All Human Knowledge: “Homo homini lupus, or in its unabridged form Homo homini lupus est, is a Latin proverb meaning ‘A man is a wolf to another man,’ or more tersely ‘Man is wolf to man.’ It is used to refer to situations where a person has behaved comparably to a wolf. In this case, the wolf represents predatory, cruel, and generally inhuman qualities; in essence, the person is held to be uncivilized.”

The Italian black/death metal band Keres took that proverb as the name for their debut album which is due for release on February 23rd via Gruesome Records. It is, for them, a truth about the human condition that provokes disgust and rage. They define humanity as “the biggest plague on earth”:

“Over the centuries we killed each other for the most trivial reasons, hiding behind religion, political ideologies, false respectability and many other bullshit with the purpose of justifying what we have done and are still doing. But the truth is that our nature will always lead us to crave what we don’t have, bringing endless conflicts for this thirst of power, which will bring upon us our own demise. In the end, only ruins and dust of what we are will remain, this is our true legacy. We deserve extinction.”

Keres obviously don’t mince words. They don’t pull any punches in their music either, as you will discover for yourselves through our complete premiere stream of their new album today, on the eve of its release. Continue reading »

Feb 212024

No matter where; of comfort no man speak:
Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth

That’s not the last time we’ll quote Shakespeare in this article, but we begin with that excerpt from Richard II for a reason, which you may understand when you hear Counting HoursThe Wishing Tomb, which will be released on February 23rd by Ardua Music.

These Finnish dark metal torchbearers have a way with words too. Here’s how they introduce this new album:

The Wishing Tomb represents a cathartic journey. It’s an exploration of human frailty, dreams, and the unspoken. The tomb symbolizes both longing and release—the place where wishes crystallize and fade away. Counting Hours invites listeners to step into this cryptic space, where emotions resonate and time loses its grip.” Continue reading »

Feb 212024

(Ihsahn‘s self-titled album was released last week, and Andy Synn has a few thoughts about it)

Vegard Sverre Tveitan, better known as Ihsahn, is undeniably one of the most recognisable names/faces/voices in our little, parallel Metal universe.

And while he initially earned his infamy as part of a little band called Emperor (maybe you’ve heard of them?) he has now spent almost twenty years pursuing a solo career under the Ihsahn moniker, meaning that there’s a good chance that at least some of his fanbase probably knows him more for that than for his seminal role in the early days of Black Metal.

As a vehicle for his proggier predilections, his collective catalogue under the Ihsahn banner has run the gamut from modern classics to experimental oddities, and everything in between, but there’s certainly an argument to be made that – as a self-titled summation of his career so far – on his eighth album, the eponymous Ihsahn, we’re truly seeing Ihsahn being the most Ihsahn he can be.

Which leaves just two question which need answering – what exactly is it about Ihsahn which makes the album so special, and how many more times am I going to write the word “Ihsahn” over the course of this review?

Continue reading »

Feb 202024

(Life Promised Death is out now on Lupus Lounge)

Farsot‘s 2017 album, Fail·Lure, is – in my humble opinion, at least – one of the best Black Metal records of the last ten, if not twenty, years.

Which means, of course, that Life Promised Death has a lot to live up to, especially with almost seven years of built up expectations to contend with on top of that.

Continue reading »

Feb 192024

(We present DGR‘s review of the latest album by the Norwegian death metal band Blood Red Throne, which is out now on Soulseller Records.)

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have the book of death metal read to me. The classic chapters would probably be incredible, set in stone and defined by an era of wild experimentation, gore obsession, and studio production ranging from ‘what the hell were they thinking’ to ‘wow, that’s impressive’.

For a genre that has been around as long as it has, it remains to this day impressively fluid. Both an extreme sport by which modern athletes test their mettle but also one wherein people take that blueprint and mutilate it into many other forms. They twist, morph, contort, and absorb so much that at times the ‘death metal’ genre-tag becomes more like a filter through which other things are forced through than the starting seed.

The modern chapters that are still being written are the ones that would be most intriguing based simply off of ‘where do you even start to approach it?’. You have regional scenes, all with their own hallmarks, you have outside influences that have gone unacknowledged that simply become part of death metal, and you have the blastbeat vein that became its own throughline. and that’s just the starting part.

