Jan 222019


I got kind of carried away with my own verbiage in the three premieres I wrote earlier today (I know, shocking isn’t it?), and that plus a visit to the dentist has caused the latest installment of this ongoing list to appear later in the day than I would have preferred. But I’m determined to keep this going as a daily habit until I force myself to stop.

As for today’s installment, you might guess that I organized my collection of song candidates for the list in alphabetical order — and you would be right. I do skip around in making choices, but today I’m solidly embedded in the H’s.


We gave quite a lot of attention to the 2018 album by the Norwegian band Horizon Ablaze, The Weight of a Thousand Suns (which was released last February) — most of it penned by Andy Synn. He introduced our premiere of a song from the album, reviewed the whole record, and then put it on both his list of 2018’s Great Albums and his Personal Top 10 list. NCS scribe TheMadIsraeli also put it on his own year-end list posted at our site, and even I got into the act by covering one of the advance album tracks in an edition of SHADES OF BLACK. So, it’s fair to say that we’re VERY HIGH on this record. Continue reading »

Oct 252018


“It’s death metal” doesn’t really tell you very much, which is why fans of extreme music long ago began inventing an ever-expanding, increasingly-hyphenated roster of sub-genres. I suppose one of those is “ritualistic death metal”, a kind of phrase that’s difficult to define but you sort of know it when you hear it… sort of. However, my use of the label “Death Rituals” for occasional posts like this one isn’t really intended to describe the style of music, it’s just a short-hand preview of the fact that I’ve decided to devote a round-up of new music to different styles of death metal, and that’s what you’ll find below.


I’ll go out on a limb and assert that Sulphur Aeon’s Swallowed By the Ocean’s Tide was one of the most explosive death metal debuts of the last 10 years. It didn’t hurt that the cover art by Ola Larsson was equally attention-grabbing. Together, the art and the music vaulted this German band onto the radar screens of fans and critics across the metal-listening parts of the globe in strikingly impressive fashion, and they cemented their reputation with 2015’s Gateway to the Antisphere. Now Sulphur Aeon and Ola Larsson have joined forces again for the band’s third album, The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos. Continue reading »

Jul 302013

Many of you already know how this unfortunately infrequent MISCELLANY game works, but for everyone else, here’s what it’s about: I randomly pick bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands whose names I’ve never heard either), I listen to one recent track from each of them (though sometimes I cheat and listen to more than one), I write my impressions, and I stream the music for you so you can judge for yourselves.

Every other musical feature on this site, other than this one, involves metal that I or the other writers have heard in advance and want to recommend. MISCELLANY, on the other hand, is a shot in the dark. I don’t know what these selections will sound like. We’ll both find out together. Today’s bands are a trio from the U.S. —House of Atreus, Zud, and Sloths — plus one from The Netherlands (Control Human Delete). They all turned out to be winners.


I learned about this Minneapolis band via an e-mail from ex-TNOTB writer Tr00 Nate. That makes this selection less random than usual, since I’ve learned through experience to trust his recommendations. And this one turns out to be no exception. Continue reading »