Tue, 19 October 2021
CRYSTAL COFFIN (CAN)
— A sci-fi story of dystopian black metal, synth-filled instrumentals, organic meanderings and a distraught vocalist.
DEVIANT PROCESS (CAN)
The Blessings of Annihilation Infinite
— Boiling-a-frog-slowly technical death. The vocal unleashings are unreal. Funky bass is what death needed.
THE SILVER (Philly)
— Crypt Sermon and Horrendous create a universe of genres and paths that lead into momentous, heart-ripping journeys. Drama, dude.
MICHAEL BEACH (AU)
— A minimalist psychedelic pop and alternative rock reminiscent of a melodic Violent Femmes.
VORTEX OF END (Paris)
— Ambient horror fill a dizzying melodic black, super French and stylish.
— Sweet and salty, atmospheric black mixed with doom and death with a bludgeoning throat.
— The sun breaks over an ash-covered apocalyptic empty land.
— Donovan told me to listen to it.
Tue, 12 October 2021
— A penultimate melodic black metal from French romanticists, soulful and raging.
MYNDSNARE (Bangalore)(newly released from 2008)
Layers Of Hypocricy
— 2008’s Myndsnare being released by Subcontinental Records. Thrash and hardcore energy in an infectious tight death.
— My Best Folk from 2020, more of the charming and dynamic black with indulgent guitar solos and cool spacey and organic moments.
CREEPING DEATH (TX)
The Edge of Existence
— Sexy, rumbling vocalist in a hella heavy headbanging death with a bit of hardcore and of course, amazing album art.
BLACK SITES (Chicago)
Nocturne/Everything Went Black
— Proggy and melodic hard rock with a heavy metal vocalist and sweet riffage.
— Strummed with brutal, atmospheric building to cascading, unfolding stories and a wicked black metal vocal.
ATRÆ BILIS (CAN)
— Modern angular tech death with a splattering of slowed-down melodic portions. A debut full-length!
— Original members of Mayhem know what they are doing. Charismatic and vicious vocals in that early thrashy black metal style.
— Long-haired French guitar-loving retro 80’s infectious heavy metal.
WOLVES' WINTER (Argentina)
Gnosis of the No-Light
— Razor sharp black metal rolling in a cauldron of caustic and melodic.
Tue, 5 October 2021
Nosotros los Etxegiña
— Theatrical vocals rasped by a demonic witch in a moody black metal nightmare, giving way to organic.
— A gorgeous journey to a swath of shimmering black metal. Sweet, tragic, surprises.
Personification of the Unconscious
— Proggy death that pushes the limits in angularity and complexity, angry and unique.
— Their 6th! album, more of the retro, infectious heavy metal and thrash with a unique compressed vocal.
Swallowed By The Nether Regions Of Chaotic Isolation
— Always technically solid from Portugal. Tortured vocals and chilling effects pack a blast of a black metal solo project.
FULL OF HELL (MD/PA)
— Vocal machete in a hardcore-leaning death with electronic effects and mesmerizing noise.
CULT OF THAUMIEL (anonymous)
Palaces of Iniquity
— Anonymous blistering satanic black metal. Weirdos.
— Somehow rageful in the slumbering doom pace, with a heated ash of a vocalist.
SADISTIC FORCE (TX)
— Music for an evil dive bar.
Tue, 28 September 2021
KILL SHELTER & ANTIPOLE (Norway)
Nine While Nine (Sisters of Mercy cover)
— OMG, a Sisters of Mercy tribute album, and I paid for the expensive shipping. Kill Shelter & Antipole have an AWESOME new album this year, check them out. https://antipole.bandcamp.com/album/a-haunted-place
— Intergalactic guitar noodling in a doomy tech death that is a blast.
— Oranssi Pazuzu-ish psychedelic, industrial effects and pagan horror in a dramatic black and death. Multiple listens to get through it.
A THOUSAND SUFFERINGS (Belgium)
— Stark melodies saturate your slumbering brain, and then kicks it in with distorted atmospheric black metal. Good exercise.
WITHERING SOUL (Chicago)
Of Blackened Pillars
— Epic artful death with plaintive melodic and brooding vocals. Fit in some groove and this is just fun.
UNTO OTHERS (Portland)
— Doom, hard rock, heavy metal with goth-loving musicians. Crisp, aching melodies, anguished vocals and sweet guitars have a metal edge.
— Sluggish guitar building to a contrasting eruption. Dark and light, from nothing to a mountain. Soft with dissonance.
— Infectious death mixed with tech death. Guitars are a tornado creating intricate intensity all in short bites of songs.
— An 80's Jim Henson movie montage with some black gaze.
Tue, 21 September 2021
Drag Me to Hell
— Spectacular intricacy and technicality with frenzied solos and vocals that blaze into your soul.
— Cryptic Shift guitarist lends his talent in a sinister spaced-out death that is unexpected with emotion. Definitely made for a scary basement. Allow it to grow.
BLAZON STONE (Sweden)
Hell on Earth
— Don’t be scared by the power metal. This is warrior anthemic with heavy metal speed and endearing lyrics.
LAMP OF MURMUUR (WA)
— Last year’s split was great. Anonymous black metal with a crisp black metal and a wailing vocal. And a Christian Death cover on this album!
Tribes of Khem
— Heated ash for vocals, jagged demonic death blowing blistering black.
Eleanor Rigor Mortis
— Legendary band, another release after 8 years. Fresh and energetic with seasoned technicality.
In Cold Blood
— Rumbling angry vocals in a stomping black metal with breakdowns and hints of piano as a surprise sound.
NOCTURNAL WANDERER (OR)
Distant Stars in Distant Skies
— Green hills for this type of Oregon black metal with a blast of heavy metal guitar.
— Creepy, mesmerizing, hypnotic, piercing and dangerous.
KNOWLEDGE THROUGH SUFFERING (Italy)
— Epic journeys in each of the (3) songs in an inferno of black metal and a range of tempos with a scouring vocalist.
Tue, 14 September 2021
Carving Thine Kingdom
— A marathon of solos, speed and harmonized vocals in a breathtaking technical complexity relentlessly stumbling into a frenzy forward.
Curtains (The Dumb Supper)
— Swedish long-haired heavy metal balanced perfectly with galloping riffs and a vocalist that soars.
BLACK MASS (Boston)
Nothing Is Sacred
— Rock their thrash with a fresh moody vocalist with a tinge of pagan.
Relinquish The Self
— Oh hells yea, intricate and angular in a perfect muscularity with a rich, deep bass.
MEHENET (New Orleans)
Whom God Did Despise
— Voodoo avant-garde metal with a range of vocals from clean to rasped evil that drinks from the wells of New Orleans.
CHROME WAVES (Pittsburgh)
— Romantic, melancholy post-black gaze that somehow is aggressive.
To a Whore
— Jaunty anti-Catholic death in a short, tight package.
— Inverted devoured vocals with chugging riffs in a beastly death tech, just tuff.
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA (Sweden)
— Triumphant montage music with fizzy psychedelic synth and groove made for short shorts and knee highs.
SUMMONER CIRCLE (TN)
— Bluesy, sludgey, synthy black metal.
RORCAL & EARTHFLESH (Switzerland)
— Meditative, mesmerizing noise and ambient with black metal highlights that somehow just rips.
Tue, 7 September 2021
Special dark wave/post-punk show.
