Apr 172020


(Nineteen months after the last time he did this, Andy Synn has brought us another collection of three-line album reviews.)

I have to thank our buddies over at the Toilet Ov Hell for inspiring this brand new edition of “Reviews In Haikus”.

After all, if they hadn’t recently tried to steal my thunder then I probably would have forgotten all about this particular column (it turns out I haven’t done one since September 2018).

It’s good timing too, as there’s been a bunch of newly released (or newly discovered) albums from the past couple of months which I’ve been itching to write about, but which I simply haven’t found the right time (or right format) to cover properly.

So, without further ado, here’s a collection of reviews/critiques/comments all delivered in the form of the ageless haiku. Continue reading »

Feb 282020

photo by Photo by Jami Kallioväli


(In this new interview Comrade Aleks spoke with three members of the Finnish band Yawning Void, whose music is black/death/doom from the depths of the void….)

Our constant readers may remember the interview we did with the crushing death doom band Solothus from Suomi. We had a nice chat in December, and now their new album Realm Of Ash And Blood has been announced by 20 Buck Spin Records — it will be out on March 27th — don’t miss it!

So if you remember, we finished that interview on a bit of an awkward note about Yawning Void, a kind of blackened death doom outfit from Turku that includes three of Solothus’ members. I wish I could announce the release date of their new album, but true to say it’s blurred, though we had a great conversation with TKI (drums, keyboards), KTK (vocals), and VTK (guitars). Well, Yawning Void’s debut Streams Within was actually officially released by Weird Truth Productions only in October 2019, so it’s still an actual thing – grim, thick, and lightless as our miserable world which “keeps spinning towards unknown paths of doom”. Continue reading »

Feb 042020


I see that the last time I posted one of these new-music round-ups was on January 18th. After that the series became a casualty of my work on our Most Infectious Song list and our daily schedule of premieres, plus some other distractions. Now that I’ve finished the rollout of that song list I’m hoping to get back to a more regular featuring of newly revealed songs and videos, beginning with this post.

While SEEN AND HEARD was on hiatus, of course, a ton of new stuff surfaced, and catching up isn’t realistic. I haven’t even been very good about watching what has come out, though I did notice new songs from Vader (here), My Dying Bride (here), and The Black Dahlia Murder (here), among the bigger names out there. Please feel free to share your thoughts about those in the Comments, or about anything else I’ve overlooked, but I’m going to re-start this column with a few bands less-heralded than those.


Last December we published an interview by Comrade Aleks with Kari Kankaanpää, vocalist of the Finnish doom-death band Solothus, that occurred just a few weeks after the band had finished their third album, which follows by four years their tremendous 2016 full-length No King Reigns Eternal. In that interview Kari summed up the essence of the band’s sound as “Candlemass meets Bolt Thrower“, and offered some hints about what the new album would present: “What you loved in No King Reigns Eternal is there, but with an even more refined and heavy sound! There is a lot more variation, but yet we keep the same recipe as always. I am very proud of how our upcoming third album sounds — it will be a blast when you hear it!” Continue reading »

Dec 112019

Solothus 2019 – Photo by Jami Kallioväli


(Today we present a new interview conducted by Comrade Aleks, and this time he has talked with Kari Kankaanpää, vocalist of the Finnish band Solothus, who have a new album coming our way in 2020 via 20 Buck Spin.)

Usually I try not to bother bands with questions about the origins of their names, and use Google to find the answers. It was a hard task to dig out what Solothus means, so their vocalist Kari Kankaanpää has explained it to me: “In ancient Finnish folklore there is this creature called “solothus” which comes in the darkest winter nights to bring diseases to households. Only way to satisfy the spirit is a blood sacrifice.” Nice story for a start!

The band itself has performed macabre yet quite epic death doom metal since 2017. They weren’t that fast –their debut Summoned From The Void was released in 2013, about six years after they started — and you could skip it indeed, but no one could ignore Solothus’ 2016 sophomore work No King Reigns Eternal, a healthy example of the band’s development towards thicker and more thoughtful sound. The gents finished their third album a few weeks ago, so let’s try to find out from Kari more details about Solothus’ career. Continue reading »

Mar 132016

Solothus-No King Reigns Eternal


Finland’s Solothus made a powerful full-length debut with their 2013 album Summoned From the Void reviewed here) — so powerful that one might not have expected them to climb much higher with their next album. But they have. The new work is named No King Reigns Eternal, and you can listen to it here in its entirety.

The new album blends many of the same ingredients that were present in Summoned From the Void, yet the songwriting is even stronger, the wrenching melodies even more memorable, the guitar performances even more exceptional and varied, and the overall emotional impact of the album even more potent. Continue reading »

Oct 262015



Although we featured quite a lot of music, both new and old, this weekend, we’re far from exhausting our new discoveries. And so we begin the new week with a large collection of recently discovered songs. Most of these are ones that caught my eyes (and ears), and Austin Weber contributes one as well. Coincidentally, every band has a one-word name, which I find pleasing for reasons that make no sense at all.


I’ve been following Sweden’s Kall since mid-2013, initially because I learned that their line-up included members of the late lamented Lifelover, and later because I discovered how good their music is. I was a big fan of last year’s self-titled debut album (reviewed at length here), and I learned this weekend that the band are now working on their second full-length, projected for release before the end of this year via Catatonic State. There’s also a new song from the album available on Bandcamp — and it’s really good. Continue reading »

May 272013

In late 2011 a Finnish band named Solothus released their debut demo, Ritual of the Horned Skull. It drew praise from many reputable sources, but I, being irreparably half-assed, failed to track it down. However, because half of my ass does work reasonably well, I didn’t miss out on a second chance — the chance to hear the band’s forthcoming debut album, Summoned From the Void.

And what do Solothus summon from the void? They summon the gloom of a black storm front, the massive power of a swelling tide, and the chill of a crypt, and they transport all that straight into the listener’s mind — along with melodies both morbid and soulful, and compelling riffs that run the gamut from glacial to galloping.

Some hint of the music’s power comes in the instrumental introductory track, “Frostbane Overture”, as the magisterial sounds of a cathedral organ rise up within the vault, but the peaceful, meditative piano melody that joins the organ music may be a misdirection, for the air soon becomes thick with the atmosphere of doom.

Ancient doom is much of what weights the music — ponderous, booming guitar chords bathed in distortion; anvil-thick bass notes that sound like girders collapsing in slow motion; funereal drumbeats that pound like the steps of giants; bereft melodies moaning the grief of lost souls; and gravelly vocals as deep as ocean trenches, sometimes rising in ghastly howls. It sinks you at the same time as the powerful riffs get your head moving. Continue reading »