May 192023

(Our long-time writer DGR has been very busy catching up with recent releases that struck his interest in different ways, and today we begin a daily run of reviews that will carry on through next week. This one is for a new EP by the Scottish band Penny Coffin that was released in April via Dry Cough Records and At With False Noise.)

We’ve long specialized in stumbling headfirst into the world of the oppressively dark and suffocating. Rarely would you see a website describe itself as having a knack for something and it certainly couldn’t be said that we’re skilled seekers of the style; it’s more like a drunken crash through the wall when the entrance door is just two feet over. The latest one to send that shock to our system – or be rudely awakened by our door-crashing — is the group Penny Coffin and their latest release.

Penny Coffin come to us by way of Scotland with their third EP – the band currently on a schedule of one EP a year – Conscripted Morality. Conscripted Morality saw release in early April and was one of the many tumbling into the whirling abyss of the internet discoveries that found themselves captured in the great content maw, with the purpose of allowing us to investigate when things here sort of lightened up.

Playing a style of grossly-heavy death metal with an emphasis on brutalizing and equally brain-rotting guitar chug, it’s shocking that the band haven’t fought their way onto this here site before, because Conscripted Morality‘s brand of bleak-and-grey mud is perfectly suited to find some listeners around here. Continue reading »

May 182023

Portugal’s Gallows Rites are as un-pretentious as they come. In their debut EP Witchcraft and Necro Desecration they announce their steadfast devotion to Lucifer, and never swerve from it. The music is a black thrashing glorification of the lord of Hell and all his minions, often primal and primitive but thoroughly saturated by the stench of sulphur and exulting in the kind of sonic sorcery that brings visions of witches’ covens to the mind’s eye.

Gallows Rites thrive in the fast lane, just as devoted to music that would stir up mosh pits into bloody froths as they are to the glory of the Lightbringer. But they also switch gears and moods in these five songs, in ways that make them even more attention-grabbing.

You will experience all this for yourselves today, because we have a premiere stream of the EP in advance of its release tomorrow — May 19thby Helldprod Records. Continue reading »

May 182023

(Andy Synn presents a double-header of heaviness courtesy of The Acacia Strain)

So here’s the thing… for the longest time I wasn’t really a fan of The Acacia Strain.

I didn’t actively dislike them by any means – I could appreciate their brutish heaviness and understood why people liked them, no question – but they just didn’t do it for me.

But then the oddest thing started to happen. The more popular they got (and there’s no denying they’re pretty damn popular these days) the less populist they seemed to become.

And so I started to pay more attention (I think this was around the time they released Gravebloom, but I may be wrong). And as they began to spend less and less time “playing to the cheap seats” (for want of a better term) the more and more I liked what I was hearing.

Even then, they weren’t always a band I was running to check out on release day – you’ll notice that this is actually my first time writing about them at any length, although I originally intended to drop some words about Slow Decay back in 2020 – but one whom I still had a growing appreciation for all the same.

And now it’s time to put my proverbial money where my metaphorical mouth is and give their recently released double-album, Step Into the LightFailure Will Follow, some proper attention.

Continue reading »

May 172023

As you could quickly conclude if you searched our site for the words “Infernal Curse“, it’s always welcome news around here when this Argentinian black/death metal band surfaces with new music. The latest welcome news is that on June 23rd Infernal Curse will release their third album in a career that now spans 15 years. The name of the new one (a classic example of truth in advertising) is Revelations Beyond Insanity, and it will arrive via Iron Bonehead Productions.

If you haven’t yet explored this group’s evolving discography, it’s a hell of a trip. There are definite through-lines — bestial barbarity and barely controlled chaos among them — but the band have also moved in more mind-bending directions, using their undeniable savagery as a morphing vehicle for spawning blood-congealing hallucinations and visions of hideous grandeur. Continue reading »

May 172023

I first encountered the music of UKĆ in March of this year thanks to a prompt from Rennie Resmini in his most recent entry at starkweather’s SubStack. It concerned a single song named “Uchodząc” (“Fading Away”) from a then-forthcoming album and read as follows:

“I’ll be damned if the intro to the new track from Poland’s UkćUchodz​ą​c‘ isn’t distinctly BathoryHammerheart meets Swans – “Will We Survive”. Great track that melds this melodic edge and fierce black metal. Looking forward to how this new album shapes up. This is monumental, epic stuff quickly following on the heels of last year’s Przemijanie.”

I probably didn’t need to say anything more about “Uchodząc“, but of course I did. I wrote then: “In its remarkably varied sounds, you’ll find bone-rattling drumwork and spine-jolting riffage, as well as sensations of harrowing and scintillating grandeur complemented by horn-like and chime-like tones, plus striking vocal intensity (along with gloomy spoken words and some singing) — and a lilting acoustic melody that’s sublime.”

