Mar 062019


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Venom Prison, which will be released on March 15th by Prosthetic Records.)

So this weekend just gone I had the pleasure of seeing Bryan Adams playing to a packed out arena full of people, performing tracks from across his fourteen(!)-album back catalogue with all the verve and vitality of a man who has built his career, and his life, around a simple love of music.

On the surface, of course, the former’s uplifting pop-rock anthems have very little in common with the hideously abrasive assault of Venom Prison, whose second album is arguably an even more aggressive, no-holds-barred barrage of Death Metal fury than their first, but I find it interesting all the same to see how the basic building blocks of both artists’ music – guitars, bass, drums, vocals – are basically the same, yet the execution and end result are so strikingly different.

One thing that the two do have in common, however, is that their music undeniably comes straight from the heart (pun intended)… although in the case of Samsara it does so in a much more bloody and brutal way than anything which the (in)famous groover from Vancouver has ever released! Continue reading »

Mar 062019


Everything about Doombringer’s new album Walpurgis Fires is sorcerous. One imagines hooded warlocks reciting conjurations over a smoking cauldron, transmuting a host of musical ingredients into a strange new potion that’s both intoxicating and poisonous. A metal musicologist would have a fine old time attempting to reverse-engineer what they’ve done and trying to document the formula, and we’ll do a bit of that here because their concoction is so unusually inventive.

But such a dissection would only go so far in explaining why the album is such a heady (and unnerving) experience; there is no good substitute for simply listening to it — which we’re giving you the opportunity to do today in advance of the album’s release tomorrow (March 7th) by Nuclear War Now! Productions. Continue reading »

Mar 062019


(This is DGR’s very enthusiastic review of the new EP by the Russian band Moro Moro Land, which was released on February 20.)

I enjoyed the hell out of the Russian group Moro Moro Land‘s 2015 EP Through. The combination of dark atmospherics, the smoke-tinged reverb-haze that seemed to surround the band, and the metallic-hardcore with which the band built that EP really struck a chord with me. To this day, Through remains a constant listen. While the “Something In The Way” cover plays it relatively straight, it also does a fantastic job of demonstrating the filter through which Moro Moro Land put their music. If you’re familiar with the original then you’ll hear how the songs prior to it were formed and then “painted ugly”, just to add a fine layer of dinge to an already heavy experience.

Which is why learning through our very own web site about the group’s followup Smirenie, four years after its predecessor, put me in two very distinct moods. I felt like an utter dipshit for learning through our own news about a band I had gotten used to regularly checking up on myself, and I was also incredibly excited — because if the Moro Moro Land crew could inch anywhere close to Through again, then the Smirenie EP was going to be something that would be very easy to recommend.

At a little over twenty minutes in length, if the question is whether you should give Moro Moro Land‘s new EP a shot, then the answer is relatively simple: Absolutely yes. Continue reading »

Mar 052019


If your ass has been dragging, beaten down and disgusted by the daily grind, strapped for sleep, short on cash, and your reservoirs of hope running low as well, we’ve got a sure-fire antidote for most of those ails. Granted, it won’t put any cash in your pocket (though it won’t demand any from you either), but it will make you feel a whole hell of a lot better. And if you’ve got a bellyful of rage you’d like to get out of your system, what you’re about to hear will provide some catharsis for that, too.

What we’ve got for you is a premiere stream of Stillborn World, the explosive new EP by Whythre, which is being released today as a name-your-price download on Bandcamp. It really will make everything better, at least as long as you’re listening to it. Continue reading »

Mar 052019


(Here’s Todd Manning‘s review of the debut album by Sweden’s Wretched Fate, released on February 22nd by Redefining Darkness Records.)

When Old School Death Metal made its initial comeback, there was a welcome focus on the kind of Punked-up, hyperprimitive violence as best exemplified by Autopsy and their ilk. This particular approach is certainly fruitful and, for many, will never grow old, but it’s great to see other acts dive into other Death Metal discographies and come up with material that, while not technical the way the term is used today, is certainly more accomplished than the aforementioned OSDM acts.

One such band bringing their particular brand of pain is Swedish killing unit Wretched Fate on their album Fleshletting, which just came out on Redefining Darkness. At first glance, this album reeks of their Swedish heritage in the best possible ways. Furious d-beats, check. HM-2 distortion, check. Graveyard stench, check. But there’s more to this concoction than just rehashing old Dismember and Entombed records. Continue reading »

Mar 052019


(DGR reviews the newest album by Finland’s Swallow the Sun, which was released on January 25th. All photos accompanying this review were made by Jussi Ratilainen.)

