Apr 242023

(Here’s Wil Cifer‘s review of Texan outfit Portrayal of Guilt‘s new album, which is out now via via Run For Cover Records.)

Uncompromising and confrontational are two words that should be used when describing artists who use heavy music as their medium. You read that right. An artist, not a band. The best-case scenario is a band of artists, but when you are talking about a project that takes the kind of sonic risks Portrayal of Guilt does, the conversation turns to an art form.

These Texans do not play by the rules of heavy music, nor do they care. They make cathartic darkness, which is why they are one of my favorite new heavy vehicles of chaos for my ears. Their new album conforms when they feel like it. They used atmosphere and jarring dissonance to paint hellish portraits of inner pain externalized. 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.


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 032021


(Here is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Portrayal of Guilt from Austin, Texas. The abum was just released by Closed Casket Activities.)

Raise your hands – who here remembers the halcyon days of abrasive, chaotic Hardcore?

You know what I’m talking about. Back when it seemed like half the bands were constantly on the cusp of imploding, and every song felt like a burning fuse about to explode?

Do you recall how it felt? The anger and the anguish. The tension and the terror. The overwhelming sense that anything could happen, at any moment, and everything might spontaneously combust without warning?

Well, my friends, you’re in luck, because those days are back… in PoG form! Continue reading »

Jan 022021


Last night I decided not to post anything today and instead spend the time trying to figure out how to begin rolling out my 2020 Most Infectious Songs list next week, and to get my shit together for when my day job starts whomping me in the head again on Monday. I have spent some time on both of those projects but my NCS obsession got the better of me, and I took a break to listen to some things on my ever-burgeoning list of music to check out. From that listening session, I picked what you’ll find in this round-up.

I have made a few compromises, compared to what I usually do in these posts, so I can get back to the other projects a bit faster. The main compromises were to dispense with tracking down, re-sizing, and uploading album art, and to write less.

GATEWAY (Belgium)

Been anxiously awaiting the first preview of music from this death/doom band’s new EP, Flesh Reborn, and it finally arrived today. The ferocity of “Slumbering Crevasses” will maul and mangle you, and the cavernous monstrosity of the vocals and quivering eeriness of the leads may put the hair up on the back of your neck too. When the song slows, it’s still punishing, and even more apocalyptically frightening. Continue reading »

May 182017


Part 1 of this late-week round-up can be found here. I’m still not finished throwing recommendations your way, but Part 3 will have to wait until tomorrow. They’re closing the door on my airplane now.


Yesterday Integrity released an official video for “I Am The Spell“, a track off their new (12th) album Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume, which is described as “a conceptual foretelling of the final days of Armageddon”. It will be released by Relapse on July 14th. The lyrics tell you a lot about the sound of this new track: Continue reading »