Mar 092017


Examples can be found in the annals of metal and rock of unusually long albums that either seemed to be calculated displays of pretentiousness or were simply the result of laziness, with a lack of care and focus producing an experience destined to defeat its listeners through an attack of tedium. In the same ways, some books have been written that were so rambling, self-indulgent, and bloated that only students forced to read them in a class could claim the dubious distinction of reaching the end.

But some long works of music and literature earn the demands they place on our time; the length feels necessary, not only because the inspirations of the artists genuinely demanded it, but also because the pleasure of the experience for listeners and readers would have been materially diminished with anything less.

And that brings us to the music of Winter, the new album by FEN that it’s our pleasure to bring you today in advance of its March 10 release by Aural Music/Code666. Continue reading »

Oct 122014

After a two-week hiatus from listening to new songs, watching new videos, and preparing these round-ups, I’m easing back into the gig. I didn’t finish as many reviews during the hiatus as I had hoped, and so I still won’t prepare these round-ups as frequently as before, until I make more headway on some reviews I desperately want to finish. With luck, Leperkahn will continue to pitch in as he did during my break. Speaking of which, how about a big round of applause for Leperkahn?

The good new metal continues to come in a flood: The following offerings are all new things I saw and heard just over the last 24 hours. The bands are presented in alphabetical order. The music is all over the map, both stylistically and geographically.


Iron Bonehead Productions has announced plans to release a new 7″ EP by Houston’s Blaspherian by the end of November. Its name is Upon the Throne… Of Eternal Blasphemous Death. The last time I wrote about Blaspherian (here) was more than three years ago, just before the release of their debut album. The fantastic cover art for the album had caught my eye, and the art for this new EP is certainly eye-catching, too. Continue reading »

Jan 012013

This post is the second part of a round-up in which I’ve collected items of interest I observed over the last few days. Part 1 is here.


Fen are a three-man UK band whose new album Dustwalker is set for release by the Code666 label on January 21, and today they debuted one of the new songs, “Consequence”. I’ll say up-front that apart from coming across an isolated song or two in the past, I’m largely unfamiliar with their previous works. But I’m mighty impressed with “Consequence”.

In this long song you’ll find a combination of sheer vocal ferocity and almost ethereal choral voices; jagged discordance and blasting coupled with majestic melodies and progressive instrumentals; gloom and doom paired with soaring atmospherics; a mix of the abrasive and the sublime. And there’s an awfully sweet bass line running through the song as well. Have a listen to this striking song right after the jump. Continue reading »