Oct 112018


(Wil Cifer reviews the new album by Evoken, which will be released by Profound Lore on November 9th.)

Funeral doom might be my favorite subgenre of metal, with depressive black metal not far behind. It invokes deeper emotional layers and creates powerful sonic places than doom bands content with just worshipping Black Sabbath. Jersey doom band Evoken might be America’s best when it comes not only to funeral doom, but to doom as a whole.

On their new album Hypnagogia they pick up where they left off with Atra Mors. There are a few changes, such as synths being more prevalent in the mix, which creates thicker atmosphere. Mood-wise the album is dark yet not as filled with despair as the previous album. Lyrically, it uses World War I as a metaphor regarding more personal topics. This is done without the need to maintain some contrived narrative that concept albums tend to have. Continue reading »

Sep 072018


It’s been one of those weeks, one of those weeks when for various reasons I just haven’t had time to compile any round-ups of new music. Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of those weeks when a ton of new songs and videos have premiered (in addition to those we’ve premiered ourselves). I’ve picked a couple handfuls of those, and divided the collection into two parts. This one includes better-known bands, presented in alphabetical order. The next one will include more obscure names.


James Malone sports a shaven head in the Arsis video that appeared overnight, but still screams like a banshee and is obviously still capable of cooking up some tasty riffs, while the people around him help put the spurs to this galloping, groove-some new song and spice it up with a bit of occult aroma, too. Speaking of which… Continue reading »

Aug 232018


After three premieres today, we’re nearing the end of our normal posting hours, and I find myself with just enough time to quickly assemble a shorter-than-usual round-up. Tomorrow will probably be a fairly barren day around here, because I’m leaving home at about 4:15 a.m. to begin the journey to Sea-Tac airport, and from there to a top-secret location in Wyoming where I’ll be meeting with world leaders in a training session I call “How To Pull Your Head Out Of Your Ass Even If You Have the IQ of A Ground Squirrel, With Apologies to Ground Squirrels Everywhere.” I expect the event will be well-attended.

Despite the awfulness of my departure time from home tomorrow, I do hope to get at least something short completed to start the day before I sleep tonight, and I do have a review in hand from one of our contributors, and perhaps something else will show up unexpectedly.


Six years is a long time to wait for a new album when the band in question is as immensely talented as Evoken, and a long six years it has been since Atra Mors. But this morning’s e-mail arrivals brought a press release announcing that on November 9th Profound Lore will release a new Evoken album named Hypnagogia. And as an added bonus, it features cover art by Adam Burke. Continue reading »

Jul 122013

Here’s a collection of items I saw and heard yesterday while surveilling the interhole. The featured bands are Ulcerate (New Zealand), Twilight of the Gods (multinational), Craven Idol (UK), Cryptopsy (Canada), and Evoken (US), .


The new album from New Zealand’s Ulcerate has been high on our “most anticipated” list for this year, and yesterday finally brought a lot of fresh news. The title of the album is Vermis, it includes 9 tracks, it’s nearly 55 minutes long — and it will be released by Relapse on September 17 in North America (September 13 in Germany and the Benelux countries and September 16 in the rest of the world). Pre-orders for the album and related merch are being fielded at this location. You can see the newly unveiled album cover above.

Yesterday also brought a video teaser for Vermis. It includes just an itty-bitty, teenie-weensie snippet of music, but it was enough to rattle my teeth. I think, just to be safe, I’ll make a dental appointment for the day after I get my hands on this album. The teaser is next. Continue reading »

Nov 112012

(This guest opinion piece was written by musician Robert Hunter O.)

Batman, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, came to theaters one day before my eighth birthday, in 1989. With it came my first cassette, the eponymous soundtrack and eleventh album by Prince. Over the next few years, I stumbled my way through a variety of genres, before purchasing Alice in Chain’s Dirt. It has been nearly 20 years since I laid down $16 for my first CD, and I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on a wide variety of artists and genres, across formats as diverse as vinyl, CD, cassette, Mini-CD, business card CD-r, and paper (Especially Likely Sloth!). No matter what format, the artwork and layout have always been essential to the kind of immersion I prefer as part of my music-listening experience.

Recently, as my free time has decreased, I have been making more digital purchases. Sites like Amazon and CDBaby give me access to mainstream artists, while Bandcamp has made smaller artists and their releases more accessible than ever, with full album streams and a platform that gives artists the majority of money from purchases. Despite the ease with which I can acquire new music, there is one thing which I have really been missing with digital downloads: the artwork. Of my recent online purchases, most did not come with more than an album cover relegated to 300 pixels. Where are the lyrics? What happened to the 8-page booklet with artwork tying together the concept of the album? Who was the producer? Are the engineers not important? Where are the “thank you” lists that used to provide me new artists to check out?

Of the digital albums I have recently purchased from Amazon including Evoken, Mike Keneally, Edison’s Children, Down, and Rush, the only artist to include a digital booklet was the latter. This is irritating for a couple of reasons, chief among them that the price of digital downloads is typically only a few dollars less than buying the physical product. Continue reading »

Jun 082012

On July 31, Profound Lore will issue the label’s 100th release, and it will be Atra Mors [“Black Death”], by Evoken. This is the band’s first album in five years, and only their fifth in a career that has spanned 20 years.

I gather from reading about the band that many regard them as forefathers of the funeral doom movement in the U.S. And you can correctly infer from that last sentence that I’m a newcomer to Evoken. As far as I can remember, the sum total of the music I’ve heard consists of a brand new song that Profound Lore began streaming yesterday: “An Extrinsic Divide”.

The song makes quite an impression, which is sort of like saying that World War II was a bit of a scrape. At more than 10 minutes in length, it exhales a suffocating fog of dank miasma, creating an all-encompassing atmosphere of catastrophe. The uber-distorted music is very heavy and generally ponderous — the sound of dinosaurs walking the earth and making the ground tremble with their might.

But that’s not the sum total of the song by a long shot. It also includes some beautiful, albeit haunting, melodies (ably assisted by reverberating guitars and keyboard overlays), as well as accelerated passages of gut-churning death metal. Continue reading »