Mar 252019


With each new release, I’ve become increasingly transfixed by the music of Sacramento-based Defecrator. That’s saying something, given that I was knocked down pretty hard by their very first recording, the 2015 demo Tales of Defecration (reviewed here). But they’ve moved from strength to further strength, through their 2016 EP Satanic Martydom (reviewed here) to the three songs on their 2017 split with Ritual Genocide (reviewed here).

At last, Defecrator will be releasing a debut album. Entitled Abortion of Humanity, it will be released on March 29th through Drakkar Productions, and the early signs are that Defecrator have continued to advance their sound, moving deeper into dimensions of their music which add a sense of terrifying grandeur to the merciless destructive power of their black/death onslaughts. We have one of those early signs for you today, a new track named “Confronting Choronzon“. Continue reading »

Jan 062019


I got a slow start on the day yesterday, and by the time I got my head in gear it was too late to put together a post of new music. So I decided to focus on what I might recommend today.

I listened a lot to things I’d spotted over the last week or two, focusing mainly on advance tracks from forthcoming releases, and found so much I enjoyed that I’ve had to split this SHADES OF BLACK installment into two parts. Look for the other one later today.


If North Carolina’s Mo’ynoq still aren’t on your radar screen, it’s time you put them there, dead center. Their debut album, Dreaming In A Dead Language, is coming out on January 11th. I premiered a song from it called “The Collector” last month, and now there’s a second one I can share with you, which premiered at Antihero on Friday. Continue reading »

Nov 272017


The year is supposed to be barreling toward the end, with a deep breath and a gasping look backward, but it’s obvious that the life pulse of metal takes no breaks. If you spend too much time reflecting on the last 11 months, you will inevitably miss a lot in the 5 weeks yet to come. I’m going to have to take that break, but not quite yet.

I intended to post this particular collection yesterday in its usual Sunday spot, but couldn’t finish it before departing for some Thanksgiving weekend festivities with friends. Since then it has grown a bit, but could have become much longer.


Yesterday the brilliant Austrian black metal band Abigor announced that their new album, Höllenzwang – Chronicles of Perdition, has been sent off to the pressing plant. They made clear that the release will not be preceded by “any fancy youtube video, tons of merch or other promotion campaigns”. But the band did provide a few insights into the music, as well as a stream of song excerpts, which I’ve included below. Continue reading »

Nov 052016



I thought about taking today off and not posting anything. I’m more than usually worn out after three days on the east coast working, and then dragging my weary ass through the door of my home at midnight last night. I also have plans to resurrect my “THAT’S METAL!” column tomorrow after a year hiatus, and those take some time to put together.

But rather than just bail on the site altogether, I decided to try to spread the word about some good new discoveries and just not write quite as much about them as I usually do. For that, I apologize to the bands and to those of you who find something worthwhile about the words in addition to the music streams in these round-ups. For those who just routinely jump straight to the players, you’re missing nothing.

I made these particular picks in the way I often do, i.e., pretty randomly but with an eye toward creating musical diversity in the playlist; as you’ll discover, there’s ever greater-than-usual diversity today. I also wanted to focus mainly on relatively DIY bands who I suspect aren’t yet very well known even in underground circles.


On another Saturday one month ago I included in one of these round-ups the 2015 debut demo by a Sacramento-area band named Defecrator, along with a review that made comparisons to such groups as Mitochondrion and Auroch. On October 31, Defecrator released a new 7″ EP (via Our Ancient Future) named Satanic Martyrdom, and it expands on the promise of that first demo. Continue reading »

Sep 032016



Yesterday, to end the work week, I picked new (or newish) songs from five bands to recommend out of a much bigger group of new stuff I thought was good. To celebrate Saturn’s Day, I’ve picked four more from that original group and added one older EP that I finally got around to checking out.


Formed back in 2007 and naming themselves after the Russian city of the same name, KYPCK (pronounced “kursk”) are Finnish but led by a vocalist (Erkki Seppänen) who is fluent in Russian and sings in that language. His bandmates include two former members of Sentenced: guitarists Sami Lopakka (who uses a six-string guitar made from an AK-47 assault rifle) and Sami Kukkohovi, along with bassist Jaakko Ylä-Rautio and drummer Antti Karihtal. Their discography, such as it existed at the end of 2014, was the subject of the 53rd edition of THE SYNN REPORT at our site. Continue reading »