Mar 172023

Many of you will be familiar with the decades-old Colombian death metal band Vitam Et Mortem, in which Julián “Thánatos” has been the composer, vocalist, and guitarist. What we have for you today is the music of a side project of Thánatos that he has named Jaue, which we’re told is the name of a spirit that can take the form of any animal.

We’re also told that the purpose of forming Jaue, as revealed in the project’s debut album Cantos del Sur Salvaje, was to “explore ancestral sounds and voices from ancient cultures of the world and puts them in relation to metal”. Organized as a trio of triptyches, the songs interweave many styles, with results that could broadly be summed up as “Colombian epic melodic pagan black metal”.

But summing up is a difficult thing to do with this album, because the journey through it is so varied. As evidence of that we’re presenting a heart-bursting song called “Guerrero Mapuche” today, as well as a juxtaposition of it with the new album’s first single, the majestic “A vuelo de cóndor“. Continue reading »

Mar 172023

Our fidelity to the Greek band Burial Hordes is of long standing — not as long as the band’s own existence, which stretches back roughly 22 years, because they were practicing their black craft well before our site came into being in 2009, but we’ve been steadily writing about their music for a decade. And for good reason. Over the course of four albums (with a fifth one on the way) and a handful of shorter releases, they’ve established themselves as premiere purveyors of hellish musical visions, while refusing to just keep doing the same thing over and over again.

The band’s pronounced tendency to use their music as a vehicle for continuing exploration of dark subjects is one reason for our eagerness and sense of intrigue every time they release something new. What’s new now, as mentioned above, is Burial Hordes‘ fifth full-length, Ruins, which is set for release on June 9th by Transcending Obscurity Records. That feels like a long way off, but we already have exciting signs of what the album presents — two songs that have already debuted, and the third one we’re presenting today. Continue reading »

Mar 172023

(What you’ll find below is Axel Stormbreaker‘s review of the debut album by Host (the duo of Greg Mackintosh and Nick Holmes), out now on Nuclear Blast.)

My connection to Paradise Lost’s music resembles the terms of a permanent relationship. Its integral qualities may revitalize your body and thought, to a degree you feel capable of achieving nearly everything. While, on different occasions, it can turn out as an ordinary mess that’s so fucking disappointing.

Before you feel the need to educate me, lemme state here I am fully aware the album in question belongs to a side-project, a work put together by its core members mostly for their personal fun. But since the main people are present in an endeavor named after their most “infamous” album, what’s to expect? Plus, the music itself strongly reminds of their alt-metal era. Do we need further boxes to check?

Continue reading »

Mar 162023

We had some favorable things to say here about the Dutch band Witte Wieven‘s 2016 debut EP Silhouettes of an Imprisoned Mind (available here):

“Perhaps best summed up as an offering of somber, atmospheric black metal, the songs combine low, gravelly riffs and grumbling bass lines with waves of guitar melody that shimmer and mesmerize, accented by beautiful, haunting clean vocals and such things as keyboard notes that sound like a harmonica (or perhaps an accordion) and spectral ambient tones.

“The songwriting is very good — the three songs are each quite distinct and memorable — and so is the production. It’s easy to lose yourself in this otherworldly dreamscape of lost souls and restless spirits.” Continue reading »

Mar 162023

(Andy Synn guides you through the twists and turns of the new album from Ottawa’s Dissentient)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the corruptive influence of the profit motive… how difficult it makes it to believe that anything that’s written can ever be impartial (and I know there’s a whole other argument to be had over objectivity, or the lack thereof, in reviewing music) once you realise that every feature, every review, every cover photo, comes with a potential price tag attached.

It’s one reason (among many) that I consider myself lucky to write here. None of the three of us who still form the core team – Islander, DGR, and myself – make any money from the site, nor do we have any advertisers to please or specific print deadlines to meet, and so we’re free to write about what we want, when we want.

Now, to be clear, I’m not trying to tear down print media wholesale – as someone who used to write for a physical magazine I’m fully aware of the complexities which need to be balanced in order to both serve your readers not just what they want, but also what you think they need, while still remaining solvent (or not) – I’m simply laying out a case for why you can (and should) trust us.

Hell, we don’t even write to please the bands themselves (there’ve been a few times when people have gotten pissy with us because we didn’t blindly praise them enough) and have, in fact, alienated a few labels and PR firms in the past with our refusal to just dole out perfect scores to anything and everything that comes our way.

Long story short… believe me when I say that you won’t regret checking out Dissentient‘s new album.

Continue reading »

Mar 162023

Let’s be clear: We have no private info about why a trio of Swiss musical collaborators chose Vomitheist for their name. Mainly, all we have to go on is the name itself and a rudimentary understanding of words. The name looks like a conjunction of “vomit” and “theist”, which suggests that vomit is their god. Which raises the question, what does the worship of vomit sound like? We’ll come back to that.

We say that linguistic analysis is “mainly” what we have to go on, but there’s a bit more, before we get to the music itself. There’s the name of their new album – NekroFvneral – and song titles such as “Putrefaktor”, “Symbiotic Putrefaction”, “Chapel of Abhorrent Reek and Festering Slime” (in case you’re wondering where the worship of vomit takes place), and “Epidemic Disembowelment” (which sounds like a pithy summing up of what a few years of life under covid was like).

