Jan 042019

(At last, we reach the fifth and final installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. It includes his Top 10 albums, plus a list of EPs, and one final non-metal entry.)

Here we go into the final installment. One last grouping of albums and one last collection of thudding riffs, heavy guitars, and enough drumwork to leave one’s head spinning by the time it wraps up.

This final ten is all over the place, in terms of both genre and location. My lists tend to be pretty international always, but the consistent bouncing back and forth that is happening in this part has proven to be entertaining in its own right.

This group also reveals just how much of 2018 turned out to be the year of cathartic release for me. Alongside all the genre-bending, all the experimentation, and all of the well-executed groove, I found that every once in a while this year a disc would hit that would just boil down to a half-hour-plus of yelling, and I would relish every single second of it. I’m sure we could credit that to the wider situation of the world these days but I’ve also always been a sucker for turning music into an instrument of release, and for some reason that approach won me over hard this year.

So let’s begin with the final ten, and then a grouping of EPs I enjoyed this year, my final non-metal (ish) release recommendation, and a small (ish) closing paragraph… because why would I ever stop typing after just finishing the final ten?

That’s for crazy people. Continue reading »

Sep 052018



(DGR prepared this large collection of reviews and streams, addressing some older and some newer music, and some things that haven’t yet arrived in full.)

This poor review collection saw more permutations than I’d be willing to admit, with so many different groups being added and removed for fear that I hadn’t spent enough time with a disc and so wouldn’t be able to speak about it properly, that the body count has to be in the double digits by this point. What this thing did move into was something of a themed archive of releases — bookended by earlier albums but with two that are much more recent, and with preview songs from two upcoming releases in the middle to help transition over the two.

What I found I was listening to recently was the real heavy and destructive forces of powerviolence, death metal, and grind, and on the other side of the spectrum, some real caveman level prefix-core styled music as well, just ones with a taste for the symphonic and speed on top of it. It was fortuitous then that on top of that I had a small collection of singles for upcoming (maybe? in one case) releases that I wanted to talk about that felt like suitable bridges between the two, so that our esteemed editor would’ve have to cleave this poor baby in twain; it kind of felt like a perfect thematic walk along the admittedly arbitrary spectrum brought before you.

Much like my much larger review nightmare collections, this one includes four albums but with somewhat shortened reviews, and all come highly recommended. Fingers crossed, maybe you’ll find something to enjoy as well, once you’re able to scrape your face off of the wall behind you. Continue reading »

Apr 172018


We shall now have a block of Scottish noise.


Sectioned have been releasing singles from their new album Annihilated, each one with its own separate photographic cover portraying images of decay and abandonment. They’re up to three singles now, the most recent of which is “Release“.

The appearance of these songs has been sort of like landmines going off. You’re walking along, minding your own business, and the next thing you know pieces of you are rocketing in all directions, enveloped in obliterating sound. “Release” is a particularly explosive experience — electrifying drumwork; punishing riffs you can feel in your bones; crazed string flurries; maniacal vocals. It savagely ravages, brutally pounds, and sprays blood like a hellish firehose. Continue reading »

Mar 222018


On each of the last three days I intended to post a round-up of new music and videos that I thought were worth your time, and each day I failed. I would have run out of time again today if I hadn’t managed to throttle my usual verbosity. In fact, I’ve resorted to sentence fragments rather than complete sentences in order to get this done.

As the days passed, of course, some of the items in this post have become a bit dated, and the volume of selections has swelled with newer discoveries.


After more than 20 years of musical activity, Blut Aus Nord finally released their first-ever music video a few days ago. The chosen song is “Metanoïa“, which appears on Deus Salutis Meae, which I reviewed here, accompanying our premiere of the first publicly revealed track from the album. Continue reading »

Feb 242018


Two nights ago on my way home from a late meeting in Seattle I hit a patch of black ice less than a mile from my house. My car skidded off the road, rolled over, and landed on its side in a deep ditch. I missed hitting a telephone pole by two feet, but did destroy a mailbox and probably my car as well.

On the other hand, I’m unharmed, just a bit sore in a few places. I spent three hours sitting in a police car with a very decent officer while we waited for and then watched some remarkable tow-truck guys figure out how to get the car on its wheels and out of the ditch, in 20-degree weather in the middle of the night. The cop finally drove me home at 4 a.m. yesterday morning.

That scary incident fucked up my plans for a round-up yesterday. I’m afraid to go back and read the premieres I wrote after a sleepless night and in an addled frame of mind, but I sure didn’t feel up to writing anything I hadn’t already committed to do.

Anyway, the past week was another blockbuster in terms of new metal, and I’ve left a lot of stuff out of this post — which is still pretty long. I picked the music of the following five bands to provide a wide spread of different genres.


So far, the Irish troubadours in Primordial have released videos for two singles from their new album, Exile Amongst the Ruins, the second one appearing last week. Both songs will likely be surprising in some ways to Primordial fans, although Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill‘s remarkable voice is still front and center in both. Continue reading »

Jan 252016

Villainy II


This is the second part of a large Monday round-up of new music that I discovered at various times over the last week, and this two-parter follows yet another round-up I put together on Saturday. Because this is Robert Burns’ birthday, I thought I’d throw in some Scottish music (both metal and not-metal) as the last two entries in this collection.