ROPES OF NIGHT (Germany)(https://ropesofnight.bandcamp.com/album/impossible-space)
If Death Was A Color
NIGHT RITUAL (Philly)(https://nightritualmusic.bandcamp.com/album/u-n-b-e-c-o-m-i-n-g)
TWIN ION ENGINE (San Diego)(https://tie-music.bandcamp.com/album/sonar-ep)
NIGHT IN ATHENS (London)(https://nightinathens.bandcamp.com/album/metropolis)
NUL TELEXES (UK)(https://swissdarknights.bandcamp.com/album/menhir)
Dialectic (Broken Nails remix)
LETTEN 94 (Switzerland)(https://letten94.bandcamp.com/releases)
Red Lights Soft Skins
FOTOCRIME (KY) (playing in Oakland/Golden Bull/10-19)
ARIEL MANIKI and the BLACK HALOS (San Jose)(https://arielmaniki.bandcamp.com/)
Strangers - BatBoy Slim remix
THE NINTH HEAVEN (India)(https://theninthheaven.bandcamp.com/)
ANGEL'S ARCANA (Athens)(https://swissdarknights.bandcamp.com/album/the-reveries-of-solitude)
SANCTUARY OF PRAISE (UK)(https://sanctuaryofpraise.bandcamp.com/)
Tue, 31 August 2021
In the Mouths of Giants
Uncomfortable, throaty vocals coupled with crusty guitar melodies and a swinging pace from reflective to strong creates a complex scrape into your brain.
OUR PLACE OF WORSHIP IS SILENCE (WA)
A 2-piece covers Mgla along with pummeling, oppressive death mayhem.
WHITE STONES (Spain)
Freedom In Captivity
Peaceful melodies turn into funk and death and it is weird and fun.
HOODED MENACE (Finland)
Those Who Absorb the Night
An angry lumbering doom.
This song reminds me of Nature's Revenge by Skinny Puppy, so that says it all. Beautiful, nostalgic industrial done with a modern twist.
OXYGEN DESTROYER (WA)
Their Reign Has Begun
Their sophomore album is wretched and spewed with breaks of groove that still decapitate in less than 30 minutes.
Moody Viking epic metal.
Hit the Lights
Another storm of an album with an eye that holds the gentle until it hits you with all its shrapnel.
Serpentine Susurrus - Mother's Abomination
Culminating, exhilarating drama with a force of dystopian textures.
Tue, 24 August 2021
Beyond The Grime
— Immersive, explosive tech death that bleeds to psychedelic creating strange structures and melodies.
Despot of Amorphic Dominions
— Unexpected melodic progressive shredding death that is just. . . .fun.
Slain In The Spirit
— Pagan, operatic and other weirdness mixed with proggy death in a hell of a black metal blast.
— Ride this black metal with guitars harmonizing badassery, sultry and muscular vocals, death pummeling and a lovely yearning.
BURIAL IN THE SKY (Philly)
On Wings of Providence
— Death that exceeds in every direction: tech, deathcore, vast vocal range and massive dynamic instrumentation and compositions. Just a huge album.
WOMAN IS THE EARTH (SD)
— Juxtaposition black metal. Vivid and stark. Rage against beauty. Reflective against blistering.
— Groove is foremost in this death and heavy metal and a blast of thrash. Great debut.
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM (WA)
Primal Chasm (Gift Of Fire)
— One of their best, American black metal impeccably produced, creating an anguished and of course richly-melodic immersive experience.
A Forgotten Past
— Desolate, lonely, bitter black with beautifully composed synth and instrumentals. The bleached vocal is chilling.
Tue, 10 August 2021
AUSTERE MOON (NY)
Leave the memory (nightstyle version)
Through The Ether
Just Another Day
NICE COLD NATION (France)
Silent in the dark
SECRET ATTRACTION (AZ)
THE COLD FIELD (AU)
Break This Chain
THEN CAME THE RAIN (Paris)
It Is Just Natural
Silvery Sky (Dark Sky)
THE MIDNIGHT COMPUTERS (France)
New Dawn Fades (Joy Division cover)
Tue, 3 August 2021
PRAISE THE PLAGUE (Germany)
— Explosive, thick with riffs, and melodically-inclined black metal with an absolutely epic lead singer bookended with lethargically-paced atmospheric.
Evil of Satan
— Guitarist of King Diamond Andy LaRocque is a legend and lends some incredible guitar solos in this demonically-sped black metal.
Atrium Of The Storm
— More moody black metal with incredible guitars that soar, dramatic, vivid and epic.
Blaze From Within
— Ugly death with a ton of thrashy energy.
LUMINOUS VEIL (US)
Balms on the Wellspring Scar
— Organ and piano add to the expressive languidity that breaks the textural black metal from a 2-piece.
Han Bor i Skuggona
— Gawd yes, Scandanivian monsters-on-the-mountain-are-attacking-the-warriors metal. So good.
Exulting the Adversary
— Floridians brings it with neck-churning sinister death.
— First nations band, First nations are indigenous people of from a part of Canada and Maine, including one song sung in Miq'maw. Raw anguished black metal with post and indie.
— Horror, horror, not whore.
PROFANE DESECRATION (MA)
— Decompress from the uglies in your brain to the uglies in the sound.
Tue, 27 July 2021
CRAVEN IDOL (UK)
The Gods Have Left Us for Dead
— Stunning moody black metal with a lava hot drummer, and technical guitar noodling. Just love this.
Descent Into Ruinous Splendor
— Epic stories built by a 2-piece, a Cryptmaster vocalist and ominous, dramatic drummer. Devilish atmosphere.
NIGHT CROWNED (Sweden)
— Gothic black metal retaining the aggression including a sharply-edged vocalist and technical guitar bordering on a retro 80’s heavy metal. Drama galore, really fun melodic black.
— YOU pronounce it. Swirling deathcore with dynamic pace and mood, swinging in style that all take you to the bottom of the ocean.
TEMPLE OF DREAD (Germany)
— Jaunty thrash breaks a surging death the only way Germans can do it.
The Will To Live
— More torture from members of Pyrrhon in the form of angular death and noise.
Remain The Same Again
— The vocals are insane, along with a heavy-bass sound and distorted guitar in a solid debut.
BLACK DROP EFFECT (Sweden)
— Technically not new, except the physical release is brand new. Members of Ov Shadows making yet another excellent bout of melodic, tight black metal.
NARZISSUS (Austria)(released 12/2020)
— Weepy romantic novel soundtrack. Well, for a weirdo.
Wed, 21 July 2021
OPHIDIAN I (Iceland)
— Icelandic proggy tech death breaks into catchy riffs, cascading harmonies, heavy metal solos, and a biting range of vocals. I asked, they are going to have more vinyl soon.
STORMRULER (St. Louis)
Fear the Old Blood
— 2-piece with weaponized vocals riding alongside pummeling death and melodic black, swinging from bleak to blistering.
Torügg bleev blot Sand
— Epic melodic sludge in a devastating, emotional black metal and electric vocals.
The Art Of Shudder
— Germans retain that edge with their melodic, in a slow funeral pace that is heart-wrenching, building a larger post- and death metal.
— More perfect German death, bringing in folk balanced with monstrous drums and riffs.
— Depressive, monochromatic raw mix of black and death with portions of acoustic and atmospheric.
