Sep 142023

(Andy Synn offers up another triple-taste of British steel)

Let me tell you something, the last quarter of this year is absolutely packed with awesome (and potentially awesome) new releases.

And that’s just as true when you take a look at the UK scene too, with a bunch of big names and new contenders scheduled to drop their proverbial bombs over the next couple of months.

As a primer for all that, I’ve selected three albums – two from last month, one set for release next week – that I can practically guarantee are going to end up on several end-of-year lists.

They really are that good, embodying the best of the best of merciless Metallic Hardcore, audaciously unorthodox Black Metal, and dynamcally doomy, drone-inflected Post-Metal, respectively.

Continue reading »

Oct 112016



Sometimes the best split releases are those that juxtapose differing musical styles of the participating bands while finding common ground between them in sometimes unexpected ways — and the new split by Scotland’s Haar and Australia’s Ur Draugr is one of those. It was released on October 7 by ATMF and it includes three songs by Haar and a single 20-minute monolith by Ur Draugr. I’ll share some thoughts about each side separately, along with a conclusion about the powerful combined effect of the split’s complete experience, and a stream of all the music.


Following the appearance of two well-received EPs in 2010 and 2012, Haar released their hour-long debut album (also through ATMF), The Wayward Ceremony, in 2015. We premiered a full stream of the album in May of that year, along with a review in which I wrote:

“If you had to force the album into a genre category, I suppose black metal would be the name of the game, but the album resists simple classification. Atmospherically, it is unquestionably dark and threatening, casting an aura of horrors hidden in the shadows and the relentless approach of an all-consuming hunger. And there are bursts of ravaging black metal aggression, complete with blasting drums and raking/jabbing riffs…. Continue reading »

May 132015

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Welcome back to Essential Entries. April has already passed, and it’s hard to believe. It feels like we – at least those unlucky enough to live in areas that deal with winter – were just freezing ourselves stiff, and now the temperatures are in the 80s. Thank goodness. Winter is awful. Thankfully, good music is the antithesis of such, and we’re loaded this month.

Also, my apologies for getting this up a bit late. Yours truly was out of town for over two weeks, and that resulted in a ton of catch-up listening in order to do this right. No way will this column ever be done half-heartedly!

With that out of the way, let’s get to the tunes.


Abyss – Heretical Anatomy

Gritty Canadian death metal. Abyss proves that it’s not all maple syrup and politeness up there. Equal parts catchy and punishing, this proves to be a great debut full-length. Continue reading »

May 082015


Following the release of two well-received EPs in 2010 and 2012, Scotland’s Haar have recorded an hour-long debut album that is being released by the Italian label ATMF.  The album’s name is The Wayward Ceremony, and we’re bringing you a full stream of all seven songs.

When I see that an album comes with cover art by Costin Chioreanu, I presume the music is going to be good. This may not be logical, but it turns out to be a completely valid inference in the case of The Wayward Ceremony. Continue reading »