Jan 152019


For this installment of the list there’s again no particular reason why I paired these two songs together, so I don’t have much to say by way of overarching introduction. On the other hand, it may be that I just haven’t done a very good job interrogating my subconscious to determine the reason. If you can help me, please speak up.

(To check out the previous installments, you’ll find them behind this link, and to learn what this series is all about, go here.)


This Austrian band is another one in which the Ven diagrams of musical interest by the longest-running writers at our site intersect. Our first post about them was in 2014, where I premiered a track from their second album, Aokigahara. That was a wonderful album, but in retrospect was only the tip of the iceberg that was building beneath the surface. Continue reading »

Jan 152019


Gaze upon the grotesque, brain-eating monstrosity depicted in the cover art. Reflect upon the name of the album, A Culinary Cacophony, as well as some of the song titles — such amusing formulations as “Perpetual Mincing”, “Flesh Presented For Orgasmic Torment”, “Crispy Chunks of the Obese”, “The Number of the Feast”, and the delectable “Nourishment Through Excrement“, which is the track we’re presenting today.

It’s all so over-the-top that it might make you wonder just how serious Horrisonous are about what they’re doing, or conceivably might lead you to suspect that their music is some kind of gore-fetished brutal death metal.

So, let’s be clear: There is indeed a grotesque, macabre atmosphere to the brand of death metal that this Australian band have crafted, but the music is apocalyptically doomed, remorselessly destructive, and no joke at all. The fact that the line-up consists of current or former members of such bands as Temple Nightside, Backyard Mortuary, The Slow Death, Illimitable Dolor, and Pestilential Shadows might be enough to clue you in, but of course the best evidence is the music itself. Continue reading »

Jan 152019


It has become so commonplace as to be clichéd for death metal bands and labels to claim that their music, though immersed in old-school traditions, nevertheless brings something new to the table — and it rarely proves to be true. Much of the time, the alleged up-dating consists of little more than more modern production techniques, which sometimes only succeeds in robbing the music of the rough and raw power it once had. And particularly in the case of old school Swedish death metal, there’s not much you can do to vary the sound without breaking the chain that links the music to its origins.

The Swedish band Wretched Fate, on the other hand, really have found a sweet spot, indulging a genuine passion for death metal of the past, but in a way that doesn’t sound formulaic. They’ve undeniably caught the sound and spirit of the giants on whose shoulders they stand, but have injected their songs with a fieriness and flair that we rarely encounter in the music of groups whose inspirations are so firmly rooted in an era that’s now nearly three decades old. Continue reading »

Jan 152019


(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the new album by the French death metal band Ad Patres, which will be released by Xenokorp on February 8th.)

The following write-up is a special one for me. It concerns a band whose sophomore release elevated the quality of their music, preserving the sound that made them special but also evolving after so many years since their first album into a group that has a lot more to offer their fans.

Ad Patres formed in 2008 in France and released a demo in 2010, a split with Writhing in 2012, and then a full-length entitled Scorn Aesthetics released via Kaotoxin Records (now XenoKorp) in 2012. I discovered the album in 2013 and became a fan right away, enjoying how straight-forward and vibrant the music was, and the way in which the instruments interacted cohesively without getting in each other’s way. The vocals were especially good, giving added life to the music in patterns that suited it so well. Continue reading »

Jan 142019


After a weekend break I’m resuming the rollout of this 2018 Most Infectious Song list. As you can see, I have three new entries today, and will now begin including more threesomes in addition to twosomes in an effort to gather more songs in this growing collection before I force myself to stop (but don’t worry, we’ll probably be deep into February before that happens).

Unlike some of the preceding installments of this list, there’s no particular organizing principle behind my grouping of these three tracks, other than the usual factor that I’m addicted to all of them. (To check out the previous installments, you’ll find them behind this link, and to learn what this series is all about, go here.


As you’ll have learned by now, I haven’t limited myself, in selecting songs for this list, to 2018 albums that were widely discovered and widely praised through year-end lists. But Dödsrit’s Spirit Crusher happens to be one that did receive significant year-end accolades, including a place in our own Andy Synn‘s list of the year’s Great albums, as well as his Personal Top 10 for the year (not to mention placements in many other lists we published in our 2018 LISTMANIA series). Continue reading »

Jan 142019


Man, have we got a treat for you today, the kind of treat that’s sure to uncork your adrenal glands and get your blood racing. The song by Toronto-based Of Hatred Spawn that’s featured in the video we’re presenting is a big part of what triggers that response, but just watching drummer JJ Tartaglia (Skull Fist) do his thing behind the kit is equally electrifying.

That song, “Severed Limb Convulsion“, comes from this ferocious death metal band’s self-titled debut album, which was released by Boonsdale Records on December 21, 2018. The same song was also the subject of a previously released guitar-playthrough video featuring the performance of JJ‘s brother Remy Tartaglia (ex-Unbidden). The band’s line-up is completed by bassist Oscar Rangel (ex-Annihilator) and vocalist Matt “Coldcuts” Collacott. Continue reading »

Jan 142019


(Andy Synn wrote the following review of the new album by the Norwegian band Endolith, which will be released by Rob Mules Records on January 18th.)

Hands up who here has heard Endolith’s debut album Voyager?

Ok, I see a few people have… maybe one or two more in the back, but the rest of you… shame, shame!

Honestly, after all the effort I went through (ok, maybe not that much effort) to talk about the record and highlight the band I’m not even sure you deserve to read about their new album at this point.

But, since I’m in such a magnanimous mood (and because Chicxulub is just so damn good), I suppose you might as well read on and get to know what should, if there’s any justice, turn out to be one of the best albums of the month, if not the entire year. Continue reading »

Jan 142019


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by Nailed To Obscurity, which was released on January 11th by Nuclear Blast.)

Nailed To Obscurity is a name I’ve heard a lot, but whose music I hadn’t listened to — just too much metal to check out at any given time, really. My ignorance stretched as far as not even knowing what kind of metal they played, if you can believe it. But when I checked out the single and title track to their new album, Black Frost, I discovered immediately that this band was my thing.

Nailed To Obscurity play a style of doom-driven melodic death metal that hits an intersection of In Mourning and a lot of Dan Swanö’s recent output with Witherscape. There are, of course, hints of Opeth, which I think were pretty low-key influential on this style, but the previous influences I mentioned are definitely at the forefront. Continue reading »

Jan 132019


In this second Part of this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column I’ve changed course away from the predominantly atmospheric and sometimes folk-inflected music that dominated Part 1 in moody, mystical, and magnificent strains of sound. The selections in this Part are less easily categorized with broad brush strokes, but I guess I’d venture to say they are mainly more “muscular” and savage than what you’ll find in Part 1.


I’ve been deplorably late in catching up to the third album by this one-man band based in the black metal hot-bed of Bergen, Norway, but under persistent prodding by my Norwegian friend eiterorm, I finally have. That third album, Mot Ein Evig Ruin, will be released on February 16th by the Dutch label Soulseller Records, and now there are two tracks out in the world — “Dra Te’ Helvete“, which surfaced in October, and more recently “Det Gjekk Ein Faen“. 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.


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 »