Jan 272021


As much as many of us enjoy the realms of the avant garde within the world of metal, no dyed-in-the-wool metalhead would ever deny the continuing appeal of the Old Guard, or the visceral thrills that can be generated by newer bands who embrace the sounds that formed the foundations of heavy metal and carry them forward with the right spirit and uncommon skill. Which brings us to Gravedäncer.

This Brazilian duo, composed of members of Flageladör and Tyranno, have created a debut demo, righteously named Ripping Metal, that’s an electrifying hybrid of early black metal and NWOBHM — think of a union between Judas Priest and Venom. The songs are stripped-down and unpretentious, neither forward-looking nor artificially embellished. They depend on the power of the riff, and a devotion to sulphurous audio aromas that promise the delights and dangers of hell.

And as you’ll discover through our premiere of the demo today in advance of its January 29 release by the Helldprod Records, the primal appeal of what they’ve done is damned near irresistible. Continue reading »

Dec 292020


Just a few days left in this year that has been so miserable in so many ways, but so great when it comes to heavy music. Speaking of which, my plan is to finish rolling out our year-end lists by January 1st. At this point, I have five more slated to post. Soon after the beginning of the new year I’ll begin the last stage of NCS LISTMANIA, which is my list of 2020’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. I have a lot of thinking to do about that between now and then.

In the meantime I’m still trying to keep up with newly arriving metal. My fucking day job has been relatively calm over the holidays, which makes this task a bit easier, though I expect it to heat up again after New Year’s Day. Here’s some of what I discovered over the last 24 hours that lit me up.


The London-based avant-garde black metal band Void, who have been active since 1999, don’t hurry their releases. If you’ve heard either of their first two albums — 2003’s Posthuman and 2011’s Void, you’ll understand why. This isn’t the kind of music that can be thrown together quickly, but it has been so unusually good that it rewards the patience of fans. And now, a decade after their last album, Void will be releasing a new one through Duplicate Records near the end of January 2021. Continue reading »