Mar 262014

(Austin Weber brings us another round-up of music and metal news, featuring The Conjuration, D’Arkestra, Divine Realm, Winter of Sin, and Posthumous Blasphemer.)


After a long wait, The Conjuration’s new album, Surreal, has finally emerged—and it’s a gloriously twisted avante-garde beast that lashes out in progressive and schizophrenic fits. This is death metal turned upside down. Corey Jason has proved once again that he doesn’t need a band, only himself. He composed all of it, played all the instruments, did the vocals, and handled the production himself, too.

On Surreal, Corey skillfully pushes the limits of what a one-man death metal act is capable of creating. Most acts of this nature that play death metal are lacking compositionally and all too often create music that is too samey in the songwriting, and too often lacking a vital creative spark. By contrast, Surreal really does sound like the work of multiple people whose different ideas and approaches led to a diverse group of songs. Continue reading »

Mar 132014

(In this post Austin Weber reviews the forthcoming fourth album by a Dutch band with an eye-catching new line-up — Winter of Sin.)

Lately I’ve been craving a fist-pumping metal album, the kind that kicks your ass from the first minute and never relents (save for maybe one tiny little breather, the almost required instrumental break). Very recently I was allowed to hear such a glorious album, by a decade-and-a-half-old melodic black/death metal band from The Netherlands called Winter Of Sin, whose line-up now includes two former members of the sorely missed God Dethroned.

I freely admit to not having heard the band’s prior albums so I can’t say how this compares, but I can confidently say that on its own merits Violence Reigns Supreme is the sort of album whose high consistency and powerful energy make it hard not to replay frequently. Beyond the relentless nature of their music, they get an extra boost from the cancerous, throaty screams and stout mid-paced growls of God Dethroned mastermind Henri Sattler. His howled proclamations cover these unholy hymns with a pained damnation that adds materially to the experience.

Right from the start, opener “Astral Death Reign Algorithm” sets the tone and palette of the album: Wailing, sinewy black metal interlocks with melodic bursts and fiery buzzsaw death metal riffs — supplemented by thrash undertones, accented by sinister leads, and topped off with a coating of orchestral flourishes. All these ingredients are smashed together into a deadly union of speed and finesse, a sleekly crafted vehicle designed for the purpose of superior serrated destruction. Continue reading »