Jun 122013

I don’t know if you noticed, but we’ve been pretty light on content the last two days (not meaning to take anything away from Andy’s haiku reviews, but what’s lighter than haiku?). I had to be out of town for 2 days for my fucking day job, one of those deals where I was going from early ’til really late, with almost no time to check out what’s been happening in the world of metal or listen to music or write much. As a result, I find myself way behind, so far behind that trying to catch up seems unrealistic. Basically, I’m just a big behind.

But I’m not completely empty-handed this morning.  I did spot a few items on a quick survey of my e-mail and Facebook that I thought were worth sharing. Here they are. Things should be getting back to ab-normal around here today or tomorrow.


TOAD are from Phoenix, Arizona. They aren’t actually named after toads. The name is an acronym for Take Over and Destroy. But I like the fact that they just go fuckin’ ugly with TOAD.

I got interested in the band about 10 days ago when I spotted the killer artwork you see above (by Sean Williams), which appears on their forthcoming EP Endless Night (click it to make it bigger). I waited for the release of some music, and yesterday I got some. I actually got an advance of the EP, which I haven’t heard yet (fucking day job), but the reason I’m including TOAD in this post is that Pitchfork premiered a song from the EP for everyone to hear. Continue reading »

Aug 142012

I’m sitting here fresh from a restful 5 hours of sleep, with my eyes feeling like spider monkeys sandpapered them while I was asleep, but rapidly feeling more alive as I slurp on my second cup of Deathwish coffee (read about that shit in this post). In an effort to shock myself awake even more quickly, I’ve been listening to the three songs in this post. They kind of make me feel like alien larvae are burrowing under my skin, some slow and some fast, but all of them inexorably headed toward my gut where they will seek nourishment before exiting explosively through my intestinal wall.

Shit, maybe I shouldn’t have poured that second cup of Deathwish. Anyway, check out the scarring music while I get something sharp and start opening myself up to look for those fuckin’ squirmy larvae. The bands: The Gardnerz (Sweden), Posh Cunt (US/UK), and Rex Shachath (Ireland).


The sharp-eyed among you will recognize that cover art at the top of the post, because I included it in a previous feature about album art about six weeks ago. The artist is Daniel “Devilish” Johnson and he created this awesome image for a new EP by a Swedish band named The Gardnerz. The six-song EP, entitled It All Fades, will be released by Abyss Records this fall.

Today, the Axis of Metal blog began streaming a song from the album by the name of “Don’t Look Back”, and that’s kind of how I felt listening to it — something was on my heels, but it was a fuckload smarter to keep running than to risk a glance over the shoulder. Continue reading »

Jun 222012

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. I suppose people in our community have as varied a set of tastes in artwork as the rest of society at large, but when it comes to album art in particular, we’re off in a world unto ourselves. What we find “beautiful” in album art tends to fall on the ugly side of things. I think that’s because we look for album art that represents the dissonant, frequently voracious, often bleak sound of the music.

But even within the realm of extreme metal album art, there’s good and bad. Today I came across a collection of new artwork for forthcoming albums that I’d put on the good end of the scale . . . plus some works in progress by a well-known metal artist for album covers that are in the making.

The first example is the one you see above. It’s the just-disclosed artwork for the next album by long-running Swedish death metal band Grave, who happen to be one of my perennial favorites. The next album will be their 10th and is titled Endless Procession of Souls. It’s due for release in Europe on August 27 by Century Media. The artwork is by Costin Chioreanu, who also created the art for Grave’s last two albums. If you know anything about Grave’s music, you’ll appreciate how perfectly appropriate this creation is for their style of music. Beautiful. Continue reading »