Apr 052023

(Andy Synn has four more albums to recommend from March that you, and we, may have missed)

For this month’s catch up on “Things You May Have Missed” I’ve elected to cover four bands who – in my opinion at least – don’t conform neatly to any particular genre stereotypes or fit into one specific stylistic box.

That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a heap of other, more genre-specific releases to check out last month – Death Metal fans would do well to check out the malevolent murk of Aphotic and/or the sheer brutality of Thanatophobia, whereas those of a more “blackened” persuasion should give Blaze of Sorrow and Malphas a try (the latter especially), while anyone looking for something moodier and doomier will doubtless enjoy the new Isole and Weight of Emptiness (and I may still try and find time to write a few words about the former if/when I get chance) – but I thought I’d go with a few selections that are a bit harder to pin down.

Continue reading »

Feb 082023

As you can see, I was able to finish Part 2 of a mid-week roundup of new songs and videos that began here. Finish it I did, and I’m pretty happy with the musical twists and turns it will take you on, but I’ve still had to hurry a bit more than I’d like to get it wrapped up. Please leave typo corrections in the Comments.


I’ve already written here about “Retox“, the first single from Entropia’s new album Total, and now there’s another one out in the world. This one is named “Final“.

Prepare to be seduced by intriguingly warped melodies that are both glittering and dissonant, a mercurial but bone-vibrating bass, larynx-lacerating screams, and whip-crack drums. The mood also grows darker and more grim, as well as more nerve-racking and unsettling, but a feeling of fire-borne resilience fights through. Another fascinating track from an always-adventuruous band. Continue reading »

Dec 172022


I hope this weekend is treating you well so far, and that you receive the other treatments you need. I hope you’ll forgive me for beginning with an essay about a small part of some books I’ve been reading. Eventually I’ll try to connect those parts to the more extreme forms of heavy metal.

The books are two novels by Cormac McCarthy that were published back-to-back late this year — The Passenger and Stella Maris. The protagonists of the books are a brother and sister, Bobby and Alicia Western, both of them children of a physicist who worked on the creation of the atomic bomb and both them doomed in different ways.

Bobby occupies most of the attention in The Passenger, though the most interesting character is his old friend Long John Sheddan. The Passenger has a rambling, mysterious plot, but the equally rambling and unpredictable dialogues are what kept me reading (which is why Long John is the most interesting character, because of his disquisitions).

You find out pretty early in The Passenger that Alicia has killed herself. She figures in the book through flashbacks in which she is visited by odd characters that we are led to believe are hallucinations, just as we’re led to believe that Alicia was schizophrenic. She was also strikingly beautiful, and a math prodigy (Bobby is brainy too, but not in her league).

Alicia is the main figure in Stella Maris. Indeed, that entire book is a series of transcripts of her discussions with a doctor in a psychiatric facility (named Stella Maris) where she has voluntarily committed herself (not for the first time), though not because she feels any need for “treatment”. Continue reading »

Sep 132018


The flood of new metal continues unabated. Since yesterday’s round-up, I’ve accumulated more than a dozen new tracks (not to mention newly released EPs and albums) that I’m itching to hear, on top of all the others I didn’t have room to include yesterday. In an effort to keep at least my nostrils above water, I’ve picked three new ones (two of which come with videos) to quickly launch at your heads today.


Those who live under rocks are unaware that Bloodbath have a new album coming out next month. Everyone else knows. Now there’s a first single to be consumed, the name of which is “Bloodicide“. And guess what? It includes guest vocal appearances by Jeff Walker (Carcass), Karl Willetts (Bolt Thrower/Memoriam), and John Walker (Cancer). Before you enjoy the song, enjoy these quotes from two of the guests: Continue reading »

Mar 192016

Ashcloud-Children of the Chainsaw


Last week was another one in which I noticed lots of new songs and videos but didn’t have time to round them up, in part because I was writing about a flood of new songs that we were premiering ourselves. So now I’m doing what I failed to do earlier — but because I waited, the round-up has become jumbo-sized. Consequently, I’ve kept my introductions to the music brief and haven’t taken the time to consistently add album art or links as I usually do. When I did something like this last weekend (except with even fewer words), I said I didn’t intend to make a habit of it. I still don’t.

For those who pay attention to such things, I also failed to post Part 3 of the Shades of Black series I began at the start of the week. But I will do that tomorrow. Now, presented in alphabetical order, here are new songs and videos from 17 bands.


On May 1, Xtreem Music will release the new album by Sweden’s Ashcloud. The album’s title tells you a lot of what you need to know about the music: Children of the Chainsaw. Here’s the title track — smoking, tree-felling, crusty Swedish death metal that’s awfully damned sweet. Continue reading »

Feb 292016

Oranssi Pazuzu-Värähtelijä


(Here’s the second of KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released during February.)

So much for the notion that the beginning and end of the year are slow times for new releases. We have another month stacked with quality through and through. As pleasing as it is to spread the love of great releases to people far and wide, I wouldn’t mind a slight respite during a busy time of the year (I do have other obligations and hobbies). But yeah, #FirstWorldProblem. Continue reading »

Feb 012016

Entropia-Ufonaut Cover


In the last days of the last year I came across a new song named “Mandala” from a new album by Poland’s Entropia. As I wrote at the time, it’s heavy, high-energy music that defies easy genre classification, with pneumatic grooves, twisted riffs, otherworldly guitar arpeggios, and quirky electronica capable of pushing you past your comparatively drab surroundings and into this band’s inventive vision. And as you’re about to find out, the same could be said of the entire mind-bending album.

The name of the record is Ufonaut. It follows the band’s 2013 debut album Vesper, and it will be released by Arachnophobia Records on February 15. It’s a cocktail of adrenaline, paving tar, and mescaline, consumed in an asylum — and it’s a completely electrifying concoction from the first gulp to the last. Continue reading »

Dec 312015



I had intended to post most of the new music in this collection on Sunday, hot on the heels of Saturday’s Shades of Black post. However, I was distracted by the sound of a passing car, chased it for a few blocks, and then forgot what I had been thinking by the time I found my way home (I also blame those squirrels for not stopping so I could lick them). Other distractions have materialized since then, including the death of Lemmy Kilmister.

On the bright side, I discovered more excellent new songs as the days have passed since Sunday; in fact, I heard the first three in this collection only after the weekend. The result is a rather humongous assembly of music, but please don’t let the quantity deter you from wading hip-deep into it, because there are a lot of gems to follow. And besides, it’s my last round-up of new music for 2015!

I really do hope you’ll like everything here as much as I have, and I hope you have a great New Year’s Eve too. As is often the case with these Shades of Black posts, I want to thank my Serbian friend “M” for linking me to much of what you’re about to hear. Continue reading »