May 172014

Here’s how this post came about:  I listen to Soundcloud every day, following links in our emails or ones I see on Facebook. Usually they’re advance tracks from new albums, and I’m trying to decide whether to write about them. Yesterday I listened to one solely because the band had the longest one-word name I’d ever seen.

When a song finishes on Soundcloud, another one generally starts playing, whether you want it to or not. That also happened yesterday, and it drew me into other bands on the same label as the first one — Finland’s Ektro Records. I’ve written about that label’s releases in the past, but infrequently.

So I had the impulsive idea of writing about a group of songs from recent Ektro releases that I found on Soundcloud. And I decided to do the same thing tomorrow, focusing on another label with which I’m even less familiar.

In the past I’ve found Ektro’s releases very interesting, though a high percentage of them aren’t straight down the metal fairway. The ones you’re about to hear aren’t either. But they’re not down the middle of any fairway — which is why I’m digging them. Continue reading »

Dec 172013

(Just a few days ago we published Fork Tongue’s list of the year’s best demo’s, and now we bring you his list of the year’s best EP’s. More of his lists will be coming in the days ahead.)

I used to hate EP’s. My thought was always, “hey guys, just wait until you have enough material for a full length”, and that was that. I’ve softened on that over the last couple of years because I realized I was missing out on some good stuff. Case in point, 2013. If I hadn’t decided to separate EP’s from LP’s, a few of these would be candidates for my best album list.

1. BölzerAura

Seemingly everybody knows about Bölzer already, and rightfully so. If you ever wanted a Death Metal band to border on the dissonance of Deathspell Omega or Blut aus Nord, here you go. These guys are poised for big things whenever they decide to drop an LP. Now, go get lost in “Entranced By The Wolfshook”.

Continue reading »