Oct 282023

Autopsy – photo by Nancy Reifert

Prepare for… a lot of sentences that begin “Prepare for….”

It’s a little way for me to say very little about what you’ll hear but without me feeling like I’ve done nothing to induce listening or to thank the bands.

The shorthand is necessary because the past week produced so damn much music I’d like to recommend, and because I got lots of suggestions from other people, including my compadres Andy Synn and DGR. Their picks and mine, which produced a mix of bigger bands and more obscure bands, are arranged here in alphabetical order by band name.

Prepare for… lots of twists and turns…. Continue reading »

May 132023


Happy Saturday the 13th. The alternative title for today’s collection is Mental Scatter.

I think I mentioned in the recent past that I’ve been indulging sleep on the weekends to an unusual extent. This seems to work better on Friday nights than Saturday nights, possibly because I tend to drink more on Friday nights to put the work week behind me. Friday-night drinking is also a little reward to me for mostly staying away from alcohol during the work week for the last two months, trying to correct for what happened during the depths of the pandemic when booze became one of my best friends.

Something else has enhanced the bear-in-a-coma nature of the sleep-ins: I’ve started weight-training again, which used to be a best friend but got rudely shoved out the door by seclusion, alcohol, and general malaise during the pandemic. The downside is that now I hurt all over when I wake up. It’s easier to stay in bed when you know that you’ll feel crippled if you start trying to move in an upright position. Man, do I hurt this morning.

Now you know something about my state of mind in trying to decide what songs and videos to recommend this morning — fuzzy-headed, distracted by aches and pains, very tempted to crawl back under the covers even after 9 hours of hibernation. Which is one reason why I think of this collection as the product of Mental Scatter. The other reason is that it will probably scatter your own mind if you make your way through all of it. Continue reading »

May 042023

(Cattle Decapitation are about to serve up another platter of pain and Andy Synn is here with a gourmand’s take on what to expect)

Now, before we begin, I’m going to say something controversial.

You’re not going to want to hear it, but I think it’s important in order to establish a basis of trust and, hopefully, understanding between us.

Are you ready? Ok… Death Atlas was not as good as you think it was.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a good album overall, and I understand why it was the band’s big “breakthrough” (sure, their star had been on the rise ever since The Harvest Floor, if not before), but in hindsight it’s obvious – to me at least – that the band themselves weren’t quite sure what to do with their newfound fame, which led to at least a handful of tracks feeling as though they were being written more to fit someone else’s formula of what the band “should” be doing now that they were on the road to success.

But we’re not here to talk about their last record, we’re here to learn all about their new one, and the only real reason I mention it is because Terrasite is the album which Death Atlas was trying to be… without even trying.

Continue reading »

Feb 172023

Yet another big week for new metal. I have many things I want to recommend, but not enough time today to throw them all your way. So I’ll make a start now, with a sandwich made of some big names at top and bottom and stunning Theophonos in the middle, and continue on Saturday.


It’s kind of amazing that Cattle Decap have now been around long enough to release a tenth studio album, which is what will happen on May 12th when Metal Blade ushers Terrasite into a waiting world.

We have a linguistic preview of what’s coming, thanks to this statement by guitarist Josh Elmore: Continue reading »

Apr 072020


(In this new installment of a series devoted to metal drummers, Karina Noctum talked with David McGraw of Cattle Decapitation, and we join Karina in thanking David him for his time and attention.)

Cattle Decapitation is definitely one band that leads the way when it comes to extreme metal. Their blend of Death, Heavy, Grind, and Black Metal with a complex arrangement of progressive riffs and top-notch technique is something I have always admired. So I had to include David McGraw in my series as he is definitely one of the best drummers in the genre.

