Mar 022021
 

 

Almost four years have passed since we last heard from Requiem For Oblivion, who make their home in Erie PA. Their last album back then, Burning Nation, was a head-spinning fusion of technical and progressive death metal that was multi-faceted, unpredictable, and electrifying. And now the band is returning… and some things have changed.

Requiem For Oblivion have marked their return with a new EP named Hindsight 2020 that will be released on March 5th, and which you’ll be able to hear for yourselves through our premiere of a full stream. Trying to sum it up as a challenge, but here’s a stab at it:

The music is mechanistic and merciless in its destructiveness but also freakish and twisted in its bizarre and surprising contortions — a display of cold machine power dialed up to titanic levels but operating within a state of untreatable psychosis. The grooves are so massive and punishing that they’ll tempt you to ruin your neck, but everything else about the music (and, to be honest, even the grooves themselves) will keep you (and your sanity) off-balance, to the point that by the end you may be asking, “What the fuck just happened?” You’ll wonder where you’ve been and how the hell you’ll find your way get back to where you started. Continue reading »

Mar 022021
 

 

Raw black metal is a tiny and obscure niche within the greater world of extreme metal, but one with fervently devoted adherents among both performers and listeners. But as small as the niche is, the music within it isn’t all the same thing, any more than it is in other micro and macro metal realms. Some creators, for example, create abrasive and unpleasant assaults on the eardrums, relishing the antagonisms unleashed by such mutilating lo-fi attacks. Others follow different paths, and one of those is the intensely atmospheric one followed by the Italian one-man band Sacrilegious Crown.

Active since 2015, with three demos and two full-lengths in the catalogue, Sacrilegious Crown is about to release a new EP named Plenilunium Cult via Xenoglossy Productions, and we have a full stream of its remarkably chilling sensations for you today in advance of that March 5th release. Continue reading »

Feb 242021
 

 

Whatever you might guess about the sounds of a band who chose a name like Anime Torment, we can assure you that their brand of death metal is ruthlessly devoted to brutalizing savagery. The horrifying cover art created by Erskine Designs for this Czech band’s new EP Void Terror might be a better tip-off to the crazed slaughtering and bone-smashing cruelty the EP inflicts upon listeners.

That EP is set for release on February 25th by Slovak Metal Army, but you’ll have a chance today to run yourselves through its gauntlet via our early stream of all six songs. Continue reading »

Feb 192021
 

 

(In this article Andy Synn reviews three recent EPs from bands based in the UK.)

Huh… seems like a while now since I last did one of these “Best of British” columns (I’m not sure exactly how long, I haven’t checked).

And while it’s not like I’ve been neglecting my “local” scene – I heaped praise upon Thundering Hooves right at the start of the year, for example – it’s probably about time to catch up with what’s going on in our ever more divided kingdom. Continue reading »

Feb 152021
 

 

With just two songs, the debut demo of Perihelion Gnosis makes a powerful statement of malicious intent, leading the listener into a lightless catacombs of dread, horror, and mindless violence. Through an alchemical amalgam of ghastly, ravaging death metal and soul-sucking doom, Syzygial Summoning delivers both stunning brutality and blood-freezing supernatural terror.

Caligari Records, which has a proven track record of taste in underground extremity, will be releasing this new demo on February 18th, but today we have the opportunity to present a stream of it in full. Wear body armor and tie your sanity to a firm foundation, because both body and mind will be in jeopardy. Continue reading »

Feb 142021
 

 

Someone (besides Andy Synn) must have noticed that yesterday I posted a round-up of new songs and videos that I named “Seen and Heard on Valentine’s Day“, when in fact yesterday was not Valentine’s Day. I conceived of various justifications for this, including the assertion that I live in the future. But the truth is that what I did was probably dictated by my subconscious mind: Sundays here are for Shades of Black, even a Valentine’s Day Sunday, and I sure as hell couldn’t call this “Valentine’s Day Shades of Black”.

