Dec 172018


What, you may ask, is a tabouret? And what does it have to do with rope and soap, or for that matter with death metal? A partial answer can be found at the end of this writing, but much of this fine new album’s title might still remain a mystery. There is, however, no mystery about why the music is so damned good. One listen will prove that, which is what we’re giving you the chance to experience today.

Unlike the words in the album title, Stranguliatorius isn’t one you’ll find in the dictionary, though in its own mouth-mutilating way it’s just as clever and intriguing as the album’s name. The Lithuanian barbarians who chose it as their appellation are damned clever songwriters, too, though it must be said (as their label reports) that they are thirsty for blood and hungry for flesh. Continue reading »

Dec 142018


(Our Sacramento-based colleague DGR concludes a week-long effort to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA, with one last write-up today.)

Hey, have you heard of this place called Sacramento?

This one won’t be as much a review as previous pieces as it is a simple heads-up and a chance to reminisce a bit. If you had told me that in 2018 I’d be talking about Sacramento “too metal for the core kids, too core for the metal kids” band Conducting From The Grave‘s first album When Legends Become Dust without having to invent some sort of opportunity to do so, I would’ve laughed. But here we are. Continue reading »

Dec 132018


The German black metal trio CNTMPT made their debut with a self-titled album in 2014, and are now about to return with a new full-length named Towards Neglect, which will be released by Into Endless Chaos Records on December 17th — and today we present a full stream of the record, along with comments about each of its tracks.

The music on Towards Neglect is almost entirely instrumental. Like the music itself, the voices that can be heard, often distantly, seem to be sounds from another world, barely human. And there is indeed a sense in the music that it is crashing into our dimension from a different one where, as the label accurately forecasts, light and fire intersect with darkness and ice. The emotional intensity is devastating — almost overwhelming — and the instrumental performances are equally intense in their explosive athleticism. Continue reading »

Dec 132018


(Andy Synn‘s week-long round-up of metal in 2018 continues with this list of his picks for the year’s ten best albums across a range of metal genres — one of which hasn’t been released yet and is reviewed here.)

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that any attempt to craft a “Top Ten” list that represents the wide variety and near-infinite density of the modern Extreme Metal scene is doomed to failure. There’s simply too much of it, too many different competing styles and sub-genres, for a mere ten albums to cover.

That doesn’t stop me trying every year though, so what you’re about to read is my latest effort to capture a clean snapshot of the very best of the best from the past twelve months.

Interestingly this list seems to differ significantly from the various other sites and zines I’ve been keeping an eye on, though that’s not by conscious design. It also skews in a surprisingly “progressive” direction overall, which is not something I anticipated when I first began trying to piece it together, with a massive 70% of the albums featured here making use of clean vocals in some form or another.

In demographic terms, this year’s list features two entries from the USA, two entries from Germany, one from Portugal, one from Iceland, and three from the UK – which, again, wasn’t by design – as well as one international collective whose members come from all across Europe.

It also runs the gamut of practically the entire twelve-month period, with the “oldest” album on here having been released all the way back in the first week of January, while the “youngest” entry won’t even be out until the 21st of December! Continue reading »

Dec 132018


(Here’s Vonlughlio’s review of the new album by Disphexia, which is set for release at the end of this week by Lord of the Sick Recordings.)

This time around I have the opportunity to do a review for the upcoming album of Disphexia (from Ecuador) entitled Smelly Reverse Necromacy, set to be released December 15th via Lord of the Sick Recordings.

I must admit that I was not aware of this band until The Lord signed them (yes, shame on me big time) but after that announcement I decided to check out their 2015 debut album Blast Brain Carnage, which was released by Rotten Cemetery Records. I was really impressed with that first effort and loved the straight-forward songs, which for the most part were between 1:30 and 2:29 (with a few exceptions). The music was to-the-point, with no fillers, calculated to melt your face while headbanging — my type of release. Continue reading »

Dec 132018


(DGR continues a week-long effort to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA, with two more write-ups today. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)


Dysmorphic – An Illusive Progress

It honestly looked a little shaky for French tech-death band Dysmorphic. Some may remember way back in ye olden days of 2013 I actually reviewed the group’s first release via Unique Leader, A Notion of Causality, at this here very web site. In the five years since, the band have gone through periods of relative radio silence and some serious lineup changes, with a new drummer and guitarist, and also including the return of a vocalist who had left the band prior to that first release.

