Jul 302019


My usual mission, and it’s usually an obvious one, is to compile these round-ups of new music in a way that presents diversity. When I make my own playlists of music, I prefer to have one track vary (stylistically) from the next to the next to the next. And that’s in the back of my head when I make these SEEN AND HEARD collections; I think of them as playlists of what I would like to listen to, with the added benefit that because the sounds vary, even listeners who have very pronounced preferences might find at least one thing that grabs them, even if they don’t like everything else.

Having said that, what I’ve collected today is particularly all over the place. It starts within the red zone of insanity, and winds up there again, and there are some other zones of insanity in between, zones of very different colors. I don’t expect all of you to like all of this. If you did… well… you would be me, and wouldn’t that be weird? (Obviously, I’ve divided the collection into two Parts, with the second to arrive later today.)


On this day (July 30) the Dutch black metal band Sammath celebrate their 25th birthday, and they have done that by releasing a stream of the first song from their new album, Across The Rhine Is Only Death, via a DECIBEL premiere. As the name suggests, and as the band explain, the album is “a true tale of death and destruction”, conceptually focused on the final months of World War II when Germany desperately tried to hold the Rhine as its western border. Far from a celebration of war, it represents an effort to summon the horrific annihilation that humanity is capable of inflicting on itself — and this new song is utterly annihilating in its own right. Continue reading »

Aug 012016

Volturyon-Cleansed by Carnage


(DGR volunteered for round-up duty to start our week, and brings us new music from seven bands plus new-album news from an eighth.)

We have been trying our damndest to keep up with the flow of music that has been spilling forth from the gaping maw of heavy metal recently, but it has become clear that this is a war that must be fought on multiple fronts. Thus, I find myself once again deploying to the Seen and Heard front lines with a veritable smorgasbord of new music, videos, and album announcements for you to all enjoy.

I had a lot of fun figuring out where to position each band this time, as I have a very symmetrical idea of how things in this Seen and Heard should be approached — resulting in tremendously heavy music spilling into some infectiously light stuff and then returning right back to the abyss from which it came. You may need to settle in for this one; there’s a lot of fantastic stuff packed within this round-up, and it just goes to show that 2016 is proving to be a hell of a year for metal. Continue reading »

Nov 152015

nuclear explosion


(DGR prepared this collection of violent music, reviewing releases by five groups of geographically dispersed sonic assassins.)

It has been some time since I have properly thrown myself around the internet with the reckless abandon of someone on a nuclear cocktail of mind-altering substances. It’s usually how I discover music, bouncing around the web like one of those corner store rubber balls that you spike on the ground and send into orbit. I like to imagine during these adventures that I’m a sort of musical Indiana Jones or Nicholas Cage, but in reality performance of said act probably resembles something closer to a Mr. Bean movie.

It’s been so long since I have attempted to archive my discoveries, though, that I now have a notepad file on my desktop with a whopping 20(!) finalists for my usual digging-through-Bandcamp feature. No longer am I strictly sifting through Bandcamp looking for the cream of the crop. Now? I am properly drowning, overwhelmed with a whole bevy of new music by bands who have either flown under our radar completely or we just happened to be two ships in the night.

So, I find myself kicking this feature off with five bands, all of them united by a somewhat core theme — this time we are brought to you by the words spastic, loud, and violent.

Between these five bands I would argue that maybe one has any sense of groove and the others are all violent expulsions of energy, gamma ray bursts that have been raring to go since their stars collapsed. Now we’re beaming them across the net from around the planet and right into your earholes, and just like the aforementioned bursts, some of these bands can be absolutely lethal. Continue reading »