Oct 052018


(On October 5th, Debemur Morti Productions will release the new album by the German band Infestus. Here, we present the premiere of a full album stream, preceded by Andy Synn‘s review.)

Read about, or write about, Metal for any appreciable length of time and you’ll probably notice that we talk about evolution a lot.

In particular, we frequently refer to (and argue about) the ways in which bands evolve, or choose not to evolve, over time, and the lengths they’re willing to go to in order to develop, refine, or maintain their sound.

Some bands, of course, are like sharks – musical predators perfectly suited to their environment, with no need (or desire) to change what they do or how they do it – while others are more mutable in nature, and don’t just embrace change, but actively pursue it.

Infestus are one such band. Continue reading »

Sep 262018


About one month ago we had the pleasure of premiering a stunning track named “Thron aus Trümmern” from the powerful new album by the German band Infestus, and now we get to bring you a second song from Thrypsis in advance of its October 5 release by Debemur Morti Productions.

As was true of “Thron aus Trümmern”, “Seed of Agony” ebbs and flows. It becomes thunderous and also fragile in its sound and mood. It dives to depths of unconsolable desolation and rises to heights of terrible, soul-splintering magnificence. But all of these evolving transformations resonate as shades and phases of emotional pain, with the most wrenching expressions of agony channeled through the truly shattering vocals of this album’s sole creator, Andras. Continue reading »

Aug 232018


Infestus may have reached the point when it is no longer fair to characterize the music as black metal, because as diverse as that genre of music has become, the term connotes limits that no longer seem applicable to this German band’s extravagantly multi-faceted new album, Thrypsis. Even Debemur Morti Productions, who will be releasing the album on October 5th, now refers to the music as Dark Metal — which is the amorphous banner we tend to hoist over music that we can’t easily (or accurately) categorize with more familiar metal labels, no matter how many hyphens they might include.

The further progression of ideas reflected in the music of Thrypsis will not come as a shock to those who experienced the stunning tapestry of desolation, malevolence, and bleak beauty rendered in the last Infestus album, 2014’s The Reflecting Void, yet it’s abundantly evident that Infestus has climbed to dizzying new heights on this new record. The song we’re helping to premiere today, “Thron aus Trümmern” is powerful proof all by itself. Continue reading »

Jan 132018


(Here’s a personal list by Andy Synn identifying eagerly anticipated forthcoming 2018 albums.)


One week ago Islander published a list of upcoming albums expected to be released over the course of the next twelve months, and also solicited comments and recommendations from our readers concerning which albums (and EPs) they were most looking forward to.

Well, as successful as that endeavour was, now it’s my turn to talk up some of my most anticipated album scheduled for release in 2018. Continue reading »

Jul 022015


I haven’t compiled one of these round-ups in three days, and so of course I’m now awash in news, new music, and new videos that I think are worth your time — too much to stuff into one post. Rather than become paralyzed with indecision about what to foist upon you now and what to save for later, I drew names out of a hat. Here’s what emerged…


Thanks to a tip from Grant Skelton, I saw yesterday’s announcement that Finland’s venerable and venerated Skepticism have a new album named Ordeal set for release by Svart Records on September 18. For me, the band’s performance at this year’s Maryland Deathfest was one of the event’s true high points, so I could hardly be more thrilled about this news — especially since seven long years have passed since the band’s last full-length.

And to add even more intrigue, the band recorded the new album live before an audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and captured the performance on film. Continue reading »

Dec 312014


Here we have Part 8 of our continuing 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.

Since this is the last day of the year, it seems like a good time to take stock of our progress on this list. Only problem is, I have no fuckin’ idea where we are. After today I’ll have rolled out 17 songs, but I don’t know whether we’re halfway through or a third of the way or only a quarter deep. So let’s just keep going, shall we?


