Jul 182012

The three songs on Cultfinder’s new EP fly by, but not like an exaltation of larks or even a murder of crows on the wing. Black Thrashing Terror flies by like a squadron of screaming Luciferian attack jets on a strafing run, spitting high-caliber ammo straight at your pathetic flesh.

Just seeing a piece of Mark Riddick artwork on the front, you could lay good odds that what lies within will take no prisoners, and you’d be right. The title track gives you a good head-fake at the start, crunching along ponderously like a death-doom golem, but then — true to the track’s name — Cultfinder begin to rip hell with a high-tempo whirlwind of distorted, punk-influenced, thrashy chords; hammering crashing percussion; and screeching, clawing vocals. There’s a reprise of that sludgy intro and then a spitfire finish.

“Archangel Burial” has its own little groaning-chord intro, and then the band let fly again, this time throwing in a wall of tremolo mayhem to spice up the rapid-riff pummeling.

And to finish off this brief offering of the devil’s music, “Witching Curse” gives you another good horse-whipping with a studded flail, pausing only long enough with a couple of doomy breakdowns and a moaning guitar solo to let you cry a little before the lacerating resumes. 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 »