Nov 222016



I bet you thought we were finished posting for this Tuesday. Nope, I just got waylaid by my day job on the way to finishing this thing, but now having surmounted those obstacles, I give you this round-up.

This collection a bit different from the norm, in that I’m including a couple of items that aren’t hot off the presses. But we’ll begin with two that are, and then conclude with a new Megamix treat from Crypticus that you probably won’t hear anywhere else.


The artwork up there is by one of my favorite metal artists, Berlin-based painter Eliran Kantor. I’ve already posted it on our site’s Facebook page and made it the cover photo on my personal page. How could I not put it here as well? The artist describes it as “an apocalyptic homage to Vermeer’s ‘The Astronomer'” — and here’s what that famous work (completed in 1668 and on display at the Louvre in Paris) looks like: Continue reading »

Aug 052015

Dalkhu-Descend Into Nothingness


Once upon a time I started an irregular feature called “Eye-Catchers” in which I periodically tested the hypothesis that cool album art correlates with cool music. As much as anything else, it was a vehicle for exploring the music of bands I wasn’t familiar with, based solely on the attractiveness of their album or EP covers. There’s still a category link to all those posts on the right side of this page, even though the project has been moribund for quite a while.

This post, though it shares that “Eye-Catchers” title, really isn’t a continuation of the earlier experiment, because I’m already a fan of all the bands whose news and/or new songs are collected below. But the artwork for these new albums is so good that it seemed to be a fitting title. So, here we go….


I originally discovered this two-man Slovenian band in the middle of last month — and that really was an example of the original “Eye-Catchers” experiment. Their second album, Descend… Into Nothingness, features cover art by our beloved Paolo Girardi, and that’s what induced me to explore the music. Having done that (and written about the first advance track from the album here), I immediately became a fan. And so when I learned that Dalkhu released another new song yesterday, I felt confident it was going to be another good one — and so it is. Continue reading »

Sep 132014


I find myself once again with a long list of new items I think are worth sharing but not enough time to write about all of it. I’m beginning to think this is a perpetual state of existence: TOO MUCH METAL. But rather than be stymied by this predicament, I’ll just have to pick a random assortment of new things — something is better than nothing, right? The first three items in this collection first caught my eye because of the visual art — in each case you can see larger versions of them by clicking the images.


There may be a metal artist whose work I’ve featured on this site more than Eliran Kantor, but I doubt it. And yesterday I spotted his latest work, the cover of a forthcoming live album by the long-running British heavy metal band Satan. The new album is named Trail of Fire: Live In North America, and it will be released by Listenable Records. Kantor created the cover for the band’s previous album Life Sentence, and he explained the concept behind this new one as follows:

“As fire sets the tone of the last album cover, I wanted to focus this one on what you usually get afterwards – ashes left behind. Hence the burnt coal frame. The band came up with the title ‘Trail of Fire’ probably referring to being on the road, and it’s symbolized by the judge’s wig morphing into a trail of burning wooden logs, and the trail of fire actually leads to a trial by fire. I wanted the story told on the band’s covers to move forward too – ‘Court in the Act’ was a trial scene, ‘Life Sentence’ showed the incarceration stage, and now we’re witnessing the execution.”

Continue reading »

Jul 052014

Happy Fourth of July Hangover Day. Hope none of you American readers lost any fingers in a gunpowder accident, put out an eye with an errant sparkler, or lit off a bottle rocket in your ass. I have some news items and new metal for you that I spotted over the least 24 hours. This is a big collection, but what else have you got to do?


Striker are from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Metal Archives says they are a power metal band. This means the odds are very high that I won’t be able to stand their music. However, the cover art for their new album City of Gold is so goddamned awesome that I may be forced to listen to at least one song whenever the first advance track appears. You can click the image above to view a larger version of the piece, which is by one of my favorite metal artists, Berlin-based Eliran Kantor.

The album is due from Napalm Records on September 9 in North America (Aug 29 in Europe, September 1 in the UK). If anyone can give me a reason to bury my prejudices and listen to a Striker song, I will try to keep an open mind. Continue reading »

Apr 302014

Your humble editor has fallen down on the job. Due to a variety of personal and work-related interferences I haven’t been as diligent as I would like in spotting and writing about new developments in the wide world of metal over the last couple of days. With luck, I can do some catching up today, beginning with this collection of items that I thought were worth your attention.


How many times have you seen Incantation’s name as a reference point for releases by new death metal bands? Dozens of times? Hundreds? I know I’ve used them many times myself in attempting to capture a certain kind of sound in writing about the music of more recent groups. And now we have new music from Incantation themselves.

But before getting to that, is that album artwork cool or what? It’s by the phenomenally talented Eliran Kantor, whose work we’ve praised frequently at this site. We’ve obtained a hi-res version of the cover, which you can see in all its glory by clicking on the image above.

