Nov 252020


(Today Vonlughlio’s recommendation for hungry fans of brutal death metal is the latest album by Indonesia’s Death Vomit, which was released in July by Demented Mind Records.)

As some of might you know, one of my favorite genres is BDM (you don’t say! lol) and I love the different scenes around the globe that embrace and live for it. Indonesian Death Metal (IDDM) is a prime example of a scene that loves death metal in general, and BDM is particularly huge in that country.

Lots of projects/fans from the region are passionate about the music. For them it is a form of love that a lot of people from other parts of the world should take note of. Maybe one reason I appreciate this so much is that other fans who show a similar level of passion are from Latin America, and I am Latino, so I can relate to the IDDM scene. Continue reading »

Nov 242020


The Serapeum is a remarkable new EP created by the Egyptian metal artist Nader Sadek and a star-strewn coterie of talented friends. To celebrate its imminent release, we’re presenting a second video for a song from the EP, which joins another one that we premiered earlier.

We’ve already devoted a lot of attention to this EP, including a wide-ranging interview by DJ Jet of Nader Sadek and two of his collaborators on The Serapeum. But for those who might have missed that, this new EP grew out of a collaboration in Egypt among Nader, Karl Sanders (Nile), Derek Roddy (Serpents Rise), and Mahmud Gecekusu (Perversion).

And if those names weren’t already enough to seize your attention, the music also includes contributions by bassists Ben “Barby” Claus (Gorod) and Dominic “Forest” Lapointe (Augury) and vocalists Morean (Dark Fortress) and Shaun LaCanne (Putrid Pile), as well as Alex Zubair (Nephelium) creating eastern harmonies and drones, and Nancy Mounir adding theremin hauntings to the mix. Moreover, Sadek himself recorded the vocals inside the inner chamber of Dahshur’s “Red Pyramid” (the pyramid of Snefru). Continue reading »

Nov 232020


(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Sweden’s Dark Tranquillity, which was released on November 20th by Century Media.)

You may have noticed, over the days/weeks/months/years you’ve spent perusing our humble site, that we don’t often cover releases by the so-called “big” names (“big” by Metal standards anyway).

There’s a bunch of different reasons for this – mostly we just don’t think they need the coverage we can provide, so our time would be better spent throwing our weight behind artists who might directly benefit from it more – but that doesn’t mean there’s a blanket ban on covering “big” bands.

However, if/when we do decide to write something about a particularly notable new “big name” release, we tend to wait until after the release date to do so.

Why? Well, let’s face it, any time there’s a notable new record (like this one) on the way, there’s always such a rush to praise or condemn, to be the first to market, the first with the hottest and/or most sycophantic take, that any attempt at a more measured analysis usually gets lost in all the sound and fury.

But by waiting until the dust has settled a bit we’re able to give ourselves more time to sit with the music, to let our thoughts simmer and percolate a little longer, which will hopefully result in a fairer and more well-rounded review.

And, let’s face it, with a career spanning almost 30(!) years, and twelve albums, if any band deserves a fair and honest assessment of their work, it’s Dark Tranquillity. Continue reading »

Nov 212020


(Today we have a bonus edition of THE SYNN REPORT, with the usual month-ending one still ahead, and here Andy Synn pays homage to the extravagant discography of Florida’s Lascaille’s Shroud.)

Recommended for fans of: Edge of Sanity, Allegaeon, Scar Symmetry

Despite what it says above… this is NOT the November edition of The Synn Report. That’s still to come at the end of the month as normal.

What this is, however, is a bonus edition of everyone’s favourite discography deep-dive designed to correct a grave injustice perpetrated by this site, and by this writer in particular.

You see, several years back we began covering the work of Lascaille’s Shroud, the outlandish Sci-Fi-Prog-Death project of Florida’s Brett Windnagle, and wrote rather glowingly about their first three albums.

But then, somehow, we lost touch with the band, and it was only recently that I discovered that they’ve since produced an additional three albums, with the most recent two being released earlier this year.

As you might gather then, it’s high time for us to catch-up on what we’ve been missing, and while this may not be as comprehensive an article as some of them – Brett’s talent for extravagance means it’s not unusual to see songs shoot past the 15, 20, or 25 minute mark, and both their second and third albums are spread across two stacked discs clocking in at a total of over two hours of music – it should still give you a real feel and flavour for what Lascaille’s Shroud is all about. Continue reading »

Nov 202020


(We present Todd Manning‘s review of the 2016 self-titled debut EP of Texas-based Cognizant, which was given a proper CD release by Selfmadegod Records on November 13th.)

When it comes to Grindcore, there’s always been a split, with some bands falling on the Metal side of the fence while others are more firmly rooted in Hardcore, though even more have staked out their territory somewhere smack in the middle. In the case of Dallas-based five-piece Cognizant, they easily emerge from the fetid swamp of Death Metal and their debut self-titled record, re-released courtesy of Selfmadegod Records, shows why they have become a force to be reckoned with.