— Windsor whips out wicked death structure and tempo, fly those fists.
Submerged Within the Gelatinous Celestial Bath
— A murky bloodied throb of black metal playing with buzzing mechanical industrial noise. Imperceptible melodic blinking on and off
DUNGEON SERPENT (CAN)
— 1-person technical death with shining melodic and distorted, medieval guitar in spectacularly unique arrangements.
— A Runner-up to my Best of 2019. Australia creates a distant frontier of music that doesn’t show influence. Just weirdos.
Tue, 13 July 2021
New post-punk/dark wave!
COMA THERAPY (GA)
House of Lords
SKLTN CHR (Austin)
DESPERATE JOURNALIST (UK)
Rooftops (Molchat Doma Cover)
ROPES OF NIGHT (Germany)
S Λ I N T (CO)
MORTAL BOY (LA)
Romper (feat. Violenta Josefina)
VESTRON VULTURE (Mexico)
WHISPERING SONS (Belgium)
The Solemn Respite Of The Cursed Faith
Tue, 6 July 2021
— This EP (I usually never play EPs) builds and spills in an exceptional story. Biting precision breaks into groove and drives into the unexpected.
— Pronounced Sun-eater. Chomping badass technical black metal, organic instrumentals, heavy metal solos, and a sprinkle of spacy.
— Cold Belarus creates varying black metal pace, including a mid-paced melodic with churning texture pitted against noise and effects. Perfect torment.
DRAWN AND QUARTERED (Seattle)
Proliferation of Disease
— Sinewy smokey death metal with alien guitar.
— Big and epic battling with stark minimalist, inspired by Neurosis. I also recommend Buried Inside’s 2005’s Chronoclast if you like this emo sludge doom.
Mortuus in Perpetuum
— Hot proggy death that you can only find in the middle of a wild, hot desert. But somehow cold and sharp.
FRACTAL UNIVERSE (France)
— The French know how to articulate their arty mayhem. Angular pace and chugging riffs with surprising jaunty bouts of jazz influence.
— Denver surges with their bitter. Machinistic drums and battling vocalists are just part of the un-sweet merge of technical death and screech of black.
HEAVY TEMPLE (Philly)
— A 70’s groove with a lovely lead singer and all of it jams.
Tue, 22 June 2021
This Hollow Ache
— Even if you don’t think you like tech death, this is a huge album that shouldn’t be missed. Intense, rage-filled, but countered with great melodic and emotive vocals.
— A runner-up in 2016’s best thrash category. Power and grit packed into hoppy riffs and blasts.
— Prog incorporating technical heavy metal guitar solos, ballads, epic vocals, all in smaller chunks. Refreshing.
Maw of Eternity
— 1-person brilliance broken into varied genres including death and doom and sludge in a creepy atmosphere.
INHUMAN CONDITION (Florida)
Crown of Mediocrity
— Floridian all the way: muscular, sweaty death that stomps your butt.
The Eleventh Step The Gate Unknown (feat. Stephan Necroabyssious)
— Florida again, this time pagan black metal with heavy metal guitar solos. Medieval, in the best way.
Intention to Kill
— Thrashy beat with catchy riffs and a great singer. Simply good.
EYE OF PURGATORY (Sweden)
— Swedish thick death with a cool mix of synth keyboards and a roaring vocalist.
THE DAY OF THE BEAST (VA)
Annihilation Prayer (Shallow Be Thy Graves)
— Pagan, chunky death made for a circle dance.
Ce Que le Fleuve a Pris
— MOFO bright French black metal with a hella varied mix of spoken vocals, languid guitar and even flutes and synth.
— Elder lead in his own project of instrumental, psychedelic, krauty post-rock.
Tue, 15 June 2021
All new post-punk/dark wave show!
TWIN TRIBES (TX)
Portal to the Void (She Past Away Remix)
JASON PRIEST (London)
Be Thankful, Billy
Falling [thewalkingicon Remix]
FLESH OF MORNING (TX)
THOUGHT LEADERS (Oakland)
Jane Doe's Estate
KHANTED (Sweden)(remastered release from early 2000)
COLD CAVE (LA)
THE HERE TODAYS (Finland)
IMÁGENES RETRO (Mexico)
La vida ya no puedo sentir
You Will Rise (I Will Fall)
Tue, 8 June 2021
— A theatrical avant-garde black metal gem with a massive vocal spectrum.
— Black and roll thrash with rocking retro heavy metal solos and an infusion of melodic in the whole package. Just love it.
CLOAK OF ALTERING (Netherlands)
I slip into a coma
— A black metal horror movie score invoking the experimental industrial of yester-year.
CIRCLE OF SIGHS (LA)
We Need Legends
— An anonymous band creating snarling metal with exploratory goth and synth, a bit of krautrock, and a whole lot of wild space.
— Melodic black metal pulsing to a stark melancholy without becoming post-metal.
Out of the Psychic Blue
— Fervent alien death that wrinkles into psychedelic, creepy and foreboding through-out.
— Blistering death and thrash with beautiful guitar solos. This is *such* a fun album.
— From Avow: expanding, brooding, raw scraped guitars swirling into a hurricane.
Aeon Of the Wolves
— Emotional, strong vocals in a melodic, poignant, reflective black metal.
EPIPHANIC TRUTH (ANON)
The Truth Of The Beast
— An anonymous band dropping 3 massive song, each its own massive journey. Brilliant churning death and moody epic sludge that breaks into proggy-organ and jazzy synth stuff.
Tue, 25 May 2021
OV SHADOWS (Sweden)
— Unreleased song added to a new cassette release of their frosty black metal 2020 album.
— Complex French black metal integrates technical, creative, haunting, pagan, dense death and pockets of experimental instrumentation.
JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES (Finland)
— I'm glad they waited (4) years to come out with something that sounds fresh. Organ-heavy, bluesy, joyful pagan rock.
Invention of the Shipwreck
— An impressive debut album of technical death and thrash with proggy interludes and dynamic guitar work.
AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN (Netherlands)
— Falkor metal, with all-encompassing spacy, majestic instrumentals stabbed with its vocalist.
— Anthemic heavy metal and speed with full retro vocals.
DEPRESION RADIKAL (Argentina)
— Baritone goth vocals in a bass-toned synth dark wave with touches of experimental. A heavy-hitting post-punk and wave album. Free download!: https://tumberorecords1.bandcamp.com/
SCULPTURE CLUB (SLC)
Shed to Salt
— Robert Smith meets The Ocean Blue, dark mixed with floatingly sweet.
UNPLEASANT SOUNDS (Russia)
— Oh, this woman’s vocals. Dark wave euphoria that is richly danceable.
— Growls in space, with horror noise and funeral death.
Tue, 18 May 2021
— Wicked black metal is integrated seamlessly with emotionally wrenching acoustic and melody.
Murmurations From Twilight Bodies
— A split between four bands; all filthy death. This one by Gutvoid is a cool death and psychedelic atmospheric blend.
Rope Burn Exit
— Minnesota tells a story of a massive starry sky and aggro men in black hoods raising a fist to it.
— The Finnish always have something surprising to offer. Here it is futuristic horror industrial noise and a proggy post-punk.
— One man’s mad brain offers experimental black metal with a lot of piano and no guitar.
VIOLET COLD (Azerbaijan)
— Thanks to my buddy Donovan for pointing out this album. They have always been a strange meld of black gaze, electronic and a lot of emo, which becomes touching. Great new album.
