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 »

Feb 262019
 

 

On March 4, 2014, Selim Lemouchi took his own life at the age of 33. As the founding member and guitarist of The Devil’s Blood, in which he was joined by his sister Farida, Lemouchi created emotionally powerful occult rock music that was beautifully evil and haunting, a combination of darkness and grandeur that reflected and channeled Lemouchi‘s Satanic spiritualism. The music made strong and lasting connections with many listeners, and led to friendships among fellow musicians, among them, members of New York City’s Black Anvil. Their new EP, Miles, was created as a tribute to him.

Initially, Miles consisted of just the title track and a cover of Mercyful Fate‘s “A Corpse Without Soul”. Work on it was put aside for a time while Black Anvil focused their efforts on their 2017 album, As Was. After returning to Miles, the band wrote and recorded one more original song, the opener “Iron Sharpens Iron”, and recorded a cover of The Devil’s Blood‘s “Everlasting Saturnalia” to round out the EP. Working with their friend Steve Macioci of STB Records, the band have readied Miles for release in March, in remembrance of, and dedication to, their lost friend Selim Lemouchi. We have a full stream of the EP for you today. Continue reading »

Feb 252019
 

 

(This is Vonlughlio‘s review of the new EP by the brutal death metal band Relics of Humanity from Minsk, Belarus.)

This time around I have the opportunity to review Relics of Humanity‘s new EP Obscuration, released via Willowtip Records this past 22nd of February. I have been listening to it non-stop and have to say that the music is back to the veins of their first album, Guided by the Soulless Call (which is their best work in my opinion).

The band have been active since 2007 and have released  demos, two albums, a compilation, and now this EP. One of the things I like about the project is that they have a specific sound to their music that is very recognizable, and have been able to maintain it through the years. Continue reading »

Feb 152019
 

 

In the most rudimentary sense, split releases provide a vehicle for the participating bands to each release new songs in between more extensive releases of their own music, while allowing listeners the chance to sample the works of more than one band at a time. But of course there’s no assurance that the combination of songs from different projects in a single release will do any more than that. Whether the songs actually complement each other, and combine in a way that creates a holistic listening experience that’s greater than the sum of its parts, is a very different issue.

The split release we’re premiering today, entitled Vortex, is one that does go beyond a mere bolting together of singles from more than one group. The two up-and-coming black metal bands who are involved — Ophidian Coil from Serbia and Septuagint from Greece — do not follow identical paths in the music you’ll find here, but there is a “chemistry” between them. The songs of each band, though different in their strategies, exhibit a kind of “spiritual” union in which the different dimensions of Luciferian sound combine in a way that creates a near-30-minute experience that’s immersive — and chilling.

We invite you to listen to these four songs below, an opportunity that coincides with the release of Vortex by Deathhammer Records. And of course we have some thoughts about the music to share as well. Continue reading »

Feb 052019
 

 

Yesterday I learned of the postponement of an album premiere I had expected to write for today. If I had a less obsessive personality, I would have used that unexpected free time to go for a walk through the uncommon snow that turned the forested area where I live into a wonderland (because most workplaces, including mine, were closed down yesterday — because a little snow works like a paralytic agent on the City of Seattle). Instead, I spun my way through a couple dozen new songs… while occasionally staring out the window at the brilliance of that uncommon snow.

As you can already tell, since this is Part 1 of something I worked up, I liked quite a lot of what I heard, and thought you might too. I’m confident there will be a second Part… but not sure about a third… it depends on whether the snow melts and the paralysis loosens.

GODS FORSAKEN

What a very nice coincidence. Almost exactly one year ago we were anointing a song from this Swedish band’s debut album (In A Pitch Black Grave) as one of 2017’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, and a year and a day after that event they released the first single from their second album. And damned if it isn’t already a contender for the 2019 edition of that list. Continue reading »

Feb 032019
 


Ellende

There’s quite a lot of new music I’m recommending in this Sunday’s column — three full EP streams (one of which is an EP-length single composition), plus advance tracks from three forthcoming albums. Coincidentally, four of the featured bands are essentially solo projects.

As usual, I picked these selections in part to provide some listening variety, though there’s certainly more than a fair share of melancholy and grandeur to be found herein, along with a fair share of ripping and tearing. I also positioned one selection to provide a bit of a diversionary interlude through its interweaving of Neo-Folk elements (and clean singing) among heavier sounds.

ELLENDE

I discovered this Austrian atmospheric/post-black metal band through a 2016 video of the title track from their 2014 EP, Weltennacht. I couldn’t get the song out of my head, and the video was hard to forget, too, since it included film of the 1987 public suicide of a Pennsylvania politician (Budd Dwyer) at a press conference he conducted the day before he was to be sentenced to prison following a conviction for bribery. Continue reading »

Feb 012019
 

 

Roughly two years after the appearance of their debut recording, Tein-Éigin, the Edinburgh-based atmospheric black metal band Úir are returning with a new EP named Óenach Tailten. It will be released by Pest Productions on February 18th, and today we present a full stream of its three shattering tracks.

“Shattering” is not an exaggeration. There is so much tension, torment, and pain in the music, and it comes through with such authentic passion and unwavering intensity, that it puts any sense of well-being a listener might have in dire peril. Yet paradoxically, there is an almost dreamlike quality to the music as well, a conjuration of haunting loss that crosses a dark border between flesh-and-blood and some intangible realm where ancient spirits still loom in twilight shadows. Continue reading »

Jan 132019
 

 

This weekend has been similar to the last one. I didn’t try to write anything for yesterday, and that left me free to focus on choices for today. With so much time, I found many things to recommend, so many that I’m again dividing this post into two parts (shocking, I know). And it made sense to put these particular selections together int Part 1.

SAOR

Roughly two years after the release of Guardians, the Caledonian metal band Saor are returning with a new record named Forgotten Paths. Along with another group of session musicians supporting him, Saor’s visionary Andy Marshall is also aided this time by Neige from Alcest (on the album’s title track, which opens the record).

Of the four songs on the new album, three are quite long, including the edited version of the track that debuted in recent days through a beautiful and mysterious music video that includes jaw-dropping vistas of the Scottish highlands (as well as appearances by Mr. Marshall and what seems to be a pair of twin witches). Continue reading »

Dec 282018
 

 

CON is a black metal project started by Swedish musician Pontus Norman in 2009. The project’s name consists of the first three letters of the Latin word Conscindo, which means “To tear into pieces”, and we’re told that in this context it is intended as a representation of the command “To tear the earth into pieces”. A demo whose sound was consistent with that edict appeared long ago, but now, almost a decade later, CON’s debut EP In Signo Draconis will soon be released on cassette tape by Clandestine Faith., whose founder Steven Santos has become a member of CON for future recordings, and today we’re helping spread the word through the premiere of a full stream of the EP’s three tracks

For those who may become curious about the evolution of this project and the interests and experiences of the band’s members, we recommend this October 2017 interview, and this more recent one which was published in August 2018. In the earlier interview, Pontus Norman explains that on this new EP, Jimmie Oloausson played the drums and Master of Her Temple performed the vocals. Continue reading »