Jul 302018


The unparalleled Finnish black metal band Archgoat are returning with their first album since 2015’s The Apocalyptic Triumphator, and their fourth full-length overall since the band’s formation in 1989. The name of the new one is The Luciferian Crown, and it will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on September 14th. In late June we premiered one track from the new album (“Messiah of Pigs”), and now we present another one through a lyric video: “The Obsidian Flame (From My Depths)“.

Bands such as this one are rarities — bands who have lived for nearly three decades but made no compromises despite the clamor and clawing of thousands of other bands trying to find their own hand-holds on the ever-shifting edifice of heavy music, dislodged by changes in trends or simply weakened by the passage of time. We watch the decline of dedication in other groups, or the burning out of their creativity as age seems to choke the oxygen from once-bright fires. But Archgoat seems immune to the ravages of time. Continue reading »

Jun 292018


In a musical landscape overgrown with black metal bands and sprouting new ones every week, Archgoat has remained distinctive. For those of us who have become devoted to the genre and have spent time becoming familiar with how the music began and how it has evolved over the many passing years, the name Archgoat brings to mind such adjectives as “primitive”, “hellish”, “intimidating”, “violent”, and perhaps above all else, “uncompromising”. Others have followed in their cloven-hooved footsteps, but although often imitated, it’s fair to say that in the particular way they’ve chosen to create blasphemous black metal, they haven’t been equaled.

Last September, Debemur Morti Productions released a two-song Archgoat 7″ EP amed Eternal Damnation Of Christ (which is available on Bandcamp here), created entirely by Ritual Butcherer, which powerfully presented differing manifestations of chilling cruelty and delirium. It was described as a prelude to a new full-length coming in 2018, the band’s first since 2015’s The Apocalyptic Triumphator, and now we have concrete details about that new album — the name of which is The Luciferian Crown — as well as a song from the new album that we’re helping premiere today through a lyric video: “Messiah of Pigs“. Continue reading »

Aug 222017


Greetings from western Wyoming. I’m two days late posting this column. I intentionally delayed it from Sunday to Monday because it seemed to make more sense to post this installment on the day of the total eclipse here in the U.S. — a time when actual shades of black would become manifest as the totality approached, and a moment when we could greet a black sun edged with the brilliance of the corona as night triumphed over day.

But I obviously didn’t get that done. After finishing yesterday’s three premieres, I ran out of time before the approach of the black sun beckoned.

I originally chose new music from seven bands for this week’s feature, but with the delay I’ve added two more new discoveries, in addition to one news item, which leads off this column. The new music is organized in alphabetical order by the name of the bands — and because of its length I’ve divided this into two parts. Because I’ll be making my way back to Seattle today, I might not get Part 2 posted until tomorrow.


Yesterday Oration Records and Studio Emissary announced the first group of bands for next year’s edition of the Oration fest in Reykjavík, Iceland, which will take place on March 7-9, 2018, at the Gamla Bíó venue. As you can see from the flyer above, the bands announced yesterday are as follows: Continue reading »

Feb 182015

photo by Duffi-Graffie


(Wil Cifer interviews Ritual Butcherer, guitarist, composer, and co-founder of Finland’s Archgoat, whose new album The Apocalyptic Triumphator is one of 2015’s high points so far.)

Your new album The Apocalyptic Triumphator has really set the bar high for metal coming out in 2015. One of the most impressive things about Archgoat is the fact that despite being incredibly heavy, you guys pull this off and still write good songs instead of placing all the focus on the heavy element. What do you attribute this to?

Our whole composing process is guitar-riff orientated and everything builds around the guitar parts. If the guitar riff is good and in company of 4-5 equally good riffs, it is then easy to add tempos with the drums to keep things interesting, but if the guitar part is weak or mediocre the drumming or vocals will not help the situation. We have in the two last recordings really wanted to get a heavy and thick sound because it just works with our hymns. And the drop tuning we use adds even more beef to the whole barrage of sound.


How has the songwriting process changed for you guys over the years?

In the beginning we all participated equally in hymn writing, but I have been taking more and more responsibility than in previous years and now have alone composed all the music from Heavenly Vulva as for The Apocalyptic Triumphator. It is, though, irrelevant who of the members does what, as the band is a band, and not for personal glory but for the glorifying of Lucifer. Continue reading »

Jan 132015


(We bring you the premiere of a full-album stream of the new work by the primordial Finnish horde Archgoat, preceded by Will Cifer’s introductory review.)

This album is another argument in favor of the dominance of European black metal. This Finnish band have been spreading the unholy word since the church-burning second wave of black metal in the early nineties. They have left a trail of splits and EPs in their wake, but this is only the band’s third full-length… so it’s kind of a big deal.

