Sep 232020


Not all metal bands, and in fact very few of them, unite behind a concept that’s as harrowing and as intriguing as the music they make. This isn’t intended as a criticism of bands who are content to make music that isn’t rooted in a conceptual vision or narrative. Good music is good music, regardless of its inspiration. And by the same token, a thought-provoking concept doesn’t make mediocre music any better. Yet when the two come together, the experience is even more special.

The Chilean trio Montaña Sagrada (“the Sacred Mountain”) have based their debut EP The Living Green, which we’re premiering in full today in advance of its September 25 release, on an especially intriguing (and mysterious) conception. Set during the 15th and 16th centuries, it focuses on a powerful group of people located on what would become known as Chiloé Island, a large island off the southern coast of Chile. “Shrouded in myth and protected by irrational fear”, these people had a firm hold on the population, with plans for domination that rivaled those of the European colonial powers. The band explain: Continue reading »

Sep 182020


(Here’s Vonlughlio’s review of the debut EP by Dripped, which was released in August by Ungodly Ruins Productions.)

So it’s been a while since I’ve done a small review, but life (work and family) has taken a lot of my time, not leaving much to do something I like (writing and promoting music) but overall can’t complain. Anyway, I’m taking the opportunity now to talk about a new project called Dripped (Australia/Ukraine) that was formed back in 2019 with members of Corpseflesh, Septik Piggery, and Cranial Osteotomy.

The band signed to Ungodly Ruins Productions and this past August released their debut EP, Putrescent Omniscience, which consists of six songs that introduce what this new project has to offer — and I have to say that I am loving these 15 minutes of pure force with no fillers. This is an EP that just blew me away at first listen and should get more recognition in the scene. Continue reading »

Sep 142020


In just two days Loud Rage Music will release Nebuisa, a new EP by the Romanian band Ordinul Negru, but you won’t have to wait to hear it, because we’re presenting a full stream today.

The EP seems to be a bit of a musical collage, at least in the way the songs came together, but the combined effect of the four tracks is to create a ravaging and ravishing experience. The music is richly multi-faceted, often intricate, and elaborate in its combination of moods and energies, again proving that Ordinul Negru‘s approach to black metal, which includes inventive songwriting and superior musicicianship, is neither conventional nor mundane. It stirs up the emotions but equally arouses the imagination, and has an electrifying visceral impact as well. Continue reading »

Sep 042020


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of an expanded EP by the Detroit band Jesus Wept, released by Redefining Darkness Records on August 21st.)

Let’s make one thing clear. Apartheid Redux is, as you might have guessed from its name, not a totally new release, even though this is the first time it’s being featured here.

As a matter of fact four of these six tracks (glossing over, for now, the fun but disposable WASP cover which appears on some editions) were first heard on Jesus Wept’s appropriately crush-tastic and catchy-as-hell debut EP, Crushing Apartheid.

But, thanks to Redefining Darkness Records, who recently decided they’d be the ones to pluck the group from relative obscurity, the music from that record, along with two additional (and similarly killer) tracks is finally getting a much-needed and well-deserved wider release. Continue reading »

Aug 222020


Sigh. Yet another week when I didn’t have enough time, or didn’t set aside enough, to do even one round-up of new music. I did do a lot of listening last night and this morning, and found enough promising new black metal to fill a two-part SHADES OF BLACK post tomorrow, and then narrowed down other things I found into this post. As the title suggests, it leans mainly into death metal or blackened death of various kinds.

There are four complete releases in the following collection, which I book-ended with singles from forthcoming records.


One of my favorite practitioners of Swedish death metal, Just Before Dawn, will be returning on September 25th with a new 45-minute soundtrack from the warzones of the last global conflict. The title is An Army At Dawn, and Raw Skull Recordz will handle the release. Once again, JBD riff-meister Anders Biazzi has enlisted a platoon of guests — 10 guest vocalists and three guest guitar soloists, if my count is correct — along with his steadfast JBD allies Gustav Myrin (guitar/bass) and Jon Rudin (drums). Continue reading »

Aug 052020


(Andy Synn introduces our premiere stream of a new EP by Exitium Sui, the solo project of ex-Deadspace frontman Chris Gebauer, and presents an interview of him as well.)

