Nov 212023

(Some things in life are worth waiting for, and Andy Synn says that includes the new Cruciamentum)

Common consensus would tell you that 2023 has been a great year for Death Metal, and I… disagree.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not been a “bad” year, by any means, but I’ve found – and I know this will be controversial – that a lot of the so-called “great” albums of the year have been hugely overhyped, and I’m honestly worried that we’re right on the edge (if not already over it) of total oversaturation.

And while that might sound appealing to some, it seems to me that with more and more bands churning out these largely interchangeable slabs of slavishly retro-riffs and second-hand songwriting there’s becoming less and less that actually distinguishes them from one another with each passing month.

But, even so, there have still been some major bright spots here and there – albums have burned that little bit brighter, stood that little bit taller, and been that little bit bolder – and one of them, as you’re about to discover, is the new record from Cruciamentum.

Continue reading »

Nov 042017


I have a big bulging list of new music I’d like to recommend, but rather than try to stitch them all together, which would probably take all day, I just picked one new EP and two singles. As usual, the selection of these three bands off the list was pretty random. But as usual, I like the music a lot and I wanted to provide some variety, and as you’ll discover, there sure as hell is some variety here.


I wrote no fewer than four posts about Cruciamentum’s 2015 debut album Charnel Passages, including one in which I picked a song from the album called “Piety Carved From Flesh” for my list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Cruciamentum have now returned with a new EP called Paradise Envenomed, which was released digitally via Bandcamp and other platforms (and on 7″ vinyl by Profound Lore) just two days ago. Continue reading »

Jan 092016

Sarpanitum-Blessed Be My Brothers


Welcome to Part 12 of our continuing list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. To see the other songs I’ve named to the list so far, click this link.

The albums that were the source of today’s two additions were death metal favorites among readers of our site, and I’m a fan of both of them as well. I decided to group them together because one or both of them seemed to appear just about everywhere I looked in perusing year-end lists at other sites and print zines, and because both bands come from the UK and have names that end in TUM.


I wondered whether Sarpanitum’s new album Blessed Be My Brothers would be remembered on year-end lists, given that the album was released way back in February. As noted above, that proved to be a needless concern: the album seems to have appeared everywhere, even on the YE lists of those “big platform” sites whose lists I half-jokingly include in our LISTMANIA series. In this case, all the accolades have been well-deserved — it’s a fantastic album. Continue reading »

Aug 262015

Aevangelist-Enthrall To The Void Of Bliss


I haven’t been able to pull together a round-up of news and new music in five days, and you know what that means: I’ve got a backlog that’s so big I’ll never catch up. But instead of just uttering a big sigh and looking ahead instead of behind, I decided I should at least pick some of what interested me out of the last five days’ discoveries (in the hope that they will interest you, too).

The entries in this first part of a two-part post are almost all news items — and they include a ton of great cover art — but since this feature is called Seen and HEARD, I’ve tacked on one new song at the end that you can stream right here. Part 2 will be all music.


This interests me greatly: Through 20 Buck Spin, Ævangelist will release their fourth album on October 9 in the U.S. and October 23 in Europe. A vinyl edition is projected for December. The name of the album is Enthrall To the Void of Bliss. I have to find out who created the cover art, because it’s very good. (UPDATE: I’ve learned that the wonderful art was created by Stephen Wilson [FB page here], and more of his work will appear in the digipak of this album.) Continue reading »

Jul 072015

Cruciamentum-Charnel Passages


I’m once again drowning in new metal. I waited more than one day to collect new music, and the tide rose up to my eyebrows. Gasping, I flailed around and randomly latched on to the following new tracks from among those I wanted to recommend. I’ll compile a second collection and post it later today.


Charnel Passages is an album I’ve really been looking forward to. It’s the debut album of Britain’s Cruciamentum and their first new music since 2011. Pity that Profound Lore won’t be releasing it until September 4. But yesterday they did release a song called “Piety Carved From Flesh”.

When I first saw the song’s title, my scrambled brain read it as “Piety Carved From Flies” — and it does sound like a swarm of flies, if flies were the size of Great Danes. The drilling riffs are thoroughly morbid, giving off a powerful stench of decay as the grisly melody rises and falls through the whirring haze of sound. The song is punctuated with booming grooves, it features an excellent drum performance, and the vocalist’s howling tirades are a perfect accompaniment for this gruesome offering of death metal illness. Continue reading »

Jun 152015


About a week ago I explained that I was leaving Seattle for Texas, where I’d be buried in chores for my fucking day job for the next two weeks. It turned out that the first week wasn’t too bad, and things around the site were pretty much par for the course. But beginning today and continuing through Friday I really am going to have to bear down, day and night, and my blog time is going to be cut to the bone.

For my last hurrah before running the gauntlet, I’ve collected some new and newly discovered music that I hope you’ll check out, plus one new piece of album art and related news.


The mammoth Valdur from Mammoth Lakes, California, have a new album on the way entitled Pathetic Scum. Today the band released a sample from one of the new songs, named “Blessings of the Goat”. It’s a massive, grisly, gruesome death metal monster, with a thoroughly morbid and diseased atmosphere. Continue reading »

Feb 142012

Love is grand and all that, but you still need to keep your priorities straight.

Women need to keep their priorities straight, too. More about that after the jump.

Here we are, with another highly commercialized holiday, the principle object of which is to get you to show your love by spending money. And of course, nothing says “love” like spending money, and nothing measures the depth of your love more accurately than the amount of money you spend.

Being tolerant, being willing to sacrifice to the needs of someone else, shutting your yap and listening for a change, biting down on your temper when you’d selfishly like to have a good explosion, admiring and appreciating the person you’re closest to, remembering how much life would probably suck if you were alone again (and showing it) — that’s all shit. Buying gifts is where it’s at.

Apart from giving retailers yet another excuse to sell you their wares, Valentine’s Day has lots of other pluses and minuses. In the minus column, instead of providing an excuse for being more than usually romantic, it can become a brutal downer if you’re alone, especially if you’re still hurting from the pain of a recent break-up (or even an old one that just won’t leave your memories alone).

So your buddy Islander has some advice for you lonely hearts out there. In fact, I’m taking this occasion to answer some of the many e-mails I receive from people seeking advice in matters of the heart. Continue reading »