Posts Tagged ‘blackmetal’

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Part Ten

fuk covid

…or listening to Metal!

At present these entries have transformed to a few and far between affair. And for that I apologize. It’s frustrating I’ll admit; not being able to scribble upon that which interests me and brings a spot of shining brilliance to an otherwise humdrum existence. But it’s become the norm as of late and I’m having to ‘steal’ time in order to correlate, compose and post anything. However, I’m dedicated and determined to keep this thing going, to get the word out to praise audio which, I believe, demands discovery.

Without further ado…

Plucked from Metal Past
Drontheim (Germany) Down Below


Release – February/22/2019

Wraith Productions


Shadows, more shadows and what could possibly be either water or an outcropping of rock. I’m not even sure. However, if the music is as dark as the image, we’re in for some gloomy, doomy audio.


This could well be the resulting mash up of Paradise Lost and Katatonia if only David Bowie were to take the vocal duties. Then add some 90’s Goth Pop, Abstract lyrics and you’re even closer to what this provides. This is miles from my usual wheelhouse of interests but I’m finding myself strangely drawn to its Alternative, Post, Progressive, Doom allure.


With no two Tracks here alike this (album) offers a great deal to discover and get excited about. Industrial tones, progressive arrangements and melancholy all filtered through a veil of a palpable ominous, cinematic, atmosphere. Far from harsh this provides quite the distraction from the norm and offers rhythms to sink within accompanied by a certain nostalgia whose origins only seems to escape from the tip of the tongue as the audio evolves from one track to the next. Simply put if you enjoy the unpredictable diversity of Faith No More and are open to the occasional dip into Industrial Goth and murky Doom waters this is a release you need between the ears. Keep the assumptions at bay and the mind open and this will serve excellently to break up the day’s woes adding a spark to the normalcy of the day’s playlist.

Favorite Tracks; Varied, exciting and hypnotic throughout.

FFO; Rammstein, The Prodigy, Seigmen, Zeromancer, Ljungblut, NIN, My Dying Bride, Ulver, Red Harvest, DHG, Faith No More, Peeping Tom, Anathema, Katatonia, Kent, Ved Buens Ende, 3rd & the Mortal, The Soundbyte, Calmcorder, KkoagulaA, Manes, Atrox. (This is cut and pasted from promotional materials as I fear I couldn’t quite nail its wide influence radius and promote it to the audience it deserves).


Degenerate (The Netherlands) Devastation Ahead

Release – November/15/2019



Simple, vivid and to the point. I like it!


It takes a few seconds to realize this is neither Grindcore, nor Tech Death, though it displays elements of both it soon finds its rhythm. This is Thrash, aggressive have no doubt of that, bordering on Melodic Death it has bite, a rabid intensity and a flow which will have the listener up and on their feet in no time. An awesome start!


I’m not normally a fan of thrash, unless it makes an instant impact. And this does just that! Razor wire vocals, searing riffs, amazing solos, heritage flavor and vertebrae snapping rhythms, this is just the start of the list which makes this album stand out. I cannot for the life of me wonder why this didn’t feature on a plethora of year end lists, it’s that impressive (and my neck hurts so good).

Favorite Tracks; Adrenaline spiking from start to finish!

FFO; Sepultura, (newer) Exodus, Machine Head.

Interrupting the Normally Scheduled Broadcast for Something Completely Different.


Folian (USA) -Blue Mirror

Release- January/31/2020

Anima Recordings


A little artsy, but I get the point; someone has perished, possibly at sea. But is the kelp or seaweed (or is that hair?) to blame or something entirely more sinister still?


“Post Metal”, “Shoegaze”, “Doomgaze”, “Noise Rock”, “Drone”. I’m honestly not sure what either of these terms means but this has an undeniable appeal, a curious start if truth be told, and has somehow managed to capture me in its allure even though at first the track appears rather relaxed and unassuming it slowly builds into a magnificent cinematic arrangement seething with a grandiose nature.


Far from what I would normally place in my ear this still has an undeniable charm, a familiarity if you will which is distorted, slightly jaded, taken into Ambient and Drone realms then delivered, repackaged, slathered in each of the aforementioned elements to envelope the listener in (“spacey”) tones which effectively cover a wide radius of the emotional spectrum. There’s an aura here, a strangely relaxed one that wavers, which surpasses atmosphere, an all-encompassing vibe which transcends the typical listening experience transporting the albums audience across transcendental landscapes dotted with passion, intrigue, daunting lows and exhilarating heights. Admittedly, this is a release I had second thoughts about discovering (especially after reading the genres listed as descriptions) however after doing so I’m glad I took the plunge. This is quite simply brilliant, but keep those assumptions at bay, go into this blind without prejudices and make time for a complete listen without distraction. Guaranteed to make more of an impression the more it’s experienced.

Favorite Tracks; Enchanting throughout, this collection is downright hypnotic even though it’s far from “the usual”.

FFO; Somali Yacht Club, NIN, Oasis, Stone Roses, Nuerosis.

March Releases
Reccd by @LFCMFighter


Raider (Canada) Guardian of the Fire

Release- March/20/2020



Am I about to plunge my ears into Power Metal, or audio with an Epic feel with a possible fantastical edge? Hitting play…


Well, this is hardly Power, or even Epic, metal. It’s definitely Thrash. The bang yer head wicked variety complete with breakdowns, solos and venom dripping vokills. Suffice it to say I’m diggin the shit outta this thus far.