Let’s face it, black metal is not about love, even when it’s the kind of more modern blackened metal that wears its heart on its sleeve. It’s more about bitterness, hate, and hopelessness. When it becomes celebratory, it’s usually envisioning the savage triumph of the Fallen Angel over the deluded sheep of humanity and the institutions that have herded them, or the death of the cosmos itself.

Well, those observations may not cover the entire spectrum of black metal, especially in the modern era, but you know what I mean. Generally speaking, black metal isn’t about hearts and flowers unless the hearts have been freshly ripped from chest cavities and the flowers bloom at night and are poisonous. So, I’m just going to continue pretending that yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and we’ll say nothing more about it today.

As usual, I’ve struggled to make the following selections because so much worthy new music surfaced over the last week. There was a lot of other news as well, including the announcement that the long-running Serbian band The Stone will have a new album named Kosturnice coming out in late March, and that Necros Christos have announced their permanent disbanding. Nevertheless I did my best with these choices, and of course you should feel free to use the Comment section to point out other new black metal that I should have paid attention to in print. Continue reading »

Feb 102021
 

 

(We present Todd Manning‘s review of the debut EP by the Indiana band Mother of Graves, which was released on January 8th by Wise Blood Records.)

Mother of Graves are not the first band to rise up from tragedy, but the pain and sadness on display on their debut EP, In Somber Dreams, is palpable. The formation of this band came in the wake of the death of a friend and former bandmate, and as founding guitarist Chris Morrison explains, Katatonia’s EP Sounds of Decay became a focal point for channeling his sorrow.

Mother of Graves take their moniker from a Latvian entity that functions as a protector of graves, but much of their inspiration comes from Britain, Katatonia notwithstanding. We are of course referring to the Peaceville 3, i.e., Paradise Lost, Anathema, and My Dying Bride. The early work of these three bands laid the groundwork for the marriage of the violence of Death Metal and the depressive strains of Gothic Rock, and Mother of Graves have learned their lessons well. Continue reading »

Feb 082021
 

 

What can you do with an 18-minute block of time today? Wash those dishes that have been in the sink since January? Ponder whether you should start showering more than once a week? Beat your head against the wall for wasting four hours watching that dull-as-dishwater Super Bowl? Rush through sex like you’ve got somewhere else to be?

We’ve got a better idea: Listen to Demon King‘s debut EP The Final Tyranny. Though to be fair, the odds are high you won’t stop with just the one listen. Continue reading »

Feb 042021
 


Cult of Luna

 

(Andy Synn wrote these three reviews of recent and forthcoming EPs.)

It’s been a busy, busy week for me this week… but, then, when isn’t it?

It’s times like these, though, that I really appreciate the short-form, straight-to-the-point, structure provided by a good EP.

It’s a place for bands to experiment, to explore new ideas, and to formulate these little (or not always so little) slabs of perfectly proportioned form and function without having to worry about living up to the demands or expectations surrounding a “full-length” release.

Of course, one of the EPs featured here today is basically long enough to be considered an album – although I can see why, after listening to it, the band themselves declared it an EP – but all three of them manage to give a more focussed impression of each of the bands in question, while also providing an attention-grabbing primer for whatever they’re going to do next.

And so, without further ado… Continue reading »

Feb 032021
 

 

Black Hole Deity is a new name in death metal, but it has a veteran line-up, whose instrumental and songwriting skills are on full display in the band’s absolutely electrifying debut EP Lair of Xenolich, which we’re premiering in full today in advance of its February 5th release by Everlasting Spew Records.

The band was first conceived by Cam Pinkerton and Chris White, co-founders of the death metal band Chaos Inception, and they then recruited Alec Cordero (from the death metal bands Cruelty Exalted and Calcemia) to handle lead guitar duties, and finally got none other than Mike Heller of Malignancy, Fear Factory, and Raven to handle the drumming.

Drawing upon supernatural and sci-fi themes, what this fearsome foursome have created is an explosive assault that’s a pure adrenaline rush, as well as one that inflicts megaton levels of stunning destructiveness. Listening to the EP, it’s very easy to imagine that you’ve been teleported straight into an alien war zone where advanced technologies are being deployed with both machine-like precision and breathtaking ferocity. Continue reading »