Jul 112023

(In June Nuclear Blast released Scar Symmetry‘s first studio album in nine years. DGR was in no great hurry to review it. And you’d better be in no great hurry to read the review, because he has a lot of thoughts about it.)

Ever since its early June release, I’ve thought a lot about Scar Symmetry‘s newest album The Singulary (Phase II – Xenotaph) and what it means for the band, the limits of artist freedom, the effect of a long wait between albums, Scar Symmetry‘s place within the overall heavy metal world, and just how much the naming of an album really matters in relation to the music within.

Long story short, for an album that is recognizably one of the most Scar Symmetry albums that could’ve feasibly been conceived, it sure has set the old brain muscles aflame, and for better or for worse not all of that relates to the quality of music contained within Xenotaph‘s near hour of run time. Because what does it mean for a band like Scar Symmetry to essentially vanish, go dormant for nine-plus years and then reappear with an album that sounds like it too was placed within stasis itself and basically continues right where the band left off from their previous adventures – though it takes a few songs to get there? Continue reading »

Jan 252015

We now come to Part 25 of our 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 could go on at length about both of the songs I’m adding to the list today, because to me the way in which each song is constructed and the musical ingredients the bands folded into them make the songs as interesting as they are catchy — and they are both very catchy. But I’ll hold my verbiage to a minimum and let the music speak for itself.


A lot of bands would have been quite happy to end “Now We Die” at about the three-and-a-half minute mark, and it would have been a fine, hard-rocking, heavy-grooved piece of business without anything more. But this is Machine Head and of course they weren’t about to stop. Continue reading »

Oct 152014


(In this post Andy Synn offers some opinions and poses some questions — and invites your answers in the Comments.)

Now that the financial crisis is over… fair and equitable punishments have been meted out to those involved… the banks have all learned their lessons… and nothing like that will ever happen again…. I think we can safely move on to discussing more important topics, right?

All (slightly depressing) jokes aside, zeitgeisty terms like “too big to fail” actually have their use and can be applied and utilized in a bunch of wider contexts. Case in point, what happens when a Metal band becomes “too big to fail”, and how does a band even reach that point? Continue reading »

Oct 072014


(DGR reviews the new Scar Symmetry album.)

Heavy metal’s fascination with space is a long and storied one, especially in recent years as the mass media has become engrossed in science, with a half-million shows that all seem to boil down to, “Check out how awesome this shit is!”, as voiced by Morgan Freeman or breathlessly delivered by popular physicists.

Few bands, however, have tackled these subjects with the consistency and exploratory excitement of Scar Symmetry, having now released six albums covering a variety of subjects dealing not only with space in its physical form but also the philosophies of the universe, the science fiction aspects, and even a healthy dose of futurism — as recently provided by the group’s newly released sixth disc The Singularity (Phase One: Neohumanity), which will henceforth be referred to as Singularity. Continue reading »

Sep 262014


I failed to pull together a round-up of new music yesterday — as you may have noticed, we were pretty busy with a lot of other goings-on at the site. What that means is that I now have two days’ worth of new things to pore over in deciding what to throw your way.

And man, it has been one hell of a week for new songs and videos. I’m having trouble remembering another one so filled with worthy new debuts. Unfortunately, this means I won’t be able to cover everything that deserves to be covered. But we soldier on as best we can.


Yesterday brought a torrent of news from this excellent Polish supergroup whose music my comrade Andy Synn once described as “crushing blackened-death metal with a lunatic, symphonic twist”. Vesania’s discography, as it then existed, was the subject of one of Andy’s SYNN REPORTs in 2012, but that report is about to be rendered incomplete, because… Continue reading »

Aug 222014


Here are a trio of new songs that I heard this morning that I enjoyed. Perhaps you will enjoy them, too. Obviously, I couldn’t resist grouping these three S bands together. Cool album covers for all of them, too.


Scar Symmetry’s sixth album is on the way. The title is Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity). It has a cool album cover, don’t you think? Today the band released a lyric video for a single from the album named “Limits To Infinity”. The announcement came with these quotes from band members:

Per Nilsson: “I thought to myself… am I allowed to fuse death metal with AOR, and go extreme in both directions? I didn’t ask for permission, I just went and did it, and I’m pretty excited to hear what people are gonna think about it.”