GRAVE MIASMA (UK)
— Groove and atmosphere in a murky mid-paced death, I’m all for it.
At Last (Fragrance cover)
— A new German dark wave band does their danceable version of a favorite band of mine, Fragrance.
Tue, 11 May 2021
GREY AURA (Netherlands)
El Greco in Toledo
— First a duo, now a truly wild trio. Moody psychedelic black metal, ethnic instrumentals, a bit of aggressive hardcore and jazz. Has a bit of Imperial Triumphant without the death metal. The whole journey is spectacular.
HUMAN FAILURE (AU)
Crown on the Head of a King of Mud
— 1-person Australian barrage of off-center death with the best noise vocals and feedback screams. Monstrous in this incredibly satisfying way.
Into the Mountains
— Best part was the use of melody. Organic post-metal builds into an epic black metal and surprising genre switches that I won’t name – what a blast. You can lose your brain in it.
FEED THEM DEATH (London)
Eulogic (Negative Dialektik)
— Yes, feed us the weird. Snarling sludge, mechanical grind, disturbing electronics and sometimes plodding pace leaves you scratchy.
— Metal heads understand the need for meditation. Oryx uses drone, instrumentals, melodic and repetition mixed with sludge and doom and a set of fucking hot vocals.
...um Ewiges zu schaffen
— Germanic black metal and their drama. This is in supplication to Mother Nature with folk and heavy metal influence.
— Another proggy turn in black metal that keeps it fresh with hardcore aggression.
The Submission of Rage for Propulsion Divine
— Oppressive is the gift from this duo. Distorted, meandering, explosive and just weighty. You know, f’n heavy.
— Finnish vocals is a weapon in a raw Satanic black metal with cool keyboard effects.
Tue, 4 May 2021
CRYPTS OF DESPAIR (Lithuania)
Condemned To Life
— Vocal extremes, hurricane of death noise and crushing beat with an underlying melancholy. A powerhouse of an album.
— Sinister, meditative drone pace builds to a cacophony, with pockets of grind and sludge and death chugging. Runner-up up in my Best of 2016, and another hit.
THE ARMED (Detroit)
— 90’s-esque indie blended to modernity with a Converge-textural hardcore, industrial and synth, and pop. 19 musicians include some famous ones.
DESOLATE REALM (Finland)
— 2-piece heavy metal includes all the good stuff, including a jamming guitar, breaks into ballads, and a heavy dose of headbanging.
Unity of light
— Lovely goth vocals in a richly melodic and romantic electronic dark wave.
SPECTRAL LORE (Greece)
Initiation Into The Mystery
— Last year’s split with Mare Cognitum led to this chaotic, beautiful, abstract and ethnic black metal.
BONES OF THE EARTH (Arkansas)
— The unexpected galaxy-driven compositions took me out of what I was listening to. Already a unique mix of doom, proggy sludge, droning guitars, and chomping hardcore
BONE CUTTER (San Jose)
Sea of Broken Needs
— 2 thumbs-up to the song titles. Short and sweet crushing grindcore and death that is unexpectedly charming.
Tyfels Antlitz (Wie e Huerä zwei Chind empfanget)
— Just picture these dudes in Heidi-pigtails on a Swiss countryside singing their fantasy medieval and orchestral black metal. .
CICADA THE BURROWER (Madison)
Where Old Crystals Grow
— Shimmering with sharp waves right under the surface. Meandering jazz meets raw aggression. All proceeds off this record go to the ACLU, yah!
PAYSAGE d’HIVER (Switzerland)
— Paysage d’Hiver’s “Wanderer” continues to explore an alien world. A shorter album than last year’s stunner, but still a raw biting wind.
Tue, 27 April 2021
Special new wave/cold wave/dark wave/electro/synth/industrial show - all super brand new songs.
CHEMICAL CLUB (NM)
Drunk in the Dark
JE T'AIME (France)
Fuck Me (Live at Gibus)
LESSER ANGELS (OR)
Cloth and Ashes
BLACK PLASTIC (Chicago)
War Chest (Unholy Mix)
White (Again) - (live)
KÆLAN MIKLA (Iceland)
Затерянные (feat. Povod)
GRAVEYARD GOSSIP (Portland)
Lift The Veil
SEXUAL PURITY (Ukraine)
All That Is True Dies
BLACK LULLABIES (LA)
UR URSULA VERA (?)
Slow Danse With The Dead - So obnoxious
LESSER CARE (TX)
Tue, 20 April 2021
— A duo creating pagan horror psychedelic black metal and punk thrash with notes of 60's garage guitar and a whisper rasp. Album shipping fees of fucking $20, but I pushed forward.
KARMA VIOLENS (Greece)
Kingdom of the Deserters
— Another duo-charged frenetic death with delicious groove and flourished guitar solos and an infusion of thrash pace.
SPECTRAL WOUND (Montreal)
— My 2018 choice for Best Traditional Black Metal, this is their follow up album. The vocalist stains your brain with his monstrous shrieks that invoke pity. The black metal is raw, leaving you broken. This is pure devastation perfection.
— Gloomy, moody, reflective death metal transitioning into doomy instrumental sections. Menacing and romantic.
— On my pile for a while and was persuaded to take another gander after their burning Roadburn performance. Solid industrial bent in this version of textualized chaos. Electronic effects serve to abrade and soothe.
KËKHT ARÄKH (Ukraine)
— Opposing black metal with a gentle touch is not surprising. These musicians are incredibly thoughtful. This version uses melodic strains behind the raw and stripped sound providing a touching, nostalgic and difficult result.
CREEPING FEAR (Paris)
— Chugging pace and a massive slab of death pummeling with excellent guitar solos.
— Black’n’roll with catchy heavy metal that dives into speed. Raise a flagon.
Boundless Numen Gardens of Ardini
— Armenian traditional instruments that bring that ethnic edge to an emotional, riff-heavy black metal
ASH CODE (Italy)
— Italian cold wave remixing Clan of Xymox and Molchat Doma, big in the scene right now.
Tue, 13 April 2021
Game of Souls
— Groove-leaning, proggy, intricate thrash breaking into synth and guitar solo interludes.
All Creation Wept
— Best guttural and screeching vocals emoting utter fury, a dance between black and death in a hyper-pace.
CATHARTIC DEMISE (CAN)
— More tight thrash with cool heavy metal melody and a biting guitar and drum coupling. Fist up.
Cities of Smoke
— Sludge that unravels to massive drums and desperate, enraged vocals with instrumentals that transform to savage explosions. Free download from bandcamp! https://soothsayer.bandcamp.com/album/echoes-of-the-earth-atmospheric-doom-sludge-metal
OLD NICK (CA?)
Bastion Of Bubonic Debauchery
— Do a line of coke, take a hit of acid, turn on the black metal and go on a carnival ride.
The Edge of Town
— Relentless sharp death metal infused with cool effects and noodle-y guitar creating a head-churning affair all around.
— Shimmering melodic over a dramatic hardcore vocal and abrasive sludge band with filthy riffs. But the melody, that shit was good.
— Hailing from 1989 and still rocking a modern brutal death with unique doomy melodic, even from old farts.
夢遊病者 (aka Sleepwalker) (NY, Japan, Russia)
Redemption / Retaliation
— Bros. This is sound that will break apart your bored brain with meditative psychedelic, jazz, black metal, and just out-there.