Due to the pandemic he is currently home and available for drumming coaching while he should be on tour. He took some time to answer my questions, something I’m pretty grateful for. What’s left for us in Europe is to hope their superb tour together with Disentomb, Internal Bleeding, and Gloom will be re-scheduled, but things look certainly gloomy grim here when it comes to shows in the foreseeable future. Continue reading »

Apr 032020


We begin another mega-roundup today to assist you in enduring your shut-in time, with a second installment planned for Saturday. Long on music and short on words, it’s arranged alphabetically by band name. We have A-F today, and F through W tomorrow, unless an X, Y, or Z band surfaces between now and then.

Lots of old friends in this Part I, and some new names, a scattering of both big names and obscure ones, as well as a mix of genres. Almost everything here surfaced in the last few days. This time I added some artwork thumbnails, but don’t get used to that. It takes time I usually don’t have when I compile these monster collections.

ALKYMIST (Denmark)

Ugly, sludgy riffing that moans and groans… methodical drum pounding… grotesque, gritty growls and terrifying howls… a meaty bass line combined with eerie ringing notes… flares of evil braying chords rising up like a death anthem and descending like a plague gouging its way into the body… and then the guitar begins to pulse and the drums begin to hammer and rock… and things get fairly demented and frightening near the end before a final bout of gouging, groaning, and pounding. Really, the whole song is evil…. Continue reading »

Jan 202020


Welcome to Part 11 of our Most Infectious Song list. If you’re just joining us, you can see the preceding installments by following this link. The themes of today’s two selections are rage and violence. Given that, it might be an overstatement to call them “catchy”, but they’re both addictive as well as cathartic.


Things seem to have calmed down since Andy Synn‘s review of Cattle Decap‘s latest album stirred up an on-line hornet’s nest among the band’s fanatically devoted followers, or at least among those who didn’t bother to read the full review (or maybe any of it). Some people apparently overlooked such sentiments as these: Continue reading »

Nov 202019


(Andy Synn authored this review of the eagerly anticipated new album by Cattle Decapitation, which is set for release on November 29 by Metal Blade Records.)

As every amateur gambler knows, you never quit when you’re on a hot streak.

As every real gambler knows, however, hot streaks are an illusion, and it’s only the utterly naïve, or the foolhardy, who like to think that lady luck has, for some reason, taken a special interest in them.

Californian crushers Cattle Decapitation have been on their own little hot streak ever since 2009’s The Harvest Floor, with both the breakthrough/breakout release of Monolith of Inhumanity and it’s arguably even better follow-up, The Anthropocene Extinction, earning them a guaranteed place on pretty much every End of the Year list that mattered.

But what goes up must, inevitably, come down, and every bubble has to burst sometime.

So the question is, can Death Atlas continue the band’s winning ways, or is it time to cash out? Continue reading »

Sep 072019


I’m always reluctant to do what I’m doing in this post, i.e., just inserting videos and song streams without any commentary.  Trying to describe music I want to recommend, and to explain why I’m recommending it, is a continuing challenge, but I must admit it’s also fun for me (and cathartic to get my feelings about the music  off my chest). Unfortunately for me, if not for you, I don’t have time for that today. Still, I think there might be some value in the filtering/selection-process itself, and in alerting people to things they might have overlooked on their own.

Even though I’m keeping quiet, I hope you’ll feel free to share your own reactions in the Comments. And with that, here we go… Continue reading »

Dec 132018


(DGR continues a week-long effort to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA, with two more write-ups today. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)


Dysmorphic – An Illusive Progress

It honestly looked a little shaky for French tech-death band Dysmorphic. Some may remember way back in ye olden days of 2013 I actually reviewed the group’s first release via Unique Leader, A Notion of Causality, at this here very web site. In the five years since, the band have gone through periods of relative radio silence and some serious lineup changes, with a new drummer and guitarist, and also including the return of a vocalist who had left the band prior to that first release.

Late November would finally see the realization of all that effort, when five years after A Notion Of Causality, Dysmorphic were able to put out their sophomore followup in the form of An Illusive Progress, a more focused, vicious, and blue-and-green-hued album than their previous release and one that sees them bringing themselves very much in-line with many of their fellow tech-death compatriots with ten tracks of head-spinning tech-death…and one intro. Continue reading »