Who says one can’t have a kick ass Thrash album sporting cover art which might hint at more melodic arenas, perhaps audio of a more Epic nature? But that’s not to say that this isn’t. It is most definitely guilty of having riffs (for days) and rhythms you can most certainly without any doubt lose the last vestiges of your sanity too. Also, surprisingly, leads and solos which inspire air guitar aplenty, the air of old school Heavy Metal influence is distinct yet never an element which is utilized too often. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t let the cover steer you astray. Sure, this bears fantastical elements, lyrics hinting at conflict, menacing forces and the like. If truth be uttered this precariously teases jumping the boundary of the Death fence, though manages somehow to remain firmly rooted upon the Thrash side. This is inarguably audio which incites frenetic movement, sweat and exhaustion, for this makes one move and doesn’t let up till the digit moves against all restraint to hit the play button again.

Favorite Tracks; Blistering throughout!

FFO; Sodom, Annihilator, Crusadist.


 Reccd by @uniquehifi
Aodon (France) – 11069

Release – March/27/2020

Willowtip Records


The onset of decay or time, I’m not sure which. This gives little away as to the audio within.


A dissonant nightmarish backbone complemented by evolving rhythms and ferocious vocals. A little different than most in the same arena but it certainly makes an impact.  This is rather hard to describe easier to enjoy. An unfathomable impressive commencement.


This is my first experience of these guys and just… wow! Honestly, I’m always a little put off by an album which might not make sense to me on first glance, seriously what’s up the title? But after a little proddin’ (thanks to @uniquehifi on Twitter) I allowed this entry into the ears. Fuck me (I never swear, just ask the Fn’ wife) this produced an instant reaction. It’s hardly traditional, actually rather hard to describe without making people shake their heads in confusion, but it works. The style is as equally as ferocious as one is lily to hear but the accompanying rhythms which set this apart from the pack, the feel, the atmosphere, the aura. This is different, you can be sure of that but it’s not so wildly obscure as to be totally out of left field (what, a baseball reference?) Give it a chance and feel free to thank @uniquehifi too.

Favorite Tracks; Astounding throughout!

FFO; Atmospheric Black Metal with a slight Avant Garde aura and a Post/Progressive edge.

Temple of Void

Temple of Void (USA) -The World that Was

Release- March/27/2020

Shadow Kingdom Records


Exquisite inks, oozing with detail and life, displaying an arcane location, a landscape painting which seethes with ominous atmosphere. I’m left to wonder is this the bands rehearsal space?


Slow, crushing, ritualistic with an atmosphere which is palpable. Albums don’t start any better than this. Death Doom of the highest order which makes me wonder why I haven’t laid ears on this band before now.


At times the audio sounds as if Grotesquery and Paradise Lost got together and decided to combine their most notable talents. The vocal approach is a brilliant narrative (ala Grotequery) whilst the melancholic aura and arrangements of Paradise Lost (“Shades of God”/”Icon” era) is undeniable. This combination works superbly for the first few tracks offering a depth and aura which is quite simply astounding, but the album somewhat peters out, trudging into Groove Death depths, losing some of the magic the first half exhibited (although to be fair the bar was set extremely high from the get go). Climaxing with the near ten-minute title track the album reaches near the brilliance it started with to leave the listener hungry for another listen. Overall, this is a stunning effort sure to widen the eyes of anyone unfamiliar with how the band tackle the genre they choose to manipulate. Fans of Death/Doom take note this traipses into territories, both rhythmic and arrangement, one might not predict whilst still managing to return to familiar realms without alienating the audience, only one of many reasons why this deserves a slot in the collection amidst other greats. Make room!

Favorite Tracks; The Beast Among Us, Self Schizm, The World that Was.

FFO; Paradise Lost, Grotesquery, Novembers Doom.


Another Reccd by @LFCMFighter
Razgate (Italy) – After the Storm…the Fire

Release – March/27/2020

Punishment 18 Records


I’m all about Fantasy. Fantasy and Horror. Combine the two, in this case a questing Barbarian confronting an enigmatic entity perched upon a mountain of skulks, and I’m a salivating fool. Such is the case here!


A classical, Baroque, introduction sets the scene for pummeling, domicile obliterating, rhythms and a vocal style which is…wait for it…eerily similar to a certain Tom Arayas. This is my introduction to the band admittedly; Consider me sold!


This might ruffle a few feathers (keep in mind it’s my opinion) but experiencing this for the first time is akin to my virgin experience with Slayer audio. Daaammmmnnnn-! About covers it! This checks all the boxes I require checked to be able to enjoy a Thrash album (not all Thrash is the same, no matter what your parents tell ya). And then it rips the list from my hands and sets it on fire! This seethes with Ill-intent, with no consideration for the listeners well-being, seriously else why would those responsible make this so GD infectious. There’s even slivers of traditional metal and Speed influence in here and sufficient tempo changes to make one think for a brief moment that the punishment is through (but no-!) To make matters worse (just take my wallet!). Bastids the lot of em’, here I am spinnin’ this like one possessed and the day is just slipping away. You know, I’m sure I had things to do today. Ah, well. I can see my digits reaching for the Play button, again, I have zero control. Don’t get caught in the same trap. Save yourself!

Favorite Tracks; I’m going to burn this album before I lose my sanity, my job, my marriage and did I mention control of my appendages? I probably should have started with that, have a spotter when you listen to this and ear plugs for them so they might be about to hit Stop, every once in a while, but not too often.

