Nov 032020


(This is the fifth installment in a seven-album review orgy by our man DGR, who is attempting to free his mind for year-end season by clearing away a backlog of write-ups for albums he has enjoyed in 2020. With one exception we’ve been running these on consecutive days, and today’s subject is the third album by the Egyptian death metal band Scarab, released last spring by ViciSolum Productions.)

It isn’t the most intuitive thing in the world, but I could’ve sworn that I learned about Scarab’s early-2020 disc Martyrs Of The Storm via ViciSolum Productions at this very site. We’d covered them previously so the Egyptian death metal group were already on my radar. But this specific album is one where I’m swearing up and down that we already wrote about it here – so much so that I’m somewhat scared that I may already be stepping on someone else’s turf by writing about it again.

That’s especially true when you consider that an album like Martyrs Of The Storm will generally find a solid foothold around these parts – partially my fault – because it’s a giant fifty-minute bear of a disc that plays well within the realm of the low and hammering brutal death traditions. Continue reading »

Dec 202019


Unsurprisingly, I have accumulated quite a lot of new music I want to share since the last of these round-ups almost one week ago. I’ve picked four new songs for the following collection and have plans to highlight a few more on Saturday.


In 2016 we had the privilege of premiering the third album, Nur Ein Moment…, by the atmospheric black metal group Frigoris. As I wrote then, “Through the course of the album’s six long tracks Frigoris move from passages of soft, ethereal beauty to storms of surging blackened power, interweaving elements of black metal, post-metal and doom to create a journey through a changing emotional landscape of peaks and valleys.”

That album was the beginning of a concept that reaches its conclusion on the band’s fourth album, …In Stille, which will be released by Hypnotic Dirge Records on January 24th. The first song I’ve selected for today’s collection is one from the new Frigoris album that was revealed just yesterday, and it makes a powerful first impression of the new record. Continue reading »

Jun 102012

Lately I’ve been writing posts in which I collect new music, album art, and metal news items that I’ve seen recently which I think are worth sharing. I keep saying it’s not going to become a regular kind of series, but I might as well stop fooling myself. I still need to find a title for them. Today I’m trying out a couple of ideas I got from Kazz (with my addition of some Demilich-style parentheses) and Phro. I’ve got some more reader suggestions I might try out the next time I do this.


I saw that Egyptian death-metal band Scarab have revealed the artwork, tracklist, and title for their next album — Serpents of the Nile. The artwork (above) is by an Egyptian artist who calls himself Bombest, (Mohamed El Sherbieny). and I think he did an awesome job with this, don’t you? Actually, the album cover is only a part of a larger piece, which you can see after the jump.

I discovered Scarab back in July 2010 when I put together a series on metal from North Africa, and wrote this post about them, focusing on their superb last album, Blinding the Masses. It reminded me of bands like BehemothImmolation, and Italy’s Hour of Penance, but with a marked use of oriental melodies in the riffs.

Along with details about the new album, Scarab also premiered the title track two days ago. “Serpents of the Nile” still calls to mind those bands I mentioned above, and it’s an excellent song. It proves all over again that this is a band who deserve to become more widely known internationally. Continue reading »

Jul 072010

On July 5, we tried a little experiment. Indulging in the same kind of presumptuousness that motivates people to tweet about their latest meal or the last time they washed their underwear, we just described the music we’d randomly checked out that morning — whether it was good, bad, or indifferent. None of the bands was known to us, and we didn’t actually like everything we found, but we wrote about all of it anyway — just because that’s what we heard.

A few readers actually seemed to like the idea, and we’re desperate for approval, so we’ll do it again. But not today. Today, we’re doing something that’s a little more focused and we’re exercising a bit more judgment. But in a way, this post started just as impulsively as the one on July 5.

We were over at Steff Metal‘s blog and got into a sick mixtape she had created (here), the subject of which was music with an ancient Egyptian theme (though not played by bands from Egypt). That got us to thinking (always a dangerous pastime) and we realized that we knew very damned little about Egyptian metal bands.

So, we started exploring, and the path we wandered hooked us up not only with some really good Egyptian metal, but also with metal from some other North African countries — Tunisia and Morocco, to be precise. We found enough interesting shit that we’re dividing this post into three parts: One band today (Scarab) and the next three over the two following days.

To be clear, we’re not pretending this is some kind of authoritative survey. We didn’t do in-depth research, and we didn’t listen to dozens of bands and then selectively whittle down the group. We’re way too half-assed for that. We just jumped into the fast-moving current of the internet and waited to see where we’d be washed up on shore.

And by sheer chance, we wound up with a little bit of everything — some death metal, some oriental black metal, and some progressive/folk metal — but what we found was awesome. So open your minds and your ears and we’ll show you what we found.  (beginning after the jump, of course . . .) Continue reading »