MIRROR OF HAZE (Norway)
Drifting into the Void
— A dark Norwegian gothic with sweet vocals.
Tue, 6 April 2021
MORAL COLLAPSE (Bengalaru)
Your stillborn be praised
— Bangalore/Bengaluru band Moral Collapse has guest musicians from huge bands like Death and Gorguts, creating a tight proggy technical death that builds a balanced and infectious sound, and spots of experimentation like horror violins to mix it up.
— Languid, unrushed and anguished melodic interweave with a black scratched vocal and vicious drums.
DEAD NEANDERTHALS (Netherlands)
— Deranged grind with a saxophone vocal that sounds like it is being murdered; and disjointed drums creating their brand of mayhem.
STEEL BEARING HAND (TX)
Per Tenebras Ad Lucem
— Death and thrash are hand in hand with sped up tempo and sharp guitar solos with variety of tempo and a bit of doom. All of it erupts.
LABORED BREATH (Oakland)
— Where you start is not where you end. Theatrical black metal with meditative sections proves dense, but worthy of unpacking.
UNFLESH (New Hampshire)
Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell
— Technical death metal swings to melodic black metal with beautiful acoustic passages that really take it to an atmospheric route.
Heart ov Gharlrath
— Bloodied, monstrous vocals with a swarming atmospheric black propelled with a death beat and industrial groove in parts, eventually breaking back to its mangled horror.
— Straight-forward pummeling death infiltrated with heavy groove, made for the bangers.
CELESTIAL SANCTUARY (UK)
— Unafraid of a doomy slower pace, eventually building to massive head-churning death and part grind.
PUTRESCINE (San Diego)
— Off-centered brutal death, with multiple layered melodies making it weird, and added female vocals.
— The antithesis of the previous songs, some euphoric disco pop to sweeten your brain.
Tue, 30 March 2021
— Debut thrash from a fiery rasp in a Lemmy style and guitars that careen off a cliff.
— Funeral doom death? This one engulfs and saturates, and then explodes into a cavernous death with monstrous beat. Be patient, this is gratifying. Massive album.
— French heavy metal that jam with guitar rides, with changing tempos and epic leadups to dramatic Mercyful Fate vocals.
— Tribal Polish black metal with strange instrumentation including the didgeridoo and a range of vocals, including chants, female vocals and a guttural mutterer.
— 20 years for me, following this band. The lead singer was also shared with Dozer, another fave. The new vocalist has been around for a while now, and he is as epic. Sun-drenched Swedish retro done perfectly.
TURRIS EBURNEA (Italy)
— A duo from Cosmic Putrefaction and Krallice, mesmerizing with twisted death and a touch of really unique melodic and droney bits.
MARIANAS REST (Finland)
— Finnish decompresses you with their style of melancholy blackened and a hot vocalist.
GENGHIS TRON (NY)
Alone In The Heart Of The Light
— Synth-based psychedelic, post- and spacey-rock that is immersive and heady.
— Dr. Zhivago metal. Dramatic, romantic and melancholy-sweet driving to a bitterly cold ending.
Archaic Burial Rites
— Marasmus balances delicate instrumentation and a brutal technical death. Raw and sparse that packs a wallop, with a blast of riffs when necessary.
HAPLESS WRETCH (London)
— 10 minutes of filthy grime-y death that is as impactful as a much longer album.
Tue, 23 March 2021
Grand Nexion Abyss
— Guitars galore; strummed to galaxy-driven solos to technical. Textures and genres include technical death, melodic black, and a blast of proggy lurches and massive riffs. A chilling rasp of a vocalist drops perfectly to the hottest muscular. Huge album.
PUPIL SLICER (UK)
Wounds Upon My Skin
— Yes, this album is that good. Not just another Dillinger; this pulls its weight from all directions. Grind and noise make way for massive riffs and groove with unexpected moments. Her vocals are strength and agony.
— Lighten this shit UP, with some brutal hardcore. Richmond in the HIZ-HOOOOOUSE. Appropriate fist on the album cover.
MARE COGNITUM (Portland)
— Intricately woven guitar and drums, building to always something bigger. The suffocation is manageable with breaks of melody and a softened edge. Always stellar.
— A duo that has packed it all in there: sharp, angular, chaotic black metal sweetened with drama. It will take time to figure it out.
— Another 2-piece with a powerful weaponized vocal, an equally effective drum, and moments of beer rock’n’roll warming it all up.
LUNAR SHADOW (Germany)
And Silence Screamed
— 80’s heavy metal soul with poignant lyrics and reflective ballads. Emotional and solid.
— Pronounced Dune. Thick, rich sludge with proggy overtones and epic breakdowns. A cool breeze of post-metal and experimental ambient really break it apart.
— Two Scottish bands in a row! This is the most medieval warrior wintry black forest black metal you’ll hear in a while.
— I wondered how the vocalist Gray Tolhurst, son of the Cure's drummer/keyboardist, ended up in San Francisco. He was going to college here! He pushed away cold wave and post-punk for a long time, and finally broke down. We should be so lucky. This is a luscious, poppy, misting, moody, dreamy album.
Tue, 16 March 2021
Tribute to our dear friend Brian who was gone before his time. These songs represent the time we spent together dancing, drinking, gossiping, griping, loving. And yes, there are two Hole songs.
SKINNY PUPPY (CAN)(1988)
Passion of Lovers
Monkey Gone to Heaven
DEPECHE MODE (UK)(1987)
Never Let Me Down Again
THE SMITHS (UK)(1986)
Bigmouth Strikes Again
NINE INCH NAILS (USA)(1989)
Down In It
Situation (U.S. 12'' Mix)
THE CURE (UK)(1985)
In Between Days
NEW ORDER (UK)(1989)
SISTERS OF MERCY (UK)(1985)
Nine While Nine
PINK FLOYD (UK)(1975)
Wish You Were Here
Tue, 9 March 2021
Cathedral Of Impaled
— Ohio weirdos in a cavernous death, pummeling raw black, and a sludgy groove.
SIGNIFICANT POINT (Japan)
— Stylish retro Japanese that hit 80’s soaring epic heavy and speed metal on the head. Jamming, harmonizing, technical guitars steal the show.
THROWING BRICKS (Netherlands)
— This will thaw your heart and pummel it to a pulp all at the same time. The desperate vocals really threw some arrows. Hardcore, sludge, black, post-metal and even drone.
— Krallice off-roads and it is the insane that our brains need. The masters of dense, technical prowess break under atmospheric vocals and avant garde synth to create a post-apocalyptic sound.
VIII: The End (This Is the Way the World Ends)
— Another weird album with multiple facets: moody mathematical, industrial, funk-bass and theatrical psychedelic. A member of Hexvessel and Grave Pleasures.
Convulsing In The Shit And Piss Of Man
— Absolutely no “swampy stoner” here. This is some filthy, deranged death with heavily head-bangable moments.
— Vocalist of Blut Aus Nord creates his style of modern, well-produced black metal with a touch of folk.
— Haunting instrumentals build to melodic death and frenzied thrash.
Towers of Suffocation
— Don’t underestimate a hearty portion of old school debilitating power death.
BLEIB MODERN (Germany)
— Melancholy, of course. This is post-punk that knows mood.
