Jan 052015


Today we present Part 12 in the continuing rollout of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

Today’s songs come from two outstanding albums by death metal bands who are quite skilled at putting a vigorous bludgeoning on your ass — and doing it in the context of actual songs that prove to be quite memorable.


Abysmal Dawn’s Obsolescence came loaded with highly infectious material, and so morbid that it might have been hand-delivered by the grim reaper. I think “Inanimate” is the most infectious track on the album, but only by a hair. It had lots of competition all around it. Continue reading »

Nov 182014


(DGR reviews the new album by Italy’s Hideous Divinity, which is out now via Unique Leader.)

The tree of the Italian super-fast death metal scene, as it has currently come into focus, is one that has so many branches that have crossed over with one another that photos of it could be turned into logos for other death metal bands. It is also one that has been intensely vibrant, dropping new seeds and allowing new trees to form underneath it, becoming slight permutations of the initial home from whence they came.

The section that houses bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Hour Of Penance is one that has seen groups not only founded off of each other, but also exchanging musicians time and time again. People have left and rejoined and likewise gone off to form their own groups. Despite making conscious efforts to be clear of that musical style, some of the offshoot bands can’t seem to help themselves and go back to the super-fast, intensely brutal branch of death metal from which they sprouted. Continue reading »

Nov 102014

A collection of things, good and bad, most of which I noticed over the last 24 hours:


We’ve written about every one of the advance tracks that have premiered from the new album Cobra Verde by Italy’s Hideous Divinity — in fact, we helped premiere one of those ourselves. The reasons we’ve devoted so much space to the music is that it so successfully combines explosive violence, trauma-inducing groove, and memorable strains of melody within well-structured songs.

It’s superbly performed, obliterating death metal that’s not only exhilarating to hear the first time through but also delivers the same level of adrenaline rush on subsequent listens. And there’s not a single soft spot in the whole album. Now the entire album is available for listening, so you don’t have to take anyone else’s word for its strengths. Continue reading »

Oct 162014


We’re pretty damned hyped about the new album from Italy’s Hideous Divinity. We’ve already written about the first track from the album that debuted last month (“Sinister and Demented”), and we helped premiere the second track (“The Alonest of the Alone”) — and now we’ve got one more advance song from the album to bring your way. This new one is the title song.

When we interviewed Hideous Divinity guitarist Enrico Schettino about a week ago (here), he emphasized the importance of writing actual songs, even in the arena of brutal death metal: “We care about the song. We care about its structure and hooks and mood.” You don’t have to look any further for proof of that than “Cobra Verde”.

The song is undeniably bludgeoning — explosively so. For most of its length it moves at the speed of a blast front following a megaton detonation, with a sonic power that’s just as destructive, driven by the off-the-hook percussive militarism and high-speed riff flurries. Continue reading »

Oct 132014


(Our interviewer KevinP, a notoriously hard man to please, somehow convinced Enricho Schettino, guitarist for Italy’s Hideous Divinity, to speak with him. This is what followed.)

K:  The band was formed in 2007 when you left Hour of Penance and moved to Norway.  What caused you to move and would you have stayed in Hour of Penance if you hadn’t moved?

E:  I thought I was gonna drop death metal as soon as I’d start a new life in a foreign country… god I was wrong. About my moving reasons… a Norwegian friend of mine once told me that people move there either for love or to escape from a war conflict.  In my case it was the first one. Have no clue about how things would have been in the band if I stayed, I just remember that at the time for me it was really difficult to stand the company of many Hour of Penance members.


K:  Then you rejoined in 2009 for a short period of time?

E:  Yes. Got the proposal to re-join and I was extremely happy to play live again with them. I was not involved at all in their new album’s songwriting process but I thought it was fair.  I took it all extremely easy. Then we played in an Italian festival, apparently the sound was messy and I took all the blame. Asked if there was any problem, but everyone said “No no we’re fine 100%”… One week later, just before a fest in Switzerland, I got the call — with no face-to-face explanation to this date — saying, “We’re better off as 4 piece”. These are the facts, just want to stick to them, or at least I wanna try. Continue reading »

Sep 242014


Earlier this month we featured the first advance track from Cobra Verde, the new album by Italy’s Hideous Divinity, and today we have the pleasure of featuring a second one, in the form of a lyric video. This track is named “The Alonest Of The Alone” and it features Dallas Toler-Wade from Nile and Narcotic Wasteland).

