Nov 172023

(DGR finally caught up with reviewing the new album by Stortregn, and one reason you can guess at is that it’s probably going to appear again on his NCS year-end list. That’s our bet at least.)

You probably noticed this before I did, but a glance at the calendar in this clusterfuck of a year showed that it had suddenly because November. Traditionally – and there are a few traditions that even us heretics in this corner of the interweb observe – November is something of a ‘panic month’, wherein not only do you have your new releases, but you also have people – like our own Austin Weber recently – who are desperately trying to play catch-up with albums that have come out throughout the year.

This writer does the same of course and with similar purpose, because there are albums that for one reason or another didn’t get covered or ones that we’ve discovered while burying our nose in the tree roots and sniffing around the dirt, or the more personal one: to introduce people to an album now so that when it starts popping up within people’s year-end collections they won’t suddenly be taken aback by a release that has had fuck-all coverage on a site now praising it as one of the best of the year.

It’s a compulsion to complete a narrative arc, and I have that sense that Stortregn‘s Finitude may actually dark-horse its way into a few people’s year-end collectives. A bigger part of that story may be how it will likely find a place somewhere in the year-end celebration we throw around here, because Finitude is a very fine distillation of the tech-death genre as a whole, and the one that these Swiss madmen have created here is one that will surprise people – even when you can recognize many of its component parts. Continue reading »

Aug 302023

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley, but they didn’t gang a-gley today: I succeeded in completing the second Part of today’s roundup of new songs and videos. If you missed Part 1, here’s a convenient link to that.

DAUÐARÓ (Iceland)

I couldn’t resist beginning with this first advance track from Dauðaró‘s new album Nýir Heimar because (a) the cover art is fantastic and I wanted it to be at the top of this page; and (b) the song is scary as shit and why should I be the only frightened person around here? Continue reading »

Feb 012022

First Fragment

As explained yesterday, I decided to plow through my self-imposed end-of-January deadline for finishing this list because it became apparent to me that I had overlooked a number of tracks that really needed to be included. Worse than that, I had really given short-shrift to a few entire genres of extreme metal. Since one of my objectives for the list has been to give a snapshot of what the preceding year brought us across a range of genres, that deficiency needed to be remedied, at least to some extent.

Technical death metal is one of the genres that hasn’t really gotten the exposure it deserves in the list as it exists so far. Today’s installment is an effort to at least partially make up for that, and I’ve also included a technically adept band whose music is often classified as melodic black/death.


“Let’s face it, 2021 has been a ridiculous year for the Tech Death scene.” That’s how Andy Synn began his review of First Fragment’s Gloire Éternelle, and who could argue with that? But it’s also fair to say that despite the intensity of the competition First Fragment still stood out. Continue reading »

Mar 092021

(Today we present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Switzerland’s Stortregn, set for release this Friday via The Artisan Era.)

As some of you may be aware, I recently did a full, four album deep-dive into the discography of Melodic Black/Death Metaller’s Stortregn.

The benefits of this are two-fold. First off, it enabled me to re-acquaint myself with the band prior to the release of their new record. And, secondly, it means that I don’t have to waste time during this intro delving into the band’s origins and evolution – anyone who wants to do that should go check out the previous article from January – and can instead focus on the here and now.

This is particularly fortunate because their fifth album marks something of a turning point for the Geneva-based quintet, now signed to The Artisan Era, as they pivot even further towards a sound even more distinctly informed by the Melodic and Technical shades of the Death Metal spectrum.

Continue reading »

Jan 292021


(In this first Synn Report of 2021 Andy Synn assembles reviews of all the albums by the Swiss band Stortregn leading up to their forthcoming fifth album Impermanence, which will be released on March 12th by The Artisan Era.)

Recommended for fans of: Naglfar, Necrophobic, Obscura

The proliferation and seemingly endless sub-division of genres can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you look at it.

