Nov 112016
 

Hanging Garden-Hereafter

 

(DGR wrote this detailed review of the new EP by Finland’s Hanging Garden.)

I will be the first to admit that I absolutely missed the bus on Hanging Garden’s 2015 release Blackout Whiteout. Not only did I miss the bus on last year’s album, while that bus is likely in another state by now, probably delivering the mail in rural counties on its cross-country trip, I have just now reached the bus stop, blissfully unaware the such an event had even taken place and now standing at the bus stop impatiently tapping my foot and staring in the oncoming direction wondering “just when will that goddamned thing get here….”

While I may have missed the bus on Blackout Whiteout, I did not do so with the band’s followup EP Hereafter, thanks in large part due our esteemed editor who has somehow, in between the mountain of premieres and news items he has written about, found a way to send along a note that basically boiled down to, “You need to check this release out. It’s so far in your wheelhouse that it is almost comedic”. Though the edgy, angsty teen rebel in me wants to shout, “You don’t define me! You can’t predict me!”, and go back to wearing all black like all my friends do, I’ve walked the Earth long enough to know when I’ve been pinned down because goddamnit, Hereafter is one of those releases that feels near tailor-made. Continue reading »

Oct 122016
 

hour-of-penance-cast-the-first-stone

 

Yes, there are quite a lot of names in the headline of this post, but what follows isn’t quite as daunting as you might think. The first two items consist of news and art for forthcoming releases, but no music yet, and the last two items are just brief teasers of new music. In between I’ve sandwiched four full songs and videos, and I’m quite happy with what I’ve chosen, not only because the music is very good considered in isolation but also because collectively they make for a nice, varied playlist (and the two videos and album covers are quite eye-catching, too). At least it should be nice for people who have eclectic tastes. Here we go….

HOUR OF PENANCE

That’s a hell of a metal album cover up there, isn’t it? It was disclosed yesterday by Italy’s Hour of Penance and Prosthetic Records, who will release the band’s new album Cast the First Stone on January 27, 2017. The cover was created by Gyula Havancsak, whose work we’ve praised before in these pages.

The announcement was accompanied not only by a quote from our site (yay!) but also by the following statement from the band’s vocalist Paolo Pieri concerning the concept of the album, which revolves around the idea that “the injustices suffered during the Crusades and Colonialism do not justify the chain of hate that propagandizes the destruction of the West”: Continue reading »

Aug 312016
 

Helcaraxe-The Last Battle

 

I followed a different course in this round-up of new music than I usually do. Instead of focusing almost entirely on new advance tracks from forthcoming releases, this time I’m including three complete new albums or EPs for your listening pleasure, but only writing about one track from each of them. I truly wish I could write stand-alone reviews of those three, and I might still, but they are far too good to risk doing nothing to help spread the word.

I’m also including two new videos for individual songs that appeared within the last 24 hours, both of which I enjoyed. I’ve arranged the order of the music in this compilation in a way designed to keep you off balance, because an unbalanced mind is the devil’s playground. So without further ado, let’s play!

HELCARAXË

I was greatly surprised to discover that in our nearly 7 years of existence we have never posted anything before about New Jersey’s Helcaraxë. I’ve now added that failing to the list of things for which we’ve scheduled our monthly submission to a vigorous horse-whipping. Even now, only mentioning one song from the band’s amazing new album is pitifully inadequate. Continue reading »

Jan 212014
 

I’ve been in a state of Seahawks-inspired delirium since Sunday morning. Apart from my own ridiculous heights of excitement, the city I call home as been completely engulfed in a similar type of out-of-body experience. Everyone wants to talk about Sunday’s win and the impending Super Bowl trip, even the people who are still trying to figure out how many innings it takes to complete a football game. You can’t listen to radio or watch any kind of sports-related TV without being engulfed in Seahawks talk (although much of it has consisted of uninformed yammering about Richard Sherman). Some of you have probably found yourselves in a similar environment in past years, but it hasn’t happened here in Seattle in a long, long time.

One result of all this is that I’m way behind on my usual search for metal news and new metal. This morning I did tear myself away from Seahawks mania long enough to check out a few things and put this post together.

HANGING GARDEN

If you haven’t heard the 2013 EP by Finland’s Hanging Garden, stop wasting time and go find it. I don’t want to have to tell you twice. I Was A Soldier (Lifeforce records) is worth your 15 minutes, and all the other minutes you’ll spend with it after the first listen. To give you some evidence of why the EP is so worthwhile, allow me to show you a video that premiered today for its final track, “Will You Share This Ending With Me?” Continue reading »

Feb 142013
 

The last 24 hours brought three new music videos that I thought were worth throwing your way — three quite different forms of metal and three quite different uses of visual accompaniment, but all worth seeing and hearing. The bands are Incantation (U.S.), Hanging Garden (Finland), and Byzantine (U.S.).

INCANTATION

This seminal NYDM band’s new album Vanquish in Vengeance, their first in half a decade, was released last fall by Listenable Records.  It has been very well-received, and rightly so. It bears the hallmarks of Incantation’s well-defined morbid, crushing style, but with a crisper, more modernized sound, and it’s packed with varied, well-written songs. The album opener “Invoked Infinity” sets the tone for the album, summoning up atmospherics of the occult and the doomed while also ripping flesh with a storm of razor-edged guitar work.

This morning the band premiered a video for the song that captures the mortuary air of the track — because it was filmed in an actual, decaying, turn-of-the-century funeral home. Here you go: Continue reading »