May 162018


On the first day of June, Music Fear Satan will release a new album by the formidable French Sludge Doom band Cult of Occult. Accurately entitled Anti Life, it is a single opus of soul-devouring music spanning more than 50 minutes. To facilitate the album’s release on vinyl, it has been “cut” into four segments, each of which is identified by letters that seem to be extracted and rearranged from the album’s title. This division of Anti Life into four parts enables us to bring you an excerpt from the record today. The segment you’re about to hear is identified as “NI” and is the second of the album’s four “tracks”.

This extract from Anti Life is skull-splitting in its power, torturous in its intensity, and pitch-black in its atmosphere of doom and destructiveness. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but it makes a deep and disturbing impression that can’t be ignored. Continue reading »

May 162018

Our New Zealand friend Craig Hayes introduced us and our readers to the enigmatic Verberis through his review of their 2016 album Vexamen. As he noted then, Vexamen represented a change from the “choking mix of black and death metal” represented on the band’s 2014 demo Vasitas, “making significant strides in both compositional and production terms”. “Vexamen,” he wrote, “is a bold debut, a huge step up from Verberis’ demo, and that bodes well for the band’s future endeavors.”

And now the future is present. Verberis have recorded a new EP named Vorant Gnosis, which will be released by Pulverised Records on May 18th, a full stream of which we’re presenting today. And it’s fair to say that with this new release Verberis have stretched their creative wings even further, continuing to push ahead into more ambitious territories — still immensely hostile and desperate territories, to be sure, but these are changed soundscapes compared to those Verberis have explored before. Continue reading »

May 152018


It’s not unusual for us to receive written presentations of new music that take almost as long to read as it takes to listen to the music, with so much background detail about the history of the bands, their endless line-up changes, the dispiriting obstacles they overcame with Herculean perseverance, and the deep thought and arduous work that went into the crafting of the (allegedly) momentous lyrics and the (allegedly) ground-breaking music that you feel tired before ever pressing play.

And then sometimes there’s nothing at all but the music. And sometimes the music strikes like lightening from the clear blue sky. That’s what happened in the case of the debut demo of Inverser, which we present to you today. Continue reading »

May 152018


This round-up is more musically diverse than what I typically select, ranging further afield from my usual extreme-metal stamping grounds. It’s also less littered with words. I got a late start on the posting day and am hurrying toward a couple of EP premieres on the schedule, but wanted to share these five tracks before getting there… because they made for quite an eclectic and enjoyable morning here at my metallic island home.


Finally, we have the first single from the debut album by Khôrada. It’s been a long and anxious wait since the news emerged last year that former Agalloch members Don Anderson (guitar), Jason Walton (bass), and Aesop Dekker (drums) would be forging ahead in this new group, alongside ex-Giant Squid guitarist/vocalist Aaron John Gregory. Continue reading »

May 142018


Well, it seems I had a little free time I didn’t expect to have this morning after completing the writing and editing of posts planned for this Monday, so I thought I’d compile this small round-up of new discoveries, two of which appeared today and one of which arrived last week. Brighten (or darken) your fiendish hearts with these three tracks:


White Noise and Black Metal is the name of the new album by the long-running Swedish black metal cult Craft, their first one in seven years. The release date, through Season of Mist, is June 22nd. In April the label released the album’s first single, “The Cosmic Sphere Falls“, and today brought us another one, and it represents something of a switch from the first. Continue reading »

May 142018


(Andy Synn dragged himself from his sick bed long enough to pen this review of the new EP by The Isolation Process, which was released through Bandcamp on March 30th.)

So my original plan for this week was to unleash a Black Metal focussed “dirty half-dozen” on you all as a way of clearing out some of the massive backlog which has developed over the last 4-5 months.