FFO; Slayer, Nuclear Assault, Havok, Annihilator, Sodom, Three Inches of Blood.

April Releases

Carnal Savagery

Carnal Savagery (Sweden) – Grotesque Macabre

Release- April/1/2020

Chaos Records


It’s as though someone ripped a page out of Seagraves book, blew up the image and added a Zombie, with a few scavenging companions, with his insides falling out. There’s little doubt as to what’s on offer here.


Filthy, mid paced madness with flourishes of abruptly inciteful rhythm (to send one into a moshtastic orgasmic salivating state) oozing with the trademarked genre’s HM2 menace, enough atmosphere to sate and unhurried commanding growls. All in all, a great combination with excellent delivery. A fantastic start to get one in the old school mood.


As the title of the album suggests the feel of the album is one of blood, bone, carnage and obliteration. Obviously, this concept isn’t fresh, new, or even ground-breaking but is delivered here in such a way as to make the listener sit up and take note (shit, it even comes complete with atmosphere). Carnal Savagery aren’t another dime a dozen copycat act, these guys have been around (since the scenes inception). Add to that the fact that a certain Dan Swano decided to ‘help out’ and it means be prepared, as he most definitely knows his stuff and the myriad depths of the genre itself. The album itself benefits from a fantastic tone, a dirge, an electric charged distortion which recalls the heyday of the scene and the audio itself? Well, it could well have been recorded in the same era as it reeks of professionalism, wisdom and a quality which will be instantly accepted. Hardly a parody of, and miles from plagiarist material but rather an addition to that which has already left its mark. Jump on this as I can only imagine if these guys stick around, they will stand alongside Entrails, LIK and Nocturnal Hollow to hold the standard for the scene into the new decade.

Favorite Tracks; Not a single one but the whole damn thing.

FFO; Bloodbath, Vomitory, Ribspreader, Dismember, LIK, Entrails.


 Grieve (Finland) – s/t (12″ MLP)

Release – April/3/2020



Black and white ink mastery. A form, a ghost, a wraith looks toward the storm laden distance for meaning, as He/She does so it parts welcoming his arrival. This is my take. I could be miles away but it’s impressive nevertheless.


Malicious blizzard riffs complementing a somewhat Folksy/Viking aura with slightly Cosmic undertones. Howls and snarls makeup up the vocal accompaniment. Blanketed in atmosphere the track makes for an amazing introduction to the band and their style.


Only two tracks on offer here, barely ten minutes but it’s more than enough to whet the appetite for more of the same. Blistering frigid riffs, snarled venom, epic narrative lyrics and melodic majesty. This is Black metal with bite, emotion, rhythm and a smidgen of D-beat combined to leave an undeniable mark.

Favorite Tracks; Both tracks are unfathomable impressive.

FFO; The Abyss, Dissection, Emperor.


Graveir (Australia) – King of the Silent World

Release – April/17/2020

Impure Sounds/Brilliaint Emperor Records


I’m honestly not sure what to think of this. An excellent shadow heavy image with hidden meaning. Guessing I need to break out my thinking cap. A skull is front and center draped in a shroud of sorts with a plethora of crosses hanging from his/her(?) neck. Perhaps she skull is surveying its domain; “The silent kingdom”. And everyone is also of the not breathing variety, thus incapable of making a sound.


Grandiose Post meets Atmospheric Black metal with wailing vocals and a rumbling dirge nature. Not entirely what I was expecting but I remain intrigued.


Hardly tradition Black or even Death or the “assumed” combination of the two this relies more on ritualistic dirge and borders on an industrial tone. Rhythms are often an undercurrent rather than a driving factor and cavort playfully within the arrangements. Post and Progressive properties are dominant as too an undeniable ominous nature though overall this isn’t too far from the ‘norm’ as to alienate fans of either Black or Death, although as it stands  it should appeal to those more with Cavernous penchants perhaps even Grindcore and Crust tastes as this shows slight elements from each realm also, rather than that of the straightforward chuggery variety. This has grown on me over several listens, and has blossomed to show a wide swath of influences, so I don’t expect an instant downright appreciation.

Favorite Tracks; The Fetch of Crooked, Immacolata,

FFO; Akercocke, Aodon.


Kurnugia (US) – Forlorn and Forsaken

Release -April/27/2020

Momento Mori


I can’t get over the fact that the face reminds me of the ‘witch’ creature from the “The Dark Crystal”. Otherwise a nice image with excellent colors and details.


With an intro with sounds like a soundtrack which accompanies the money shot scene to a later day Gothic shocker questions arise as to what might be on offer. But fear not, the first real track on offer displays melodies of a remarkable nature any fan will be able to instantly appreciate. Classic Death metal ripped from the 90’s playbook strangely somewhat both American and European in tone. Chuggery and atmosphere and a vocal approach akin to that of “Corpsegrinder”. I’m all ears; this is quite the opener!


Grinding, rumbling Death with enough movement in its arrangements to stray from the realm of boredom. A classic of all that works merging the old school ala Bolt Thrower with a dynamic approach, barely this side of technical bordering on at times Grindcore sensibilities, and plenty of groove to carve a grin on any fans chops and keep it there. This is quite the find for any bored with the plethora of acts sounding the same ole and bringing little to the scene. These fellas know how to play, compose and deliver an album which delights.

Favorite Tracks; Top notch Death metal throughout.

FFO; Angerot, Grave, Unleashed, Benediction, Vomitory, Bloodbath, Gorguts, Morgoth.

