Sep 032019


You might be surprised to learn that the Chilean band Slaughtbbath hail from San Vicente de Tagua Tagua, a small countryside town that we’re informed has no metal scene at all. It is an unexpected source for the kind of absolutely electrifying and utterly ferocious power that this demonic trio have channeled through their amalgam of black metal, death metal, and thrash — a power surge that has punched straight through the red zone on their new album Alchemical Warfare, which will be released by Hells Headbangers on September 6th — and which we’re proudly premiering today.

The band waste no time releasing the whirlwind, opening the album through “Ritual Bloodbath” with the sounds of utter mayhem and then a lightning storm of brazen, blaring riffs, rampantly maniacal drumming, and utterly vicious vocal barbarism. Those sounds are delivered with explosive volume and intensity. The guitar leads writhe like fire elementals freed from their magical chains. The percussive propulsion is both turbo-charged and seems to change in the patterns and progressions from second to second. The vocalist ultimately resorts to wild screaming, caught up in the incendiary madness of this music — and who could blame him? Continue reading »

Jul 292019


I couldn’t get this post finished in time to occupy its usual place on Sunday. So, as promised yesterday, I’m posting it now to make your Monday more miserable.

I divided this into two parts, which gives me more time to finish it and might also make all the music easier to digest. There IS a lot to digest here — taking these two Parts together, you’ll find five advance tracks and three full albums.


I missed this Quebec black metal band’s 2018 debut album, Dush agh Golnauk. Their second one, A Battle in the Dark Lands of the Eye…, will be coming out via Naturmacht Productions on August 31st. The cover art alone — a creation by Canadian artist Ted Nasmith called “The Shadow of Sauron” — is so fantastic that checking out the music was an irresistible choice. (Nasmith’s cover art for this band’s debut album — here — is also fantastic, but I must not have seen it.)

Ted Nasmith is a noted illustrator of Tolkein’s works, and Keys of Orthanc have similarly based their work on Tolkein’s tales; Orthanc itself, for example, is the name of Saruman’s black tower in The Lord of the Rings. Naturmacht describes their new album as one that’s “all about the war of man and orc, between light and darkness in the gloomy lands of Mordor”. Continue reading »

Sep 082017


In 2013 the Chilean black/death desecrators Slaughtbbath released their debut album, Hail To Fire, after a lengthy series of shorter releases dating back to 2003 — and the album was itself widely hailed as an unrelenting assault of incinerating extremity. Since then the band have gone on to join forces in four splits — with Grave Desecrator, Ill Omen, Kill, and Hades Archer, as well as releasing a 2015 compilation entitled Further Down To the Depths that itself included a new track.

Now, in anticipation of Slaughtbbath’s first North American tour beginning this month, Hells Headbangers is today releasing a special compilation CD fittingly entitled Contempt, War and Damnation, with artwork by Daniel Corcuera. It includes seven tracks consisting of each of the Slaughtbbath songs on those post-Hail To Fire splits, the track recorded for the 2015 compilation… and one brand new song recorded this past May — “Astral Rape”. And it’s now our pleasure to bring you a stream of the new album in its entirety here on release day. Continue reading »

May 262016

Ill Omen Slaughtbbath split art


Two striking black metal bands separated by the Pacific have joined forces in a new split release coming out tomorrow on 7″ vinyl from Iron Bonehead Productions. The split’s title, Pestilential Hierophanies, is a conjunction of the two track names on the album, with Australia’s Ill Omen contributing “Whited, Pestilent Sepulchre…” and Chile’s Slaughtbbath providing “Inverted Hierophany”.

You can — and should — listen to both tracks below. I have a brief review first, and in a nutshell, this is one of the best splits I’ve come across this year.


The lone artist behind Ill Omen (“IV”) has quite a resume of participation in other groups, including his membership in Temple Nightside and previous work in Austere. Under the Ill Omen banner he has produced many short releases as well as three albums, including this year’s Æ.Thy.Rift. Continue reading »