In a word, the latest album by Germany’s InfestusThe Reflecting Void — was (and is) stunning. Andy Synn concluded his review of the album with these words:

““The beautiful, unforgettable cover art embodies the album so well – this is music from the darkest depths of the human mind, a black, malignant tumour of pain and anguish which spreads its tendrils widely to encompass a host of dark emotions and warped musical influences, creating a truly immersive, unforgettable experience.” Continue reading »

Apr 252014

Earlier this month Andy Synn reviewed the stunning new album by Germany’s Infestus for us (here). In his concluding paragraph, he wrote:

“The beautiful, unforgettable cover art embodies the album so well – this is music from the darkest depths of the human mind, a black, malignant tumour of pain and anguish which spreads its tendrils widely to encompass a host of dark emotions and warped musical influences, creating a truly immersive, unforgettable experience.”

Today we’re pleased to bring you a full album stream of The Reflecting Void, which has just become available via Debemur Morti for both listening and download on Bandcamp. In addition, the album can also now be ordered on CD at this location or on 12″ gatefold vinyl at this one. Continue reading »

Apr 072014

(In one fell swoop, Andy Synn reviews three superb new albums — by Enthroned, Infestus, and Horizon Ablaze — and we bring you the streaming premiere of a song from Horizon Ablaze.)

It may only be early April but 2014 has already produced numerous candidates for my own personal End of Year list/s. And it looks like it’s going to be a very bleak, blackened year indeed.

So, to highlight the wealth of majestic misanthropy that has already appeared this year, I’ve selected three examples of Black Metal at its finest, three albums that richly deserve to be feared and worshipped in their own right, three artists who may yet lay claim to the crooked crown.

Each one has its own allure, its own character, from the uncompromising, to the unknowable, to the unorthodox. Each one has its own voice and style, from the demonic, to the despairing, to the deranged. Yet each one is united by an undercurrent of remorseless passion and refusal to follow the path of others. Each one a visceral, violent, dissonantly melodic and brutally infectious example of blackened musical magick. Continue reading »

Mar 292014

Yesterday was a bonanza for me, like Santa got lost on Christmas Eve and wound up in a roadhouse in Amarillo and pulled out of his blackout drunk only yesterday, just long enough to drop these three presents down my non-existant chimney while he puked his guts out all over the reindeer. Or something like that.


I get all tingly in my nether bits thinking about Vallenfyre’s new album, Splinters. A Fragile King (2011) was such an auspicious debut, and it’s such welcome news that this all-star band decided to follow it up with another album, which is now scheduled for release by Century Media on May 12 in Europe and May 13 in North America. Yesterday brought the premiere of the album’s opening track, “Scabs”.

The combination of screeching feedback, massive guitar and bass tone, and crisp, rapid-fire percussion grabs you within the first half-minute — and the song just gets even better from then on. The writhing guitar melody, the truly titanic chugging, the cavernous vocals, the obliterating drumwork — it all combines to exert a powerful, primal appeal, and an atmosphere drenched in bleakness. Fantastic song. Continue reading »

Mar 032014

This round-up of news and new music is skewed toward the especially dark, depraved, nihilistc end of the extreme metal spectrum, hence the name “Shades of Black”, even though only two of the bands march under the black metal banner.


Once you’ve seen Jef Whitehead’s cover for the new album by Chicago’s Lord Mantis, you really don’t forget it. I splashed it across the top of our site when it became public about two weeks ago, though back then I hadn’t yet heard any of the music from Death Mask. Now I have, and man, it makes a scarring impression, too.

The song that premiered last Friday is the album’s searing opening track, “Body Choke”. Three things about it stand out. First, there’s the visceral pounding of the rhythm section, with Charlie Fell’s bass and Bill Bumgardner’s drumming interacting like men at work on a demolition project. Second, there are Fell’s vocals, which sound like a man drowning in sulfuric acid. And third, there are the doomed, devastating, degraded riffs; they create a choking, noxious atmosphere.

You will want to headbang. You may also want to open a vein. Continue reading »