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 »

Jan 032012

This is Part 9 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

Today’s pairing of songs will seem like an odd decision to some people. Oh fuck, who am I kidding — it will seem like an odd pairing to almost everyone. But have a little faith. Yes, the songs contrast greatly with each other, but I think they sound great together, too, when played back to back. Obviously, I also think they’re both really infectious. Also, the names of both bands begin with the same three letters, so that counts, too. Doesn’t it?


German’s Infestus began life as a three-man band, but by the time Debemur Morti released the band’s latest album E x | I s t, Infestus had become the solo project of one very talented multi-instrumentalist named Andras. In addition to writing and performing everything on the album, Andras also recorded and mixed the music as well. The sound is clear and sharp; you can hear the contribution of every instrument, though the instruments (particularly the guitars) are often so layered that it takes multiple listens to appreciate how much thought went into the mix in order to produce the overall effect.

To steal from my own review of the album, it’s “complex, sophisticated, brilliantly composed and performed, often beautiful but always powerful, a totally engrossing and immersive listening experience” — one of the best black metal albums I’ve heard this year.  Yes, I said it — it’s black metal, but for those of you who’ve already started wrinkling your noses and rolling your eyes at the thought of another one-man BM project, bear with me. Continue reading »

May 122011

E x | I s t is the new album by Infestus. Infestus began life as a three-man project. After releasing a demo, a debut album, and a split, guitarist Harbarth split, leaving multi-instrumentalist Andras and vocalist Dagon to soldier on. In 2008, that duo created a concept album called Chroniken Des Ablebens, which was released by Debemur Morti Productions. Then, in the summer of 2010, Dagon went his own way, and Andras was left to soldier on, providing the vocals and all the instruments on E x | I s t.

Wait, wait, wait. Someone out there is muttering under his breath. You think I can’t hear you, but I can. You’re mumbling this:

Oh, fuck no, not another one-man black-metal band from Northern Europe. It probably sounds like a vat of sulphuric acid at the boiling point.

Well, stop your damned muttering and stay with me here.

Acidic? Not really. Boiling? Sometimes. Complex, sophisticated, brilliantly composed and performed, often beautiful but always powerful, a totally engrossing and immersive listening experience? Hell yes! One of the best black-metal albums I’ve heard this year? Abso-fuckin-lutely. Continue reading »