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 »

Feb 102014

Happy putrid Monday to one and all. I have a nice little slaughtering playlist for you. All the songs are new, all of them are from forthcoming albums, all of them are very good.


This first item is such a pleasant surprise. It comes from an Athens, Georgia, melodic death metal band named Woccon, whose 2013 release The Wither Fields I enjoyed immensely. Those of you who have dutifully waded through my ongoing list of 2013’s “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs” will remember their name, because I included a song from that album (“Our Ashes”) on the list near the end of January (here). Over the weekend I discovered, thanks to a post at DECIBEL’s site, that Woccon will have a debut album named Solace In Decay coming our way this spring.

DECIBEL premiered one of the new songs, a track entitled “Giving Up the Ghost”. It’s something of a departure from the sounds I remember from The Wither Fields — less overtly doom-oriented and more progressively inclined — yet still quite impressive. It begins with a cosmic introduction and ends with a piano melody, and in between you’ll find a contrasting blend of spiraling, reverberant guitar melodies and heavy, blasting thunder. The dark, melodic doom of the band’s previous work is not gone altogether, but the song is a spreading of wings by a group whose talents should take them far. Continue reading »

Jan 132014

Since the weekend began I caught up with a flood of hair-raising new songs and found so many worth recommending that I’ve collected them in two posts, this one being the second of the day (the first is here). I probably should have divided them into 4 or 5 posts, but since the unofficial motto of this site seems to be “long-winded”, why bother? New music from six bands is gathered here. The common theme of the music is… high-speed brutality!


This French death metal band will be releasing their seventh album, Carnivore Sublime, in North America on February 18 via Season of Mist. Last week they debuted one of the new songs in music video form. Its name is “Experience Your Flesh”. It depicts the kind of classroom daydream where the roles of tormentor and tormented are reversed — but it’s a gore-splattered kind of fantasy, one that befits the song itself.

And the song itself is a blast furnace of brutal death metal, with bone-cracking/gut-slicing riffs, high-velocity percussion, and a high-low tandem of guttural roars and hair-on-fire shrieks. The phrase “takes no prisoners” comes to mind. Continue reading »

Feb 072012

We didn’t review Asylum Cave, the 2011 Season of Mist album by France’s Benighted. Nevertheless, it was one of the most blistering death/grind albums of last year. Today, we got a reminder of that when the band released their official video for “Let the Blood Spill Between My Teeth” — which is such a vividly descriptive title not only for this particular song, but also for what happens to most people when they hear it.

It is for songs such as this that we keep close at hand the patented NCS rawhide chew, which allows us to listen comfortably without biting through our tongues.

Such a great song. It unexpectedly moves from fast to blazing, and then back to merely fast, like a speed-shifting, coked-to-the-eyes Formula One driver with a behemoth engine behind him and an open road in front . Within the great blur of this tightly controlled but utterly bestial song, the band even manage to spin out an unexpectedly melodic passage, and stomp their whirlwind delivery with gut-shaking grooves that make it stand out even more.

I confess that I’m not entirely sure what’s happening in the parts of the well-made video that don’t involve the band whipping up a whirlwind of sound, except it seems to involve blood and a death (but what else did you expect?). If you don’t have a good rawhide chew handy, proceed with caution, but do check out the video after the jump. Continue reading »

Jan 012011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Did you see what we did?  We had to change the logo for this edition of SICKNESS.  Because 2010 is behind us, and the new year lies ahead.

We spent the last 30 days, as we’ve been doing for the last year, collecting news blurbs and press releases about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like, or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we’ve cut and pasted the announcements and compiled them in alphabetical order.

All of our previous monthly updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages, and because we’re not keeping a cumulative list, you might want to check the last couple months of these posts if you want to get a full picture of what’s coming. The list that follows, in alphabetical order, are albums we didn’t know about at the time of our last installment when November ended, or updated info about albums we’d previously heard were on the way. And be forewarned: This is a really long list. There’s a massive slag of new metal coming our way, and man, does it look hot.

So, without further ado, let’s get started. See if there’s anything on the list that makes you moist, or tumescent, or just generally slobbery.

ABORTED: “Good news is that we are starting pre-productions for our upcoming record on January 4th. This means we will demo all the songs for the record, make sure everything sounds good and make the necessary adjustments to make sure they are all more lethal than a chainsaw in Mr. Leatherface’s hands. We’re all very excited about the material thus far and can’t wait to get this over with and proceed to the actual recordings later this year. Expect a fall 2011 release through our culprates in mayhem Century Media.”

AGNOSTIC FRONT: “The Godfathers of New York Hardcore, Agnostic Front, have just finished recording their highly anticipated follow up to their 2007 release, Warriors. The yet to be titled album features 13 new powerful and anthemic songs laid down by Erik Rutan (Madball, Goatwhore, Cannibal Corpse) at his Mana Recording Studio in Tampa, FL under the watchful guide of producer Freddy Cricien of Madball. The record was mastered by Alan Douches (Nile, Mastodon) and will be released in Europe of March 4, 2011 and in North America on March 22, 2011.”

(the list continues after the jump . . .)

Continue reading »