Exitium Sui may be a relatively new name, but if you’ve been paying attention to this site over the last several months you’ll no doubt have spotted our coverage of the band’s debut EP, Nuclear Sundown, as well as our preview of “Eviscerate My Withered Soul”, the first song from their upcoming album, Ad Personam (which I’ve heard in full, and it’s a suffocatingly dense and doom-laden slab of grim, blackened filth, make no mistake).

Today we’re bringing you an exclusive stream of The Sinister Business of Selling Hope, which finds the band’s sound pivoting away from the more doom-inflected approach of their first EP in favour of something more closely related to the pulsating blackened belligerence of Leviathan or Blut Aus Nord.

That’s not to say that these four tracks are a total departure from what has gone before – in fact, when the full album is released you’ll likely gain a much better appreciation of  …Selling Hope’s role in the band’s overall development – but suffice it to say that those looking for some seriously oppressive, shockingly aggressive, and crushingly claustrophobic Black Metal will do well to check this one out at the earliest opportunity.

So, please, read on for a full stream of the entire EP accompanied by a short but illluminating interview with band mastermind ES. Continue reading »

Aug 042020


We’ve already seen abundant evidence that pandemic shutdowns and searing economic calamity haven’t crushed musical creativity. Those two ruthless giant hands may be doing their best to choke the life from artists (along with the rest of us), but they haven’t succeeded. In fact, rather than becoming numb or being struck dumb, many musicians have continued to record new music, and for many of those the work has itself become a mental and emotional survival mechanism. Horse Drawn is a case in point.

This Ohio-based duo — multi-instrumentalist Jonny Doyle (Coldfells) and vocalist Bryce Seditz (Plaguewielder) — haven’t been prolific, but their output under the Horse Drawn name has for this writer become must-listen material. While in the midst of the giant mess we all now find ourselves in, they’ve recorded a new EP named Amongst Ghosts that’s being released today, and we are happily spreading the word through this premiere. Continue reading »

Jul 272020


Both New Zealand’s Heresiarch and Canada’s Antediluvian have already elevated themselves high up in the global pantheon of ruinous blackened death metal. It seemed inevitable that the day would come when they would join forces, and that day has arrived. They have combined their terrifying talents in a new split release named Defleshing the Serpent Infinity, which will be released on July 31st by Iron Bonehead Productions.

The split reveals both bands at the height of their powers, and displays what makes their particular forms of assault on the senses different from each other. Moreover, the split has been used as a vehicle for both bands to engage in experimentation, coupling forms of nightmarish ambient music to their more unhinged and apocalyptic sonic attacks. Today we make public the split in its entirety, preceded by a slightly revised version of a review we published weeks ago. Continue reading »

Jul 172020


Straight out of Saudi Arabia comes Deathnoisefrequency. That’s right, Saudi Arabia, not the easiest platform from which to launch a new musical project, and perhaps especially not one named Deathnoisefrequency. But that’s what the duo of Ghassan Al Fudail and Ahmed Mahmoud have done. Both of them have also been bandmates in a Saudi doom/death metal project named Grieving Age, but here they’ve turned in a different direction, one that’s described as “a limitless musical experiment with an all-encompassing creepy, dark and depressive atmosphere where noise and death metal are smashed together with reckless abandon”.

In 2016 Deathnoisefrequency released a single but have now re-surfaced with a debut, two-track EP named Horrid Dirge — which itself is merely a part of a forthcoming LP projected for release by the end of this year. Today is the EP’s official release date, and to help spread the word we’re premiering a full stream of the sounds. Continue reading »

Jul 152020


Death Nova Upon the Barren Harvest is an evocative title. The words alone suggest a desolate experience fraught with menace and morbidity, and a portrayal of crushing despair beneath the incandescence of the sweeping scythe that eventually cuts us all down. The words alone provide an inkling of what the music might bring, but the sounds prove to be even more terrifying and soul-crushing, and they also give vivid meaning to the idea of a “death nova”.

That title is the name chosen by the German death-dealers Nekus for their debut EP. Although it’s this band’s first recorded work, it’s no surprise that Blood Harvest Records seized upon it and is giving it a lavish release that includes a full panoply of physical editions — CD, cassette tape, and vinyl. The CD and cassette versions are set for release on July 17th, while the vinyl is set for August 28th. Now you’ll learn for yourselves why the label is backing this so hard. Continue reading »