De Leegte Wenkt
— Dutch black metal. What can go wrong.
Tue, 2 March 2021
Inherent of Life
— Intense vocals line up with the sharp knife of grind, with death breakdowns and a meditative drone. A powerhouse, mixed by Kurt Ballou.
The Immortal Generation
— Thrash-driven, angular death blast with noodling guitars, reminiscent of our 80’s favorites. It unpacks into a full universe of sound. Vinyl won't be offered until August-September.
OMINOUS RUIN (SF)
— Absolutely no superfluous note in this tight, crisp, proggy tech, with atmospheric and organic pockets and badass guitar wizardry. Stark mofos.
— Speaking of downtuned epic stoner doom, Spelljammer has come out of a 5 year retirement. Take a huge hit, feel this propel you into its cloud, Swedish gods of composition.
SUMMONING THE LICH (St. Louis)
Demon of the Snow
— Death-charged debut diving into chomping thrash, swift tech death and tempo changes with the backdrop of fantasy-based themes.
The Tower of Cosmic Nihility
— Epic, grandiose metal with emotional vocals soaring high, the vocalist is the stunner. He is also the vocalist from Barren Earth and Hamferd. Reminded me of While Heaven Wept.
— Distorted doom, somber raw stoner, and industrial groove with machinic drone and hushed vocals with the most incredible album art.
LESSER CARE (TX)
Head On The Floor (live)
— More moody, richly melodic dark wave from a surging alternative scene in Texas. Fucking Texas. I guess I’d be depressed there too.
LAMP OF MURMUUR (UK)
Curse of Silent Thunder
— Part of a split with anonymous band dai-ichi, I love the melody shining through the fury of the thin, raw black metal that break into massive riffs. Both bands kill it on this split.
The Wild Swans
— Crystal melodies soothing and rolling out in waves that eventually erupt into post-metal with a monstrous vocalist.
Tue, 23 February 2021
— Textural black metal slowed down to moody and reflective. The vocalist adds multiple dimensions with low growls, high shrieks, chanting and an overall thundering performance.
— Written-up by the NYT, Senyawa is an incredible part of the huge Indonesian experimental scene with a wild ride on homemade instrumentation. They offered graphics and audio files out to whoever wanted it, asking different labels to create mixes to appeal to their local region. 44 labels took them up on it. This one is from a British label.
SUFFERING HOUR (MN)
— Another explosive black metal band playing with death muscularity and lower-paced meditative atmospheric with a seething, gravelly vocalist.
Ashen Piles Of The Incinerated
— Intensity ramps up through this album, gritty death, atmospheric grind and punk experimenting with density, aggression and mood.
HEAVE BLOOD AND DIE (Norway)
— The band name doesn’t necessarily match the chill post-punk 70’s influenced krautrock political band. Fantastic album.
SOCIOCLAST (San Jose)
Concrete and Steel
— Monstrous groove grind with blistering death and dread.
DEAD EXALTATION (India)
— Indian technicality puts this away with a blast of death and prog and satisfying riffs.
Quest for Eternity
— Jamming psychedelic brain candy that lets the brain just breathe. Lovely.
Below the frozen Tundra
— Demonic vocals claws you while burying you alive with a raw bleak death.
— Meditative stoner post-metal with a focus on unique instrumentals; another decompressive album.
— Sweet, bubbly new wave from one of my faves in this genre.
Tue, 16 February 2021
AD NAUSEAM (Italy)
Inexorably Ousted Sente
— Frenetic black and pummeling, technical death hurtling against each other, creating a universe of density, breaking into rippling, meandering, brain melting compositions.
On n'en finit pas
— A bleak, unrefined goth mixed with some traditional melodic bass and synth, but thrown off-kilter by evil vocals and nothing sweet.
HUMANITY’S LAST BREATH (Sweden)
— Cinematic and horror experimental deathcore that explodes out of the traditional djent beat and muscular vocal.
— Chomping old school black metal speed with technical badass rock and roll guitar.
Deconvolution Jψ [Part I]
— A cavernous, disorienting black metal with a hurricane of satisfying riffs that erupt out of nowhere.
CAEDES CRUENTA (Greece)
From the Darkest Paths of Golgotha
— Majestic Greek black metal with desperate raw vocals and gothy synth work.
INTELLECT DEVOURER (AU) (09/2020)
Demons of the Skull
— Released last year. A member from StarGazer, but very different. Guitar shredding technical death with changes to lurching slow pace.
— First full length after 10 years. Throaty death with some Finnish mood.
UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE (UK)
— Reimagined weirdo staticky drone meditation.
Tue, 2 February 2021
PORTRAYAL OF GUILT (Austin)
— Broken shards of bleak hardcore mixed with a demonic vocalist and grind, electronic, melodic pop.
THE RUINS OF BEVERAST (Germany)
The Tundra Shines
— One of my favorite metal bands, whose 2017 album made it to my top 20 of the last 20 years. Another vivid, moody, psychedelic, tribalistic black metal journey with surprising clean vocals that cut through. Touching. Massive.
— Anonymous group takes you on a weird, crazed death ride with a moody, rich doom. Unexpected.
— Indulgent, weird, proggy death with a rumbling and often theatrical singer, that culminates into kickass riffs.
— A debut that nails you to the wall with intensity, and changes shapes to droning guitars, industrial and keyboard effects.
ALTERED DEAD (CAN)
— Throat-clenched vocals within a hurricane of bleak death, slowed down to headbang-worthy sinister doom when needed.
— Take the time and meld with this fantasy metal with vampiric blood and a storm of heavy metal and rising melody. Excellent.
Flesh Once Divided
— Frosty massive black metal that often slows to dramatic vibrant melody.
THE SUN CAME UP UPON THE LEFT (Portland)
A Coward’s Expression of Doubt
— A fantastic split with moody, gorgeous acoustic and gothic melodies.
Tue, 26 January 2021
GRAVE GNOSIS (FL)
— Orthodox Satanic band practice dark spiritual arts in the form of sound, invoking spirits. That’s some dedication dude.
NOVAE MILITIAE (France)
Faithfully Reduced to Ashes
— Look, so this released last year, but just got released in the US by Sentient so we’ll go with that. USA! Another bout of Satanic black metal with a spectrum of pace from pummeling to lethargic to dense atmosphere.
AUTONOESIS (Toronto) (Released 8/2020)
Horrors of Nothing
— Long form thrash mixing death and black with guttural rasps and neck-wrenching spins. Such a great debut last year.
— One person gurgling bloody chaotic swarming offset fighting hammering. Surprising.
Human, for a Minute
— Album name ‘Drunk Tank Pink’ is a color used to weaken. Disjointed punk pop, late 70’s style post-punk, and noise rock with Idles-style vocals.
— Oppressive nature of Minnesota lends to a black metal filled with unease.
From Whence and Ancient Evil Once Reigned
— One woman band mixing pagan, acoustic and medieval flair to a turbulent black metal.
— Emotionally relentless with intense vocals and grief-stricken melodies. Pummeling breaks to guitar breaks to folk instrumentation. Gorgeous.
DEAD NEANDERTHALS (Netherlands)
(part of) Cosmic Slime
— Members of my #1 2020 album Cryptae created another form of immersion: a distorted meditative drone sound wave. Love the touch of horn. You can download the 27 minute song for free from bandcamp (https://deadneanderthals.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-slime).
