Sep 192015

Grave-Out of Respect For the Dead


It’s a rare Saturday morning here on my metallic island. My head isn’t hammering and my stomach isn’t heaving. I managed to resist the usual Friday night temptation to celebrate the end of the work week by destroying myself. The feeling is so unusual that I decided to get my head hammered and my stomach heaved this morning with some metal instead of a night of strong drinking. Here’s what I found:


For me, it’s hard to think of a better way to start a weekend of listening than with a new song by Grave, especially when it comes from an album adorned with the artwork of Costin Chioreanu. The album is Out of Respect For the Dead, scheduled for release by Century Media on October 16, and the new song (presented through a lyric video) is “Mass Grave Mass”. Continue reading »

Sep 092014

Here are a few random metal items I spotted yesterday and this morning that I thought were worth sharing.


It’s been a fine year for Greek black metal, and it’s about to get finer with the release of Untrodden Corridors of Hades by Varathron.

Varathron have been a force in the Greek underground scene (and in black metal generally) since the late 80s, but their last album came out in 2009 (Stygian Forces of Scorn), and that was at a point when yours truly hadn’t waded deep enough into black metal waters to become aware of them. I do know of them now, and based on what I’ve heard, this is an album that goes on the “highly anticipated” list.

Also, the album’s cover art is a very fine piece of work by the almighty Mark Riddick — and unlike his usual pen-and-ink work, this one is an acrylic painting. This isn’t the first piece of art Riddick has created for Varathron — but the last one was in 1994! Continue reading »

May 062013

(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the debut album by a Romanian band named Decease.)

Death-thrash is one of those sub-sub genres of metal I will be eternally in love with. The rancid, putrid vocals, the scorching riffs that mix thrash’s precision and technicality with death metal’s heft and skin-flaying speed, the non-stop assault of an old-fashioned thrash beat (or skank beat, as Suffocation call it), I’m just all bout’ it. I ran across the video for Decease’s single off their debut Exhort to Obliterate called “Atrocious Deeds”, and my ears were immediately hooked. After Islander shared that video in a round-up, the band was kind enough to hook us up with the album.

I’m glad they did. Decease have a lot going for them. Influences can be heard from early Kreator, early Sepultura, and Exhorder. The resulting sound is a blitzkrieg of surgical precision, raw intensity (balls to the wall, as it were), and a paradoxical sense of reckless abandon. The band is a three-piece, consisting of guitarist/vocalist Radu Vulpe, bassist Catalin Vulpe, and drummer George Alb.

The rusty-blade attack of the production, combined with the zealot-like attack of the riffs and unrelenting assault of the rhythm section, all topped off by Radu’s Chaos A.D.-era Sepultura death grunts, should send you into a whiplash-inducing trance. I would certainly hope so, considering we do usually favor the obscenely brutal and intense around here. Continue reading »

May 032013

Here’s what I’ve been watching and listening to this morning.


Seventh Swamphony, the next album from Finland’s Kalmah, is set for release by Spinefarm on June 14 in Finland and Europe, June 17 in the UK, and June 18 in the U.S. About a month ago we spread the word about the album’s first single, “Windlake Tale” (here), and today the band released an official video for the album’s title track. The video seems to be a cautionary tale about the perils of burying waste in Finnish swamps, with interspersed film of the swamplords in their element (musically and geographically).

The song is a racing romp of invigorating, Finnish-style melodic death metal, or perhaps I should say “Kalmah style”, because it does sound like the Kalmah of old.

The editing on the video makes the music sound even faster than it is. You’ll see what I mean . . . Continue reading »