Of all the reviews that are currently piling up on this end of the internet spectrum — and every year there will always be a handful in this situation — Swallow The Sun‘s latest album When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light (released at the tail end of January) is one of those which has taken the longest to write — and not because you’re viewing the result of a drunken bet to see how many words we can fit onto a page.

There’s a whole swath of reasons for that: Continue reading »

Mar 042019


(On this day, when Icelandic Sinmara have revealed a full stream of their new album in advance of its March 8 release by Ván Records, we present Andy Synn‘s review of the record, along with that stream of all the music.)

For such a (relatively) small, but (undeniably) influential, scene, Icelandic Black Metal seems to already have more than its fair share of disciples and detractors, elitists and evangelists, all ready and willing to monopolise any conversation about the various merits of the bands involved with self-righteous, navel-gazing discussions about who is “true”, who is “false”, and who deserves to be praised or punished for conforming to/transgressing against the unspoken rules of what is, or isn’t, acceptable in Black Metal.

Which is one reason why it’s going to be ever so interesting reading, and hearing, the reactions to Sinmara’s highly-anticipated and long-awaited second album. Continue reading »

Mar 042019


Ringarë is the name of a project that was started 14 years ago by Chaos Moon‘s mainman Esoterica. A debut album was recorded, but never released. Instead, half the music from that recording session became part of Chaos Moon‘s second album, Languor Into Echoes, Beyond (2007). The other half is now going to be released on March 8th by Iron Bonehead Productions with the title Under Pale Moon.

“Pure worship of synth-ridden black metal of the early ’90s” is the way the music is described in the press sheets. “Moonlit magick” is another phrase that appears in the album’s promotional material, and that description is spot-on. While the shrieked vocals are mind-abrading and the drum and bass rhythms have a way of hooking into your pulse, it’s those mystical midnight melodies and ethereal keyboard notes that will carry you aloft into cold and starry skies, mesmerized.

The album consists of four tracks and 40 minutes of music, and today we have a full stream for you, preceded by a few more thoughts about the dark and delirious enchantments of this experience. Continue reading »

Mar 042019


As explained in Part 1 of this post yesterday, I made some especially difficult choices about what to cover this week because I had found so much I wanted to recommend. Splitting the column into two parts in order to include more music helped some, but wasn’t a complete solution. The task was further complicated when I discovered even more yesterday. The first selection below is one of those late discoveries, but it turns out that it fits very well with the music of the first three bands I’d originally chosen to begin this Part 2, and that now comes after it.


Yesterday Mephorash released an official video for the third track to surface so far from their fourth opus, the 74-minute Shem Ha Mephorash, which is based on the Kabbalistic 72-fold explicit name of God and now has a release date of April 18th. Before yesterday the band had revealed “777: Third Woe“, which was released as a single last year, and “King of King, Lord of Lords“, which was disclosed last August. We’ve provided reactions to both of those, and now to this new third piece. Continue reading »

Mar 032019


Man, this was tough, trying to decide what to write about in this Sunday’s SOB. I mean, it’s always tough, but harder than usual this week. Maybe it was because I didn’t have time to prepare a round-up of new songs last week, which might have shaved a few black metal entries off my lists. Yesterday I narrowed it down to 18 choices (you see what I mean?).

Clearly, I needed to make this a two-parter, but still had to make hard choices. For example, I decided not to include the new album by Popiół (here), or the new Aoratos song (here), because I’ve written about both bands in other posts recently, and although I’ve been very impressed with the new releases by Aara (here), Ancient Flame (here), and Herzegovinian (here), I haven’t spent enough time with them to write even half-assed introductions.

I’m still wrestling with some other decisions I’ll need to make in order to keep Part 2 from becoming bloated. Whether I succeed or fail, you’ll see Part 2 at NCS first thing on Monday.


The following video begins with a rape, followed later by the victim’s delivery of the horrid fruits of her violation. Much other nastiness ensues, all of it filmed and edited with skilled hands (by Grupa 13 Production). It has the look and feel of a mythic saga, but I haven’t recognized which saga it might be, nor have I found any info about the origins of the story in press materials we’ve received. Whatever is going on here, the visuals are riveting (and NSFW). So is the music. Continue reading »