And a new segment, because I’m literally drowning in Metal (not time) I wish to promote. Introducing; The “WTF Lightning Review”.


TUUNBAQ (Russia) – Graves of Ice

Release – September/13/2019

Artwork – 74

Ferocity – 88

Groove – 87

Infectiousness – 88

Originality – 76

Genre – Grindcore/Crust

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 87

Atmosphere, Grind, Sludge and Groove…Hell to the yes!!


Legendry (USA) – The Wizard and the Tower Keep

Release – November/1/2019

Artwork – 74

Ferocity – 24

Groove – 72

Infectiousness – 83

Originality – 76

Genre – Heavy Metal/NWOBHM/Folk/Prog/Doom/Epic Metal/

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 84

Exquisite fantastical themed Traditional Metal bursting with nostalgia, diverse styles and an undeniably fluid nature.


Embodiment (UK) – Palingenesis

Release – April/24/2020

Artwork – 86

Ferocity – 89

Groove – 83

Infectiousness – 92

Originality – 65

Genre – Tech/Prog Death

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 91

Ungodly impressive tech/prog death w. classical elements and a hypnotic allure which is unfathomable.

Divine Chaos

Divine Chaos (UK) – The Way to Oblivion

Release – April/24/2020

Artwork – 84

Ferocity – 75

Groove – 78

Infectiousness – 84

Originality – 60

Genre – Aggressive Thrash/Melodeath

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 83

Insanely catchy, dynamic arrangements with wicked vocals topped off by impressive production.

Destroyed in Seconds

Destroyed in Seconds (USA) – Divide and Devour

Release – April/24/2020

Artwork – 89

Ferocity – 86

Groove – 89

Infectiousness – 92

Originality – 70

Genre – D-beat/Crust/Hardcore/Thrash/Dirge-laden Death metal.

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 91

Top of the heap D-beat with varied influence which demands ears upon it!

It is impossible to sit still while listening to this!

exhausted animal Well shit, this turned into a Thrash lovefest, I didn’t intend for it to be the case but I just so happened upon a few Releases in the genre worthy of praise. I’m still hurting from Razgate (damn you @LFCMFighter!) And I suspect it might be the case for a great many others whom stumble upon its charm unsuspectingly. Again, this has taken a while, I only wish I could do more but alas thing while Covid thing has me working and babysitting (Can I call it that if it’s my child…?) rather than working and scribbling. Although I have inserted another segment in order that I might be able to promote more albums in a timely manner.

Until next time, don’t fear discovery of that which is normally foreign to the senses.


Abrasive Audio…to Soothe the Senses (part twenty-seven)

headbangin gif

Yet another “Vacation Edition”

It’s been six months since my last vacation and any length of time I would consider time enough to relax within (so stop the whining). I probably wouldn’t publish anything at this time but the temptation is too overpowering not to what with the release of… (I’m not going to ruin it you’ll have to read on)

Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity
Release -October/25/2019
Cruz Del Sur Music
Clawhammer PR

This seethes with a Viking/folk aura, enigmatic mists surround a picturesque craggy mountain landscape but where are the wizards and dragons?


Huge riff, melody laden, doom laced with undeniable NWOBHM sensibilities, passion and an excellent vocal accompaniment.


Huge riffs, passionate rhythms, a NWOBHM nature and tone weaved among traditional heavy metal and doom stylings accompanied and supported by a powerful lead voice. This will leave fans of late 70’s early 80’s mid paced rock/doom wanting more.

Favorite Tracks; Forsaken, Man of Peace, Grave Illusion, Hell Frozen Over, Ruins of Eternity.

FFO; Haunt, Beastmaker, Dio fronted Black Sabbath, vintage Judas Priest, vintage Rainbow.


Arctos – Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands
Release -September/20/2019
Northern Silence Productions

Frigid, cold and typical of traditional black metal releases, mountains, snow and wilderness, but accompanied by a logo which is a little different. This makes me wonder about that which is about to grace my ears. I am intrigued.


An epic outing to start the release. Atmosphere, a folk nature and a significant presence bolstered by majestic rhythms and outstanding melodies. Overall an enchanting effect to certainly spark ones interest in a genre they might not look twice upon before now. Hold my calls I’m diving in!


Spanning a wide radius within the black metal arena the audio here encompasses atmospheric realms, though also sports traditional, majestic, cresting rhythms whilst even touching upon folk realms. Occasionally it even visits blackened death arenas and also includes passionate leads making for a release which is a tad untraditional, varied and executed with surprising excellence throughout. I’m not normally a fan of the Black Metal genre but this blows me away with its diversity and delivery in every way. Enthralling, hypnotic and stunning from start to finish, a must visit genre experience!!

Favorite Tracks; This delivers throughout at an extremely high standard, it’s hard to pick a clear ‘winner’.

FFO; Cradle of Filth, Emperor, Immortal, Dissection, vintage Katatonia.

the world without us incarnate album

The World Without Us – Incarnate
Release – October/25/2019
Dewar PR

Vivid, colorful and eye catching though miles from traditional. I believe what we have here is going to be quite the audio journey.


Whoa-! The track commences with some of the finest harmonized vocals I’ve heard in a while. Gentle rhythms complemented by undeniable ominous qualities. But it all changes. I won’t ruin it, suffice it to mention it gets “growly”, the pace picks up considerably and the track attains a ferocious nature. A great start.