Having listened, I wanted to know about the lyrics.  Because they were in Polish, I resorted to Google Translate, which told me that the song was about a child’s yearning to live, to learn, to love, within a twisted reality that’s “blind, deaf, stupid, indifferent”, and brutally kicks hope in the face. Continue reading »

May 172023

photo by Carl Eek

(The Norwegian black metal band Tilintetgjort made quite an impressive full-length debut in late March of this year with their album In Death I Shall Arise on Dark Essence Records, and followed that the next month with a performance at Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo. It seemed like a good time for Karina Noctum to reach out to the band for an interview — which now follows.)

Tilintetgjort from Oslo bring a fresh approach to the scene by blending their own musical perspectives with the traditional Norwegian Black Metal sound in their solid debut album In Death I Shall Arise. In this interview they gave us we not only talk about their new album, but also get some insights into its recording and production at Chaka Khan Studio (Darkthrone, Nekromantheon).


What’s the meaning of the band’s name and why was it chosen?

Tilintetgjort is Norwegian for “Annihilated”, or literally “Made Into Nothing”. We felt it reflected our music very well, this concept of destruction, the way all things must end and die. Something has to disappear for something else to grow. Continue reading »

May 162023

(Andy Synn invites you all to experience the auditory horror of Morkera‘s new album, Aggravations)

Let me start by saying that Entangled Excavations, the debut album from Croatia’s Morkera was a truly nasty piece of work (in the best possible way), and although it didn’t make my Top Ten of 2022 it was most definitely one of my favourite new discoveries of the year, and the fact that I didn’t get chance to give it a full write up is still something I deeply regret.

But, lo and behold, I now have a chance to make up for this egregious omission because just last week the band released their second full-length – proving that there really is no rest for the wicked!

Continue reading »

May 162023

The “post death metal” band Pandrador hail from Poland but for their forthcoming second album Seiðr (set for release by Pagan Records on May 26th) they have again drawn inspiration from the heritage of Scandinavian culture. But anyone who guesses they’re about to hear “Viking metal” needs to think again.

The narrative of the album is very much a contemporary heroic poem, not a pedantic leafing through the pages of ancient histories and poems or musical paeans to the glories of Valhalla but a challenging examination of tradition that uses it as a jumping-off point into disturbed reflections about human culture as it now exists (worldwide) and what the future might bring (if we have one).

It’s worth spending a few more minutes about Seiðr‘s conception, because this is one of those albums where the thematic content and the music aren’t really separable. As the advance press describes it: “They complement each other, set the pace and mood for each other. The album spirals through a spectrum of emotions, from unbridled rage, through denial, painful understanding and powerlessness in the face of one’s own tragedy, to the final statement – ‘too late.'” Continue reading »

May 162023

Almost two years ago we encountered Duhkha, the debut EP by the Polish band Bezdech, summarily describing it as “a hair-raising and head-spinning alchemy of avant-garde black and death metal”, and then adding these words:

This Polish duo paint their disturbing but often electrifying sonic portraits with colors of mind-abrading dissonance, thoroughly unpredictable fretwork maneuvers, and rapidly veering tempos. But the music is just as likely to become cloaked in shrouds of haunting gloom or to dip into streams of soul-shaking misery as it is to spin like a centrifuge of technically impressive lunacy and riotous savagery. And holy shit, the vocals are stunningly rabid and possessed.

Since then Bezdech have expanded their line-up from a two-man studio project to a full four-man band, and have managed to get a few live gigs under their belts. They’ve also been working on new music for a debut album, but have decided to give the world a glimpse of what they’ve been working on via a demo named Tam, gdzie gnijemy pod pomnikami that we’re gratefully premiering today. Continue reading »

May 162023

(We have been devoted fans of Thy Catafalque for a very long time, and the band’s new album Alföld has only strengthened our ardor [see the review here]. And so today we are very happy to present Comrade Aleks‘ interview of Tamás Kátai in advance of the new album’s June 16 release by Season of Mist.)

Thy Catafalque celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It started as the duo of Tamás Kátai and János Juhász, who were highly enthusiastic towards black metal with an avant-garde edge, and it took just a bit before Thy Catafalque established their own unique blend formed by elements taken from different genres and sub-genres, from extreme metal to electronic and folk music.

Years passed, and the band turned into Tamás’ solo project, but he managed only to sharpen his skills and it seems that he never suffers from a lack of ideas. Alföld is Thy Catafalque’s forthcoming eleventh album. It’s still unique and unpredictable but you can already form an impression about its direction if you check Season of Mist’s Bandcamp and find there three new songs: “A csend hegyei”, “Testen túl”, and “N​é​ma vermek”.

Recorded in Budapest with a dozen guest vocalists and musicians, it turns out to be one of most exciting releases in the metal underground. Tamás reveals a few secrets behind Alföld and the project’s current status. Continue reading »