Jan 012019
 

 

(Here’s the second installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music.)

This segment has some interesting patterns in it. The grindcore power hour makes its appearance here, as I’m a sucker for a whole lot of high-speed songwriting over blasting drums, and there’s still some spill-over from the veterans who remained fairly consistent (which you’ll note, defined a lot of part one). As we reach the bottom of the list you’ll start to see some new faces, stunning debuts and incredible full-lengths, and from here the list only gets more and more wild.

As of this writing I’m not sure how to describe the next few segments, but you’ll note that the albums tend to get a little bit more heartfelt, vicious, and a whole lot more passionate as we get further and further into this list. If anything I’d say the immediate thing I’m noting is that the high-twenties of this affair fully sell me out as having had a giant tech-death party. But right now, let us enjoy this current batch of madness as we bounce around from the worlds of grind, to high speed death metal, to a pleasant prog-death and sludge metal break, only to finally close things out with a tremendous crushing of skulls. Continue reading »

Jul 262018
 

 

(DGR delivered a tome of reviews so massive that we decided to serialize it throughout the week so as to avoid fracturing your spine beneath its weight. This is the 4th and final part of the series.)

On occasion we find ourselves backlogged with albums that we want to write about but seem never able to find the time to do so. Sometimes this results in multiple review ideas getting tossed and never revisited, and at other times you get posts like this one as we deseperately try to hammer out a whole bunch of reviews about EVERYTHING that we’ve been listening to.

In this case that means 13 different releases, unsorted by genre and from all varying walks of all things heavy. So, with the floodgates now fully open, let us wade further forth into the rushing waters of heavy metal to recommend some stuff that perhaps might have flown by you.

Jack Ketch – Ashes Of Vesuvius

You may have caught it in the opening of my Light This City review, but a lot of bands who’ve been silent for the better part of a decade have decided that 2018 would be a good time to come back. Maybe it’s just the general sense that the world is on fire right now, but a bunch of groups are now putting stuff out as if they’ll never get another chance to do so. Among the increasing number that are returning to us are two local Sacramento acts, one of which released a new album I reviewed yesterday (Journal) and the other of which is Jack Ketch, whose new EP The Ashes Of Vesuvius is a stunning turn of events from the band’s previous material. Continue reading »

Jan 082018
 

 

In an effort to catch up with new music that appeared last week (or in some cases that I only discovered last week), I’ve resorted to a two-part OVERFLOWING STREAMS post. And for those who haven’t noticed the format of these posts, they’re a form of personal surrender to the flood of new music. I enjoy writing thoughts about what I want to recommend, but in posts such as this one I just let the music speak for itself because there’s so much to recommend that I don’t have time to blurt out my own reactions.

In Part 1 (here), I collected some newly discovered splits. This one is devoted mainly to new advance tracks, some of which just premiered today, with a few full-album or EP streams in the mix. Continue reading »

Nov 202017
 

 

We have some history with the Dutch death metal band Apophys, whose line-up includes a lot of talented musicians with impressive resumes, including members of God Dethroned and Toxocara. We published no fewer than six posts surrounding the 2015 release of their debut album Prime Incursion, including an interview and a track premiere. Now they have a new album coming out, a sci-fi concept record named Devoratis, which will be released on January 22 by Ultimate Massacre Productions.

On Halloween Day, Apophys released the new album’s first single, “Retaliate“, and today we’re helping to premiere the second one — “Deadlock” — which arrives via a play-through video that features some blazing fretwork by the band’s two guitarists, Sanne van Dijk and Dave Meester. Continue reading »

Nov 012017
 

 

Halloween, and the few days leading up to it, always seem to be a hot time for the release of new metal, for obvious reasons I suppose. This year’s Halloween season sure as hell proved to be busy for hapless metal bloggers like me who were trying to keep up with all the new stuff rushing out into the world. Because I had a lot of premieres to write yesterday (which in themselves added to that Halloween torrent of new metal), I didn’t have time to compile a Halloween round-up. So I’m doing it today instead.

Now, you may well think this is ridiculous, but I have 17 new songs and videos to recommend. A few of them are 7-10 days old, but the rest were all released on the last couple days of October. Rather than trying to boil that list down to the size of an average SEEN AND HEARD post, I just decided, fuck it, I’ll throw ’em all at you.