The briefest look at the track list gives one an idea that this is going to be a little different, and it is. Incorporating elements spanning far and wide including death, hardcore, djent, technical death, progressive and black this release offers a great deal to digest. As much as I personally enjoy the more extreme end of the spectrum, I believe their mellower audio leaves more of a lasting impression. Their harsher material however, works though with a little tightening up could well leave a huge

impact. As it is this seems at times a little disjointed though still enjoyable.

Favorite Tracks; Listen in Obsidian, I am the Mist.

FFO; Between the Buried and Me, Opeth, Rings of Saturn, Casket Robbery.


Totengeflüster – The Faceless Divine
Release -October/11/2019
Black Lion Records
Qabar PR

Ominous, menacing and stunningly medieval in its overall vibe. I want this image across my meager chest!


An excellent foreboding Introduction, majesty qualities, untraditional phrasing, evocative melodies and symphonic brilliance make this stand out from the pack. It’s traditional, yet not quite but utterly captivating!


Imagine black metal but often played with an “Industrial” tightness, rhythm and blistering pace ala Ministry (circa “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste”/”Psalm 69”) add to it a classical/Gothic symphonic backdrop and an excellent blackened death aura and you have an album which balances on the black/death fence sporting vintage Kataklysm/Origin pace, an occasional splash of war metal, vicious vocals and a presence which is superb throughout. Keep the ears peeled for this one it has me by the short and curlies and I don’t mind one bit, with both this and Arctos in mind I believe I’m falling down the ‘untraditional black metal’ rabbit hole.

Favorite Tracks; The Hunt, Affliction, Vermin, The Hollow Wanderer (Satin version. Bonus Track)

FFO; Emperor, Cradle of Filth, Kull, Marduk.

Plucked from Metal Past

God of Lies -Merciless Destiny

God of Lies -Merciless Destiny
Release – July/17/2017

The four Horsemen enjoying a spot of carnage beneath a claret soaked sky. I think we can all guess what audio we have here. Anyone up for switching the playlist in a stuck elevator?


A lengthy introduction (which could be shortened considerably or taken out completely with the same effect) brings about the first riff and one’s initial greeting to that which God of Lies stylistically offer.


Occasionally I’ll get something tossed in my path (accompanied by words of praise) which will make me curious enough to stop what I’m doing to take a listen. This was one such time. This is thrash bordering on death showcasing wicked heavily accented vocals. The audio here really isn’t anything new, it isn’t technical, it’s been done before, but with that being said it hits the spot and will please the vast majority of aggressive thrash fans looking for fresh headbanging fodder.

Favorite Tracks; He Controls the World, Final Attack,

FFO; Sodom, Toxic Holocaust, Nuclear Assault, Slayer, Whiplash.

So. Did you guess what got me so excited? Naturally all of these releases are worthy of spinning until the audio equipment goes on strike but there was one (two) in particular which really got my torso a spinnin’. Admittedly your choice might be worlds removed from my own and this is obviously what makes the world of extreme audio so exciting and diverse.

krusty the clown wtf was that diversity in metal gif

Until next our paths of audio interest cross, don’t be afraid to discover that which is foreign to the ears.



Which genre do I prefer?… I Plead the Fifth

for there’s a plentiful amount on display here.

(Discloser; I listen to music on headphones for a more dynamic, cozy and downright intimate experience. That and the wife has drastically differing tastes in audio)

Athanasia – The Order of the Silver Compass


Release – March/15/2019

Seeing Red Records, Rock of Angels Records


Artwork – 7.5

Reminiscent of artwork seen on Daath and Behemoth releases, why? Probably cus it’s done by the same talented bloke.

First Track – 7

Heavy metal meets thrash with an element of darkness, and melody aplenty. Puts me in mind of Soilwork and later Dark Tranquility, in part also Queensreich ‘Operation Mindcrime’ era.

Initial Listen – 7.5

This isn’t what one might expect from a talented collective from varied hard rock/metal backgrounds (Sebastian Back, Five Finger Death Punch, Wednesday 13 and Murderdolls). It is, however, an exciting mixture of thrash bordering on traditional metal and a style that borders perilously close to melodic black metal ala’ Dimmu Borgir and Behemoth. A release which boasts plenty of atmosphere and a varied approach which is sure to appeal to fans of dark melodic metal in a similar vein to Soilwork and other dominant European acts in the melodic thrash/death genre.

Favorite Tracks; The Order of the Silver Compass, The Bohemian, Mechanized Assault.

Destroyers of All – The Vile Manifesto


Release – February/2/2019

Mosher Records

destroyers of all

Artwork – 8.5

Black and white (ok, green!) skulls in some kind of questionable scenario. Sure, I’d run from that fellow who has nails in his eye sockets too. I’m curious.

Carry on…

First Track – 8.5

I’m quickly reminded why it was that I placed their last release, ‘Bleak Fragments’, dominantly on a best of year list.  I’m distracted. I can’t concentrate in the slightest, these riffs, the sheer amount of them, the vocals and the combination. Outstanding!

That… about covers it!

Initial Listen – 9

Exciting from start to finish showcasing varied tempo, mood, atmosphere and stunning presence. With flashes of unpredictability tossed in to keep the listener on their toes and plenty of melody to keep those limbs active. Thrash that borders on melodic death without the usual predictability that tags along for the ride. This is a great place to park the ears if the usual arena just isn’t cutting it for the ‘mood of the moment’.

Favorite tracks; Tohu Wa-Bohu, False Idols, Break the Chains, Destination Unknown, Elephants Foot, Ashmedai, Kill the Preacher (bonus).

