Aug 052021


We’ve enjoyed watching the relentless forward progress of the Canadian death metal band Dead Soul Alliance, from the first self-titled demo in 2011 to the 2013 EP Proud To Die (reviewed here) and the 2017 EP Slaves to the Apocalypse (reviewed here), and now we have the band’s debut album, Behind the Scenes, which is set for a September 3 release by Bitter Loss Records.

From the beginning, the band has been the creative vehicle for vocalist and multi-instrumentalist W.D. On this new album he’s joined by drummer E.H., and together they’ve created a ravishing experience that revels in both the brutality and the eeriness of old school death metal, while displaying the kind of dynamic songcraft and attention to evocative melody that makes the songs memorable.

We have a great example of these qualities in the track we’re premiering today, a multi-faceted experience that presents an amalgam of rampant ruthlessness, berserker madness, and stirring melody. Continue reading »

Mar 252017


This is the second part of a collection of short reviews that I began earlier today (here). The idea was to focus on new EP-length releases I had recently discovered and enjoyed, though the ones addressed below are substantial — all of them in the 24-to-26-minute range.


The first release in this collection (III) is the final part of a trilogy of EPs by the Russian trio Cage of Creation. It was released on March 4th. I became enamored of it almost immediately, from the first ringing, scratchy notes, the burly bass line, and the dark chant in the opening track, “Act IX”. Continue reading »

Apr 122014

I did say that I intended to post three editions of MISCELLANY on three successive days, but yesterday kind of got away from me. So, with an unplanned hiatus day, here’s the third installment.

Once again, here’s how the MISCELLANY game works: I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard, usually focusing on under-the-radar groups whose names I’ve never heard before either. The selection process is random; for these three editions of the series, I tended to focus on bands who’ve written us recently. I try to limit my listening to a song or two and then write my impressions, while streaming what I heard so you can form your own opinions. I don’t know in advance whether I’ll like the music, so there’s an element of surprise involved (good or bad). For this listening session I once again investigated the music of three bands.


Dim Aura are based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Earlier this year they self-released a debut album entitled The Negation of Existence (though they’re searching for a label to facilitate wider distribution). The band have put four of the album’s eight tracks on Bandcamp. I started with the first one, “Scarred Flesh Supremacy”, but I’ll just tell you up-front that I really cheated on the MISCELLANY rules and wound up running right through all four songs. They’re all good and they don’t all sound the same. Continue reading »