Aug 232018
 

 

After three premieres today, we’re nearing the end of our normal posting hours, and I find myself with just enough time to quickly assemble a shorter-than-usual round-up. Tomorrow will probably be a fairly barren day around here, because I’m leaving home at about 4:15 a.m. to begin the journey to Sea-Tac airport, and from there to a top-secret location in Wyoming where I’ll be meeting with world leaders in a training session I call “How To Pull Your Head Out Of Your Ass Even If You Have the IQ of A Ground Squirrel, With Apologies to Ground Squirrels Everywhere.” I expect the event will be well-attended.

Despite the awfulness of my departure time from home tomorrow, I do hope to get at least something short completed to start the day before I sleep tonight, and I do have a review in hand from one of our contributors, and perhaps something else will show up unexpectedly.

EVOKEN

Six years is a long time to wait for a new album when the band in question is as immensely talented as Evoken, and a long six years it has been since Atra Mors. But this morning’s e-mail arrivals brought a press release announcing that on November 9th Profound Lore will release a new Evoken album named Hypnagogia. And as an added bonus, it features cover art by Adam Burke. Continue reading »

Apr 202018
 

 

(Andy Synn returns to his irregular series devoted to things that come in five’s, the focus of this one being metal album art.)

The phrase “never judge a book by its cover” was obviously uttered by someone who’d never found themselves stranded in a busy bookshop and frozen by indecision over which of the many, many options to spend their hard-earned cash on.

Of course while I agree with the sentiment in principle – style is no substitute for substance after all, and a shiny package is no guarantee of superior contents – the truth is that human beings are very visual creatures, and an eye-catching cover, one which hints at the themes and manifest delights contained within, can be the difference between finding a new reader and being consigned to the bottom of the bargain bin at the end of the month.

The same obviously applies when we’re talking about albums too. Yes, the move towards a primarily digital market has had an impact on the means and methodology behind how new albums are accessed and presented (though apparently physical sales have been rebounding quite a bit recently), but the importance of good album art still shouldn’t be understated. Continue reading »

Jan 212018
 


Robert Venosa: “Ayahuasca Dream”

 

(DGR has stepped into the round-up void left by our editor this past week and has produced a three-part collection of recent songs and videos. Parts 1 is here; Part 3 will be presented on Monday.)

 

Three weeks into January, and judging by the handful of massive Seen and Heard and Overflowing Streams posts we’ve had to put up, you could say that we’ve managed to the get ourselves into gear as our beloved musical genre has already offloaded numerous news bits upon us in the new year.

I, your ever-faithful servant, have also been doing my best to go along with my ragged fish net and catch everything that might’ve slipped by us — which in the case of this post dates back to last week and then some. Continue reading »

Jan 162018
 

 

We’ve arrived at the fifth installment of this rapidly expanding list of Most Infectious Songs released last year. As I did with yesterday’s edition, I had a kind of organizing theme in deciding to group the following three songs together. And the theme is perhaps better expressed through this famous visual than in words.

ANTIGAMA

We had the good fortune to premiere an eye-popping video created by Chariot of Black Moth for a head-wrecking, bombing-run of a track called “Now” off Antigama’s latest EP, Depressant, along with a review of the EP. Although “Now” isn’t the song I’ve added to the list, I did want to excerpt DGR’s review by way of introducing the track I did choose. Continue reading »

Feb 082017
 

 

(We present another edition of Andy Synn’s three-line reviews.)

Well, well, well… it looks like I’ve not done one of these since November.

Which I suppose isn’t too surprising, since most of December was dedicated to rounding up the previous twelve months in list form, as well as desperately scrambling to cover as many albums as possible before the end of the year, and most of last month was similarly focussed on catching up on some of the 2016 albums which we/you might have missed.

Thankfully I’m almost done looking backwards (yeah right) and am starting to switch my attention more and more towards new and upcoming albums from this, the year of our lord 2017.

So, in that spirit, here’s three albums of Death/Grind/Core goodness for you all to (hopefully) enjoy. Continue reading »

Jan 182017
 

 

I find myself at the middle of the week, drowning again in new songs and videos from forthcoming albums. As I made my way through my list of discoveries this morning, it dawned on me that an even dozen of them could be conveniently divided into three segments, with the songs in each segment bearing a relationship to each other — at least to my twisted mind. So that’s what I’ve done.

We already have a big slate of posts planned for today, so I’m going to salt these three parts among the others, and keep my own descriptive verbiage to a minimum.

BENIGHTED

The first item is a NSFW video for a song called “Reptilian” from Necrobreed, the new album by the French gore-grind terrorists in Benighted, due for release by Season of Mist on February 24, 2017. I have two pieces of advice for you: First, listen to the song without watching the video, at least for the first listen. Otherwise you’ll have trouble paying attention to the music. Second, don’t watch the video on a full stomach; it will disrupt your digestion. Continue reading »

Jan 202016
 

Black Dahlia Murder European Tour 2016

 

(Andy Synn reviews the performances of The Black Dahlia Murder and Benighted in Nottingham, England, on January 17, 2016.)

