Oct 252019


Roughly one year ago the distinctive one-man mauling machine known as Golden Bats, then located in the vicinity of Brisbane, Australia, released an album named Residual Dread, the first official full-length after more than a dozen demos, splits, and EPs dating back to 2011. As recounted in this review, it was a titanically heavy album, steeped in a kind of gothic gloom, and so haunting in its laments that it threatened to split the heart even as it was splintering bone. With both a persistently brutal punch and an emotionally devastating conveyance of grief and pain, the music repeatedly hit home with staggering force on multiple levels. The songs were mainly slow or mid-paced, and relatively simple in their composition, but the music was tuned like a Stradivarius of suffering, supremely well-calculated to deliver punishment with tremendous primal force, and the songs so well-written that they were very hard to forget.

Since then, Golden Bats‘ alter ego Geordie Stafford has moved to Rome, Italy (just a couple of months ago), and is nearing completion of a follow-up album. In the meantime, he has decided to release some of his older but previously un-released creations, the first of which we’re premiering today. Denominated VII, to place it in line with a sequence of earlier demos, it includes four tracks, two of which are covers, and all of which again demonstrate the crushing power and mind-bending, emotionally wrenching impact of Golden Bats‘ formulation of sludge. Continue reading »

Oct 252019


We would like to offer two rounds of applause to begin this premiere. The first goes to Berlin’s Praise the Plague for the wrenching emotional power channeled by their song “Torment“. The second is for Sven Liebold, whose surreal video for the song is a nightmarish feast for the eyes, one of those ever-changing visual collages that you can’t look away from, and which in this case integrates frighteningly well with the music.

The song comes from a two-track EP by Praise the Plague that was released digitally, and on vinyl by Argonauta Records, on September 13th. Entitled Antagonist II, it follows the band’s debut full-length Antagonist, which was released last year. Both tracks are powerful mood-changers, amalgams of black metal and doom that have the capacity to make you forget about whatever you were doing or feeling before listening, and to transport you into the indigo-dark dimensions where this band dwell. Continue reading »

Oct 212019


In the ten years that have elapsed since the formation of Tyrant Goatgaldrakona, this Hungarian death metal duo have been measured in their release of music, with only one album (2013’s Horns In The Dark) and a pair of EPs to see the cold light of day since 2009. But now there’s a third EP on the horizon, a two-track offering named Marquis of Evil that’s set for an October 25th release on 7″ vinyl by Blood Harvest Records — and we have a full stream of it, in all its monstrous glory, for you today.

As trained medical professionals, we strongly advise you to get your neck loose before listening to the opening song, “Conspiracy With Marquis“. Okay, we’re not really trained medical professionals, but we still know sore-neck-trauma when we feel it, and this track is a merciless neck-wrecker — though it doesn’t begin that way. Continue reading »

Oct 152019


(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the new EP by Indonesia’s Interfectorment, which was released on May 31st by Brutal Mind, and features cover art by Toshihiro Egawa.)

One of the BDM scenes that is well known for their passion, is the Indonesian one. They are an amazing group of fans who support BDM in all its forms and do not hide the happiness this genre brings to them. A lot of bands come from that region, and some are great ones.

Sometimes, with the number of bands who play BDM, it can be hard to distinguish one from the other in terms of sound. Regardless, there are still bands who stand out from that large pack and bring something special. In this case, it’s the project Interfectorment from (Bandung, West Java), who on May 31st released their long-awaited EP Grotesquely Decay via Brutal Mind. Continue reading »

Sep 112019


I’ve been closely following the work of Texas-based Wings of Dahak since coming across the tracks released in advance of their 2017 debut album, Unholy Wings. Initially drawn to the music by the pedigrees of the band’s three members — guitarist/vocalist/bassist Dave Tillery (Embalmed, ex-Gruesome Fate), lead guitarist Cody Daniels (Giant of the Mountain, Dour), and drummer Matt Thompson (King Diamond, and more) — I quickly became sold on the ravaging ferocity and immense evocative power of their particular amalgam of death and black metal (to mention only two ingredients).

Named for a legendary three-headed dragon (Azhi Dahaka) created by the spirit of destruction, whose reign brought to the earth “misery, hunger, thirst, old age and death, mourning and lamentation, excessive heat and cold, and intermingling of demons and men,” and creating music “with this spirit in heart and mind”, the band have succeeded in summoning those terrible visions through sound.

