Dec 072012

Not long ago we reported the awesome news that pioneering metal label Earache Records had established a Bandcamp site, launching it with an interesting mix of both new and older releases from their formidable catalogue. Just days after that, they increased the awesomeness by adding Bolt Thrower’s legendary 1991 album War Master to the site.

That was one of 8 albums we suggested that Earache add to Bandcamp, and guess what? Yesterday they added another album from our list:

Entombed: Left Hand Path (1990)

We pushed for the addition of that album because . . . well hell, if you don’t know why, I don’t know how to begin to explain. It is one of your humble editor’s favorite metal albums of all time, world without end, amen.

And holy shit, that’s not all. When I wasn’t paying attention Earache also added two more albums from the NCS list: Altars of Madness (1989) and Blessed Are the Sick (1991) by Morbid Angel!!!

And that’s STILL not all . . . Continue reading »

Jul 222012

Back in June I saw the news that Screaming Records was going to release a limited 7″ vinyl single by Sweden’s legendary Entombed. I’ve been waiting hungrily since then for the music to hit the web, and yesterday some of it did.

This new single is called When In Sodom Revisited and it includes three songs: a remixed and remastered version of the original “When In Sodom” track, which originally appeared on the band’s 2006 EP by the same name; an alternate version of the song composed, performed, and recorded by a Danish artist and sound designer named Klaus “Q” Hedegaard Nielsen (Beta Satan, The Malpractice), and a new studio recording by Entombed of the King Diamond song “Welcome Home”.

This single is the second Entombed release for 2012, the first being a digital release of a variant version of the song “Amok”, which we previously featured here. The recording of “Welcome Home”, however, is the first release by the current Entombed lineup — with Victor Brandt (TOTALT JÄVLA MÖRKERAEONSATYRICON) and second guitarist Nico Elgstrand (who previously played bass for the group) joining L-G Petrov, Alex Hellid, and Olle Dahlstedt.

For those of you who remember the post we ran on the 20th anniversary of King Diamond’s Abigail album (here), it will come as no surprise to learn that I prefer this Entombed cover to the original — mainly because I’ll take L-G’s vocals over King’s. The cover is a cool song. Continue reading »

May 252012

Almost five years have passed since Entombed released their last album, Serpent Saints – The Ten Amendments. Two days ago, the band finally released a new recording in Sweden, and it’s available for download as of today in the U.S. And what have the band given us after five years of creative hibernation? A re-recording of a song from Serpent Saints called “Amok”.

This “new” single is the result of a collaboration between Entombed and Ninetone Records, a Swedish rock/metal label that has released albums by Soreption, Corroded, and a bunch of other bands whose names I don’t recognize. I don’t know know whether Entombed and Ninetone have plans for something more than the “Amok” single — such as a new album or EP. I guess we’ll find out in due course.

The artwork for the new single is sort of a re-issue as well. It’s a stylized painting of a moth called “Instar” that was created by the super-talented Dan Seagrave (and still seems to be available here as a limited edition print if you’ve got $95 you don’t know what else to do with). As used for the sleeve of this single, it bears a resemblance to the cover of a 1995 album — also called Amok — by the now-defunct but highly influential Finnish band Sentenced. (who were the lead subject of an NCS feature during our Finland Tribute Week series in late 2010). Based on a post by Entombed on their Facebook page, this appears to be coincidental — but man, what a coincidence.

As mentioned, the new single is a re-recording. I haven’t yet found any explanation of why Entombed picked “Amok”, among all the previous songs they could have chosen, for a new recording. it’s a puzzle, especially since the band’s membership hasn’t really changed significantly since they recorded “Amok” for Serpent Saints (bassist Victor Brandt has joined the ranks since then, with former bassist Nico Elgstrand moving to guitars).

Whatever the reason, it’s definitely a different take on the song. Continue reading »

Jan 172012

Yesterday, Meshuggah released the name of their new album — Koloss. That’s all the Meshuggah news we had, but we wrote about it anyway, explaining: “It’s really not much news, but frankly this is one of those albums where every tiny morsel will receive and deserve attention.” Today, we have more Meshuggah morsels. First, we have the album art — which is utter coolness. We also now have the track list. I’ve never figured out what good it does to have a track list before the music is released, but here it is:

01. I Am Colossus
02. The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance
03. Do Not Look Down
04. Behind The Sun
05. The Hurt That Finds You First
06. Marrow
07. Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion
08. Swarm
09. Demiurge
10. The Last Vigil

So, chew on that shit until we have the next morselage. And meanwhile, you can feast your eyes on another eye-catching piece of album art for another album we’re highly anticipating around here — the new one from Belgian black metal band Enthroned (after the jump). Continue reading »

Jun 032011

I’m a day or two late reporting the schedule for Amon Amarth‘s European tour, but I forgive myself. What other U.S. metal blog is going to say anything about a European tour at all?

Exactly.   So there.

Yes, Amon Amarth will be embarking on a 15-country tour of the UK and the Continent beginning on October 12 in Stuttgart, Germany. Can you guess who will be supporting them on that tour? Go ahead — close your eyes so you don’t see the answer and take a guess.

If you guessed As I Lay Dying, then you’re a fucking genius. I sure wouldn’t have guessed that match-up, even though I like both bands and they’re both in the Metal Blade stable. If you do a word-association exercise, and you say the first band that comes to mind when someone says “AMON AMARTH!”, the odds are you’re not going to say “AS I LAY DYING!”

