Jan 042024

(Andy Synn turns his attention to the highly-anticipated debut album from Engulf, out 12 January)

There are two well-known truisms which spring to mind when listening to The Dying Planet Weeps.

The first is that “good artists borrow, great artists steal” – which states that while good artists borrow ideas from their influences, while still owing them a debt, the great ones simply take what they need and make it their own.

The other is that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (or, more accurately, “the whole is something besides the parts”, in its more accurate translation) – which is to suggest that defining the essence of something is about more than just describing the individual elements it’s made of.

And, make no mistake about it, while Engulf (aka New Jersey native Hal Microutsicos) assuredly steal from some of the very best here – you’ll find bits and pieces purloined from the likes of Morbid Angel, Immolation, Pestilence and Gorguts, and more besides, woven throughout The Dying Planet Weeps – the final product is certainly more than just the sum of these iconic inspirations.

Continue reading »

Nov 082023

For three years in a row beginning in 2017 the one-man New Jersey death metal band Engulf released EPs.

We caught up to what the band was doing when Engulf released its second EP, 2018’s Gold and Rust (which we premiered), and enthusiastically stayed with it when the third EP Transcend came out the next year (reviewed here).

Andy Synn ended that latter review with a wish:

“Hopefully one day soon we’ll get a comprehensive full-length album from Engulf, as there’s a very good chance it’ll be a modern day classic when we do.”

There was reason to expect that Engulf‘s mastermind Hal Microutsicos was at work on an album when that year-over-year release of EPs stopped, and the months ticked by without something new (granted, those ticking years included the depths of the pandemic).

And at last we do indeed have a debut full-length from Engulf on the far horizon, an album named The Dying Planet Weeps that Everlasting Spew Records will launch on January 12th. To help introduce it, today we’re premiering the second track in the running order, “Bellows From the Aether“. Continue reading »

Oct 252019


(In this column Andy Synn compiles reviews and streams of six new EPs — by Engulf, Lvcifyre, Maladie, Ordeals, Phobocosm, and Ultha.)

Damn, today is a busy one for big releases isn’t it?

We’ve got Alcest, The Great Old Ones, Vastum, Leprous, Hour of Penance, Fit for an Autopsy, Vacivus (more on them soon), Dawn Ray’d, and about a bajillion others all coming out on the same day.

So, to address this overload of new albums… I’ve decided to write a piece covering a bunch of recently released EPs instead.

Who said I wasn’t helpful? Continue reading »

Jul 132018


Today, the very lucky 13th of July, is the release date for Gold and Rust, the new EP by the one-man, New Jersey-based death metal project Engulf. It comes adorned with a wonderful cover created by Misanthropic-Art, which by itself should be an irresistible invitation to explore this music even if you weren’t already aware of Engulf‘s capabilities, as first revealed through last year’s Subsumed Atrocities EP (which also featured an eye-grabbing cover by the same artist). And those capabilities continue to be strikingly impressive.

All credit goes to Hal Microutsicos, who again proves himself to be a guitar wizard, but one who uses his sorcerous talents in the service of genuinely ferocious death metal onslaughts that get  pulses racing and skulls fracturing, even as they get eyes popping wide over his technical proficiency. Continue reading »