Jan 032011

Ah, too bad — the holidays are behind us. For most U.S. denizens, school and work resume today, and consequently the suck quotient of life will rapidly escalate back into the normal zone. We will do our best to help soften the blow by rolling out the next two entries on our list of 2010’s most infectious extreme metal songs.  For a full explanation of what we mean by “most infectious”, read this. And to see the songs we’ve named so far, click the Category link over on the right called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010.

In a nutshell, what we’re doing is listing, in no particular order, the catchiest songs from a wide range of extreme metal sub-genres — not necessarily the best metal of the year (though lots of these songs would qualify for that kind of list), but the ones that most effectively got our heads and other parts of our bodies moving, and then got stuck in our skulls on mental replay long after they ended.

The two songs we’re adding today are by Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn and Kenos, from Italy. Heaven Shall Burn has been a band whose music we’ve liked for years, and their 2010 album was no exception. Kenos is a much more recent discovery for us, but we immediately got addicted to their music, particularly the song we’ve chosen for this list. To read about the selections and hear the songs, follow along with us after the jump . . . Continue reading »

Jul 232010

We seem to have fallen into a video kick this week, which is unusual for us. But the one we saw for the first time today is far and away the best of the lot. Actually, it’s the best of the lot by a few light years.

It’s a video for the song “Combat” off the new album Invictus by Heaven Shall Burn (which we reviewed here). “Combat” is about child soldiers, which explains in part why the song is so full of fury. It’s a harrowing, slashing, anguished, bone-rattling piece of music, but it also includes a beautiful keyboard melody and some surprising electro-beats.

The video is an animation created by Animaatiokopla from Finland and was premiered by Amnesty International Germany. It’s visually arresting, and it enhances the emotional power of the song. In carefully selected places, something happens in the video — like the stitching of machine-gun bullets across a muraled wall — that’s in sync with a burst of rhythm or a riff in the song.

But this isn’t one of those videos that’s full of strobing imagery set to the frenetic pulse of the music’s beat. Like the song, it’s about the ripping away of innocence, and in the main, it uses slow-moving childlike graphics to tell the tale as the music scorches with anger. Do check it out (after the jump). Continue reading »

Jun 152010

The odds are probably slim that any of you who visit this site have never heard Heaven Shall Burn, and you’ve probably made up your minds already about whether to check out their new album, Invictus. But we’re writing about it anyway because it’s just so damned good that we’d feel guilty if we didn’t.

What has always been distinctive about Heaven Shall Burn’s music is on full display in the new album, except even more so: passionate, politically charged lyrics; a blistering instrumental assault delivered at a furious pace; bludgeoning percussion and headbanging rhythms; irresistible melodic hooks; and Marcus Bischoff’s distinctive, paint-peeling vocals.

Invictus includes a few surprises, too, plus some eye-catching album art. More about the music and the surprises, pictures of the album art, a song to hear, and an unusual video all come your way after the jump . . . . Continue reading »

Jun 072010

We do our best to keep up with news in the world of extreme metal. We read a few web sites every day that collect news items, we get press releases via e-mail, and we get alerts about MySpace and Facebook posts by bands we’re following. Put it all together, and it’s a daily flood of words — almost all of which are just completely forgettable, or worse. Usually, we find items that are either intentionally or (more often) unintentionally funny. Rarely, we find something we think is worth writing about on this site.

We’re kinda behind on putting together reviews of new music we’ve been cranking, and that may have lowered our newsworthiness threshold today, but whatever. Today, we’re just gonna dump a bunch of news on you that we read over the weekend, including one of those funny items and one new video that put us in a party mood. Not a lot of rhyme or reason to our choices, but there’s not much rhyme or reason to anything we do, so what the fuck?

Our topics? They involve Heaven Shall Burn, Hour of Penance, French Bat-Shit Grindcore, All Shall Perish, and The Ghost Inside.


Last Friday, German death metal and hardcore fusionists Heaven Shall Burn announced that their new album Invictus, which has already been released in Europe and will be released in North America tomorrow, landed on the official chart in Germany at position No. 9. According to the announcement, this marks Heaven Shall Burn’s and Century Media Records‘ first-ever Top 10 release in Germany.

The press release included this comment from guitarist Maik Weichert: “Top Ten! This is insane! It is a dream come true and we thank everybody who had something to do with it! Everything will be awesome! However, when the police stopped my car yesterday they were still quite unpleasant to deal with, so I am assuming they hadn’t heard the news yet . . .”  (lots more after the jump — stay with us . . .) Continue reading »

May 012010

We’re now a full four months into 2010, and it’s time for our fourth update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1. (See the original list here, the first update here, the second update here, and the third update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last three updates (or that we’ve found updated information about) — and the new sickness is still spreading in epidemic proportions.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and put reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re old school like us, just get em tattooed someplace you can see without a mirror (because reading stuff backwards is hard).

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: “Abigail Williams have completed recording of individual performances for their still untitled second full-length. Captured at Conquistador Studios in Cleveland, Ohio, eight new songs were laid down with vocalist/guitarist Ken Sorceron and engineer Cole Martinez controlling the audio takes. The songs are currently being mixed by Peter Tagtgren (Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Celtic Frost) and are expected to be completed later this month.”

ABYSMAL DAWN: “Los Angeles-based metallers ABYSMAL DAWN will enter Trench Studio in Corona, California in May with producer John Haddad (PHOBIA, INTRONAUT, HIRAX) to begin recording their new album for a tentative fall release via Relapse Records. The follow-up to Programmed To Consume will be mixed by Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, VITAL REMAINS, CANNIBAL CORPSE) at his Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida.”  (the list continues after the jump .  .) Continue reading »

Apr 242010

The next album from Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn will be called Invictus.  It’s scheduled for release on different dates in May throughout Europe and on June 8 in North America. Yesterday the band put up the second track from Invictus on its MySpace page. It’s called “Combat”.

And if you thought the first song from the new album (“Omen”) was good — which we sure as fuck did — then you really have to hear “Combat”. It starts with a hammering riff and a howl, and takes off from there into a sonic war zone. It blends the fury of bombs exploding with feverish melodic riffs, Marcus Bischoff‘s distinctive shrieking, blackened keyboard pulses, and snatches of industrial dance-floor daze.

The song is heavy as fuck but galvanizing in its get-up-and-move compulsion. We thought “Omen” was outstanding (and said so here), but “Combat” is another step up. Based on these two samples, Invictus promises to be a landmark in the Heaven Shall Burn pantheon of discography. Seriously, go check it out here.

Apr 102010

We’ve been diehard fans of Heaven Shall Burn for eons. Or at least years. They’ve got a new album called Invictus due for release on June 8 in the U.S. and on staggered dates from May 21 – May 24 throughout Europe. You can see the recently unveiled album cover above.

And the band has just put up a song from the album, called “The Omen,” for streaming on their MySpace page. It starts with a haunting melody by piano and strings, but at about the 1 minute mark, it erupts. Marcus Bischoff has never sounded better, and the song is a classic HSB killer. You can listen here.

Our status: Pretty fucking stoked to hear the whole album.

Dec 182009


After a short hiatus, I’m back, and I’ve decided to bring you all a list of the most brutal countries in the world. I am going to split this piece into five parts, each of which will cover a different country in no particular order, because the amount of fearless, ear crushingly orgasmic brutality these five countries bring cannot possibly be contained within one article. Today, I begin with Germany.

Continue reading »

Nov 232009

So you all have probably read some things by the author islander, but there’s a new girl in town! I’ll be writing about the music I love and things I’m passionate about. Here is the music I love Continue reading »