May 132015

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Welcome back to Essential Entries. April has already passed, and it’s hard to believe. It feels like we – at least those unlucky enough to live in areas that deal with winter – were just freezing ourselves stiff, and now the temperatures are in the 80s. Thank goodness. Winter is awful. Thankfully, good music is the antithesis of such, and we’re loaded this month.

Also, my apologies for getting this up a bit late. Yours truly was out of town for over two weeks, and that resulted in a ton of catch-up listening in order to do this right. No way will this column ever be done half-heartedly!

With that out of the way, let’s get to the tunes.


Abyss – Heretical Anatomy

Gritty Canadian death metal. Abyss proves that it’s not all maple syrup and politeness up there. Equal parts catchy and punishing, this proves to be a great debut full-length. Continue reading »

Feb 202015


What’s that they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men? I had collected a great volume of new songs since Monday and began displaying the ones I wanted to recommend yesterday, in alphabetical order. I made it through “L” and had intended to finish the back half of the alphabet today. But in the meantime I came across still more worthy new song premieres by bands whose names didn’t conveniently fit in the “M” – “Z” category. So much for that idea.

Anyway, here are a few more things I discovered since yesterday and a few (but not all) of the tracks I originally intended to provide today. I guess that means I have more round-ups to prepare for the weekend…


20 Buck Spin is set to release the debut album by a Toronto band named Abyss — the album’s title is Heretical Anatomy — and yesterday DECIBEL premiered a track named “The Atonement”. It’s a searing blast of thrashing, lashing death metal that punctuates its fury with forceful hammer blows and a breakdown that will provoke sore-neck syndrome. Gruesome, morbid vocal vomit, too. Continue reading »

Sep 302011

In these SHORT BUT SWEET posts, we focus mainly on releases that are shorter than full-length albums. Today, I’ve got two gems for you, the kind of sparkling indigo jewels that wide-eyed, doomed innocents find in fairy tales shortly before something horrific happens to them. For us, of course, it’s just pure, evil pleasure.

The first gem is an EP from a three-man Swedish band called Morbrand, which is already the subject of giant, infernal, wasp-like buzz. The second is a split by two Polish bands whose hands are dripping with the black slick of blood on a moonless night — Infernal War and Kriesgsmaschine.


Mordbrand has been drawing attention, like honey draws flies, based in part on the presence of Per Boder — who fronted an early and well-regarded Swedish death metal band called God Macabre (their debut album, The Winterlong, appeared in 1993). After a 20-year hiatus from recorded music, Boder has returned, and the six-song EP he and bandmates Björn Larsson (guitars, bass) and Johan Rudberg (drums) is a powerful return indeed. Continue reading »