May 242021

(Hold on tight as Andy Synn takes us for a ride with the new album from Hundred Headless Horsemen)

Finnish quartet Hundred Headless Horsemen aren’t the easiest band to pin down.

Mostly this is because the group resolutely refuse to adhere to the normal conventions (or restrictions) of songwriting or genre, going so far as to describe their uniquely unorthodox sound as “Psychedelic Death Metal”, a term which, while certainly intriguing, practically raises more questions than it answers.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a significant strain of Death Metal in the band’s DNA – though careful analysis will undoubtedly show that it’s more closely related to the Morbus Chron/Sweven offshoot than it is anything from the Floridian swamps or the Stockholm graveyards – but, whether due to natural selection or intelligent design, the sound they produce isn’t so easily classified.

Perhaps an even better comparison – or, at least, the best one I can come up with – would be to think of HHH as the Death Metal equivalent of their more “blackened” countrymen in Oranssi Pazuzu, a band with whom they not only share a love of sludgy grooves and psychotropic sounds, but also an almost pathological aversion to playing by the rules.

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Apr 102021


I made the choices for this large round-up after a long listening session on Wednesday, with the idea of writing it up and posting it the next day. But we had so many other things to post that day and Friday that I deferred. Of course, in the meantime a lot of other worthy new songs and videos surfaced, but I decided to just stick with these selections rather than go back to the drawing board, which would have taxed my already over-taxed brain.

I couldn’t really figure out a good way to organize these songs, though I think I picked most of them because they have a through-line of being unsettling and mind-bending, albeit in different ways. I did include a bit of a curveball at the end.

INFERNO (Czechia)

As I wrote here only a week ago, I was blown away by the first advance track from Inferno’s new album, Paradeigma (Phosphenes of Aphotic Eternity), which will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on May 7th. Given the prodigious power of this band’s previous output (which now encompasses a quarter-century of releases), I can’t say I was surprised, but I was still bowled over. And now it has happened again. Continue reading »