May 142024

(We present another one of Dan Barkasi‘s monthly collections of reviews and recommended music, taking stock of 8 records that saw release in April 2024.)

April is in the rear view, but my allergies sure aren’t. Ah, yes, the time of year in Florida when the “winter” time of perfect temperatures has transitioned to sweltering heat and pollen so thick that it will layer upon vehicles left outside. It’d sure be nice to breathe out of my nose again. Don’t get me started about the fucking lovebugs. Nothing like a ton of awesome new tunes to rattle oneself back into the groove.

Maryland Deathfest is also coming up very fast, and while we have tickets for all of the days this year, it’s questionable if we’ll be able to make it. Hopefully the stars align and it happens – just look at that loaded lineup. Bands like Dismember, Fossilization, Altars, Sodom, Crypt Sermon, Ahab, Esoteric, Spectral Voice, Spirit Possession, Imperialist, Severe Torture… well, you get the idea. Here’s to hoping we see a few of you fine folks there! If you can attend, do yourself a favor and make it happen. One of the best fests on this side of the globe.

While I’m sure that the (hopefully) three of you left came to hear me drone on about my problems like our pal George, let us get to the music. It was the most difficult month thus far to narrow my choices down to eight, with a few that were especially painful to cut. But, it’s my column, so the hell with it – Draugnim’s Verum Malum and Fierce Diety’s A Terrible Fate both represent dramatically different genres and characteristics, but each is executed with extreme proficiency, which should earn at least a spin. Now, onto the rest of this month’s selections. Continue reading »

Nov 182020


To paraphrase a favorite columnist’s words from a piece published today, the autumn’s coronavirus surge was as foreseeable as fall’s fading light, and we are looking at a deadly December nearly everywhere. It becomes easier and easier to think of Nature as sentient, and as having found a new way to revolt against the greedy plundering of humankind and to extract a costly penance for what we have done to it, and to ourselves.

And it is thus a synchronicity of timing that in the midst of this particularly awful fall, in a year already ravaged by disease and ever-increasing weather extremes, Transcending Obscurity Records will be releasing Rotten Human Kingdom by the French band Subterraen, because the album stands as a powerful, unvarnished condemnation of that planetary destruction, and as a harrowing vision of the vengeance that has come and will continue to come in ever-more inventive and terrible ways.

This album, which are are premiering now just days before its release, consists of only four tracks, but each in its own way is monumental, not just in the track-lengths of three of the four, but also in the magnitude of the songs’ emotional impact and the varied ways in which the band have created them. Continue reading »