Jul 112023

It’s not as if Seattle-based Cystic are complete unknowns. Anyone who’s heard the progression from their 2018 demo The Last Days through their two 2020 EPs Sworn Enemy of Life and Incineration Rites will remember their name. But their forthcoming debut album Palace of Shadows is still a big step forward, and the fact that the respected Mexican label Chaos Records is releasing it is a big flashing sign of that, before you even hear a note.

It’s no wonder they attracted that alliance. Cystic have tapped into old black veins of particularly grisly and gruesome death metal, but the blood they’ve drawn feels bursting with (horrid) life. They’ve proven a precocious and monstrous mastery of the kind of death metal that’s hideous and horrific, dank and dismal, and altogether thrilling. In listening you can almost imagine the stench of gangrene and rot, and also envision the rapid scything of illness through swaths of helpless humans and the ravenous ripping and tearing of demon hordes — and who doesn’t want that?

We’re sure happy to have it, and also happy that you don’t have to take our word for why the record is so strong — because we now have a second single to bring you today, the fitting name of which is “Pestilential Throne“. But for those who might have missed it, let’s begin with the first single from the album, “Core of the Maelström“. Continue reading »

Jun 172023

The plan as of yesterday was three round-ups in a row, and now I’m two-thirds of the way to success. The way things are looking now, I feel good about the odds of finishing a third one in tomorrow’s Shades of Black collection. Don’t place any bets, however, because there’s a party in my future tonight and possibly a hangover in my future tomorrow morning, but at least there’s no sign of my fucking day job bringing out the whip.

ALKALOID (Germany)

As a rule, news doesn’t get published here unless there’s music to go along with it. But like the rule in our site’s title, we do make occasional exceptions. This is one of those times.

Yes, I’m sorry we don’t yet have any new music from Alkaloid to share, just that album art you’ve been staring at up there — but hell, that’s worth an exception isn’t it? Continue reading »