The album’s name is Dirges of Elysium and it’s due for North American release by Listenable Records on June 24. The song that premiered yesterday is named “Carrion Prophecy”, and man, it’s a monster — monstrous pounding riffs that ooze radioactive sickness, monstrous abyssal growls, and an atmosphere of monstrous menace. When the song begins to gallop and race, heads will bang hard, and when it descends again into a pit of decay and depravity, you may feel tumors begin to thicken your organs. Continue reading »

Sep 302013

I haven’t attempted to compile a round-up of noteworthy findings in several days, so I’ve had to ruthlessly cut what interested me or this post would have been longer than a reticulated python. Even truncated, it’s as long as a boa constrictor. And everything in here is awfully bloodthirsty, right up until the final item.


Is that a fuckin’ brutal album cover up there or what? It’s the latest cover art by Eliran Kantor, who I watch like a hawk because he’s so damned good, and it graces the 11th album by Iced Earth, which is planned for release by Century Media in January 2014. With a grisly cover like that and song titles such as “Democide”, “Cthulhu”, and “Parasite”, in addition to the title track, this could be very interesting.

Speaking of brutal, how ’bout a new Deicide track? Continue reading »

Aug 122013

A few quick hits for you from my own quick spin through my e-mail and the interhole this afternoon.


Last week we brought you some news about the next album by Canada’s Kataklysm, Waiting For the End To Come, including the artwork for the CD. I thought the artwork was okay, but it didn’t elevate my pulse rate. HOWEVER, the artwork previously revealed is only for the standard jewel case version of the CD and a limited edition cassette tape of the album. There is an alternate cover for “the deluxe digipak” and the LP versions of the album, and you’re looking at it.

No disrespect intended to Peter Sallai, but I find this creation by the stellar Eliran Kantor much more appealing. It reminds me of what a collaboration between John Martin and Gustave Doré might have produced. Love it! Continue reading »

Mar 312013

(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Tampa’s Dark Sermon.)

Metalcore is a pretty dead venue for the most part at this point.  When the majority of a genre has resorted to knocking off elements from djent in order to maintain any credibility, you know your style is knee-deep in irrelevancy.  That’s why I’m surprised by the debut of Dark Sermon, called In Tongues.

Dark Sermon are a sinister, ravaging band.  Heavy influence taken from The Black Dahlia Murder, Bleeding Through, and At the Gates manifests itself in a sound that definitely comes off more early/mid 2000’s.  The riffs are technical, dark, and draped in an old-school Swedish overcoat, drawing strength from the darker melodic bands of that scene, such as the aforementioned At the Gates, old Arch Enemy, and even Carcass.  The vocals of frontman Johnny Crowder fall between a John Pettibone (of Himsa fame) bark and Trevor Strnad-styled high-pitched shrieks.

“The Shepard’s Staff” wastes no time in establishing the modus operandi of these guys: pedal-point riffing in the Gothenburg tradition accompanied by artillery fire in the form of blast beats and over-saturations of double bass. Continue reading »

Mar 262013

While wandering the interhole last night and this morning I came across many items of interest — too many to pack into a single round-up post. So I’ll subdivide my findings and start here, with two discoveries that should interest thrash heads far and wide.


You’re looking at the first item above. It’s the recently revealed cover art for Skull, the forthcoming fourth album by the UK’s Evile, which is due for release on May 27 by Earache Records and Century Media. The artist is none other than NCS favorite Eliran Kantor. Like all of his art, this piece snags the attention and pulls it into the details of the work — which are mysterious. Evile explain that the artwork embodies a concept that’s connected to the music . . . but what that is we’ll have to learn later as more details trickle out.

As for the music, Evile drummer Ben Carter is quoted as saying, “Our fans can expect this album to be a return to our thrashier roots, as well as exploring new ground in typical EVILE form.”

And now it’s time for some actual music instead of musical forecasts. Continue reading »

Feb 162013

Here are a few of the things I saw and heard yesterday and today that I thought were worth spotlighting. There will be a few more such things tomorrow.


If there is a better metal artist working today than Eliran Kantor, I don’t know who it is — which explains why, every time I see one of his new creations, I’m prone to stick it up on this site post haste.

His latest work is the cover of an album by a UK band named Satan that Listenable Records plans to release on April 29 in Europe and sometime in May in the U.S. I didn’t know much about this band before seeing the stunning, metal-as-fuck album cover, though I surmised that they must have started eons ago to nail down “Satan” as a band name. And so they did: The new album, Life Sentence, is appearing on the 30th anniversary of their first album, Court in the Act.

If the music is half as good as the cover art, the new album will be worth hearing. Continue reading »