Henrik Ohlsson: “‘Limits to Infinity’” unveils the malevolent plan of the elite, the hidden hand, and their discoveries regarding the secrets of the universe. The lyric elaborates on the decision makers’ long-term plan to merge with machines and colonize other planets.”

The music is a high-powered combination of jolting riffs/rhythms and catchy melody, deliciously ugly growls and soaring cleans, tumbling drums and a flickering solo. It hammers and it glides and I don’t think you’ll be able to remain still while it does its thing. Continue reading »

Feb 182013

Today and the next few days are pretty jammed with the work that pays the bills, but I just took a break long enough to spot the following tidbits I’d like to pass around like a family-sized bag of popcorn.


I saw an announcement that The Dillinger Escape Plan have revealed the title of their next album — One of Us Is the Killer — and a general timeframe for release — May — as well as the album cover (above).

The album will be released by the band’s imprint label Party Smashers Inc. and will be distributed in NorthAm by Sumerian and by BMG everywhere else.

I also saw that DEP has already begun scheduling tour dates in the U.S. and overseas. Many more dates will follow, but you can see the initial list right after the jump. Continue reading »

Dec 212012

(Andy Synn wrote this latest installment in the “Five of My Favourite” series.  He seems pretty smug, given that today isn’t over yet.)

Well since the world didn’t end (you’re welcome by the way…) how about a quick column on five of my favourite songs about… the end of the world?



Ah, what a tune. Thick and crunchy cyber-ised melodic death metal, with lyrics about the destruction of the world via the medium of a gigantic asteroid. Our inevitable destruction has never been so catchy.

‘Estimate time of impact
Calculate the fatal fact
Estimate the cataclysm
Calculate the apocalypse’

Continue reading »

Nov 142012

Sakis Tolis, laying down a soothing lullaby. 

Once again, your intrepid editor has sifted through the ever flowing stream of metal news and new music to find those gleaming nuggets that will enrich your daily lives.  Actually, I don’t know if you’ll give a shit about any of this, but I do, and that’s what really matters, isn’t it?  No need to answer, that was a rhetorical question.


We’ve already reported that Rotting Christ are at work on their 11th studio album, but today I saw a few more tidbits of news: The album will be entitled Do What Thou Wilt, and it will hit the stores on March 1, 2013. We usually don’t write about such happenings unless we have a bit more juice to go along with it, such as album art or a song premiere. But these Greek maestros are the kind of band whose every move interests me. And I’m particularly interested to see if the new album will be a further step down the path of strongly folk/ethnic-influenced metal exhibited on Aealo.

I also saw today that the French band Necrowretch have finished the recording and mastering of their debut album for Century Media. It was recorded in late August at Blackout Multimedia studios in Brussels by Phorgath of Enthroned and its title will be Putrid Death Sorcery. The cover art is being prepared by Milovan Novakovic from Montenegro, who also created the beastly cover for the band’s last EP, Now You’re In Hell (reviewed here). And if you’re wondering why this news matters, check out some Necrowretch music right after the jump. Continue reading »

Nov 012012

Here are some quick notes about a couple of noteworthy tours announced over the last 24 hours.

Nile has announced that it will tour the U.S. next March and April with 28 dates around the country. There are two interesting aspects to this tour. First, the band will be playing two full sets with only a brief intermission, which means fans are going to get a lethal dose of Nile, with time for the band to provide a thorough selection from their discography.

Second, Nile aren’t taking any supporting bands along for this ride. Instead, they’re asking promoters to pick the three best local bands from each locale the tour will visit. As Karl Sanders explained in a press statement:

Supporting local bands in each city is a way for us to give something back to younger bands and the metal scene.  We’ve asked promoters to keep ticket prices low, so that fans of all ages can come and join us for an evening of metal.  In these difficult times of our recessionary economy, an evening of killer metal shouldn’t have to break the bank

This is a cool idea, and of course it provides an opportunity for local bands to get some great exposure. Exclusive pre-sale tickets are available now at EnterTheVault.com. I checked the prices, and they range from $10 to $20, depending on the city. The price in Seattle is $18. The schedule is right after the jump. Continue reading »