Jan 302019


I may have made a mistake with this 17th installment of my expanding list of infectious songs — not in the choice of the two tracks, because I do find them damned infectious, but in the decisions to pair them in a single place instead of dispersing them among different Parts of the list. Because, as you’ll see, they seem like fraternal twins — closely related though not monozygotic (there, maybe some of you just discovered a new word). The two tracks do share a parent (Mick Kenney), which may have something to do with the sonic kinship.

By the way, we’re now 42 tracks into this list, and based on past experience we’re more than halfway through. I will continue doing this through the impending end of this month and at least a couple weeks into February. If you’re one of those ornery types who thinks the list is already excessive, that’s tough, because I don’t care and you can’t stop me. If you want to check out the preceding 40 songs, they’re collected here.


My pal DGR was a big backer of this band (and I do mean BIG) from the moment when he first heard of its existence (“a band made just for me”). Born To Murder The World was started by Shane Embury (Napalm Death, Brujeria, etc.) and the afore-mentioned Mick Kenney (Anaal Nathrakh/Mistress), joined by vocalist Duncan Wilkins (Fukpig, Mistress), and their debut output, The Infinite Mirror Of Millennial Narcissism (ouch!) was released last August. Continue reading »

Jan 032019


(Here’s the fourth installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. The concluding Top 10 will appear tomorrow.)

A confession: For a long time the only words in this whole writeup prior to me breaking the whole thing into five parts and actually listing the bands was just a whole bunch of swear words. Even though I’ve been doing this for nine years now I still will occasionally try things I learned in writing classes over the years or even some things I’ve read about since then. Stream-of-consciousness writing is one of those, but the only thing I’ve learned from doing that in the context of talking about albums of the year is that I’ve assembled a pretty neat collection of permutations of the word ‘fuck’ that I’ve gathered from popular culture over the years.

It was at this point that I began going back through our review archives so that I could even remember what came out this year. Metal-Archives is also a tremendous help in that regard, since I often can’t remember what I talked about in January unless I’ve listened to it since then. It’s also one of my favorite things to do because I get to have a laugh at how far back I have to go in the segment tagged ‘Reviews’ on the site. I know that we’ve missed more than a few albums, but as it stands now,  our first review of something from 2018 is about forty pages back. And there can be anywhere between five to fifteen albums per page of results — depending on how we grouped them for each article.

I know that’s just reflective of the ‘relentless march of hashtag content’ that the internet has become, but it still makes me smile. If I ever need a reminder that heavy metal is — somehow, despite all the odds and all the editorials about rock music dying — a lively as all hell genre, that’s enough for me. I guess there will always be room for cathartic release via loud instruments, or the various experimentations outside of the tradional music sphere to which this genre loans itself. Continue reading »

Sep 242018


(This is DGR’s typically detailed review of the new tenth album by Anaal Nathrakh, which will be released by Metal Blade on September 28th.)

It’s pretty safe to say at this point in the career of Anaal Nathrakh that the group have developed a steady formula and groove that is instantly recognizable as their music whenever you hear it, making them one of the easiest groups in the world to pick out of a playlist. You could even say that they really established that sound about four albums ago and since then have been slowly iterating upon it, offering up interesting new twists and deviations, but preserving the overall hallmark of “everything at once, at 110% volume, and as fast as we can make it go”.

As far as the group’s newest album, A New Kind of Horror, is concerned, absolutely nothing on that front has changed. In fact, it may be the most recognizably Anaal Nathrakh disc to date, and that comes after the paint-peeling, screeching madness that was The Whole Of The Law and the bruiser that was Desideratum as the most immediate examples. On the other hand, at this point, with the band having explored so many different avenues for extremity and having cranked up every single element of their sound to the maximum (including electronics, as evidenced on Desideratum), we find A New Kind of Horror in an interesting place — because it is an album that very much pushes against the boundaries of what defines an Anaal Nathrakh disc, more so than its predecessors.

And so half the interest in the tale of A New Kind of Horror lies in just how the group have chosen to differentiate it from its predecessors, and how they’ve done that while keeping up the absolutely relentless clip that they’ve had before. Continue reading »

Aug 162018


Here we are, four whole days into the week without a round-up, which of course means there’s a whole hell of a lot to round up. So, we’ll have a two-parter today, along with a couple more premieres.


Well, of course I’m going to lead with Hate Eternal‘s new track, because of course I’m not going to squander the opportunity to put another Eliran Kantor masterpiece up at the top of our page. In fact, I’m going to do it again after the jump, this time with the album title and logo in place: Continue reading »

Jul 192018


Well, my fine fiends, yesterday was a very interesting day (and no, I’m not talking about the bizarro-world mind-fuck of American politics at its zenith of gob-smacking grotesquery). I’m talking about the flood of new metal, at least one wave of which proved to be crashingly controversial, and I’ll get to that.