A band like Entombed would have been closer to what I would have guessed. But as it happens, you can sort of have that cake and eat it, too, because LG Petrov of Entombed provided guest vocals on “Guardians of Asgard” with Amon Amarth when the band played the Metalfest festival in Switzerland on May 29 — and of course it was captured on video. This is fan-filmed footage, so the audio quality isn’t ideal (though it isn’t terrible), but the video quality is pretty good.

Plus, I mean, it’s LG Petrov singing with Amon Amarth on “Guardians of Asgard”. If you’re as big a metal geek as I am (no need for you to confess out loud), you know you have to watch this, just so you’ll be able to die happy if you get flattened by a beer truck while crossing the street today. So, after the jump — Euro tour dates and that video. Continue reading »

Jul 302010

In recent years, people have written books with the intent of dispelling various so-called “myths” about wolves. I haven’t read any of them, but they’re probably trying to tell us that wolves are actually warm, loving creatures who are good parents and self-sacrificng friends.

I haven’t read those books because I’d rather continue to think of wolves as vicious, red-eyed pack animals that would just as soon rip out your jugular as look at you. Life is too civilized as it is without having someone domesticate my mental image of the wolf.

Besides, that would detract from the awesomeness of Wolvhammer as a metal-band name. It would turn it into something like Puppyhammer. Or Puppyhummer. Or something equally tame. And Wolvhammer is anything but tame.

We first heard about Wolvhammer’s debut album, Black Marketeers of World War III,  via a feature in the current issue of DECIBEL magazine, which punched many of our buttons — so much so that we ran out and bought the album fast. And we are so glad we did.  (more after the jump, including a mixtape of music inspired by Wolvhammer . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 262010


Me: Hey man, can I get a light?

Random Metalhead Outside a Club (“RM”):  Yeah, help yourself.

Me:  Thanks man.  (firing up a coffin nail) So, what did you think of that last band, Early Graves?

RM:  Mayhem, man! Just absolute fuckin’ mayhem!

Me:  Exactly!  It was like bein’ hit by a big fuckin’ truck, wakin’ up with tread marks embedded in your face.

RM:  Fuck yeah! That was some amazingly heavy shit. What the fuck were they playin’?

Me: All those songs were from their new album, Goner.

RM:  Good name for this kind of music, that’s for sure. It’s just, raw, eye-gouging, fuck-it-all shit. It’s like punk rock except with the heaviness dialed into the red zone.

Me: Yeah, I’m with you on that. Kinda reminded me of early Entombed, except faster, Entombed on a grindcore binge. Definitely heavy. That fuzzed-out bass is really up-front in the sound, and the fucking drummer just crushes his shit, absolutely fuckin’ berserk. But you’re right about the punk rock thing. It’s definitely got those punk rhythms and pacing.

RM:  But, you know, it wasn’t all just non-stop scorching. There was that one song that just started grinding down into a sludgy, crusty rhythm. That shit reminded me of this sweet car I used to have, the day the fucking engine just seized up on me. Sounded like the whole fuckin’ thing was coming apart and then it just stopped. Gaskets were just corroded to shit. I had to rebuild the motherfucker with money I didn’t have.

(more after the jump, including a song to hear . . .)

Continue reading »

Apr 192010

Sometimes simple, blunt-force trauma works just fine.

Evil Power, the recently-released album by Chicago’s Lair of the Minotaur, is a grab-bag of different musical styles. But the songs do have some things in common: They’re all nasty, stripped-down, unpretentious, in-your-face headbangers, and the album as a whole is a real bright spot in the year’s new releases to date.

The songs have one other important thing in common: They’re packed with more heavy, grinding bass and guitar riffs and power-hooks than any one band ought to be allowed.

As for those stylistic variations, the album includes thrash-metal stylings, sometimes mixed with hard-rock chords and drum fills (“Attack the Gods”), metal-infused punk rock rhythms (“Let’s Kill These Motherfuckers”), old-school death-metal riffs that could be straight out of Metalocalypse or Wolverine Blues-era Entombed (“Riders of Skullhammer”), stripped-down, blackened metal with plenty of tremolo-picked chords (“Goatstorm”), and sometimes combinations of almost all the above (“Blood From the Witch’s Vein,” “We Are Hades”).  (more after the jump, including a song to stream . . .) Continue reading »

Apr 062010

In “Leviathan,” the philosopher Thomas Hobbes famously wrote that the life of man is “nasty, brutish, and short.” And that pretty much sums up the new LP from Austin’s Mammoth Grinder. Extinction of Humanity is 21 minutes of  distorted, stripped-down, feedback-accented, in-your-face, slash-and-sludge mayhem.

If you knew nothing about the band other than its name and that awesome, smoking, skull-faced, album cover above, you’d prudently prepare yourself for some ass-kicking, and you’d be right. Mammoth Grinder has thrown an unusual grab-bag of ingredients into the blender — garage-punk drum rhythms, a mash-up of grindcore pacing and sludgy trudging, harsh vocals somewhere between a hardcore howl and a death-metal growl, and a smorgasboard of heavy, fuzzed-out guitar stylings.

The resulting concoction is massively intoxicating. If you could really drink this venomous brew, it would lead you on the kind of romping binge that leaves you wondering at daylight what the hell you’d done the night before and where all that blood on your hands came from.

To find an analogue to what Extinction of Humanity delivers, scroll back through your catalogue and listen to Wolverine Blues (1993) from Entombed or (not quite as close a fit) Dismember‘s Like An Ever Flowing Stream (1991). Extinction is not strictly old-school death metal, but more like old-school, Swedish-style death ‘n’ roll — except maybe even more visceral in its appeal.  (read more after the jump, and listen to a song . . .) Continue reading »