Jan 302020


Twelve years into their career, the Swedish genre-benders in Moloken, who hail from the cold climes of Umeå in the north, have completed their fourth album, Unveilance of Dark Matter. It represents the band’s most adventurous, most thrilling, and quite possibly their most unnerving, work yet. Attempting to pin down the style of the music is like trying to pin mercury to a wall. It constantly escapes any such futile efforts, and is all the better for it.

One might try to make a list of the ingredients — which range from modern hardcore to progressive rock, from sludge to post-metal, from doom and death to black metal (and funk) — but a mere list isn’t very elucidating as to how the band have interwoven such disparate traditions. You really have to just hear the album, and to marvel at all the surprising twists and turns, as long as you understand that Moloken are going to constantly challenge you, and to dismember any sense of comfort and self-satisfaction you might be feeling before you begin.

Wiser minds might just stop there and let you experience the full stream of the album we’re presenting on the eve of its release by The Sign Records, but of course no one will ever accuse us of being very wise, and so we’ll yield to the near-irresistible temptation to comment, in detail, on how these 11 ambitious tracks strike us. Continue reading »

Dec 262015

Tau CRoss cover


Welcome to Part 3 of our list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For the third day in a row, I’m adding three songs to the list, and I’ve again combined three selections because I think they sound good together.

For more info about the criteria I’ve used in picking these songs and to check out the preceding songs on the list, click this link.


By this time of the year I would guess that most fans of heavy music have at least heard the name Tau Cross, especially since their debut album has been popping up frequently on lots of year-end lists. But for those who may still be unaware, it includes Amebix vocalist/bassist Rob “The Baron” Miller, Voivod drummer Michel “Away” Langevin, Misery guitarist Jon Misery, and War//Plague guitarist Andy Lefton. Continue reading »

Oct 032015



This is a good news, bad news story. The good news is that while I was driving home last night after seeing Bell Witch and Lycus perform in Seattle, I had the pleasure of seeing a beautiful vista in the sky above me, so beautiful that I had to pull over and take this photo with my phone. The bad news is that it was 2:30 a.m. when it happened.

Just in case it’s not clear, that’s waaaaay past my fucking bedtime. So I slept in this morning, and now I’m late getting together a post for this Saturday. I’m also a bit foggy in the head, but not so foggy that I can’t recognize a good song when I hear one. And I’ve actually got three good new songs in this post that I heard this morning, plus one very cool new video — presented in the order in which I heard and saw them. Continue reading »

Sep 192015

Grave-Out of Respect For the Dead


It’s a rare Saturday morning here on my metallic island. My head isn’t hammering and my stomach isn’t heaving. I managed to resist the usual Friday night temptation to celebrate the end of the work week by destroying myself. The feeling is so unusual that I decided to get my head hammered and my stomach heaved this morning with some metal instead of a night of strong drinking. Here’s what I found:


For me, it’s hard to think of a better way to start a weekend of listening than with a new song by Grave, especially when it comes from an album adorned with the artwork of Costin Chioreanu. The album is Out of Respect For the Dead, scheduled for release by Century Media on October 16, and the new song (presented through a lyric video) is “Mass Grave Mass”. Continue reading »

Dec 062013

(In this guest post, Johan Paulin features an eye-popping list of metal bands, all of whom hail from the same relatively small town in northern Sweden. Tons of music in here, too.)

As most metalheads with more than a fleeting interest in extreme metal know, Sweden has been a forerunner ever since Quorthon struck his first minor chord back in the 80’s. The explanations for how a population the size of Sweden’s could spawn so many good metal bands have varied, and I won’t get into them now, but it’s safe to say that the great band / population ratio is over the top. Still, for  all the bands you do know, dozens more toil in more or less obscurity and deserve a better fate. Thus, when Islander called upon us readers to contribute while he took a well-earned vacation full of cloudgazing and Krokodil [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desomorphine], I decided to take the opportunity to champion some of the great bands that originate from my hometown of Umeå, Sweden.

Umeå is located in the northern part of Sweden and has a population of about 120,000 in the whole municipality, making it the 12th largest city in Sweden according to The Font of All Human Knowledge. If that may seem laughable to many of you, you’ll be rolling on the floor when I tell you that the population of London is equal to the population of my whole country! So, fuck demographics and let’s get on with the metal. Continue reading »