Damned hard to figure out what to shovel into this round-up, which is a big reason why it’s so voluminous, but really not voluminous enough even though it comes in multiple parts today. As usual, I just let my mind percolate a bit, and trusted that whatever twisted thing lurks within it would make the right choices.


I have a tendency to organize these posts in order from bigger names to lesser names, and sometimes because my subconscious mentation perceives a certain pleasing flow from one to the next, but this time I’m starting with a song by Uniform because last night it pounced on me like a wolf appearing in Aisle 9 in the grocery store — about that surprising, and about that effective in triggering a fight or flight response. The video is a mind-fuck too. Continue reading »

Jan 022017


And so it begins. Just as we’re approaching the end of most segments of our LISTMANIA 2016 series, we’re starting another segment — and it’s the only one for which your humble editor is personally responsible. I don’t have the decisionmaking capacity to make my own list of best albums and, as you’ll discover, I’m only barely more capable of making the list that begins today.

Once again, I’m starting the rollout of our Most Infectious Song list without having finished it — which means I don’t know how long it will be or when it will end. As in past years, I’m making it up as I go along. I’ll do my best to post 2 or 3 songs every day until I arbitrarily decide to stop, though my goal is to finish by the end of January.

If you think that’s a ridiculously inept way to make a list, you might consider that between the list of candidates I sporadically made for myself as 2016 rolled on, plus the lists provided (here) by our readers, and by my NCS colleagues, I have a master list that includes more than 900 songs. It’s a mix of big names and very obscure ones from across virtually every metal sub-genre you can think of. Continue reading »

Oct 272016

Anaal Nathrakh-The Whole of the Law


(DGR reviews the new album by the UK’s Anaal Nathrakh, which will be released by Metal Blade on October 28.)

Few bands out there these days have weaponized music like Anaal Nathrakh has. The long-running project now has an immense collection of albums in its discography — all of which are some combination of abrasive noise, destructive instrumentation, and annihilation on the lyrical front.

Anaal Nathrakh are a band whose very formation is based around the idea of being as noisy as possible. If heavy metal is to be treated as a form of catharsis, then the aims of Nathrakh are to be the ultimate form of that in rage. For all of this talk of destruction, however, there are the occasional signs of where this anger comes from (considering this is a band that doesn’t provide lyrics to its albums and even then could probably save ink doing so since half of its vocal lines seem to lack consonants), which has been largely driven by a disgust with humanity and where the species is headed. Continue reading »

Aug 182016

Darkthrone-Arctic Thunder


This harried compiler of new music is especially harried today. I’m in the middle of a quick trip to Denver with not much free time on my hands. But the last 24 hours have brought so many good new songs that I want to throw them your way even at the cost of not getting to spill as many words about them as I would like.

And I’m concluding this collection with a somewhat older song debut that I’ve only just discovered.


As we previously reported within an hour of the announcement, Norway’s Darkthrone will be releasing a new album entitled Arctic Thunder (named for an old Norwegian band of the same name). Based on comments by Fenriz about the album, as well as its cover art, I speculated that we might be on the verge of an enticing return to the sound of the band’s earlier days. Well, now we have more than speculation to go on, because at 11:00 Eastern time here in the U.S., Darkthrone debuted a song from the album — the name of which is “Tundra Leech“. Continue reading »

May 262015


(DGR prepared this review of a show in Sacramento, California on May 11, 2015.)

I’ve often joked about my living in Sacramento as being an unfortunate situation and something of a curse. Sacramento, which could easily be described as a pretend big city and the world’s largest cow town, often within the same breath, is a city that up until the past three years or so would rarely get many touring acts rolling through town. Most of the time, those tours would hit the big cities (you know, the ones they actually care enough to include on a map of California because stuff happens there, unlike us, who get preferential treatment because we are the capitol) and then quickly jet away from the desolate wastelands of this state.

The local scene has always been vibrant but even now, with a whole bunch of venues in town and multiple concerts that likely would have NEVER rolled through before those venues came to Sacramento, I still find myself surprised. Sometimes, the stars align and we even manage to pull off something incredibly insane — like Anaal Nathrakh coming to podunk-ass Sacramento and playing in a venue the size of a large kitchen. Continue reading »

May 252015


Alas, our revels now are ended. Maryland Deathfest XIII is over and in the history books, and it was an amazing experience. I’ve got to pack up and vacate my hotel room soon, and I don’t have nearly enough time at the moment to say everything I want to say. For now, I’ll show you some photos I took from the first three performances I saw yesterday (the last day of the festival), with a few words about each of those first bands I saw on Sunday. More pics and words will come in the next few days.



 I arrived late to the Edison Lot and missed the first four bands of the day, but caught all of Primordial’s set — which floored me. Alan Averill is an amazingly intense and charismatic front man, and his voice is an instrument of incredible power and passion. In the category of clean vocals, he probably took the prize for the fest, though ICS Vortex performing with Arcturus the night before was a very close second. Continue reading »