Unendlich – Thanatophobia


Release – February/1/2019

Horror, Pain, Gore, Death Productions


Artwork – 8.5

Is Death plucking his next unsuspecting victim from a filing cabinet or is there something entirely more sinister taking place?

First Track – 8.5

What a start! Blast beats, inciteful rhythms, atmosphere and venomous vocals dripping with menace.

This is ‘melodic black’ I can subscribe to!

Initial Listen – 9

A refreshing ‘take’ on the genre which incorporates symphonic elements as well touches of progressive nature and rhythms plucked from both the heavy and death metal arenas. Excellent drum tattoos, and unexpected rhythms, complement the style and add to the album’s overall enjoyment. The more traditional vocal approach blankets the whole affair in darkness to intrigue that which might frequent the genre more often than others but also those who don’t so often (like myself).

An early contender for BotY and to be blunt I’m not usually a fan of anything even remotely black in feel.

Favorite Tracks; Oblivion of Time, Already Dead, Becoming Fire, The Final Error, UC3.

Frenzy – Blind Justice


Release – February/4/2019

Underground Power Records


Artwork – 7

Fusing metal and comic book imagery this certainly isn’t ‘more of the same’. Note the replacing of ‘Marvel’ with ‘Metal’. The character itself appears somewhat of a Daredevil/Ironfist combination. Intriguing…

First Track – 8.5

Epic, energetic and melodic are words that don’t even come close. A stunning opener which puts me in mind of Wolfsbanes first album. Riffs, riffs, riffs and gymnastic vocals. Miles from the extreme end of the spectrum though equally as addictive and infectious.

Initial Listen – 8.5

As with their earlier blazing EP ‘Lethal Protector’ there are riffs and excitement aplenty here too. Balanced somewhere between Dokken, Van Halen and Wolfsbane ‘Blind Justice’ offers audio which fans of guitar virtuosity will eagerly lap up as well a few arena anthem themes. If it weren’t for the occasional descent into falsetto-ville and uber vocal gymnastics territory I’d gladly give this a higher score, with that being said however, as I continue to listen, I’m beginning to appreciate this more and more. It’s honestly difficult not to.

Reccd for fans of epic heavy/power metal who yearn for riff spontaneity though still want their tunage this side of wild guitar experimentalism.

Favorite Tracks; Blind Justice, Velocity, Annihilated by my Sound, Shred or Die.

Fange – Punir


Release –

Throatruiner Records


Artwork – 8

I’m always up for a bit of medieval medical text book grotesquery. This hints at possible black metal leanings, just me?

First Track – 7

Sludge, death metal, dirge and angst. Think an earlier Bolt Thrower tone/vibe colliding with Converge then add a little Noise and you’ll be close. This is intriguing audio.

Initial Listen – 7

Bludgeoning, often suffocating, sprinkled with groove, doused with bursts of harsh noise yet miles from traditional… anything. A twisted, winding, tapestry of diverse, unpredictable, extreme audio warranting exploration as it offers something fresh with each and every listen. Keep an open mind when you set your ears upon this one folks!

Favorite Tracks; Ceinturon, Les Boyaux de la Princesse, Il Recconaitra Les Siens.

Traveler – s/t


Release – February/22/2019

Gates of Hell Records


Artwork – 7

A Sci-fi octopus type creature decked out in studs, laughing, with the world in his (?!) grasp. It looks hungry. Should I be worried? Does it know something we don’t?

First Track – 8.5

Screaming with NWOBHM and traditional heavy metal values as well rhythms which are criminally addictive. A great opener!

I’m only part way through the first track but I’m plummeting through reminiscent ville with a grin on my face and a twitch in my neck (what!?)

Initial Listen – 8.5

This release somehow throws the listener back to the glory days of metal whilst still keeping them rooted in the present. An amazing feat in, and of, itself. Traveler have somehow created a collection of tunes which sounds ageless though strangely modern, coupled with crystal clear production this will incite renewed interest into that which spurned many a genre and that which, thanks to Traveler, has suddenly found a second wind. Expect to hear this bands name a great deal in the coming months. The impact will be huge!

Obviously, fans of vintage Iron Maiden, Diamond Head and the like should suddenly become very excited, for this delivers in every way.

Favorite Tracks; Up to You, Behind the Iron, Konamized.

Musket Hawk – Upside of Sick


Release – March/29/2019

Unholy Anarchy Records

upside of sick

Artwork – 7.5

With ‘Hawk’ in the title one would immediately assume doom of some kind, I am. But the cover suggests something else. A rot of color, a vivid unmistakable putrescent smorgasbord of tone, one that which doesn’t bode well.

First Track – 7

Plodding huge riffs, distortion, sludge and an abrupt, unexpected, pace transformation. Vocals befitting the grindcore arena and an aura that’s slathered in both angst and hope. An interesting mixture of styles which leaves me intrigued.

Initial Listen – 7.5

Combining the lazy groove distorted nature of sludge, the angst of grindcore, the incendiary nature of punk and an undefinable ingredient that binds them all Musket Hawk have created a collection of tunes which takes many a direction, is miles from stagnant and should appeal to those with their feet in both extreme and slightly experimental waters.

Recommended for fans of Acid Bath, Jucifer and other acts who prefer to carve their own path between, across and through those already laid.

Favorite Tracks; Hexagon, Bad Times, Uncouth.

