Feb 042022
 

 

Today I must bring this list to an end. It’s not because I’m really finished — I have dozens more songs I’d like to add and write about. It’s because we’re now a week into February and I really ought to spend more time focusing on the songs of this year instead of yesteryear.

So, please do me a favor and hold your fire. I know I didn’t include some of the songs you’ve been waiting to see, and please don’t question how the hell I chose the ones I did include, at the cost of your own favorites, because it was anything but an organized, scientific, and well-thought-out process. I’m happy with what I chose, but easily could have chosen others.

That statement is as true of today’s final songs as all the ones that came before. I picked a few — okay, more than a few (though accompanied by fewer words and no artwork) — but in coming down to the wire I yielded even more to random impulse than probably ever before.

On Monday I’ll add a “wrap up” post that compiles everything on the list from eager beginning to anguished end, all in one place. And with that, here are the final choices, this time arranged alphabetically. Continue reading »

Nov 082021
 

(Andy Synn was fortunate enough to attend this year’s edition of Damnation Festival and now reports back with his experiences of all the bands he saw over the course of the day, along with video evidence)

Well, here it is, the very last Damnation Festival at Leeds University, as the event has become so popular now (as evinced by how quickly so many stages reach capacity these days) that the organisers are moving it (back) to Manchester where they’ve found a bigger and (hopefully) better venue for future editions of the fest.

And while this gives 2021 a real “end of an era” feel, it’s obvious that the Damnation team really wanted to see out their time in Leeds with a major bang, delivering – despite some well-documented, and sadly unavoidable, pandemic-based issues – one of the most stacked line-ups they’ve ever had.

Now, one thing I really tried to do this time around was to see (and document) as many sets by bands I hadn’t seen before, and while, in practice, this didn’t always work out – sometimes due to circumstances entirely beyond my control, sometimes just because I really wanted to see certain bands in particular – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by who I actually did manage to catch over the course of the day.

So, without further ado…

Continue reading »

Sep 042021
 

 

Can’t you read plain English? It says “Labor Day”. It doesn’t say “Holi-Day”. So I’m just following the prescribed agenda, and laboring.

Because I unexpectedly agreed to write a whopping four premieres yesterday, I had no time to begin rounding up a selection of songs and videos that surfaced this past week. Leaving that until today has resulted in another massive collection, again featuring too many bands to name in the post title.

As it happens, the majority of the new music you’ll find below is accompanied by videos. It also happens that almost all of the new songs are high-speed devastators. This isn’t entirely by accident, because many of them were recommended in our NCS group by DGR, who tends to prefer musical riots over other forms of audio entertainment. And once I’d gotten into that kind of groove, I tended to stick with it in choosing from among other possibilities I checked out.

ARCHSPIRE (Canada)

We’ll start with a new lyric video for a frantic new song by Archspire, in which vocalist Oliver Rae Aleron goes faster than a cattle auctioneer and the rest of the band spits a variety of bullets even faster — but then abruptly the song gets dreamy. Continue reading »

Feb 022020
 

 

As predicted at the end of yesterday’s penultimate segment of this list, I spent hours agonizing about what to include in this final Part. And in the end, despite the internal misery occasioned by having to make a final choice among so many strong remaining candidates, it’s still a largely random outcome — even though this final episode includes a LOT more songs than usual. Basically, I went with my gut, slightly aided by my brain, which thought this sequence of tracks might be a fitting conclusion. At a minimum, it’s more directly in line with the title of this list than yesterday’s choices.

The first three songs are guitar spectacles, the fourth and fifth ones keep the savage energy in the red zone in different ways, the sixth moves into malevolent brutishness (with serious risk of sore-neck syndrome), and then we shift gears into downright epic territory with the last two stirring and marvelously multi-faceted songs, which seemed the right way, in farewell, to express how glorious metal was in 2019.

MATTERHORN

I first stumbled across the Swiss band Matterhorn in the spring of 2018 when they had two songs up for streaming in advance of Iron Bonehead‘s CD release of their debut album, Crass Cleansing, and I came away very impressed. I had a tough time categorizing the music, describing it then as a stew of extremity that included elements of thrash, speed metal, punk, black metal, and death metal — and the overall impact was electrifying. Continue reading »

Aug 092019
 

 

(Andy Synn breathes more life into this occasional series featuring reviews of new releases by UK bands, with reviews and streams of EPs by Ba’al, Lvcifyre, and Man Must Die.)

Chances are a bunch of our regular UK readers will be off in a field in Derbyshire this weekend attending Bloodstock Festival, and so probably won’t get to read this article.

But that’s ok, because one of the primary purposes behind this “Best of British” series is to introduce readers/listeners from other countries to some of our best home-grown musical exports.

