Jul 252018
 

 

This is the completion of a post I began yesterday, collecting new songs and videos that by coincidence all happened to fall under the vast umbrella of death metal, or were at least close enough in sound or spirit to merit the “DEATH RITUAL” heading of this post. Between yesterday and today, one more track appeared that I couldn’t resist including, and I also decided to begin with a review of a new EP that I should have posted sooner — but better late than never.

DIRE OMEN

Our history with Dire Omen goes back to 2011, when I came across their second promo and wrote it up in the 27th MISCELLANY post (and I’m wondering yet again why I let that series die of neglect). Since then, they’ve released a 2012 EP (Severing Soul From Flesh), a 2014 debut album on the Dark Descent label (Wresting the Revelation of Futility), and now a new EP (also through Dark Descent), Formless Fire Embodied. Obviously, these Canadians from Edmonton haven’t been prolific in their releases, but the care they’ve taken hasn’t been for naught, as you shall see. Continue reading »

Jul 222018
 

 

It’s Sunday, and yes we will have a SHADES OF BLACK post a bit later today (a two-parter), but first I thought I’d shoehorn in a trio of way-under-the-radar EPs that I’ve been enjoying recently, in an attempt to boost their radar profile.

MANGLER

The opening moments of “Carrion Mother” sound sort of like the equivalent of someone revving a big Harley right before it surges from a stop. It builds anticipation, and then pays off viciously. The song becomes a malicious thrashing romp with bursts of nasty braying melody and a very nasty acid snarler behind the mic, too. It gets your own internal pistons going hard as it thunders down the highway, throwing off sparks and trailing flames. Continue reading »

Jul 202018
 

 

I really wanted to end this week with a big fat juicy round-up, overstuffed with new songs and videos that I’ve latched onto over the past week but couldn’t cram into other round-ups over the last two days. Alas, I’ve run out of time. But rather than just scuttle morosely out of sight, head down and small tears dribbling down my cheeks, I thought I’d at least give you a couple of quick hits.

SENZAR

Today the Irish band Senzar, which rose from the ashes of Coldwar and embraced a name reportedly based upon the works of different philosophers, including Ernst Cassirer and Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky, released their first EP, which has their name on it but has no title, through Hostile Media.

After seeing a press release I had made a note a few days ago to check out a new video the band had released, but it wasn’t until receiving encouragement from starkweather’s Rennie today that I did so, and then moved from there to the EP as a whole. Continue reading »

Jul 202018
 

 

After releasing a 2017 demo and a pair of 2018 splits on the Blood Harvest label (with Desekryptor and Ossuarium), the Los Angeles-based death metal trio Draghkar are now just one week away from the release of a new EP, appropriately named The Endless Howling Abyss. It’s a four-track effort that will be available digitally, with a CD release by Craneo Negro Records and a cassette tape release by Nameless Grave Records, but we’re giving you a chance to stream the EP today.

While Draghkar’s first release spawned references to old school, cavernous death metal in a kindred spirit to such modern practitioners as Grave Miasma and Tomb Mold, the new EP is a more violent and hard-charging affair that draws influence from early Greek black and death metal, as well as the likes of such other old-school progenitors as Molested and Mercyful Fate. The music on this outing displays a kind of wild, ecstatic savagery, with a feverishness that matches its cruelty. Continue reading »

Jul 132018
 

 

Today, the very lucky 13th of July, is the release date for Gold and Rust, the new EP by the one-man, New Jersey-based death metal project Engulf. It comes adorned with a wonderful cover created by Misanthropic-Art, which by itself should be an irresistible invitation to explore this music even if you weren’t already aware of Engulf‘s capabilities, as first revealed through last year’s Subsumed Atrocities EP (which also featured an eye-grabbing cover by the same artist). And those capabilities continue to be strikingly impressive.

All credit goes to Hal Microutsicos, who again proves himself to be a guitar wizard, but one who uses his sorcerous talents in the service of genuinely ferocious death metal onslaughts that get  pulses racing and skulls fracturing, even as they get eyes popping wide over his technical proficiency. Continue reading »

Jul 092018
 

 

(Grant Skelton wrote the following review as an introduction to our premiere of the new two song EP by the blackened death metal band Cryptic Hymn from Louisville, Kentucky.)

Kentucky’s Cryptic Hymn have been known to lurk about the shadowed corridors of No Clean Singing. In 2015, I had the pleasure of reviewing their amazing debut EP Gateways. Now, we are pleased to present their latest bastardized offering, The Vast Unknowing.

Cryptic Hymn christen us first with “Wretched Stimulation,” a title which yields a truly revolting visual in my reprobate imagination. This song is a blistered and ashen frolic that should glut any devotee of death metal. While offering plenty of speed, the track shows that Cryptic Hymn are not the least bit afraid of tempo changes. I could say you’ll find the track stuck in your head, but more than likely it will find its way into your veins. Continue reading »

Jul 062018
 

 

Skullcrush? Yes… that name works… but so would SpleenRupture, SpineSplinter, KidneyPunch, JawFracture, SkinFlense… and I’m sure I’m forgetting other body parts that their music mutilates (figuratively speaking of course — you’ll survive the experience intact, probably).

Yes, Skullcrush is a fine name for the kind of death metal this Arizona band dish out on their debut EP, and the Conan-themed cover art is also fitting. So is the EP’s title — Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse — as you’ll discover when you listen to our full stream on this Friday, the 6th of July, the day of its release by the Glasgow-based label Camo Pants Records.

But we hasten to add that the brutalizing qualities of the music shouldn’t be over-emphasized; there’s a lot more going on in this EP than skeletal demolition and furious evisceration. The name SoulSlaughter would have worked, too. Continue reading »

Jul 052018
 

 

Sometimes when you have no plan, the plan makes itself. A guiding hand intervenes, or if you’re not superstitious, you nod your head at the pleasures of serendipity and synchronicity.

I didn’t plan to make this post, but in searching for new music I happened, by a fortunate chance, to listen to the music in this post in the exact same order as I’m presenting it here. And it all seemed to fit together in a way that spawned the title of this post.

PLOUGHSHARE

Literature of Piss was the 2017 debut EP of this band from Canberra, Australia. In Offal, Salvation is the band’s 2018 debut album. “The Urinary Chalice Held Aloft” is the name of one of the tracks on the album. Perhaps you begin to get a sense of the band’s worldview. Continue reading »

Jul 022018
 

 

From the catacombs of the Portuguese black metal underground Signal Rex has unearthed Graves, presenting their blasphemous debut demo, Unholy Desecration, on cassette tape as a prelude to the band’s debut album coming later this year — and we’re presenting a full stream of the demo today.

As the label says, Unholy Desecration triggers memories of the French Légions Noires, of the Portuguese Black Circle, and of raw Finnish black metal from the past couple of decades. But while devoted to certain recognizable traditions, Graves‘ devotion isn’t slavish. Their own talent shines through with mortifying vibrancy. Continue reading »

Jun 262018
 

 

This is a collection of three short reviews of three short releases that I recently encountered, one from an old favorite, the others from newer projects. If you’re not a fan of death and black metal, you might want to spend your time elsewhere. If you are, there are some ghastly treats in store for you here.

INTO DARKNESS

To begin, I have the latest release from an Italian band whose every release I’ve written about —  their 2012 debut demo (here), their 2013 demo Cosmic Chaos (here), their 2013 EP Transmigration of Cosmic Creatures Into the Unknown (here), their 2014 split with Ghoulgotha (here), and their 2015 split with Profanal (here). And now there’s a new one, and I’m keeping my record of slavish devotion intact. Continue reading »