The new album by the Dutch band Villainy — entitled Villainy II: Dim — was released last Friday via Bandcamp by Listenable Records. It includes cover art by Manuel Tinnemans (Comaworx).

I’ve been sitting on our advance copy of the album since mid-December and am embarrassed to say that I still haven’t heard all of it. But since I’m this far behind already, I thought I should use the proximity of the Bandcamp release at least to mention the album here — because what I’ve heard of it so far is excellent. Continue reading »

Jun 082014

Maybe sometime soon I will attempt to review a full-length album by someone, but this weekend I’ve been trying to catch up on shorter works. I have two recent split releases to recommend, with full music streams accompanying the following reviews.


This two-song split makes for an interesting juxtaposition of styles and a good introduction to two bands who deserve more notoriety.

Ruins make their home in Bielefeld, Germany, and this split is their most recent release following a 2013 album (Incidents) and a couple of other shorter recordings. Their track is named “Discrimen”. The band start ratcheting the tension immediately with a buzzing hornet swarm of guitars and the rhythmic thunder of a heavy bass line and tumbling drums. It’s a galvanizing start, and the music grows even more energized and potent as the song progresses and the vocalist’s gritty howls join the fray. Just as the slashing riffs start to really get their hooks into your head, the music veers off the road briefly before getting traction again in an intense finish.

The music fuels a blood lust, but the fist-swinging hardcore aggression is balanced by the band’s talent for interweaving rhythmic dynamism and subtly infectious melodies that have a way of hanging around your head after the song ends. Good stuff.

*** Continue reading »

Oct 272013

Your humble editor is going to be taking a blog break for the rest of the day, but before leaving I wanted to throw one more piece of music your way, and in this case it’s sort of like throwing a grenade after pulling the pin.

Sectioned are a band from Edinburgh, Scotland. I first came across them in May 2012 through MISCELLANY excursion, which turned into a review of their second EP, Monotonne. Earlier this year they then finished work on another EP by the name of Outlier, and I wrote about a song from that EP named “Trismus”, which they debuted on Valentine’s Day.  Both of those EPs are available on Bandcamp as “name your price” downloads.

Sectioned have been working on an album, but in the meantime they’ve discharged a new single just in time for Halloween. Like everything else they’ve done, this is up on Bandcamp for free (though they’ll gladly accept a donation toward their future efforts). The song’s name is “Repeater”, and when I first heard it, it blew some of my brains out through my nose. Continue reading »

Feb 172013

I’m still catching up on new music unveiled last week that I didn’t find time to spotlight when I first heard it. In this post I’ve collected new songs (and a video) that I think are worth your time. It’s also quite a diverse collection of metal. The bands are Tribulation (Sweden), Woe (U.S.), Lorelei (U.S.), Sectioned (Scotland), and Man Must Die (Scotland again).


I’m exceedingly stoked for this Swedish band’s second album The Formulas of Death, which is due from Invictus Productions and The Ajna Offensive on March 1. Two songs from it have premiered to date, and they’re striking. The first one (“When the Sky Is Black With Devils”) I wrote about here, and the second one — “Wanderer In The Outer Darkness” — got its debut last week on CVLT Nation.

It’s a catchy, head-rattling mix of rocking riffs, a punchy rhythm section, scalding guitar leads and solo’s, and acid vocals. And the subdued guitar outro is a very pleasant surprise. These guys have definitely created something out of the ordinary. Can’t wait to hear the rest of these Formulas. Be kind to yourself and go HERE for “Wanderer In The Outer Darkness”.

http://invictusproductions.net/ Continue reading »

May 012012

Jeez, it’s been something like six weeks since the last MISCELLANY post. I’m swarmed by new music from bands or PR agents who have written NCS or left posts on our FB page, and it has become even more difficult for me to check out everything. I’m doing a piss-poor job of even answering all the messages, for which I make this abject public apology. I wish I could say I will do better in the future, but who am I kidding?

Still, I have to start somewhere in an effort to make headway, so I’m starting here, with music by Pseudogod (Russia),  Bombs of Hades (Sweden), Sectioned (Scotland), and Dwellers of the Twilight (France).

As a reminder, these MISCELLANY posts are devoted to bands whose music I’ve never heard before. I pick the bands pretty randomly, I listen to one or two songs (not knowing what they’re going to sound like), and then I record impressions here and provide streams of the same songs for you to check out. I usually try to pick bands who don’t have a high profile in the world of metal, though today’s second band is fairly well-known (though new to me).


I discovered this band because I received an urgent e-mail from Tr00Nate (ex-TNOTB) commanding me to listen. Nate doesn’t write that often, so I concluded this must be serious. It became even more serious when I discovered that their new album Deathwomb Catechesis (the album cover is above) has been released in the U.S. by Hells Headbangers, who are recommending it to fans of Archgoat, Katharsis, Teitanblood, and early Belial. That was a pretty good indication that the music would cause nightmares, so of course I bit. Continue reading »