So, in that spirit, please allow me to draw your attention to three of the best new (or new-ish) EPs from three of the UK’s best bands. Continue reading »

Aug 082017
 

 

(Last year TheMadIsraeli posted the first two installments in this irregular series, and now brings us a third one.)

Another installment of irrelevant listening where I share albums in my rotation lately that aren’t current. Let’s get started.

Killswitch Engage – Alive Or Just Breathing: Top-Shelf Edition

Alive Or Just Breathing is the melodic metalcore album that in my mind has never been topped. Even the band themselves admitted in an interview, I think it was this year, that this is STILL their best album. I’ve written about this album before on the site and stumbled upon the so-called “Top Shelf” expanded edition (released in 2005) some time ago. Continue reading »

Sep 182016
 

man-must-die-band-2016
Man Must Die

 

I decided to dispense with the usual Sunday installment of The Rearview Mirror in order to spend the time writing this thing. I spent several hours yesterday listening to new metal (when I wasn’t talking calls from world leaders anxious for help in solving their many problems), and these five songs and videos pounced on me like the vicious head-wrecking predators they are. I found a lot of other things to like in my listening excursions, but it just made sense to my addled mind to package these together so as to inflict maximum trauma on you, our beloved readers.

I’m afraid these won’t be the only audio assaults I intend to facilitate today, since I also have a Shades of Black post in progress. Between that post and this one, it will add up to a lot of listening. Just ignore your friends and/or your families and/or food, water, and bathroom breaks, and you’ll be able to take it all in.

MAN MUST DIE

We have been writing about Scotland’s Man Must Die for many years (beginning in December 2009 when we were only one month old)… but years have passed since MMD released an album (the last one being 2013’s Peace Was Never An Option). Two years ago they did release a single called “Slave To the Animal” (which we dutifully covered here), and last year they released a video for  a cover of the song “Milk” by S.O.D. (featured here). And now, finally, they seem close to releasing a new EP named Gagging Order. Continue reading »

Oct 212015
 

hotel photo

 

I had to make a whirlwind trip to Dallas, Texas, for my fucking day job, leaving Sunday morning and returning to Seattle late yesterday. I didn’t have much time to myself, which means I fell behind in listening to new metal. On the plus side, I was put up in a swanky hotel, the corridors of which were lined with large framed photos from ’60s and ’70s fashion magazines. Every time I walked past the one above, I did a double-take. And that wasn’t the only one that stopped me in my tracks. So there’s that.

Anyway, last night and this morning I enjoyed the following new music streams and videos, presented here in alphabetical order by band name except for the last one, which is a twist on what I usually feature in these pages.

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS

Thanks to Andy Synn, we’ve previously reviewed the excellent new album by Abigail Williams, The Accuser, which will be released by Candlelight Records on October 30. Yesterday CVLT Nation premiered a video for one of the new songs named “Nuumite”. It’s the track that ends the album, and takes a sharp turn from what preceded it (though if you listen closely to the preceding songs, you’ll realize that the twist was forecast all along). Here’s what Andy wrote about the song: Continue reading »

Jul 042014
 

 

Google Analytics tells me that over the last 30 days 40.10% of the visitors to our site were located in the United States. Because we math like some motherfuckers, we are able to determine that 59.90% of visitors over the last 30 days were from other nations. For them, today is just another day. So we’ll get the obligatory USA! USA! USA! chant out of the way by celebrating one of our nation’s greatest accomplishments on this July 4th via the video above.

Okie dokie, now that we’ve had our Fourth of July celebration, let’s move along to some musical fireworks. Here are four recommended new metal songs that appeared over the last 48 hours.

PANTHEON I

As we’ve previously reported, Oslo’s Pantheon I have a new album entitled From the Abyss They Rise that’s due for release on August 14 by Non Serviam Records. It includes both an EP’s worth of new songs plus older compositions, including their first demo tracks from a decade ago. Yesterday I caught up to a stream of one of the new songs that appeared on July 2. Continue reading »

Jan 282014
 

Welcome to the lucky 13th Part of our list of the year’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. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.

You remember that a few days ago I resolved to finish this list by the end of January? Well, like my New Year’s resolution to be nice to children and poodles, I may not be able to follow through on that promise. Just too damned many great songs from 2013 that need to be recognized. Also, it’s easier on me to just keep going than to make hard decisions about what to select and what to cut, and I’m completely in favor of making things easier on myself.

KATAKLYSM

Oh man, did Kataklysm come back strong with 2013’s Waiting For the End To Come — strong, hungry, and with fangs and claws bared. To quote from our review by TheMadIsraeli: Continue reading »