Mar 082016

Katatonia 2016


If you recall yesterday’s “Seen and Heard” round-up, I explained that I had fallen so far behind that I had a list of 30 new tracks from over the last week that I thought were worth exploring. And sure enough, the list has only grown, because so many other good new things popped up in the last 24 hours. So I’m starting with the four newest items and concluding with four from last week.


Yesterday brought details about the next Katatonia album, as well as a very brief teaser video. This will be their tenth studio full-length, with the title of The Fall of Hearts. It’s set for a May 20 release by Peaceville Records. Here’s the artwork (by Travis Smith, of course): Continue reading »

Dec 302014

Today we bring you Part 7 of our evolving 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.

I’m really not sure how this happened. Somehow I’ve rolled out the first six installments of this series without including even one piece of vicious, old-school Swedish death metal, even though that’s my main musical comfort food. Well, I’m going to fix that right now by including not two, but three songs in this installment (and I’m going to fix it again before this series reaches the end).


As I wrote in my review of Just Before Dawn’s The Aftermath, “Anders Biazzi has two things going for him: He can write death metal riffs that are pure gold, and he’s friends with a bunch of monster vocalists and soloing guitar demons.” And to quote myself again (because if I don’t, who will?):

The Aftermath captures and combines all the qualities that make this kind of old school death metal a primal, undying force while at the same time enriching the canon with songs that are vibrant and memorable. I think you’d have to be very jaded and hide-bound not to feel the spark, no matter how wedded you may be to the classics. And therefore I say, it’s unusually good.” Continue reading »

Jul 172014


Here are a few noteworthy things I spotted and heard yesterday, with some help from my friends. If time permits, I’ll put up a second collection today, because yesterday really brought a cavalcade of things I want to spread around.


I know there are human beings in Ævangelist, but I still prefer to call them “the Ævangelist entity” because the music sounds like emanations from a dark dimension outside our own by an inhuman being whose shape can’t be mapped. This entity has been churning out music at a an increasingly furious rate. Although the last album, Omen Ex Simulacra emerged from the void only last fall, yesterday brought an announcement by Debemur Morti Productions that a new full-length named Ævangelist III – Writhes in the Murk will become available in September (on CD, vinyl, and digital).

That news would have been enough to stop me in my tracks all by itself, but the announcement was accompanied by the unveiling of the wonderful album cover you see above. It was created by Andrzej Masianis, who also created the painted cover for the last album, which is worth seeing in full rather than in the cropped version that was visible as the album’s front cover. The painting was originally entitled “Exterminating Angel”: Continue reading »

May 122014

From the first seconds of the first song on Cursed Redeemer, Sweden’s Miasmal rip the door open on a death metal blast furnace, and the conflagration doesn’t diminish (much) from then until the album’s final notes. It’s an adrenaline rush that also happens to be adroitly composed and performed with top-shelf skill, and we’re damned happy to bring you a stream of the whole scorching thing, right here, right now, on the day before its US release.

Miasmal (who include two members of the excellent Agrimonia) call Gothenburg home, but don’t be fooled by the geography: This isn’t melodic death metal (though the songs do include a slew of memorable melodic hooks), and it’s not predominantly gore-drenched or doom-driven death metal either.

If you’re familiar with the history of death metal in Sweden, then you know that it was influenced in its early development more by punk and d-beat hardcore than the scene in the U.S., and that comes through loud and clear in Cursed Redeemer. But these dudes also know how to kick out some mighty galvanizing thrash licks, too. And they also deliver blunt-force trauma with convincing enthusiasm. Continue reading »

Apr 222014

Here are five items I found yesterday that I thought were worth sharing. The first and last items will tear you a new one. In between those you’ll find some tantalizing news and a song that’s an exception to our “rule” but will rock you all night long.


Miasmal are a Gothenburg death metal band who share members with Agrimonia and Martyrdöd and whose self-titled debut album came out in 2011. Their second album, Cursed Redeemer, is scheduled for a May 13 U.S. release by Century Media (April 28 in the EU). Last month we featured a song from the album named “Until the Last”. Yesterday Noisey/Vice premiered a second track, “Call of the Revenant”. In a word, it’s stupendous (and, as noted, it will tear you a new one).

Seriously, there’s something about this song. On the one hand, it sounds utterly familiar — voracious vocal howling, heavy-drilling down-tuned riff grisliness, death/crust grinding and crawling, punk-inflected Swedeath rhythms. On the other hand, it not only captures this old-school radiance terrifically well, it sounds… vibrant and new. The rapacious, marauding energy is explosive and it begs to be played over and over again. Continue reading »

Mar 252014

I haven’t had time to pull together a round-up of new discoveries in a couple of days, but I thought that before I get further behind I would at least call out four recent songs that are worth some attention Two of them are precursors to new albums due for release later this year and otwone come from an album that hit the streets in February.


Phobocosm are from Montreal and in recent days they were signed by the Dark Descent label for the release of their debut album, Deprived, which was mixed and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Krallice). NCS scribe Austin Weber brought them to my attention, thinking their music would be up my alley, and man was he ever right.

Just a few days ago the band released the first song from Deprived for public consumption, and it’s a monster. The dreadful chiming chords that begin “Solipsist” are like the bells that herald the final doom, and the rest of the song provides a reasonable approximation of that event. Phobocosm marry crushing riffs and ever-changing drumbeats to bleak, needling tremolo melodies and a gargantuan voice that emanates from some deep pit in the earth. Continue reading »