Cobra Verde will be released by Unique Leader on October 28 in the U.S. and on October 27 in the UK and October 31 in the EU. As we previously reported, it’s a concept record inspired by the 1987 German film of the same name directed by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski in his final collaboration with Herzog before his death. The album also includes a cover of “Last and Only Son” by Ripping Corpse (from their 1992 EP Industry).

“The Alonest of the Alone” is yet further proof that Cobra Verde will be an unusually accomplished rendering of sonic savagery, combining a lot of highly accelerated technical whiz-bang with a talent for pummeling grooves and seductive melody. It abundantly earns the appellation of “brutality” without falling into the cesspool of mindless wankery or commonplace brutishness. Continue reading »

Sep 052014

The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us that the phrase “slash and burn” originated as the name for an ancient agricultural technique that involves cutting trees and other natural growth and then burning them to ash, once dried, in order to create fields for new growth. That phrase springs to mind immediately upon hearing “Sinister and Demented”, the new song by Italy’s Hideous Divinity that premiered not long ago. It appears on their forthcoming album Cobra Verde.

The song is an assault of high-speed sonic decimation. It threshes, it thrashes, and then it burns in a super-heated conflagration. But so complete is the devastation that it’s hard to imagine that anything will grow from the scorched ground it leaves behind.

Everything in the song is geared toward jolting the listener with galvanizing power — from the blazing fretwork to the jaw-dropping drumwork to the ravaging vocals (which sound more like a pack of wolves than a single human). Simply from the perspective of technical proficiency, this is technical death metal of a very high order. Continue reading »

Aug 072014

Jet-setter that I am, I’m on the road again this week in my old hometown of Austin, Texas. Until last night I haven’t had as much time as usual to check out new music or write about it. I missed a lot, and am trying to catch up before having to leave the world of metal for the rest of today.

I discovered so many things I want to recommend that I’ve divided them into three parts, this being the first.


In advance of their new album Blood Mantra (scheduled for September 26 release by Nuclear Blast), Poland’s Decapitated have begun streaming a new song entitled “The Blasphemous Psalm To The Dummy God Creation”. It’s being released as a digital single via Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, or direct from Nuclear Blast (here). Continue reading »

Jul 242014


Yesterday’s round-up was a big one. So is this one — and it’s still not big enough to cover everything worth mentioning that I saw and heard yesterday. But it will have to do. Here we go…


Albez Duz are a two-man German band whose name apparently consists of two words in a Germanic language used 800 years ago, with “Albez” meaning “swan” and “Duz” meaning “noisiness”, or “rush”. It is the side project of Impurus (aka Eugen H.), the drummer of the long-running German band Dies Ater.

At the time of their 2009 self-titled debut album, which drew comparisons to the early work of Paradise Lost, Tiamat, and My Dying Bride, the band’s vocalist was Lars Kaeding. Kaeding died in 2011, and was replaced early this year by Alfonso Brito Lopez (aka “Grifonso“). With this new line-up, Albez Duz have recorded a new album, The Coming of Mictlan, which will be released by Germany’s Iron Bonehead label later this year. Its fascinating cover is above.

Yesterday Iron Bonehead began streaming a song from the new album named “Mictlan”, and it’s very impressive. Continue reading »

Jun 232014

Good bands die, and sometimes other good ones rise up from their ashes like a Phoenix. A case in point: I’ve been in mourning over the death last year of God Dethroned, but that great band’s members are moving on to other things, including drummer Michiel van der Plicht (also ex-Prostitute Disfigurement, ex-Detonation) who is now a member of the new Dutch band Apophys. I also experienced pangs of grief a few days ago when I learned that Mondvollond had also disbanded — and lo and behold, Mondvolland’s Mickeal Schuurman turns out to be the bass player for Apophys. Apophys also includes talented guitarists Sanne van Dijk and Koen Romeijn (Detonation) and vocalist Kevin Quilligan (Toxocara, Erebus).

I’ve been investigating Apophys since discovering them for the first time this weekend, and I’ve included in this post a selection of what I found. Eventually I’ll come to their music, but I’m beginning with a medical procedure.

The subject of this procedure was Apophys vocalist Kevin Quilligan. He paid a visit to phoniatrician Enrico Di Lorenzo (who also happens to be the frontman of Rome’s Hideous Divinity) for a vocal assessment. I had never heard of phoniatrics before, and if its a new field for you as well, you can learn a small amount about it here. This consultation was videotaped, and fortunately it turns out to be more interesting than film of a colonoscopy, although both procedures involve the insertion of tubes with cameras into fleshy orifices. Continue reading »