Archgoat combine the more classic metal sounds of early black metal with elements of a more grime-coated flavor of death metal than an entity like Mortuary Drape does, even though the two bands circle a similar sonic landscape. Archgoat’s strength is in mid-paced and even crawling tempos, and the mood of the music is often shrouded in a heavy cloak of doom. Continue reading »

Dec 172014


Twenty-five years on since their spawning in some Finnish hell pit, Archgoat are as bestial, as primordial, as blasphemous and unrepentant as ever. The proof is in their new album, The Apocalyptic Triumphator, from which we bring you the premiere of a barbaric new song: “Congregation of Circumcised“.

For a band whose roots in the underground go back a quarter-century, they have recorded only two other full-length albums, 2006’s Whore of Bethlehem and 2009’s The Light-Devouring Darkness. (their last EP, reviewed here, was Heavenly Vulva (Christ’s Last Rites) in 2011.) This was due in part to the band’s decision to become dormant for almost 11 years, submerging in 1993 and resurfacing in 2004. But if their releases have been few and far between, every one of them has made a mark. The new one may be the best yet.

As you’ll hear on this new song if you’re unfamiliar with the band, Archgoat have a distinctive and relatively unusual sound for a black metal group. Their strength is in mid-paced and even crawling tempos, and the mood of the music is often shrouded in a heavy cloak of doom. Angelslayer vomits forth his lyrics in deep, noxious croaks and grunts. Sinisterror’s drumming rarely reaches pyrotechnic levels of speed.  Their brand of ferocity shares almost as much DNA with death metal as with black. Continue reading »

Nov 052014

In today’s posts we’ve thrown quite a lot of new music your way, but we’re still not quite done. There are a couple more songs I want to recommend that I discovered over the last 24 hours, plus some news items that perked my interest. We’ll start with those and then move to the songs.


Through Space and Grind is the name of a 2015 North American tour whose roster is full of eye-catching names: Napalm Death, Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Reagan, and Black Crown Initiate. The tour begins on January 27 in Miami and runs through February 28 in Houston.

The following bands will also join the tour on selected dates:  Ringworm, Dayglo Abortions, Theories, and Phobia. Here’s the full schedule: Continue reading »

Oct 172014


Here are a few items that caught my eye over the last 24 hours, partly because of the artwork, but in some cases also because of the accompanying news.


I’m going to put Hate in front of Behemoth for a change.

Thanks to a tip from Andy Synn I saw the announcement from earlier today by Poland’s Hate that they will be releasing a new album named Crusade: Zero on January 15, 2015, via Napalm Records. As usual, the album was recorded and mixed at Hertz Studio with the Wieslawski Brothers. Continue reading »

Oct 132011

We get our fair share of e-mails every day from record label representatives and PR folks. The most intriguing ones are those offering promo’s of new albums for review purposes, especially albums from bands whose music I don’t know anything about. I wish I had time to download and listen to everything that comes our way, but I don’t. So I can’t help but be influenced by what the e-mails say about the music, and how they say it. There’s an art to doing it well.

Some of the most effective pitches we get come from Earsplit PR, an outfit run by Liz Ciavarella-Brenner and Dave Brenner. They represent an extraordinary range of metal bands and labels, and they seem to have a chameleon-like ability to adapt their prose to each band’s music. Liz, in particular, seems to have my number, maybe because the e-mails I get from her trend more toward the very nasty end of the metal spectrum that I like best (and yes, I know she’s not writing these messages for me alone, though sometimes it seems that way). Now, I don’t know who wrote this message I got yesterday, because this one wasn’t specifically signed by Liz or Dave, but shit . . . you have to read this:

“ARCHGOAT’s new mini-album Heavenly Vulva (Christ’s Last Rites) goes straight for the throat of the self-proclaimed messiah and his wretched mother. Featuring six trademark God-slaying tracks torn directly from the Virgin’s violated womb, this brand new EP is gloriously crude, divinely tumultuous and deliciously deviant, as we have come to expect from the filthy, fearless Finn black crusaders. Defiled, invasive unsanctified black/death delivered in a corrupt, vile and demonic fashion, these anti-epiphanies embed themselves in the sacred flesh, spilling blood from the demised dog’s quivering body, funeral bells chiming as paradise is ransacked and the deceptive lie of centuries is exposed. Pounding, ripping, gurgling and mocking, the truth reveals itself. Blood-soaked, battered and humiliated, the deposed former denizens of Heaven cower in a corner. A frantic, blasphemous onslaught on the blind, deluded fraud-worshippers and knee-bending whoremongers who follow the path of the Liar!
The band is not available for interviews.”

(more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »