Sep 072018


Three days ago we published Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Polish black metal horde Outré, a group whose debut full-length Ghost Chants he declared to be the best Black Metal album of 2015, a year that brought many other similarly stunning releases, including Mgła’s Exercises in Futility and Misþyrming’s Söngvar elds og óreiðu. Of the new album, Hollow Earth, Andy wrote that it’s now immediately a contender for the best black metal album of 2018.

Three days ago Outré’s label, Debemur Morti Productions, who will be releasing Hollow Earth on October 26th, hadn’t yet officially announced the release or divulged any tracks for public listening — but now that’s happening, and we’re privileged to help present the first music from the album, a track named “The Order of Abhorrence“. Continue reading »

Sep 042018


(In this post Andy Synn presents reviews of three of the best black metal albums released so far in 2018.)

You could perhaps consider this article something of a rebuttal to my “Three Faces of Death” piece which was published last week, wherein I stated that 2018 seems to have been a very Death Metal heavy year so far, and that the Black Metal scene has (arguably) been lagging a little bit behind so far.

After all, while this statement is still generally true, some of this year’s blackest highlights – Funeral Mist, Ordinul Negru, Slidhr, Gaerea, Aklash, Ascension– have been more than capable of going toe-to-toe with whatever their deathly brethren have brought to the table.

It’s really just a numbers game at this point, and while I don’t see this torrent of dominating Death Metal ebbing any time soon, I’m pleased to be able to redress the balance somewhat by featuring the following three albums of blackened brilliance. Continue reading »

Nov 262017


At this site we don’t often publicize mere announcements of new releases without accompanying music, but a few weeks ago I did because the announcement got me so excited that I couldn’t resist. The subject was a forthcoming split by Barshasketh (formerly based in New Zealand, now located in Edinburgh, Scotland) and the Polish band Outre. Entitled Sein / Zeit, the split is scheduled for released on November 27th by Third Eye Temple and Blut & Eisen Productions.

Both of these bands have released some stunningly good music in the past, and that alone would have been reason enough to cause excitement about this split, but the conceptual focus of the music described in the announcement made the prospect even more intriguing. And now we’ve heard the split — and today you may do the same — and it is every bit as exciting as we thought it might be. Continue reading »

Oct 292017


Once again I find myself with a small mountain of new music and recent announcements I’d like to share from the fecund gardens of musical nightshade. I had 12 items when I started writing yesterday, some of them advance music from forthcoming releases, some of them full albums or EPs, and one of them just an announcement (but a very exciting one).

I put all 12 in alphabetical order by band name and then divided them into three parts. With a little luck, I’ll get the second part finished and posted today. With a little more luck I’ll finish the third one in time to post on Monday morning. I hope you’ll find some things to like.


In January of 2016 we were lucky to premiere a song from the debut EP (Pupil of the Searing Maelstrom) of an Icelandic black metal band named Almyrkvi, which is the solo project of musician Garðar S Jónsson, who is also a member of the Icelandic band Sinmara. We followed that with Andy Synn’s laudatory review of the EP, which he described as a successful effort “to capture the fearsome cold and endless nothingness of the celestial abyss in five impressively atmospheric and morbidly mesmerising tracks”. Continue reading »

Jun 022015


(KevinP brings us this “Get To the Point” interview with Marcin Radecki, bass player for Outre from Kraków, Poland, whose new album Ghost Chants has made quite a splash.)

K:  How does it feel to have one of the, if not ‘THE’, best albums of the year (so far)?

M:  Nice to hear that someone uses such huge words to describe our album.  It definitely feels good but it also brings up a bigger challenge to keep such a level or even exceed it on future releases. Continue reading »

May 132015

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Welcome back to Essential Entries. April has already passed, and it’s hard to believe. It feels like we – at least those unlucky enough to live in areas that deal with winter – were just freezing ourselves stiff, and now the temperatures are in the 80s. Thank goodness. Winter is awful. Thankfully, good music is the antithesis of such, and we’re loaded this month.

Also, my apologies for getting this up a bit late. Yours truly was out of town for over two weeks, and that resulted in a ton of catch-up listening in order to do this right. No way will this column ever be done half-heartedly!

With that out of the way, let’s get to the tunes.


Abyss – Heretical Anatomy

Gritty Canadian death metal. Abyss proves that it’s not all maple syrup and politeness up there. Equal parts catchy and punishing, this proves to be a great debut full-length. Continue reading »

Apr 282015


(We’re nearing the end of the month, and that means it’s time for KevinP to name the releases this month that most impressed him.) 

We’re a quarter of the way through 2015 already.  This month was stacked to the gills with quality releases, the best yet.  Even though they didn’t make my Top 5, I feel obliged to mention Infernal War, Macabre Omen, Tribulation, Haar, and Kommandant, which are all worthy of your time.  But now, on to the creme de la creme.

5.  Abjvration – The Unquenchable Pyre

This was a last-minute entry and pushed one of the bands mentioned above off this list.  Think Portal, if they transformed into a Finnish doomy death metal band.  Sure, that makes no sense.  But does this band being absolutely terrifying and hailing from France make sense?  They are so kvlt, they’re not even listed on Metal Archives and have only a few hundred Facebook likes. Continue reading »

Apr 142015


As usual, I’m drowning in excellent new metal. There seems to be no ebb and flow this year — it’s a flood tide all the time. And so, perhaps even more so than usual, what I’m collecting in these round-ups is the result of impulsive choices. “Random Fucking Music” indeed.


The Norwegian duo known as Deathhammer have a new album named Evil Power set for international release by Hells Headbangers on June 30. Having been a big fan of Onward To the Pits (their last album, from 2012), that date can’t come soon enough for me.

This morning I heard the first advance track from the album, a tornado named “Warriors of Evil”. It’s the first song on a Soundcloud compilation of 2015 music created by Fenriz (of Darkthrone fame). There happens to be a ton of other good music on this playlist, and I’ll include the song list below, since the stream isn’t divided into separate tracks. But as for “Warriors of Evil”, it’s thoroughly electrifying black thrashing speed metal with thoroughly rancid vocals and the kind of riff mastery that causes furious headbanging followed by a desire to prostrate yourself in humble worship and pathetic pleading for MORE OF THIS! RIGHT FUCKING NOW! Continue reading »

Mar 252015


Following the release in 2013 of a debut EP (Tranquility) and a split with Thaw, Poland’s Outre will see the release of their debut album Ghost Chants next month. Today we bring you a first taste of this new work as we premiere its final track, “Arrival“.

The combination of piercing and groaning tones that introduce the song immediately fashion an atmosphere that’s both eerie and ominous. The titanic, distortion-drenched pounding and dynamic, deranged vocals that follow only deepen the sense of impending calamity, and when the song erupts in an explosion of jagged riffing and blasting drumbeats, the tension breaks and the threatened destruction becomes a reality. Continue reading »

Jan 212015

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth


I’ve commented before about the enormous flood of stream premieres, new album announcements, label signings, and other metal news that has been unleashed since the beginning of the year. But yesterday may have reached new heights of ridiculousness in terms of the number of noteworthy things I saw in a single day.

In fact, yesterday brought so damned much cool stuff that I’d either have to write a half-dozen posts or do what I’m doing here instead — just funneling streams, links, artwork, and news blurbs your way with a minimum of commentary. The bands are presented in alphabetical order — all 18 of them. In most cases, you can enlarge the cover art and photos by clicking on the images in this post. Continue reading »