All of this points the way to a death metal band who kneel at the altar of disgusting musical extremity, with no pretenses to any higher calling and no problem joining a long lineage of other DM bands who have made their “ethos” out of steaming piles of the nastiest stuff the human body is capable of producing, in life or in death. The kind of extreme metal themes that might be the hardest to explain to the kind of people whose listening choices get nominated for Grammy awards.

So now you’re already pretty well-prepared for what you’re about to hear. You probably already can guess whether Vomitheist are going to be in your personal wheelhouse. But even if you have a taste for the most foul and regurgitative death metal, maybe it’s a refined taste. Maybe you know that there are gradations of quality in this kind of thing (and there most certainly are), so you still insist on getting some filthy tastes before taking the plunge on NekroFvneral. We’re here to help. Continue reading »

Mar 162023

(Tumbleweed Dealer‘s main man Seb Painchaud usually visits us once a year to share his eclectic year-end list, but he’s back now because turns out that list wasn’t complete. Buckle up for a wild ride.)

Wouldn’t be fair to me to call this one SHIT I SLEPT ON ‘cause I was honest about the fact I wasn’t done going through all my 2022 releases on my phone when I made my AOTY list (here), which seems like only a few days ago, but that’s just how time works now I guess.

Let’s keep blurbs short and the music flowing, I got tons of 2023 shit to get back to, and I feel my not-so-unique blend of outdated TV references, vulgar imagery, and constant swearing are wearing thin. Continue reading »

Mar 152023

(DGR was inspired to pick three particular albums from his backlog to review together, which is what you will find below the anime image above.)

Look, sometimes you lay out your “to listen to and potentially review” archives in such a way that the moment strikes you. This is one of those times where the exercise is likely to appeal to just me, and me alone, so indulge me, will you? as I crawl backwards to catch up with even more stuff that has managed to hit throughout the first quarter of this year. Sometimes you do it because the idea you had for the article photo is, in the long run, more than enough.


Portugal’s Oak are likely to grab people’s attention with their sophomore release Disntegrate. Their first for Season Of Mist – after debut Lone was handled by Transcending ObscurityDisintegrate is a near forty-five-minute traversal through the roiling collision of the worlds of death and doom.

Ever-dedicated to their world-building, the two-piece comprising Oak have spent much of the lead-in to the release of Disintegrate painting their music with the visages of lumbering giants, collapsing mountains, and enough Misery to make a 1987 Barnes & Noble jealous. While the lyrical inspirations may be purposefully vague and presented as one large archival screed, the music is recognizably suffocating and slow, at times fitted more as “mood” than artistic piece. When the two lead videos for the album have the group drenched in either snow or fire – with little room for subtlety in between – then you certainly know that there is “something” present here that is going to grab people. Continue reading »

Mar 152023

On March 17th, the Danish post-metal band Late Night Venture will release their new album V: Bones Of The Extinct via Trepanation Recordings and Vinyltroll Records, and today we present it in its entirety, along with many words of introduction.

But before we get to our own words, we want to share what the labels and the band themselves tell us about the album’s conception, because it adds useful insights into the multi-faceted power of the music. For example, this:

“‘Bones Of The Extinct’ is a text excerpt capable of containing all the album’s songs, which individually are images of unforeseen occurrences with irreversible consequences. The lyrics cast their gaze upon the world and can be characterized as grounded doomsday stories about conditions, which more or less concern all beings on the planet. This gaze is directed towards mankind and its nature, all our efforts in this world – and the consequences of our urge.” Continue reading »

Mar 152023

Graugeist is the solo project of Sarghas from the southwestern German state of Saarland, a musician and vocalist who is also a member of Immorior, Nýr Gata, and Stardust. Graugeist is the new name of a project originally called Mirai. Under the Mirai name Sarghas released a four-song debut EP entitled Makkura in 2020. Under the new name, Graugeist will release a debut album named Heaven Denies near the end of April through Void Wanderer Productions and Kvlt and Kaos Productions.

That Makkura EP (here) is startling to hear. With hyper-voltage power it combines electrifying riffing that’s both scathing and sweeping, thunderous rhythmic momentum, the kind of torrential screaming that puts the hair up on the back of your neck, and monstrous roaring — but part of what makes it startling is that Mirai brought into play a kind of elaborate elegance in the guitar- and keyboard-work.

The music was thus simultaneously a breathtaking maelstrom with a lot of visceral punch and a near-theatrical pageant, interweaving glorious and enthralling melodies that sometimes seemed connected to traditions of many centuries past. The sound was raw and scorching, and the vocals were also relentlessly incinerating, but the music also rang almost clear at vital moments, and the intricacy of the songcraft made every song an eye-opening trip.

That experience would be enough to kindle anticipation and intrigue for the debut full-length of Graugeist, and we have the first sign of Heaven Denies in the song from the album we’re premiering today — “Forward the Doom“. Continue reading »