Iron Fire – Beyond the Void


Release – March/8/2019

Crime Records


Artwork – 8

Ominous and menacing. Naturally, I believe the innocent child in the image to be anything but, rather an overlord in disguise out for leisurely stroll, perhaps looking for a balloon, a grate and a ‘Clown’ to converse with?

First Track – 7.5

Fist pumpin’ melodies and a vocal style that’s thankfully far from falsetto. As someone who rarely frequents this genre, I’ll admit I’m enjoying this introduction and the combination of speed, power and traditional heavy metal this audio sports.

Initial Listen – 7

Bursting with melodies and commanding vocals sure to fill an arena alongside rhythms which’ll incite deafening choruses in a live setting this is a collective of tunes which is sure to please those residing in the power/epic/heavy metal fanbase. Fans of later Judas Priest material will devour this (it’s a tad ‘mellow’ for my tastes however).

Favorite Tracks; Beyond the Void, Final Warning, To Hell and Back.

Death Kommander – Summer Offensive 18′ (demo)


Release – June/13/2018



Artwork – 8

Muted tones showcase skulls and the aftermath of obliteration. There’s no doubt what the listener is in for as if the war-themed metal and Bolt Thrower tribute stated in the description isn’t enough.

First Track – 8

Obviously, this is tribute themed and the influence is unmistakable and thus I can’t rate based effectively on its similarity/tribute basis. But this is damn impressive, and I can detect sparks of ingenuity below the surface.

Color me camouflaged in curious.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Solid throughout. Homage is undeniable with riffs and melodies one can literally pinpoint. Thankfully they’re fleeting though neon-bold and plentiful (this’ll make sense once you lay your ears upon this). Influences range from ‘War Master’ to Bolt Throwers last release (and some Asphyx also) to spur one to dive through their collection in order that they might rediscover an act whose impact is like a monstrous, towering ever-present shadow.

Amazing demo quality. The unrelenting tank, steamroller rhythms are front and foremost and the vocals fit the tone perfectly. I’m interested as to where this will lead, will the sound develop into realms Bolt Thrower had yet to traipse?

I’m eager for more, four tracks just aren’t enough!

Favorite Tracks; All of them!

BoozeControl – Forgotten Lands


Release -February/22/2019

Gates of Hell Records


Artwork – 7.5

Huge insects and a fearless heroine. I’m all in!

First Track – 7.5

Speed metal with a rhythm that’s dangerously infectious, epic fantasy narrative lyrics and traditional vocals (think Halloween).

Against my nature, and usual genre interests, I’m finding I’m liking this.

Initial Listen – 7

Somewhere between speed, power and heavy metal this finds its niche. Soothing, melodic and lyrical heavy tunage which plentiful nods to metal of yore. Nothing brutal in the slightest heard here, which makes for a great palette cleanser (for the likes of audio interests such as mine) which I can well imagine will garner a huge fanbase with a preference for old school sensibilities; rhythm, melody and heart.

Reccd for fans of Iron Maiden and Helloween.

Favorite Tracks; Forgotten Lands, Attack of the Axemen, Doom of Sargoth.

Cripple Bastards – La Fine Cresce de Dentro


Release – November/9/2018

Relapse Records


Artwork – 8

Effective and Haunting. This about says it all, without me going into a meandering diatribe of psychological BS nonsense I seriously know bugger all about.

First Track – 7

Blast-beat chaos and angst. A seventeen second assault that’s succeeded in grabbing my attention!!

Initial Listen – 8.5

My first experience with a band that’s been kicking it for thirty years and I’m glad to report this shows a damn sight more energy than I ever expected. Tracks range from a few seconds in length (early Napalm Death, anyone) to a whopping five minutes (a mammoth length for the grindcore genre). It doesn’t matter that this is entirely in Italian, for the aural onslaught is enough to make one want to go ballistic, take note and, if the mood fits, connect to babel fish (or something similar) for a lyrical translation. If the typhon/whirlwind-esque audio doesn’t whet your fancy and the vocals don’t do it perhaps the ridiculous technical, inhuman, drum salvo will. A stunningly diverse concoction/combination to yank any non-believer into the cult of grindcore. (Now, where’s did I put the Kool aid?)

How is it I’ve never heard of these guys until now? Recommended for fans of Disrupt, Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Brujeria and Brutal Truth.

Favorite Tracks; Non Coinvolto, Chiusura Forzata, Crimine Contro L’immagine, Narcolessia emotiva, Recidive, Crociati del mare interno.

Negative Wall – Gammagelu (EP)


Release – February/9/2019

Black Doomba Records

negative wall

Artwork – 8

Ominous, menacing and comic book-esque in feel (not the kid kind either!) draped in science fiction/fantasy tones. The colors here are outstanding making this an image I would gladly adorn across my meager chest or on a wall in my den.

First Track – 7.5

Gothic tones (keyboards), striking melodies, sonic fantastical landscapes and traditional, emotion laden, doom vocals combine to invoke a ‘golden era’ heavy metal aura. One however, that’s basted in a modern finish making for a track that’s bursting with depth and grandiose nature. Hardly what I normally dip my senses into though this leaves me intrigued as to what the remainder of the album will offer.

Initial Listen – 7.5

A sound attributed to Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, The Obssessed and Alice in Chains combine to form an album that’s varied in scope, depth and feel. A style that’s often-traditional heavy metal in tone while in others it drips with atmosphere, an epic cinematic effect aided by more a psychedelic doom aura. Rhythms, arrangements and a varied vocal style and cadence conspire to conjure a narrative that whispers through the speakers. Not at all traditional but this is an album you can fall into if just the right “mood” demands. Might I suggest a little something, something to assist?

