Nov 072016



(We’re grateful to New Zealand writer Craig Hayes (Six Noises) for bringing us this review of the debut album by New Zealand’s Setentia, which will be released on November 11 by the Finnish label Blood Music.)

Setentia are an atmospheric death metal band from New Zealand. They write hard-hitting, complex songs where jagged melodies do battle with tremolo deluges on dissonant soundscapes. The band’s accomplished full-length debut, Darkness Transcend, intertwines gut-felt ferocity with forward-thinking expressiveness. And yes, with those creative hallmarks, Setentia have been compared to New Zealand’s much-lauded death metal behemoth Ulcerate, many times.

That’s an understandable comparison to make. Sonic similarities aside, Setentia and Ulcerate have higher profiles than most other New Zealand death metal bands because they’re signed to international record labels (Finnish label Blood Music, in Setentia’s case). Continue reading »

Sep 222016



Last May the title track to the debut album by New Zealand’s Setentia, Darkness Transcend, hit me between the eyes in a fracturing blow and then thoroughly scrambled the meager gray matter behind them. Many more wonders were waiting to be discovered in this striking debut, and now the album will get the widespread physical release it deserves. On November 11, 2016, the esteemed Finnish label Blood Music will issue the album in a six-panel fold-out digipack CD edition, and to help pave the way for that event we’re bringing you a stream of the album’s fourth track, “Seeds of Death (Departure)“.

There are six people in Setentia’s line-up. Three of them are guitarists. This is not overkill. Instead, this small army of a band have strategically deployed their abundant talents to very good effect, creating a dense and brain-twisting musical experience that’s distinctive, as well as dark and destructive. The music brings to mind an imagined collaboration between Gorguts and Ulcerate. Continue reading »

May 132016

Polyptych-Defying the Metastasis


For reasons I’ve explained before, I’ve had less time than usual to surf for new metal, partly because I’ve been getting home so late at night from hospital visits. Last night I made it home a bit earlier than usual, faced again with an enormous amount of stuff in our in-box and a continuing flood of new music appearing on social media. What to do?

I decided to just look at a few of the e-mails we received yesterday, and I had surprisingly good luck with that.  I discovered all the songs you’re about to hear in that way. But first, a piece of welcome news….


Last month we had the pleasure of premiering the title track to Defying the Metastasis, the new album by Chicago-based Polyptych. Today the album has been officially released in digital form (physical CDs will be available by the end of the summer), and the album is so damned good that I thought it was worth spreading the word — and giving you a chance to listen to all of it. Continue reading »