Some people (myself included) often find it useful to break down existing/evolving genres into more specific sub-styles to help categorise them for potential listeners. But others find the endless proliferation of new sub-styles and sub-genres to be pointlessly confusing and counterproductive.

The truth is, of course, that genre terms and genre boundaries are amorphous and permeable and often change over time, especially when it comes to what counts as “extreme” Metal.

Case in point, the music of Stortregn (who hail from Geneva, Switzerland) straddles the boundary between Melodic Black Metal and Melodic Death Metal – influenced as much by the seminal chill of Dissection and Dawn as it is the agile melodic menace of the early Gothenburg scene (particularly Dark Tranquillity and At the Gates) – while also, especially on their more recent records, adding a razor-sharp technical edge to their sound.

But don’t just take my word for it. With the group’s fifth album set for release in March (which I’m sure we’ll be reviewing in full closer to the time) there’s no better time than the present to delve into their discography. Continue reading »

Jan 042021


Today we present our site’s first premiere of 2021, and we could hardly ask for a better way to begin than with this new song “Cosmos Eater“, the first single from the forthcoming fifth album by the Swiss band Stortregn. Entitled Impermanence, and adorned with wonderful artwork created by the maestro Paolo Girardi, the record is set for a March 12th release by the band’s new label, The Artisan Era.

If by chance you’re unfamiliar with the music of Stortregn, you might guess from their new label partnership that the band’s stock-in-trade is technical death metal, but you would only be partially correct. Expertly executed technical death metal is indeed a vital ingredient in their music, but far from the only one. Even more so on this new album than before, Stortregn have drawn together a multitude of influences and musical ingredients, and done so in ways that seem naturally conducive to the fascinating experiences of each song. And “Cosmos Eater“, presented through a lyric video, is undeniably fascinating. Continue reading »

Apr 102018


In May of 2016 we premiered a stream of Singularity, the third album by the Swiss band Stortregn. We found it to be an electrifying adrenaline rush from start to finish. Drawing upon the rich traditions of Scandinavian melodic death metal as well as Nordic black metal, Singularity reminded us of At the Gates at their most ferocious, accompanied at times by the wintry chill of early Dissection.

It was thus very welcome news to learn that Stortregn are returning with a fourth full-length. With the title of Emptiness Fills the Void, it will be released by Non Serviam Records on May 25th, 2018, and today we are very happy to host the premiere of a song called “Shattered Universe“, which is presented through a lyric video that makes effective use of the cover art by the great Dan Seagrave. Continue reading »

May 242016


Singularity is the new album by the Swiss band Stortregn, and it’s an electrifying adrenaline rush from start to finish. The album will be released by the Dutch label Non Serviam Records on May 27, and today we give you the chance to hear all of it in advance of the release.

This is the band’s third album, and it sets a high-water mark for Stortregn, both in songwriting and in performance, as well as displaying a continued evolution in the band’s musical style. Continue reading »

May 152016



I didn’t post anything on our site yesterday, which makes only the sixth or seventh day in more than 6 years when I’ve fallen down on the job. As was true most of those other times, I was suffering from a really late Friday night (which included a visit to the first metal show I’ve seen in more than a month) in which I managed to poison myself with the demon alcohol. I think I needed to blow off some steam, but I paid severely for my fun.

Anyway, I will attempt to make up for letting the site go dark on Saturday with this collection of new songs (plus a new video) that I want to recommend, all of which lurk in various corners of the black realms. There’s a lot of music here, and so I’ve restrained my usual verbosity. Presented in alphabetical order by band name.


The second album of Minnesota’s Ashbringer is named Yūgen. It will be released on June 7 by Avantgarde Music on digipak CD) with vinyl coming later via Vendetta and a cassette edition via Broken Limbs Recordings. The first advance track, “Oceans Apart”, appeared early this month and I finally got around to checking it out. It’s as striking and memorable as the album’s cover art. Continue reading »