Favorite tracks; Hybrid Genus Serpentis, Matar Saeva Kp22.

 Ossuarium – Living Tomb


Release – February/2/2019

20 Buck Spin


Artwork –

First Track – 8.5

Cavernous, archaic yet seething with undeniable rhythm. A death and doom collision that bodes extremely well for the remainder of this release and one that strays appreciatively from, what most might consider, traditional output in the same arena. A great start!

Initial Listen – 9

A rich release steeped in surprising depth and a grandiose nature with plentiful nods to the greats of the scene of yesteryear. Drenched in an excellent foreboding atmosphere and marinated in spectacular menace this is an album I expect to see in a multitude of lists come years end.

Death doom which boasts everything a fan of the scene demands and then some!

Favorite Tracks; End of Life’s Dreams and Visions Pt. 2, Vomiting Black Death, Writhing in Emptiness.

Wolf Counsel – Destination Void


Release – February/22/2019

Endless Winter

wolf counsel

Artwork – 7.5

There’s definitely something going on here. Did these cultists just happen to stumble upon a portal offering inter-dimensional travel or something more exciting still? A back door into Candyville perhaps? Yumm!

First Track – 7

Not what I’d expect based upon the cover’s art, Nevertheless, this is impressive traditional doom in a similar style to Candlemass.

Initial Listen – 7.5

As mentioned earlier the album has a familiar sound, a style that spans the entire album. One that sports melody, huge riffs and an overall vibe which often hints at sludge leanings.

Obvious and undeniable is the vocalist’s similarity to Messiah Marcolin, although in instances the style sounds closer to Wino (from The Obsessed and Spirit Caravan). With the entire collective bearing a well-balanced grand, traditional doom motif the albums appeal is difficult to ignore. ‘Staring into Oblivion’ ends the album on a high note.

Favorite Tracks; Nova, Destination Void, Staring into Oblivion.

Superbeast – Dead World


Release – December/6/2018

Brutal Bear Records


Artwork – 7

Classic in tone, the earth appears to have opened to swallow those dripping in sin without a sense of balance (?)

First Track – 6

A pummeling attack, that’s part Deicide in tone accompanied with abrupt melodic passages.

The vocals are a tad strange a times, an old school Terrorizer approach coupled with other styles, though I’m off the mind, fingers crossed, that this varied assault grows on me as the album progresses.

Initial Listen – 6.5

Incorporating Slayer and Cannibal Corpse riffs and often the diabolical nature associated with Morbid Angel, Dead World sports plenty of groove and melodies one can lose themselves within, albeit not of the variety that’s going to carve any new avenues in the scene. However, in instances the vocals and lyrics leave a little to be desired (I wonder if the language barrier is to blame?) oftentimes resulting in certain tracks degrading from highly enjoyable to just good.

This has its moments. I’m interested as to where the band go from here.

Favorite Tracks; All are Smashed, Dead World.

Onirophagus – Endarkenment


Release – February/19/2019

Xtreem Music


Artwork – 8

I’m not entirely sure what’s going down here but the palette the artist utilized is downright captivating. Blacks, reds, oranges and a pale tan fleshed figure who’s obviously up to no good.

First Track – 7.5

Epic, death doom with enough movement, transformation, emotion and energy to keep the interest. A whopping thirteen-minute opener is effective in leaving the listener eager for more.

Initial Listen – 8

Grandiose, cinematic, and seething with emotion and rhythm. This album boasts a great deal to appreciate as it twists and turns through doom waters, across desolate valleys and high above lands saturated with grief, loss and frustration. Classical elements frolic with excitable, frenetic, melodies drenched in groove and darkness. The last quarter of the twenty-three-minute (yes, it’s that long!) title track is stunning! A fantastic opus with my only qualm being that the vocals display a range that leaves a little to be desired.

Recommended for those who desire their doom on the darker edge of the spectrum bursting with movement.

Favorite Tracks; Dark River, Endarkenment.

Reccd by Void


Question – Question (EP, limited edition cassette)


Release – March/15/2018

Caligari Records


Infinity in the form of a skull and adjoined spine eating itself, Raw yet vivid.

Initial Thoughts

question EP

Yet again, Void sends me down the lesser-traveled path of obscurity. Though this time around the audio is strangely, instantly, gratifying.

Question deliver a multiple array of pulverizing riffs which seem to twist around themselves as they evolve constantly offering a listen that’s exciting and far from meat and potatoes style death. Add to that the occasional slower passage saturated in menace, nods to the odd school and an overall raw production aura which drips with archaic nature and you have a release that’s unpredictable and a pleasure to lay the ears upon.

Favorite Tracks; Universal Path of Disgrace, Holders of Nothing.

Final Verdict

Though probably not for those with a liking for the more melodic side of the death spectrum (Arch Enemy, Soilwork, et al) this will appeal to those with a more discerning yearning for the more technical arena, one that’s rife with old school sensibilities/influence yet seething with ingenuity and promise. Even with this short segment of their audio between my ears I can tell Question have a great deal to offer and are set to become (not a household name by any stretch of the imagination based on trends and the fact that extreme metal remains thought of as a soundtrack to the Devils deeds) but a force to be reckoned with. Their second full length is set to hit retailers in the near future, keep an eye out for it and support talent in the underground!

Keep those ears to the ground, for metal is a fickle mistress who knows not her own mood at the best of times!