Tue, 19 January 2021
AKHLYS (CO) (released 12/2020)
— An ancient, warped, sinister, atmospheric black metal witch rasps out evil spells between bloody teeth.
FRACTAL GENERATOR (Ontario)
Shadows Of Infinity
— Stealthy knife vocal outlines vicious turns and decapitating riffs while everything rains down in bullets.
— Smart, strange, varied, jaunty crusty metal sludge with horns, sounding like Imperial Triumphant on a joyride. There is so much here.
HERETICAL SECT (NM) (released 12/2020)
— Misting, howling, raging atmospheric horror breaking into a hurricane of distortion and pummeling, ripping apart into multiple organisms.
WARSTONE (MA) (Released 11/2020)
— If you like Gatecreeper, take a gander of this powerful set of throaty grind, death and slow-churning sludge. Excellent.
— Short bundle of death-grind and one massive epic doom song with heated growls.
DREAD SOVEREIGN (Ireland)
Nature is the Devil's Church
— Primordial lead singer has been one of my favorite for years. Another one of his projects of retro heavy metal with death tone and warm stoner psychedelic.
SHAIDAR LOGOTH (MN) (released 12/20)
— Minnesota screams despair in a ferocious atmospheric black metal.
As The Seasons Bleach Your Bones
— Swedes roll out rock and death, epically catchy, surprising tempo lurches and a tuff boy mosh pit attitude.
Slither O Serpent
— Just a touch of melody within a cauldron of bubbling black and death sweetens it just right.
Ingurgitating the Caliginous Orifice
— Short and sweet songs blasting out a crust and death impact.
Tue, 12 January 2021
Best of 2020, Show 2 of 2, counting down to my #1 Album!
Album Cover Art
The Spirit (Germany), album - Cosmic Terror: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3996197371_10.jpg
Psychotic Waltz (CA), album - The God Shaped Void: https://www.insideoutshop.de/images/products/large/0IO01998_637115800934067991.jpg
Phalanx (CA), album - Golden Horde: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2404742206_10.jpg
Blasphemer (Italy), album - The Sixth Hour: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0764213119_10.jpg
On Thorns I Lay (Greece), album - Threnos: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0195263489_10.jpg
Peripheral Cortex (Germany), album - God Kaiser Hell: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a4257315599_10.jpg
Xenobiotic, album – Mordrake: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2471456487_10.jpg
Intronaut (CA), album - Fluid Existential Inversions: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0798790118_10.jpg
Heathen Foray (Austria), album – Weltenwandel: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a4089437681_10.jpg
Man’n Sin (France), album - Garden of Starvation: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3989012929_10.jpg
Korgonthurus (Finland), album – Kuolleestasyntynyt: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0719671308_10.jpg
Crystal Coffin (CAN), album - The Transformation Room: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a4001452580_10.jpg
Hyborian (KC), album - Volume II: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3175924485_10.jpg
Death On Fire (IN), album - Ghost Songs: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a4129148932_10.jpg
Roman Ring (Chicago), album - The Halogen: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0817157893_10.jpg
Forlesen (Bay Area), album - Hierophant Violent: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a4215778864_10.jpg
Graveir (AU), album - King of the Silent World: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3127444269_10.jpg
Light Dweller (AZ), album – Hominal: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0718838473_10.jpg
Khôra (Norway), album – Timaeus: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0231645775_10.jpg
Khthoniik Cerviiks (Germany), album – Æequiizoiikum: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0281983332_10.jpg
Xythlia, album - Immortality Through Quantum Suicide: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3169528353_10.jpg
Gaerea (Portugal), album – Limbo: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3738186031_10.jpg
Fides Inversa (Italy) , album – Historia Nocturna: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1364049488_10.jpg
Question (Mexico), album - Reflections of the Void: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3893888604_10.jpg
Krallice (NYC), album - Mass Cathexis: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0574786205_10.jpg
Ars Magna Umbrae (Poland), album – Apotheosis: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3001886981_10.jpg
Expander (Austin), album - Neuropunk Boostergang: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2673049905_10.jpg
Astringency (TX), album - Of Vacant Planes: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2891681845_10.jpg
Yatra (MD), album - All is Lost: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2190231781_10.jpg
Amiensus (MN), album – Abreaction: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0885904814_10.jpg
Lord Almighty (Boston), album – Wither: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1449725673_10.jpg
Maladie (GER), album - The Grand Aversion: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3234487487_10.jpg
Goratory (Boston), album - Sour Grapes: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3844836567_10.jpg
The Deviant (Norway), album - Rotting Dreams of Carrion: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2586727345_10.jpg
Behind My Vocals
Statiqbloom (NYC), album - Beneath The Whelm
Deathmaze (Belgium), album - Eau Rouge
Riki (LA), album - S/T
IAMTHESHADOW (Portugal), album - Pitchblack
WAYFARER (Denver), album - A Romance With Violence
The Crimson Rider (Gallows Frontier, Act I) (0:25-10:50)
— Western romance and melody infused with epic, pummeling, majestic black metal with a fiery lead singer.
UPRISING (Germany), album - II
— Folk and punk lend the steel-tipped boot of anti-nazi black metal a surprising groove and heart.
Khthoniik Cerviiks (Germany), album - Æequiizoiikum
Esoctrilihum (France), album - Eternity Of Shaog
Meslamtaea (Netherlands), album - Geketend in de schaduw van het leven
Calligram (Europe), album - The Eye Is The First Circle
Alternative & New/Cold/Dark Wave
Saturday Album: MOANING (LA), album - Uneasy Laughter
Keep Out (20:16-24:26)
— My Saturday album is my most played album of the year. Buy this on vinyl and twirl in your living room, arms outstretched as you belt every word and fall in love with every sweet note. I cannot recommend more.
FEARING (Santa Cruz), album - Shadow
Pictured Perfect (25:08-30:02)
— Fearing played on my birthday in 2019 opening for She Past Away (Turkey); and I knew I had to follow them. And I was rewarded with the most danceable goth-leaning dark wave of 2020.
Pleasure Policy (Oakland), album - Forever
Statiqbloom (NYC), album - Beneath The Whelm
Deathmaze (Belgium), album - Eau Rouge
Riki (LA), album - S/T
IAMTHESHADOW (Portugal), album - Pitchblack
VREDEHAMMER (Norway), album - Viperous
Winds of Dysphoria (30:50-35:42)
— Industrial-influenced keyboards and beat deconstruct this tight guitar soloing, neck-wrencher.
HAAPOJA (Finland), album - Mullan Keskeltä
Tunne Kylmä, Tunne Pelko (36:15-41:39)
— Scraped off the bowels of death with strangled vocals and alien guitar tone. Melodies shine between the crust and grime.
WARDAEMONIC (AU), album - Acts of Repentance
Act IV – Sufferance (42:07-50:32)
— The name suggests straight pummeling, but this was a journey, each song providing dynamics in thought and structure.
Earth Rot (AU), album – Black Tides of Obscurity
SKELETON (Austin), album - S/T
— What a difficult category to choose from. Listening to Skeleton is like how I would imagine them live, massive chomping energy in complex morsels of structure and brutality.