Because there are so many, I alphabetized everything by band name, beginning with Apophis and ending with Watain, and divided the list into three parts. I’m going to post them as fast as I can get them ready to go. And because there are so many, I’m resorting to a tactic I’ve used occasionally in the past: Although I may dribble a few words here and there, I’m mainly presenting everything with just basic release info and no reviews. Here we go:

APOPHYS

We have some history with this band, whose line-up includes a lot of talented Dutch musicians with impressive resumes — I wrote no fewer than six posts surrounding the 2015 release by Metal Blade of their debut album Prime Incursion, including an interview and a track premiere. Now they have a new album coming out, and on Halloween they released the first single, “Retaliate“. Continue reading »

Jul 272015
 

Mgła artwork

 

I spent most of this weekend catching up on new music (and making a few discoveries of older music, too). I compiled one round-up on Saturday, another one devoted to black metal yesterday, and that still wasn’t enough. So I’ve collected more new music or videos from five other bands in this post. Contrary to appearances, I do have a life — but it wasn’t devoted to much else besides metal since Friday.

MGŁA

Yesterday brought a most welcome announcement that I wasn’t expecting: The fantastic Polish black metal band Mgła has completed the recording of a new third full-length album named Exercises In Futility, and it will be released in the late Summer of this year on the Northern Heritage and No Solace labels. It includes six tracks and 42 minutes of music — and yesterday one of those tracks became available for listening. Continue reading »

Mar 282015
 

 

I’m back at the NCS compound in the vicinity of Seattle after a month away from home, and it sure as hell was good to sleep in my own bed again last night, with the lice who know me instead of the strange ones inhabiting my hotel room mattress. I’d say they’ll miss me, but I probably brought a few of them home with me as hitchhikers.

Well, enough about me and my parasites. I found some videos that came out yesterday that I thought were cool. Without further ado, here they are, presented in alphabetical order; there’s also an exciting tour announcement in here:

APOPHYS

A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of premiering a song named “Miscreants” by the Dutch death metal band Apophys (whose ranks include members of God Dethroned, Prostitute Disfigurement, Detonation, and Toxocara, among others). Their debut album Prime Incursion will be discharged by Metal Blade next month. And what I spied yesterday was the premiere on Gear Gods of a play-through video for another new song named “The Antidote”. According to the band,

“The song tells a story of humanity’s ultimate cure for itself, a final solution as people start to transform into beings that are focused on nothing other than consumption. This gives it a twist one could see relevant to our current society. Eventually the urge to consume backfires resulting in humanity consuming itself and thus, providing the answer to the final problem; us.” Continue reading »

Mar 122015
 

 

This is a song made especially for you, and you know that because the name of the song is “Miscreants”.

It comes from an album entitled Prime Incursion by the Dutch band Apophys, an album soon to be released by Metal Blade that we’ve been eagerly awaiting since first learning that it was in the works, our eagerness only magnified by the interview we did with the band’s vocalist Kevin Quilligan earlier this year (and yes, we’re mentioning that because we think you should read it).

As for the song, you will enjoy “Miscreants” even if you’re not convinced that it was named for you. The pummeling begins immediately with a phalanx of hammering riffs that seem dedicated to pounding you into the ground like a nail driven through wood, and the start-stop jackhammering doesn’t stop. The music is a ticket straight to headbang city, but that’s not all it is. Continue reading »

Feb 102015
 

 

Yesterday delivered a bonanza of new metal discoveries, so many that I’m resorting to minimizing my own verbiage in order to roll out everything I found in one post without turning it into War and Peace. I realize this will strike many of you as a tragedy of near-mythic proportions, but I do not wish to dim the reputation of Tolstoy, him being dead and all, and unable to restore competitive balance with a sequel.

UNLEASHED

Yesterday Nuclear Blast announced that this spring it will release the 12th studio album of Sweden’s Unleashed. The title is Dawn of the Nine and it features cover art by the talented Pär Olofsson. There’s a story behind the artwork, as recounted by founding member, bassist, and vocalist Johnny Hedlund:

“The artwork represents the continuation of our previous album, which ended with ‘The Great Battle of Odalheim.’ The battle took place at Uppsala Fields in Sweden, and you can clearly see the king’s grave in the cover art work which also represents the future. You can also see the bombed out church in the far distance, the place of blood in the front, and the rune stone with the runic symbol of courage of the new dawn.” Continue reading »

Jan 072015
 

 

I first discovered the Dutch band Apophys last June through a video about a visit by the band’s vocalist Kevin Quilligan to phoniatrician Enrico Di Lorenzo (who also happens to be the frontman of Rome’s Hideous Divinity) for a vocal assessment. That very interesting video (a short version of which is here) led me to search out music, and I found the band’s blast-furnace four-song 2013 promo (and frothed at the mouth over it in this post).

At the time I wrote that post in June, the band were working on a debut album — and then last month brought the surprising news that Metal Blade Records had signed Apophys and would be releasing that debut full-length to the masses. Continue reading »