Sunday night did not quite go as planned for me this week. As I’m still a bit under the weather after my recent travels and travails in Central America, my original intention was just to have a quiet night in to rest and recharge my batteries. However, out of the blue I received an invite from my good friend Gary (of Bite Radius Designs fame) to come out and see his boys in Benighted supporting The Black Dahlia Murder. Originally I was going to demur, but after I received a message saying “you’re on the guest list”… well, it would have been rude not to go!

To be fair, although I’m a bigger fan of TBDM than I am of Benighted, I definitely enjoy both bands a hell of a lot and, in hindsight, I would probably have severely regretted not going if I’d wussed out and stayed home.

So this review goes out to Gary and Julien for getting me off my ass and out to the show. Much appreciated guys! Continue reading »

May 112014
 

(DGR brings you this collection of bonuses, because he loves you. Well, maybe not you in particular, but the idea of you.)

Don’t worry, I know ninety percent of the time whenever my name pops up it’s because I’ve got another long review written up, and believe me, I’ve got three of those in the works. I’ve found myself stricken with a bit of writer’s block at the moment, though, so I began to distract myself by starting this article that you see here, and since then have found myself expanding upon it more and more. Now I am generally interested in potentially digging up rarer tracks and doing a series on them.

One of the things that has always aggravated the completionist side of my mind has been the release of limited editions and the inclusion of bonus tracks. I know I’m not the only one, but when it comes to content I tend to be one of those people who absolutely devours it and I need every single piece of it when it comes to albums that I have enjoyed and loved over the years. Of course, this often means there are always one or two songs that I discover later, recorded around the same time and included on some odd Japanese or rare edition, and oftentimes those songs are also great. But a lot of people may not even be aware that those tunes exist.

So what I found myself doing recently was starting to record my thoughts on bonus tracks in my regular reviews of albums here. However, there have been occasions when I really wish I had gotten the chance to go more in depth with those songs, or wound up neglecting them for many a reason — the review copy didn’t have them, general forgetfulness, or just no way to add another paragraph to the already ridiculously long tome of a review I had written. However, I still had those thoughts half-recorded or germinating, and I figured I’d finally take the time to expand upon them and let people know about some of the recent extra songs they may have missed and whether they’re worth hunting down. Continue reading »

Feb 172014
 

(Our man BadWolf reviews the new album by Benighted.)

Extreme metal musicians traffic in abrasion. Part of the music’s appeal stems from its opposition to the traditional harmonies of western musical tradition (which persist well into popular music). I believe the downside to abrasive, dissonant sound is that, much like spicy food or drugs, the human brain builds up a tolerance to it. Metalheads can grow tired of what normal people would consider highly abrasive music (say, Arch Enemy) and move toward even ruder sounds (say, Pig Destroyer).

But there is one sound that even the most dissonance-starved metalheads often cannot stand: the high-pitched inhaled shriek. The pig squeal. The bree.

Perhaps I am an unconscionable addict. Consider me a fan of the bree. And my pusher man into pig land is vocalist Julien Truchan of French brutal death outfit Benighted, whose new album, Carnivore Sublime, has rarely left my earbuds this week. Truchan’s vocal talent is formidable in all areas—he growls deep, shouts loud, and does it all while enunciating better than many vocalists claiming English as a native tongue. He transitions between all of these styles with the fluidity of mercury suspended in a vial. Then again, so do lots of vocalists.

What Truchan can do like nobody else is bree. Whether they serve primary vocal duty, or accentuate some other style, his shriek pierces through all levels of noise. The man has elevated the mating cry of swine into art, in the way Mariah Carey did with her falsetto on her song “Emotions.”

Yes, I am suggesting that we call Truchan the Mariah Carey of death metal. Continue reading »

Feb 142014
 

This development is just so jaw-droppingly ridiculous that I felt compelled to report it. The following message appeared on Season of Mist’s Facebook page early this morning (Pacific Time):

“French death grind extremists BENIGHTED just had their Facebook account removed for displaying their new album cover. Everywhere else on this planet you can see that it depicts the breast of a woman. Maybe they should have shown an AK 47 instead as that seems to be more natural and acceptable. Let’s talk about blatant and ridiculous censorship, shall we… ?”

As you can see above, Season of Mist has changed its own Facebook banner to censor the image of Benighted’s new album cover (the title is Carnivore Sublime), apparently to preserve SoM’s own presence on Facebook (or at least to further drive home the point of that announcement quoted above).

Facebook hosts pages by porn stars. In fact, there’s a Facebook page called “pornstars” whose banner includes this photo: Continue reading »