Late November would finally see the realization of all that effort, when five years after A Notion Of Causality, Dysmorphic were able to put out their sophomore followup in the form of An Illusive Progress, a more focused, vicious, and blue-and-green-hued album than their previous release and one that sees them bringing themselves very much in-line with many of their fellow tech-death compatriots with ten tracks of head-spinning tech-death…and one intro. Continue reading »

Dec 122018

Coffin Birth


(DGR continues a week-long effort to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA, with two more write-ups today. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)


Coffin Birth – The Serpent Insignia

It’s easy to imagine that Coffin Birth initially grabbed a lot of headlines based on the almost jaw-dropping resumes of the musicians involved: The band are constructed out of a large chunk of the current Hour Of Penance lineup, a foundational pillar of Fleshgod Apocalypse (and a former Hour Of Penance member), and a vocalist whose credits are vast amongst the death metal scene, including Beheaded as well as being credited on Metal-Archives with having appeared on a Hydrocephalic release, which is something I haven’t thought about since that initial 2010 demo hit with Matti Way of Pathology handling vocals. Continue reading »

Dec 112018



(DGR resumes an effort he began last month to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)

I think I’ve done it. I think I’m finally free. I think I’ve finally managed to — not really — clear my review slate and can actually start working on the ridiculous exercise that is my year-end list extravaganza.

What follows, in this part and a few more to follow it this week, may prove to be my final collection of reviews, but you never know what we’ll stumble upon after this and find ourselves going, “Wait, we really didn’t cover that?”. Hell, there’s a few of those in this one, but there’s also a group of more recent November releases that were pretty much slammed onto my review desk with such force that they’re currently on the floor below and I have to research how to get a new desk… and replace a hole in my floor.

I guess that’s what happens when your tastes are made brutally apparent over the time spent writing for a site.

As before, this assembly has a whole lot of world traveling in it, but it also lets me return to my own home state for quite a few of them as well. So, if you’re looking for one final collective of death metal across all spectrums, or a few musical digs into a group’s history, then this final wrap-up should have you covered. Continue reading »

Dec 102018


(Here’s Vonlughlio’s review of the new album by the Australian band Habitual Depravity.)

This time around I was given the opportunity to do a small review for the band Habitual Depravity‘s debut album Realms of Abysmal Servitude, which will be released via Reality Fade Records on December 30th.

This project was started in Australia by Jono, and in 2017 the same label (Reality Fade) released a two-song promo, which was well-received and got a lot of us hoping for a full-length release soon. So when the announcement of the debut album was made in early 2018 I was stoked, especially because we learned that the drummer for this effort would be none other than Lord Marco Pitruzzella (Abuse, Hunhau Mitnal, Neurogenic, Six Feet Under, Sleep Terror, ex-Vital Remains, ex-The Faceless), who is one talented speedster behind the kit. Continue reading »

Dec 062018


Majestic Downfall‘s new album, Waters Of Fate, will be released on December 7th by Solitude Productions and Weird Truth Productions in Europe and Asia, and by Chaos Records in the Americas. It consists of five tracks and 52 minutes of music, and the European/Asian version of the album includes one further bonus track for a total playing time of over an hour.

You can lose yourself in this album very easily. The four long songs of doom/death and one brief interlude that make up the Americas version of the record are staggeringly intense and atmospherically immersive, and the melodies are powerfully alluring, but the music will prove especially appealing to listeners with a taste for crushing heaviness and soul-splintering sorrow.

As you’re about to hear — because the album will become available for streaming in full today — there is tear-stained beauty to be found here, and passages of epic yet bleak grandeur, but this is an album that will dash your fondest hopes and smother your budding joys in their crib. Continue reading »