Mar 122016

Arkhe-Fergeteg Hava


It has been a crazy week for new metal. Even if I had posted round-ups every day, I still would have fallen behind — or to be more accurate, more behind. Yet for various reasons, I couldn’t do that. So here I am, sitting on an enormous number of new songs and announcements that I want to throw out there. What I’ve decided to do is collect just four of the most recent ones in this post, and then tomorrow I’m going to surrender and do a link dump for a lot of the rest.


When KevinP linked me to this next video, he described the song as “Spacey prog Rock/metal from the bassist/vocalist of Sear Bliss“. The mention of Hungary’s Sear Bliss was more than enough inducement, and now that I’ve heard the song I’d probably add “goth”, “doom”, and “electronica” to Kevin‘s string of adjectives. And lest some of you think the song is too close to pop at the beginning, András Nagy does break out the growls and snarls before the song ends, in addition to his vaulting clean vocal melodies. Continue reading »

May 092014

I’m in a tug of war with my fucking day job, but I pulled it into the slop long enough to throw together this small collection of nasty new songs and a video. Now it’s my turn to get pulled into the slop — see you on Saturday when we will have… something… probably something covered in slop.


As previously reported, Vancouver’s Auroch have a new album named Taman Shud that will be released on June 24 by Profound Lore, with vinyl coming via Dark Descent. I’ve been very high on this band based on their past efforts, and the new song that debuted yesterday is a strong sign that Taman Shud will be a worthy successor. “Noxious Plume” is the name of this ode to all things poisonous and wantonly destructive. Continue reading »

Apr 212014

Swimming through the effluent of the interhole this morning I came upon these life rafts that buoyed my spirits. May they make you buoyant as well.


Last November I reported the happy news that Vancouver’s Auroch had signed with Profound Lore, for the release of the band’s next album during 2014 (that same report was merely the prelude to a review of the band’s killer 2013 EP Seven Veils, which you should hear if you haven’t). And now we have the album’s name — Taiman Shud — and the cover art by Cold Poison, which you can see above and which is damned cool — cold, grim, and undoubtedly fitting for what I expect will be an immense and forbidding death metal release.

The official release date was also announced:  June 24, 2014. A vinyl edition will be coming in July via Dark Descent.

And in other Auroch news, it was announced that Tridoid Records will be releasing the band’s previous album From Forgotten Worlds on vinyl this coming August. Continue reading »

Nov 202013

This is really just another “Seen and Heard” post, but something about this collection of things I noticed over the last 24 hours put the image of “wreckage” in my mind. You’ll see why. And all of the items concern 2014 releases.


I saw that Hellthrasher Productions is going to release a 7″ split by two Vancouver wrecking machines who are favorites of this site, Mitochondrion and Auroch. It is described “a conceptual song divided in two halves, with one title and one set of lyrics”, and it’s expected in early 2014. Both of these bands are at work on new full-length albums for Profound Lore, which will be on our highly-anticipated list for next year — and so will this split. Artwork and further details will be forthcoming.


This next item consists of relatively recent updates that I just noticed concerning the titanic black/death entity from Switzerland known as Bölzer. First, they will have a new three-song EP entitled Soma released by Invictus Productions in 2014 (and yes, that also goes on our highly-anticipated list of 2014 releases). This is expected to be a fitting complement to the band’s stunning 2013 EP, Aura. Second, they will be performing at next year’s Maryland Deathfest. And third, the band’s 2012 demo Roman Acupuncture, which was originally released on hard-to-find tape, is going to be issued on vinyl next year by Iron Bonehead Productions. Continue reading »

Nov 032013

This is a review of a forthcoming 7″ EP by Vancouver’s Auroch, but it happens to coincide with a piece of significant news announced yesterday, so we’ll start with that: After making a particularly striking impression with their 2012 album From Forgotten Worlds, Auroch have now signed with Profound Lore, who will be releasing the band’s next album during 2014. Recording is expected to begin in February. Congratulations are in order, both for the band and for the label. That album goes on our highly anticipated list for the new year.