In 1997, Floridians Assück dropped one of the best Grind records of all time with Misery Index, and they too were heavily indebted to Death Metal (in their case it was the almighty Suffocation). Cognizant looks to Gorguts for much of their Death Metal influence, and this leads their particular brand of blasting a much more complex and abstract edge. But do not mistake this abstractness for a lack of impact, because this is a paint-peeling assault from start to finish. Continue reading »

Nov 192020


XLIX, the new second album by the Italian death metal band Crawling Chaos which is set for release on November 20th 2020 via Time To Kill Records, is a concept album inspired by a book that remains widely read and widely cited five centuries after it was written, and in its concept is a departure from the more usual subject matter to be found within death metal, including this band’s own full-length debut from seven years ago, Repellent Gastronomy. The band have explained:

“While Repellent Gastronomy was some sort of anthology of Lovecraftian horrors revisited in a death metal fashion, XLIX is a concept album in all respects. To write it we were inspired by “The Prince”, the famous book written by Niccolò Machiavelli in the Sixteenth Century. The narration is a kind of parable, a chronicle out of time and space that traces the story of a nameless and faceless protagonist. All the lyrics are penned in the first person by this sort of ‘new Prince'”. Continue reading »

Nov 192020


(Here’s Vonlughlio’s review of Goratory’s new album Sour Grapes, which is out now on Everlasting Spew Records.)

This time around I have the opportunity to review Goratory’s new album Sour Grapes, released by Everlasting Spew Records on October 16th.

For those who are not familiar, this Brutal Death Metal band from Boston, Massachusetts was born in 2000 and released their debut demo that year. Their debut album arrived in 2001 and was well-accepted in the scene and stamped their name into our souls since then. Just a year after, they released their second offering, which went into new territory (sort of) when the technical aspects of their music became more prominent, and that went along very well with the brutal delivery they were going for.

For their third offering, they took more time in releasing it. It saw the light of day in 2004 and continued on the same path as its predecessor. This release was amazing, no doubt in my mind, but for me the second release remained my favorite. Continue reading »

Nov 182020


To paraphrase a favorite columnist’s words from a piece published today, the autumn’s coronavirus surge was as foreseeable as fall’s fading light, and we are looking at a deadly December nearly everywhere. It becomes easier and easier to think of Nature as sentient, and as having found a new way to revolt against the greedy plundering of humankind and to extract a costly penance for what we have done to it, and to ourselves.

And it is thus a synchronicity of timing that in the midst of this particularly awful fall, in a year already ravaged by disease and ever-increasing weather extremes, Transcending Obscurity Records will be releasing Rotten Human Kingdom by the French band Subterraen, because the album stands as a powerful, unvarnished condemnation of that planetary destruction, and as a harrowing vision of the vengeance that has come and will continue to come in ever-more inventive and terrible ways.

This album, which are are premiering now just days before its release, consists of only four tracks, but each in its own way is monumental, not just in the track-lengths of three of the four, but also in the magnitude of the songs’ emotional impact and the varied ways in which the band have created them. Continue reading »

Nov 182020



(Andy Synn prepared the following reviews of three recent and very impressive EPs.)

It’s pretty common knowledge that, for the most part at least, I’m more of an “album guy” than an “EP guy”. There’s just something about the extra effort, the extra level of commitment, involved in creating an album that makes it feel more real and more substantial in my mind (although I’m sure that’s not always true).

That being said, I can’t deny that there are certain times when an EP is exactly what I’m looking for from a band, something explicitly designed to deliver a short, sharp shock of (ideally) all their best ideas and elements in one concise, captivating package.

Which is exactly what I have here for you today, three EPs – from three tonally and stylistically very different artists – all of which are pretty much brand new (one of them, in fact, is so new that it isn’t actually released until Friday) that find each band putting out some of their best material yet while also dropping a few hints as to where they might take things next. Continue reading »

Nov 172020


There’s a lot to be said about the new Contrarian album Only Time Will Tell that we’re premiering today, from its concept to its composition and its execution. In a nutshell, those subjects involve heavy-metal escapism, wildly adventurous ideas, and extreme virtuosity — and all those aspects of the music are connected.

The album’s escapist qualities are certainly evident in its layout, artwork, and the lyrics through which the narrative unfolds. The artwork is lavish, and invokes the kind of intersection between fantasy, science fiction, and metal that has been a persistent feature of the genre for decades (if you’re uncomfortable being a nerd, then you’re a sub-par metalhead!).

And in the tale itself, Contrarian again use the adventures of their recurring protagonist “the cloaked contrarian” to convey ideas involving philosophy, theology, and science — this time by sending him on a travel through time in an effort to eradicate past sins and to bring about healing, while also raising the question whether time does indeed heal all wounds. Continue reading »