Jan 242017


(DGR reviews the new album by Italy’s Hour of Penance, which will be released on January 27 by Prosthetic Records.)

There is a temptation when writing reviews to believe that everything needs to have some sort of deeper meaning attached to it — especially when it comes to music, because the idea of describing sound with words is one that can paralyze a person. So whenever something is pretty much exactly what it says on the box, you can often find yourself spinning endlessly.

Italy’s long-running Hour Of Penance have made a name for themselves in the brutal death scene since their full-length starter in 2003 as one of the forebears of the hyperblasting death metal bands who now seem to extrude out of that country like few others. Since 2010’s Paradogma, Hour Of Penance have really found a sound for themselves, a relentless battering of metal that is driven almost entirely by a wall of hellfire-belching guitars and drumwork that exists somewhere between Gatling gun and machine gun in terms of speed. Continue reading »

Oct 122016



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….


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 »

Jul 182015

Volturyon-Human Demolition


Well, when I made the announcement that I was going to resume the roll-out of our list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs — five months after the last installment in the series — I did warn you that I probably wouldn’t be posting a new installment every day. But I didn’t think I’d let three weeks go by after the last installment. Sorry about that.

Anyway, here are two more songs for the list, and I have two more in mind for tomorrow — and if perchance you don’t know what this list is about, you can find an explanation here.


Volturyon’s vicious little five-track gem of an EP, Human Demolition, was a particular favorite of my comrade DGR (reviewed here). Thanks to him, I finally listened to all of it a couple of weeks ago, and yeah, I’m sold. There are really no weak spots on the EP, but one song in particular stands out as the most infectious, and that one is the next addition to this list. I’ll borrow from DGR’s review: Continue reading »

Aug 112014


(Guest writer Ty Lowery has assembled a personal list of favorite metal album covers for 2014 to date, divided into two parts. Please feel free to add your own favorites in the Comments.)

Sometime last year, I had planned to showcase some of my favorite album covers. However, as you might imagine, that didn’t happen. So, a bit over halfway through 2014 already, I’ve decided to give it a go again so I don’t have to worry with trying to find everything last minute and become overwhelmed at year-end. I’ve been looking back at some of my favorite album covers, as well as looking at random covers here and there, and I must say, I’ve found a lot more than I expected- so many that I think it’s be best to break this up into a couple of posts.

I’ve actually happened upon some really cool bands this way, too, which isn’t out of the ordinary but worth noting nonetheless. Had it not been for their album art, I might never have found some of the following bands, one of which I simply can’t get enough of. However, to be clear, I’ve done this exercise for the sole purpose of rounding up the nicest looking album art, according to my own tastes. There are a couple of bands in here whose music I can’t stand, and a couple more I’d never heard of before. So to avoid any confusion, I am not necessarily recommending all of the albums featured below. They all just chose wisely for their album art.

Since I began working on this article, I noticed something peculiar: A good number of the album covers correlated in one sense or another with the music on the album. To make sure that I wasn’t just imagining this, I asked my wife (who’s not very big on metal music as a whole) and a friend of mine (who is) to look at the album art and give me their impressions. Some of them were spot-on, others not so much. Here’s what we came up with for the first nine. (Another note, these are in no particular order. They are just listed as I came upon them.)

BelphegorConjuring the Dead

This might be one of the best “photo realistic” album covers I’ve seen so far this year. It’s got the dark, gritty feel washing over it in shoals. The symbolism on the cover speaks of blasphemy, a great deal of death, and more than a smidge of Satanic interplay. When my wife Heather saw it, she immediately guessed that it was death metal, which is a good part of the album, so I’ll give it to her. My friend Adam said the same thing: “This had better be death metal.” Heather also hit the nail on the head about the dark/demonic themes that run throughout many of the songs. That’s a point for the correlation theory, although an easy one. Continue reading »

Jun 092014

Here are four startling new events that happened over the weekend.


Death Grips released the first half of a new album last night. As is their want, there was no advance notice, or at least none that I saw. The name is niggas on the moon. It’s 8 tracks long, it’s streaming in full on Soundcloud and YouTube, and it’s free to download. And all 8 songs feature Björk. Seriously.

The band’s announcement says this 8-song release is the first half of a double album, the name of which is the powers that b. They say it will be released later this year on Harvest/Third Worlds Records.

