Jun 192022


After a lapse last week this column re-takes its usual place on the weekly calendar to blacken the sabbath. I’ll quickly confess that I bit off more than I can chew in the writing, and more than most of you will have time to hear in the listening: I’ve picked two complete albums and mixed them together with four new singles. Despite the challenges to myself and to you, I felt so strongly about all these choices that I couldn’t resist.

As is often the case, I haven’t lived with either of the albums long enough to do more than provide scattered notes about them. That’s the consequence of needing to write about something new every day. Settling in gives way to scurrying. But you’ll have a better chance to settle in with these releases, and I hope you will. All the singles sound fantastic too.


Death Siege is the fifth full-length from this talented band, who are charging toward us after a six-year interval following the last album. The new one is 40 minutes long, and the cover art by Abomination Hammer alone would make most people want to find out what’s going on in the music. My friend Andy‘s Synn Report about the band’s discography back in 2016 would provide more reasons.

What Hierophant say about the music is this: “”With Death Siege, we crossed the gateway to the abyss. Nihilism will overcome, when the sky will burn in fire. Death, Chaos, Annihilation.” Continue reading »

May 162018

Our New Zealand friend Craig Hayes introduced us and our readers to the enigmatic Verberis through his review of their 2016 album Vexamen. As he noted then, Vexamen represented a change from the “choking mix of black and death metal” represented on the band’s 2014 demo Vasitas, “making significant strides in both compositional and production terms”. “Vexamen,” he wrote, “is a bold debut, a huge step up from Verberis’ demo, and that bodes well for the band’s future endeavors.”

And now the future is present. Verberis have recorded a new EP named Vorant Gnosis, which will be released by Pulverised Records on May 18th, a full stream of which we’re presenting today. And it’s fair to say that with this new release Verberis have stretched their creative wings even further, continuing to push ahead into more ambitious territories — still immensely hostile and desperate territories, to be sure, but these are changed soundscapes compared to those Verberis have explored before. Continue reading »

Apr 172018


Let’s take a quick tour through the underground, shall we? Just to see what kind of carnage is happening down there right now, where the sun don’t shine and no one sleeps easy in their beds.

I collected music from 8 bands for this round-up. Normally I would have put all of it together in one humongous post. Today I decided to split it into four parts and scatter the parts around today in between the other things we’ve planned, which include a review and a bunch of premieres).


If you have any kind of anxiety disorder, extreme fear of the unknown, clinical depression, or deep-seated paranoia, you probably shouldn’t listen to this first song. It’s such a brutally grim, tension-creating, tension-ratcheting, frightful experience that you’d better have your emotional moorings firmly in place before going into it. Continue reading »

Oct 202016



(We welcome back New Zealand writer Craig Hayes (Six Noises), who wrote this review of the debut album by Verberis, which has recently been released by Iron Bonehead Productions.)

The roster of German record label Iron Bonehead Productions reads like a who’s who of pre-eminent cult metal bands. That’s certainly true when it comes to bands who reside in the far-flung isles of New Zealand. Indomitable underground New Zealand bands like Vassafor, Sinistrous Diabolus, Veneficium, Witchrist, Diocletian, Creeping, Prisoner of War, Solar Mass, and Heresiarch have all had storming works released under Iron Bonehead’s banner. And next on the label’s list of uncompromising releases from the southern latitudes is Vexamen: the debut full-length from blackened death metal band Verberis. Continue reading »

Apr 062014

Germany’s Iron Bonehead label has unearthed yet another seething snakepit of blackened death metal, this time from the deceptively beautiful land of New Zealand. The band’s name is Verberis and their debut demo is Vastitas.

With a bit of googling, I learned that “Vastitis” is a Latin word that variously means “wasteland”, “desolation”, and “immensity” or “vastness”. It’s a fitting title for this four-song offering. The music is cold, inhuman, and brutally destructive, with a style that falls somewhere in the plague-ridden landscape between Incantation and Mitcochondrion. The songs are driven by a raging storm of thrashing, low-pitched riffs and thundering, blasting percussion, with the only breaks coming in brief moments of solo bass grinding, eerie ambient conclusions, and a dirge-like segment in the last track, “Fangs of Pazuzu”.

Suppurating lead guitar melodies surface here and there, and the gargantuan echo-chamber roars and howls of the vocalist are reminiscent of Craig Pillard in his Onward To Golgotha days. While full-speed destruction is the name of this game, if you listen closely, you’ll notice a fair amount of flashy fretwork, changing guitar styles, and occasional bouts of drum acrobatics. Every now and then the band will also veer into a convulsive groove (my favorite of those moments coming from the pulsating melody that ends “Kaliginous Ascent”). Continue reading »