Nov 012022
 

(Andy Synn basks in the splendour of the new Disillusion album, out Friday on Prophecy Productions)

How exactly does one follow up an album which not only catapulted you back into the public eye after years of absence, but which was also – according to some people – on a par with the best thing you’ve ever done?

Well, the best course of action – if the upcoming new record from resurgent Prog-Metal powerhouse Disillusion is anything to go by – is that you don’t… or, more specifically, you don’t try to compete with yourselves.

Instead you take your time, follow your creative muse, and calmly (and confidently) continue to produce some of the very best work of your career.

Continue reading »

Aug 112022
 

 

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That well-known saying attributed to the Chinese sage Laozi (but sometimes erroneously attributed to Confucious) came to mind today as I gazed bleakly at the massive backlog of new songs and videos that would provide the source material for this roundup. Getting through it feels like a journey of a thousand miles, but that old adage encouraged me to make this first step. Will I be able to make another one tomorrow, or instead trip and fall on my face? Time will tell….

BLOODBATH (Sweden)

I know Bloodbath need no help from our fetid little corner of the interhole, but I’m beginning with a lyric video for their grisly new song “Carved” anyway. It’s just too damned much hellish fun to ignore, and Luc Lemay makes a guest appearance on it too. Continue reading »

Jan 252020
 

 

If past is prologue, some newcomer will see this post and go, “LOL — there’s clean singing in these songs!”, ignorant of the fact that from the very beginning of the site more than 10 years ago we’ve made exceptions to the “rule” in the site’s title where the exception is well-earned — and these three songs earn it.

Know-it-all newcomers may also point out, as if I didn’t know, that these songs aren’t really “extreme metal” either. But as these annual lists have gone on, also for 10 years, I’ve allowed myself some flexibility in my adherence to the title I chose for the them, in part as a way of providing a bit more breadth in the scope of the list as a vehicle for remembering all the good things that the preceding year brought us.

Of course I’ll quickly add that this Part of the list is just that — an exception in both respects, as you’ll understand if you check out all the preceding Parts (which you’ll find collected here). I’ll further add that it probably won’t be the last exception before I finish the list this year.

And with those observations behind me, let’s venture forth into the grand halls of doom…. Continue reading »

Sep 022019
 

 

(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the German progressive metal band Disllusion, which will be released on September 6th by Prophecy Productions.)

As we’re all aware, music isn’t a competition. But it’s hard, dare I even say impossible at times, not to compare and contrast artists/albums and pit them against one another, weighing up their relative merits, in order to conclude, subjectively at least, which is somehow “better”.

Consider, for example, the comeback album from German Prog-Metal sensations Disillusion.

For those unfamiliar with the band, over the course of these seven tracks you’ll encounter echoes of the cinematic style of Devin Townsend, the epic riffage of Insomnium, the moody melancholy of In Mourning, and the intricate songwriting of Opeth, all interwoven in a way that’s not only far more cohesive and coherent than the most recent release by the former, but which suggests that the latter three will have to produce something truly special in the next few months if they’re not going to be outdone.

For those who already know Disillusion, however… all I really need to say is that The Liberation isn’t just the long-awaited follow-up to their semi-legendary debut (sorry Gloria fans) but might just be even better. Continue reading »

Jan 092017
 

 

I took a break yesterday from my rollout of this year’s Most Infectious Song list but am back at it again today, and every day this week, barring a meteor strike. For those who have just blundered into this evolving list for the first time, you can check out the previous picks and an explanation for what the list is about by clicking this link.

Some days I include two songs in the installments of this list, and sometimes three, which is what I have today. This is another instance when this particular grouping made sense to me, but I don’t pretend that I have good sense so you be the judge. And if the inclusion of clean vocals in this collection rubs you the wrong way, be patient. Tomorrow I’m returning to much nastier fare.

IHSAHN

I’m going to start with some “Mass Darkness“, which will be found on Arktis, the latest solo album by Vegard Sverre Tveitan, aka Ihsahn. My colleague Andy Synn wrote our review of the album, characterizing it as “easily the most gleamingly melodic, intimately accessible… and, yes, poppy, album that the ever-adversarial artiste has put his name to thus far”, while “still very much a Progressive album underneath the glitz and glamour”. Continue reading »

Oct 122016
 

hour-of-penance-cast-the-first-stone

 

Yes, there are quite a lot of names in the headline of this post, but what follows isn’t quite as daunting as you might think. The first two items consist of news and art for forthcoming releases, but no music yet, and the last two items are just brief teasers of new music. In between I’ve sandwiched four full songs and videos, and I’m quite happy with what I’ve chosen, not only because the music is very good considered in isolation but also because collectively they make for a nice, varied playlist (and the two videos and album covers are quite eye-catching, too). At least it should be nice for people who have eclectic tastes. Here we go….

HOUR OF PENANCE

That’s a hell of a metal album cover up there, isn’t it? It was disclosed yesterday by Italy’s Hour of Penance and Prosthetic Records, who will release the band’s new album Cast the First Stone on January 27, 2017. The cover was created by Gyula Havancsak, whose work we’ve praised before in these pages.

The announcement was accompanied not only by a quote from our site (yay!) but also by the following statement from the band’s vocalist Paolo Pieri concerning the concept of the album, which revolves around the idea that “the injustices suffered during the Crusades and Colonialism do not justify the chain of hate that propagandizes the destruction of the West”: Continue reading »