Jul 222016

AMSG-Hostis Universi Generis


It’s safe to say that black metal is reaching more listeners than ever before. It’s also safe to say that what people understand by the term “black metal” is more varied than it has ever been — to the point that it’s no longer a terribly useful genre term. It has morphed into a signpost that marks the entrance to a sprawling city with many diverse communities (whose inhabitants don’t always want to have anything to do with their neighbors). So when I say that Hostis Universi Generis is one of the best, most intense, and most powerful black metal albums of the year, that requires some further explanation — perhaps especially for people who couldn’t get into this band’s debut album.

The animating philosophies behind A.M.S.G.’s music don’t appear to have changed significantly since 2013’s Anti-Cosmic Tyranny. The band still worship death. They still view the cosmos in its current incarnation as a failed experiment and yearn for its end, including all life within it; the new album’s title translates roughly to “the enemy of all”. And as their name (Ad Majorem Satanae Gloriam) signifies, they still offer their devotion to the greater glory of Satan.

But although the band’s inspirations and objectives may have remained fundamentally the same, the music has changed in important ways. Hostis Universi Generis is not simply a step ahead; it’s more like a giant leap forward. Even for those listeners who recoiled at Anti-Cosmic Tyranny, it’s time to put those memories aside and explore this new album with fresh ears. Continue reading »

Jan 182015

I’m feeling kind of under the weather, thanks for asking. And by “under the weather”, I mean that I got shit-faced last night in Houston, went to bed really late, woke up less than four hours later — hungover as fuck — in order to make a flight back to Seattle, and am now sitting on that airplane gamely fighting waves of nausea with the outcome still too close to call. How’s it going with you?

Apart from not exactly being at the top of my game, I’m also impaired by my inability to easily stream music on this airplane wi-fi, so I haven’t been able to listen to anything new since the plane took off, but in addition to some news items I do have a couple of videos and a song in here that I saw and heard yesterday before getting shit-faced.

Also, I’m thinking about ordering a copy of that book up there. Do you think it would help me the next time I get in my current situation? Continue reading »

Jul 032013

(A review of Anti-Cosmic Tyranny, the debut album by A.S.M.G. from Edmonton, Canada, scheduled for release by Profound Lore on August 20, 2013.)

A dark aura surrounds A.M.S.G. even before you make your way into the band’s music. “A.M.S.G.” stands for Ad Majorem Satanae Gloriam, which means “for the greater glory of Satan”. The band calls its music “Holocaustik Canadian Terrorist Black Metal” and “Black Magik Terrorism”. The striking artwork (or at least part of it) for the band’s forthcoming album Anti-Cosmic Tyranny resembles (and perhaps it is) the Qliphoth, alternately known in the Hermetic Qabalah and Kabbalistic mysticism as the Tree of Knowledge or the Tree of Death.

And then there’s AngelFukk Witchhammer, formerly of Canadian black metal bands Ouroboros and Rites Of Thy Degringolade, as well as a member of Gloria Diaboli. He does everything for A.M.S.G. except play drums. He wrote Anti-Cosmic Tyranny while serving a term in prison (not his first) for charges related to possession and sale of guns and drugs, an enterprise used to finance band activities. In his words, “We were building black metal on crime.” He is out of prison now, but no less serious about his dedication to Luciferian philosophies and steadfast opposition to the “cosmic tyranny” of religion in all of its forms.

Anti-Cosmic Tyranny is uncompromising, too, but maybe not in the way you would assume from what I’ve just written. For a genre of music born in an ethos of rebellion and resistance, black metal in the hands of many bands ironically has become calcified and orthodox. But Anti-Cosmic Tyranny lives and breathes the principle of “Do what thou wilt”. It follows its own unique path, and musically, it’s a thoroughly unpredictable mind-fuck. Continue reading »

Jun 212013

This is a round-up of carefully selected items I saw and heard yesterday while prowling through the filthy chambers of the interhole. As usual, I’ve made an effort to include a variety of metal, so you don’t get too comfortable. Comfortable isn’t what we aim for around here.


Criminal Element is a band that until yesterday had completely slipped beneath my cracked radar screen. I learned about them from my NCS compadres TheMadIsraeli and DGR. They came into existence in the vicinity of 2005, and at the time of their first EP (Career Criminal), the line-up boasted two members from Suffocation (Derek Boyer and Terrance Hobbs) and one from Dying Fetus (Vince Matthews, and when the band first began Sparky Voyles from Dying Fetus was also on board)).

In the current incarnation of Criminal Element, Boyer, Hobbs, and Matthews are joined by Darin Morris from Misery Index (at one point Adam Jarvis and Mark Kloeppel from Misery Index were also part of this project). With a line-up like that, you can understand why I paid attention when I learned that Criminal Element released a new album (Modus Operandi) in April. Continue reading »

May 202013

I concede that I may get more excited about metal on a daily basis than most fans because my tastes are perhaps more wide-ranging than average. The diversity of metal is one of its great attractions to me, and so today I’ve gotten excited about the three items in this post that are dramatically different from each other. As the French say, Vive la différence.

This post includes two new songs (one captured on video) and one new video for a song released earlier this year. The bands are A.M.S.G. (Canada), Dreamshade (Switzerland), and Mendel (The Netherlands).


A.M.S.G. (“Ad Majorem Satanae Gloriam”) are a “Holocaustik Canadian Terrorist Black Metal” band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. If you couldn’t guess already, they are not your friend.

The mastermind behind A.S.M.G. is Angelfukk Witchhammer, a member of Gloria Diaboli as well as the now-defunct Rites Of Thy Degringolade and Ouroboros, and the band also includes drummer Kaos Abhorrer. I happened upon them last fall and reviewed (here) their 2010 EP, The Principle Of Evil Becomes The Ideal Of The Promethean, which I liked a lot. Continue reading »

Oct 312012

“Halloween” is a contraction (first used in the 16th century by the Scots) of “All Hallow’s Evening”. It’s the night before a Christian feast day (Nov 1) known as All Hallows or All Saints. How a Christian tradition got wrapped up in ghouls and goblins and spirits of the dead is a long story. But at least a big part of the story is that, like many Christian holidays, this one was intertwined with (and piggy-backed on) a far older pagan celebration known as Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in).

“Samhain” comes from the Old Irish word for “summer’s end”, and in the medieval Gaelic calendar it marked the end of the harvest season and the coming of winter. According to The Font of All Human Knowledge, “In much of the Gaelic world, bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them. Some of these rituals hint that they may once have involved human sacrifice.” It was “seen as a time when the ‘door’ to the Otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings such as fairies, to come into our world.”

There’s a metric fuckton of metal that would be appropriate to play in commemoration of Samhain tonight, but I thought I’d go with some quite diverse black metal that I heard for the first time over the last 24 hours. The bands are Satanic BloodSpraying (Bolivia), Vomitchapel (U.S.), and Profound Lore’s latest signing,  A.M.S.G. (Canada), and this post includes two EP reviews, so settle in.


I’ve not been able to find much information about this Bolivian band beyond the fact that Hells Headbangers released their debut album At the Mercy of Satan in July of this year. It’s an 8-song, 24-minute barrage of vicious, swarming riffs, relentless drumbeats, and vocal blood spray. The music is mangling but also imminently headbang-worthy. Continue reading »