You have experimenters and vanguards alike, and over the course of an eleven-album career Blood Red Throne have shown themselves to be perfectly fitted into the ‘vanguard’ role. They’ve added their own sentences and addendums to the modern segment of death metal’s book over the years, recent attempts bringing their name well into the limelight in the world of brutality, and with late-January’s Nonagon, Blood Red Throne are finally sitting down to read those segments back to you. Continue reading »

Feb 192024

(Andy Synn is ready to join the fight for freedom alongside French firebrands Griffon… are you?)

Aux armes! Aux armes! To the barricades my friends, to raise our flags and spit death in the eye once more!

You see, I’ve been on a bit of a Black Metal binge recently – just this weekend I attended a fantastic event in Manchester where I got to see the likes of AndraccaThe Sun’s Journey Through The Night, Abduction, Devastator, The Infernal Sea, and Ninkharsag all performing their latest releases in full – and discovering the new album from Griffon early last week has only further helped reignite my passion for the genre.

And so, like any good son of the revolution, I felt it was my duty to spread the word and enlist more names to swell our ranks and bolster our forces!

Continue reading »

Feb 182024

Like yesterday, I was able to assemble a big round-up of fairly new music for today. It seemed like a way to welcome myself back to doing what I habitually did before I got thrown way off course by my job. And now I’m wondering, as I habitually used to do, whether I’ve overdone it.

What you’ll find below are singles from three forthcoming records, followed by five complete albums or EPs, all of them released this month. I only stopped at the total of 8 so the cover art would line up neatly in the collage I made.

If you have the patience to move through everything, you’ll find as you go deeper that the doors start coming completely off the hinges, in bizarre and even horrifying ways, but with something profoundly dreamlike at the end. Continue reading »

Feb 152024

(Andy Synn offers some insight into A Giant Bound to Fall, out tomorrow on Transcending Obscurity)

Spanish sensations Eternal Storm have found themselves in an interesting position in the run-up to the release of their long-awaited, highly-anticipated, second album, A Giant Bound to Fall.

The group’s first full-length, 2019’s fantastic Come the Tide, was such a breath of fresh air in a segment of the scene which had, for the most part, grown rather stagnant that many outlets (including this one) declared it to be one of the best albums of the year.

But success like that can be just as much of a curse as a blessing, setting such a high bar – one inevitably raised even higher by the sheer flush of excitement engendered by a new discovery – that nothing they ever do afterwards will ever be judged to match it.

And with the not-insignificant gap between their first and second releases having raised audience expectations ever further, the question now is – can Eternal Storm recapture that same Melodic Death Metal magic from their debut or are they… bound to fall?

Continue reading »

Feb 142024

(We bring you DGR‘s review of a new EP by the Venetian band Obscura Qalma, which was released earlier this month by the Dusktone label.)

The nice thing about Italian symphonic death metal group Obscura Qalma is that they make absolutely no pretense of the style of music they’re going to make nor are they hiding who their influences are.

Obscura Qalma have been kicking around since 2018 and already have two albums and a few EPs – though one of each of those is the instrumental and orchestral version of songs from a previous album, much in the same way Fleshgod Apocalypse have taken to including the purely symphonic tracks as bonuses to their full-lengths recently. Adding to their name, all you need to do is look at a press photo of the band and you can tell there’s likely going to be a rich vein of SepticFlesh running through the group’s DNA.

Obscura Qalma don their lab coats and joyfully smash their death and symphonic elements together, cackling all the while, with lightning crashing in the background. Drawing heavily from the occult for lyrical inspiration – recently pulling large buckets up the well from the Aleister Crowley mines – Obscura Qalma are playing in a very wide musical sphere. The group’s latest EP Veils Of Transcendence punches in at four songs and a little under twenty minutes of boulder-heavy death metal with a huge symphonic and synth line buttressing the events and doing the melodic heavy lifting. Continue reading »

Feb 132024

Let’s pretend you can’t listen to Stellar Remains‘ new EP right now, even though you can if you just scroll further down the screen you’re now looking at.

Let’s take our game of make-believe a move further and pretend you have no idea who this band is and have never heard a note of its music. That requires less suspension of disbelief, because Wastelands is in fact the first release of Stellar Remains, and only one song from the EP has been available for streaming before today.

Moreover, all that most of us know or could find out about the band (apart from that one song) is that it’s the solo work of Brisbane-based Dan Elkin, who has no resume on Metal-Archives yet.

So, if you indulge all this pretending, then you have to put some amount of weight on what we now have to say about Wastelands. How nice for us. Continue reading »