Wings of Dahak followed that debut album with a new single last fall — “The Day They Burned” — which we reviewed soon after discovering it. Now, the band are about to release a new EP named Death At Your Side, which includes both that single and two new tracks. Today, on the eve of that release, we’re premiering both the EP as a whole and a video for its title track. Let’s take the songs one at a time, beginning with the one we’re presenting through a frightening video… Continue reading »

Sep 062019


Building on the strength of their slaughtering 2018 debut demo, the Belgian black/death band Dikasterion have escaped Hell again, and brought much of Hell with them in a new two-track release coming our way via Amor Fati Productions on September 9th — next Monday. If you think those references to hellish power were exaggerations, just listen to Stavelot 1597 / Rome 897 (which we’re giving you the chance to do a bit further on in this post).

Only two songs long, this is the kind of pull-no-punches barbarity capable of leaving a listener mind-mangled but crackling with electricity and wishing it were longer. Make no mistake, it’s a cruel and ugly assault on the senses, not any kind of experience for the faint of heart. But as toxic, brutish, and maniacal as the music may be, these sulfurous, diabolical assaults get the pulse pounding with primal power. Continue reading »

Aug 292019


Not too long ago Redefining Darkness Records digitally released a pair of demos (and launched pre-orders for forthcoming cassette tape editions), and I caught up with them last night. They set my hair on fire. After dousing the flames and getting a bit of fitful sleep I couldn’t resist the urge to let them set my head on fire again this morning. It’s not a good look, but the music sure woke me up in a big damned hurry, and felt just as good the second time around (and by “good” I mean “raw and riotous”).

The two demos — by the French/Dutch marauders in Horrid Apparition and the Cleveland hellfire arsonists in Exorcisme — make very good companions for each other. Both of them thrash like demons, with elements of punk in the mix and a char of blackening.


Evil Reigns is the name of the two-song debut demo by Horrid Apparition, whose two members are also involved in the old school black metal band DungeönHammer (their debut album Infernal Moon was released last year). Redefining Darkness introduces the new demo with references to the likes of Midnight and Hellripper. Continue reading »

Aug 212019


We’re told that the members of Indiana’s Enemy of Creation are veterans of the underground hardcore scene, and you can tell from listening to the music that they didn’t abandon those roots. But on their forthcoming sophomore EP Victims of the Cross they’ve spliced them with different forms of metal — mainly thrash, but with (as their label says) “the occasional nod to death metal greats Obituary and Bolt Thrower“. And as you’ll discover through our full streaming premiere of the EP, those references still don’t exhaust the differing elements that the band have integrated to create a wonderfully multi-faceted — and relentlessly electrifying — release. Continue reading »

Aug 202019


It’s an eclectic mix of sounds that I’ve chosen for today’s round-up; an authoritative but not infallible source doesn’t consider any of them metal. As on other occasions, I’ve benefited from recommendations received from Rennie (starkweather), which are the first two bands in this selection. The first of those, Wells Valley, was already a known quantity to me, though I didn’t know they had a new album set for release. The second one (Indus) was a new discovery, as were the next two, which I learned about in other ways.

Hektik‘s new EP seemed to pair up very well with the recent Indus EP, which is why I’ve put them back-to-back in the middle. The music of Burden Limbs is a different breed of cat altogether, but I’ve found myself hooked on the song I’ve included here, and by the forthcoming EP from which it comes.


In June of this year Black Lion Records released a compilation CD (also available as a name-your-price Bandcamp download here) named Afterlife In Darkness I. It includes songs by 29 bands taken from past and future releases by Black Lion. I should have paid closer attention to it, because one of the five tracks from forthcoming albums on that comp is the new song (“Paragon“) by Wells Valley that I’ve picked to start today’s collection, which is also now streaming on a recently established Bandcamp page for their new album. Continue reading »

Aug 192019


18 minutes of eldritch lurch ‘n’ crunch“. Sometimes it’s hard to improve on a good publicist’s summing-up, and in few words that is indeed a very good description of the “crushing ruminations” (another stolen phrase) displayed across the four tracks of Abysmalist’s debut demo, Reflections of Horror. A solemn and shivering bow must also be aimed in the direction of Abysmalist for their selection of a title for the demo, because electrifying horrors live and breathe within its supernatural confines.

Formed by two veterans of the Bay Area crust and hardcore underground, Abysmalist indulge their affections for Bolt Thrower, Obituary, and other “pre-blastbeat death metal” from the early ’90s (one more stolen phrase), as well as an attraction to such authors as Clive Barker and Patrick Süskind, whose works provided lyrical inspiration. And like authors such as those, the eerie reverberations and ghastly vocals in their music send chills down the spine even as the band pound and eviscerate or drag us through dank crypts like rotten but still breathing corpses. Continue reading »