Autonoesis (CAN), album – S/T
Diabolic Oath (Portland), album – Profane Death Exodus
Thætas (NYC) , album – Shrines to Absurdity
Kommand (CA), album – Terrorscape
Abyssal Ascendant (France), album – Chronicles of the Doomed Worlds, Pt. 2: Deacons of Abhorrence
Antzaat (Belgium), album – For You Men Who Gaze into the Sun
Well Of Night (Ohio), album – The Lower Planes of Self-Abstraction
Cynabare Urne (Finland), album – Obsidian Daggers & Cinnabar Skulls
Carnosus (Sweden), album - Dogma of the Deceased
Volcandra (Kentucky), album - Into the Azure
ORANSSI PAZUZU (Finland), album - Mestarin kynsi
Oikeamielisten sali (56:38-1:02:14)
— Do you expect me to skip Oranssi? Because they consistently put out excellent, unique albums that can’t possibly be matched by their next recording? And yet they did it again, with their signature black psychedelic, hypnotic, eclectic textures creating a new fold in your brain.
SERMENT (CAN), album - Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté
Flamme Hivernale (1:02:47-1:10:40)
— Each song includes the sound of wind; soothing, still pockets before an unrelenting pummeling of heart-wrenching black metal with a range of emotions.
CONVOCATION (Finland), album - Ashes Coalesce
— I am not a funeral doom fan, but these guys use it to create an immensely satisfying, sinister, atmospheric death with hot, taloned vocals.
AFTERBIRTH (NYC), album - Four Dimensional Flesh
Spiritually Transmitted Disease (1:22:16-1:26:23)
— Don’t turn away from the dehydrated guttural upon guttural vocals. It becomes a droning texture within the experimental, psychedelic grind and death with raging technical guitar. The melody pops, flares and bubbles to create a weird, unique experience.
#1 Album: CRYPTAE (Netherlands), album - Nightmare Traversal
Monastic Tomb (1:27:06-END)
— Power surges in the suffocating ocean of Cryptae. It will bash you against its raw edges, a hypnotizing pain that becomes pleasurable. It cracks open to melodic threads and drowns you again. A nightmare, a dose of reality, a meditation.
Wake (CAN), album - Devouring Ruin
Ulcerate (New Zealand), album - Stare Into Death and Be Still
Bedsore (Italy), album - Hypnagogic Hallucinations
Sepulchral Curse (Finland) , album - Only Ashes Remain
RUNNER UP CATEGORIES
Heavy Metal Retro Doom
NITE (SF), album - Darkness Silence Mirror Flame
Wytch Hazel (UK), album - III: Pentecost
Traveler (CAN), album - Termination Shock
Eternal Champion (Austin), album - Ravening Iron
FIRES IN THE DISTANCE, album - Echoes From Deep November
Countless Skies (UK), album - Glow
On Thorns I Lay (Greece), album - Threnos
Rannoch (UK), album - Reflections Upon Darkness
Descend (Sweden), album - The Deviant
KONVENT (Denmark), album - Puritan Masochism
Vile Creature (CAN), album - Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!
Garganjua (UK), album - Toward the Sun
Irist (GA), album - Order Of The Mind
Drought Year (NC), album - Adorned with Death (also industrial)
Black Royal (Finland), album - Firebride
Tue, 5 January 2021
Best (Livestream) Shows
Mr Bungle: Unbelievable
Greg Dulli: Gorgeous
Deathgrave: Local Halloween theatrical fun
Terry Gross: Trippy with a handsome drummer
Behind my Vocals:
Moaning (LA), album - Uneasy Laughter
Fearing (CA), album - Shadow
Pleasure Policy (Oakland), album - Forever
KVAEN (Sweden), album - The Funeral Pyre
Revenge by Fire (0:25-6:40)
— Black metal with epic guitar solos and truth-laying vocals creating chomping, rifftastic, scrunch-face metal
HELLRIPPER (Scotland), album - The Affair of the Poisons
The Affair of the Poisons (8:47-13:35)
— Sniff up this line of pure adrenalin that charges, blasts and rips up your evil soul.
Mr. Bungle (SF), album - The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny
Warbringer (CA), album - Weapons of Tomorrow
Havok (Denver), album - V
Carnosus (Sweden), album - Dogma of the Deceased
Bütcher (Belgium), album - 666 Goats Carry My Chariot
Midnight (Cleveland), album - Rebirth by Blasphemy
HAVUKRUUNU (Finland), album - Uinuos Syömein Sota
Kunnes Varjot Saa (14:08-19:02)
— Medieval ethnic Finnish Viking folk bubbles in a cauldron for drunk warriors. Guitars strum as witches dance to epic soaring intensity and indulgent guitar solos.
ANAAL NATHRAKH (UK), album – Endarkenment
Libidinous (A Pig with Cocks in Its Eyes) (19:54-24:07)
— Theatrical, operatic grind playing with a range of serial killer vocals, riding atop a mountain of structures. Not your grandfather’s grind.
Spectrum of Delusion, album - Neoconception
Xythlia (MN), album - Immortality Through Quantum Suicide
Benighted (France), album - Obscene Repressed
SPECTRAL LORE AND MARE COGNITUM (Portland, Greece), album - Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine
Mars (The Warrior) (24:43-33:10)
— The yin and yang achieved between rage and peace, meditation and torture, vicious and still. A thicket of dense sounds part for clear, majestic black metal moments.
Krallice/Geryon (NYC), album- Wolf/Astomatous
VALDRIN (Ohio), album - Effigy of Nightmares
Basilisk Of Light (34:12-39:07)
— A pool of bloody, dense, monstrous black metal from which no sweetness can emerge.
SNORLAX (AU), album - II
Encapsulated Apocalypse (39:38-44:30)
— Towering vocals within a red-hot, blistering furnace of evil.
Cult of Fire (Czech Rep), album - Moksha
...And Oceans (Finland), album - Cosmic World Mother
Naglfar (Sweden), album - Cerecloth
QUESTION (Mexico), album - Reflections of the Void
A Fate Worse Than Death (45:17-51:03)
— Thoughtful, moving death with headbanger riffs. More than you expect.
SKELETAL REMAINS (CA), album - The Entombment Of Chaos
Synthetic Impulse (51:35-56:15)
— Old school death impact with the violent joy of power in every song.
Ulthar (CA), album - Providence
Undergang (Denmark), album - Aldrig i livet
Faceless Burial (AU), album - Speciation
Puteraeon (Sweden), album - The Cthulhian Pulse: Call FromThe Dead City
PANZERFAUST (CAN), album - The Suns of Perdition – Chapter II: Render unto Eden
The Snare of the Fowler (57:44-1:07:29)
— Cathedral meditation in a stormy, richly instrumented, epic black metal.
REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER (France), album - Ascension
Stellar Cross (1:07:55-1:15:51)
— Brooding, primal, anguished black metal that flips over into something different.
AFSKY (Denmark), album - Ascension Ofte Jeg Drømmer Mig Død
Tyende Sang (1:16:40-1:24:39)
— Cold, shimmering soulful slicing and soothing, powerful in the melancholy and sweet of disappearing notes as much as the explosive wall of sound.
#2 Album: GAEREA (Portugal), album - Limbo
— Muscular vocals collapsing into shrieks, guitars propelling each other, and multiple layers of black metal giving way to death metal bold.
Blaze Of Perdition (Poland), album - The Harrowing of Hearts
Silver Knife (Belgium), album - Unyielding/Unseeing
Liminal Shroud (CAN), album - Through the False Narrows