Unfortunately, I’m currently stricken with some sort of soul-sucking flu-bug which is sapping a lot of my energy, so, while I work on kicking that, you’re going to have to settle for something shorter and sweeter, in the shape of the new EP by Swedish Alt-Metal three-piece The Isolation Process. Continue reading »

May 142018


Almost three years ago we had the pleasure of premiering a full stream of Godless, the fourth album by the Polish death metal destroyers in Disloyal, which held intrinsic appeal for fans of classic Morbid Angel, as well as Hate Eternal, Immolation, Death, and Gojira. We now have the opportunity to provide a reminder of Godless, and to introduce new listeners to Disloyal, through our premiere of a video for a Godless track named “On the Ashes of the World“.

As we observed when we premiered the full stream of Godless, Disloyal revel in creating songs that keep you off-balance, with tempos that turn on a dime and changes in mood that are equally variable, switching from absolute decimation to eerie atmospherics without warning. And that’s really what made the album such a stand-out — the technical skill of the musicians is abundantly evident, but they harnessed that talent within the structures of songs that were creatively written to take your mind on an exhilarating roller-coaster ride.

The songs also include thoroughly bestial vocal vehemence and a collection of mind-bending guitar solos that often contrast with the surrounding savagery of the music, not to mention a big helping of bone-breaking grooves and morbid melodies.
Continue reading »

May 142018


In a recording career that now spans more than a decade, the Russian band In Tenebriz has released nine albums and an even greater number of EPs and splits. Beginning with the Autumn Constellation album in 2015, In Tenebriz has pursued themes that use that the natural phenomena of the seasons as a way of reflecting the inner experiences of the lyrical protagonists, while drawing upon the elements of atmospheric black metal, doom, ambient music, and post-metal to give musical shape to these external changes and internal moods.

The newest album in this sequence is Winternight Poetry, and on this album the principal creator of In Tenebriz, Wolfir, has done everything, including the vocals. Conceptually the album is an interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s seven-part tale The Snow Queen, but with a dark twist: in the tale of Winternight Poetry, the protagonist Kai fails to spell the word on the frozen lake that will free him from the Snow Queen’s enchantment, and must therefore remain a prisoner in the kingdom of permafrost forever. Continue reading »

May 142018


(After a seven-month hiatus, we present the continuation of a series of reviews prepared by our Russian connoisseur of all things doom, Comrade Aleks.)

First, I was busy finishing the Doom Metal Lexicanum book, and then I put the weight of the “Lexicanum II” project on my shoulders, but blood calls for revenge! And I have some obligations, so here are four overviews of doom albums you may have missed at the end of 2017.


Alastor: Blood On Satan’s Claw (Ljudkassett!)

Blood On Satan’s Claw is the second Alastor EP for 2017, and actually I wonder why they didn’t release one full-length album instead. This time the Swedish quartet prepared two ten-minute tracks with a deep psychedelic touch and pop-occult lyrics. The record surpasses its predecessor, Blood Magic, with more effective songwriting and delivery, though the production is on the same underground level. The vocals on these new songs sound different. Actually I was thinking that Alastor had recruited a lady on vocals, but I was wrong. It’s still their bass-player, R, who sings. Continue reading »

May 132018


There’s a mountain of black music in today’s column — five full releases, the shortest of which is more than 20 minutes long. Moreover, one of those releases is a single song that itself tops 20 minutes in length. I don’t expect everyone to make their way through all of this; tastes do vary, as does the amount of time people are prepared to set aside for the exploration of new music. Recognizing that, I’ve provided previews of the music (at least as I hear it), and in the case of the releases other than the two that consist of long-form monoliths, I’ve selected specific songs that I think provide a good test for whether you’ll like the rest of what’s there.


Eternal Throne is the debut EP by a Swedish black metal band (from Malmö) named Plaguestorm. According to the two labels who are releasing it (Helter Skelter and Blood Harvest), it was recorded in 2015 but is only now being released for the first time due to unspecified “hardships and delays”. Their description of the music peaked my interest:

Eternal Throne, they wrote, “features four tracks in 21 minutes, where all possible aspects of black metal is being mixed into one, big gruesome bowl where everything from the classic guitar leads of Mercyful Fate, and the chaotic mayhem of Katharsis has its righteous place”. Continue reading »