Now, back to the new EP. The name is Seven Veils and it includes two songs — the title track and a b-side called “Coronation”, which is a re-titled and re-recorded version of a much earlier demo track.

“Seven Veils” is a rip-roaring, no-holds-barred onslaught of blackened death metal, with meat-tenderizing drum blasts and a maelstrom of ravaging guitar and bass distortion. The blast-furnace effect of the music is regularly punctuated by brief moments of separation, sometimes no longer than one big twang of a bass string or a few morbid arpeggio notes. The music finds its groove here and there, but its mainly a fascinating over-the-top frenzy. The vocals are also completely unhinged, ranging from boiling-in-oil shrieking to the rapid-fire barking of what sounds like a really big mastiff. When you listen, your first impulse may be to duck and cover. Continue reading »

Aug 062012

Here are some thoughts, one of which is well-established and the rest of which are just assertions based mainly on my own observations:

–  Across all genres of music, CD sales have declined drastically over the last decade (well-proven)

–  Production and sale of vinyl records are on the rise, at least in the world of metal

–  Album art (as opposed, for example, to photos of the artists) is more prevalent in metal than in any other genre of music

–  Being able to get a big physical piece of artwork is part of the reason why vinyl metal is on the rise

–  At least among metalheads, album art is still important, and is a significant part of what attracts listeners to new music, even when listeners are only buying digital downloads instead of physical formats

–  A band doesn’t need the financial backing of a label to get a cool piece of artwork for their album covers; just as there are a lot of talented but broke bands hungry to get their music spread around (and not expecting a big payday from it), there are a lot of talented artists trying to do the same thing

I really do think it’s undeniable that album art is a vital part of metal culture. How much it has to do with a band’s success in selling/distributing their music I really don’t know — maybe I just hope it’s true, because I love metal album art and I want it to continue. But my guess is that bands who neglect the importance of album art are hampering their success in attracting listeners, building their own identity/”mystique”, and amassing a fan following. Continue reading »

Jul 072012

I apologize to all of our faithful readers. I usually put our first-of-the-day posts to bed the night before, so that I can sleep like a disgusting sloth with mouth open and drool oozing like alien slime while people in some time zones even earlier than mine read what I wrote the night before.

BUT, tonight there’s a catch to those best-laid plans: I’m too fucked up to write much on this Friday night, but I still intend to sleep like someone in cryosleep a century from now on their way to Alpha Centauri.

Which means I just have a few quick pieces of metal, some news that involves free music, and very few other words. And with luck, my wife won’t wake up in the night and decide the time has finally come to string me up by my ankles and bathe in my gore, and I’ll be able to correspond with you again on the morrow. And if there are no more posts on Saturday besides this one, you’ll know my luck ran out.


Not long ago we featured the dark, eye-catching artwork for the new album by Vancouver’s Auroch. Today (or from the perspective of you as you read this, yesterday), they or their label chose to premier a track on Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, which as far as I can tell didn’t even give them their own unique post, instead including their track in a player that begins with Testament. Who am I to question such decisions? Continue reading »

Jun 222012

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. I suppose people in our community have as varied a set of tastes in artwork as the rest of society at large, but when it comes to album art in particular, we’re off in a world unto ourselves. What we find “beautiful” in album art tends to fall on the ugly side of things. I think that’s because we look for album art that represents the dissonant, frequently voracious, often bleak sound of the music.

But even within the realm of extreme metal album art, there’s good and bad. Today I came across a collection of new artwork for forthcoming albums that I’d put on the good end of the scale . . . plus some works in progress by a well-known metal artist for album covers that are in the making.

The first example is the one you see above. It’s the just-disclosed artwork for the next album by long-running Swedish death metal band Grave, who happen to be one of my perennial favorites. The next album will be their 10th and is titled Endless Procession of Souls. It’s due for release in Europe on August 27 by Century Media. The artwork is by Costin Chioreanu, who also created the art for Grave’s last two albums. If you know anything about Grave’s music, you’ll appreciate how perfectly appropriate this creation is for their style of music. Beautiful. Continue reading »