I haven’t started listening to the music as I write this on a Sunday night, so I’ll save any thoughts about it for a later update. Or maybe someone else around here will provide some thoughts. I’m expecting weirdness.

To download the music, click this link:


Stream it below. Continue reading »

May 202014

You would be hard-pressed to find another 2014 album more packed with super-heated fury than Regicide, the new album by Italy’s Hour of Penance. To borrow the words of our reviewer Andy Synn, it’s “utterly destructive”, loaded with a “wealth of punishing riffage, bloody hooks, and concentrated venom”, but with “subtle refinements and embellishments that the band have made to their familiar formula, tiny tweaks designed to increase its lethal virulence without compromising the ferocious core of their identity.”

In June, North American audiences will get a chance to see Hour of Penance decimate cities across the U.S. and Canada when the band embark on the Conquerors of the World tour with Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Necronomicon. Today you can get a preview of the band’s potent live show through our premiere of the official Hour of Penance video for “Theogony”, which was filmed live at their recent headlining gig in Wakefield, England. Continue reading »

May 142014

As you know if you were following our site, yesterday brought such a great flood of new song, video, and album premieres that it was hard to keep up — in my case, like trying to keep up  with Usain Bolt over 100 meters (even if he were wearing flip-flops). In fact, I couldn’t keep up. By noon I had spotted three more new things worth featuring (and one that’s a few days old), but instead had to stop blogging and start doing what I’m paid to do. So, later than I would like, here’s that foursome.


Prosthetic Records will be releasing a new album from this vicious East Coast band on June 10. Its name is Blissfucker, and how could you forget that name? One song has previously appeared for streaming and yesterday brought another (via Lambgoat), by the name of “Organic Infernal”. It begins like an alien ant swarm, and then the ants start rocking hard (while continuing to devour whatever writhing creature is caught in their mandibles). Vicious, and memorable.

Blissfucker can be pre-ordered via Prosthetic Records or iTunes. If you missed “Salted Crypts”, which premiered last month, I’m including that below as well. But first, “Organic Infernal”… Continue reading »

May 062014

Not long ago I got all slobbery over the announcement that Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance, and Necronomicon would be joining forces for a North American tour this year. Today, the schedule for the tour was announced.

It begins in Virginia on June 22 and ends in Denver on July 12. There are 14 shows in the US, five in Canada and — most importantly — one in Seattle.  Yes, I am a self-centered prick, but I know you’ll forgive me.

The tour is timed to capitalize on the release of Titan on June 24 via Prosthetic Records in North America, Titan being the name of the new Septicflesh album. I eagerly await that record, as well as this tour.

If you can’t make out the dates on that tour poster, here they are (celebrate or moan, depending on your location): Continue reading »

Apr 282014

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Italy’s Hour of Penance.)

Allow me get this out of the way right now: Regicide is about as definitively an Hour Of Penance album as you could ask for. Everything’s present and correct  and firing on all cylinders – the uber-intense death riffs, the overwhelming, over-produced drum work, the raging vocal dissent – it’s all there and all utterly destructive. Whether that appeals to you will depend entirely on how much you’ve loved the band’s previous works, particularly Paradogma and Sedition.

Because let’s face it, the Italian extremists definitely subscribe to the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Their sixth album packs in the same wealth of punishing riffage, bloody hooks, and concentrated venom that’s been their stock in trade for years now, rejecting any pressure to change or develop beyond their obsession with sheer sonic evisceration. Continue reading »

Apr 232014

I was away from the internet for 8 hours yesterday. On the one hand, it was kind of refreshing. On the other hand… I sure as shit missed a lot of metal news. The first item I saw upon returning to the wired world was a post by Andy Synn in our NCS group on Facebook, spreading the word about the Conquerors of the World Tour, with a comment: “Stick Dimmu in as headliners and you’d have ALL the symphonic bluster you could muster.” No shit.

Here’s the announcement that appeared on the Septicflesh Facebook page:

“”We are thrilled to announce that we will be returning to North America/Canada with our blood brothers in Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance and Necronomicon,” comments SEPTICFLESH. “This promises to be a night in darkness to be remembered as we prepare to unleash our colossal new album ‘Titan.'”

No dates yet, but this promises to be one of the year’s can’t-miss outings. As soon as we get the schedule, we’ll slap it up on the site without delay.