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
Tue, 22 December 2020
Originally a 2012 show! Happy Holidays. Next week is off, before my Best of 2020 shows in January!
VINCE GUARALDI TRIO
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
No Presents for Christmas
Little Drummer Boy
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
GUNS N ROSES
Run Run Rudolph
Carol of the Bells
Santa Claws is Coming To Town
Holiday in Cambodia
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Christmas in New Orleans
The Christmas Song
Winds of Change
Tue, 15 December 2020
Special darkwave, cold wave, your FACE wave, dark-romantic, or otherwise alternative show. Everything released in 2020.
LEBANON HANOVER (Berlin)
The Last Thing
DELPHINE COMA (TX)
JONATHAN BREE (New Zealand)
After The Curtains Close
THE SECRET FRENCH POSTCARDS (Sweden)
The Dream is Gone
THE TACKS (New Zealand)
THE VILLIONS (Greece)
Lamentation Of Moon
MICHELLE GUREVICH (Denmark)
The Art of Life
THE WAKE (OH)
BLIND DELON (France)
Love U More
You Know Nothing
MINUIT MACHINE (Paris)
Don't Run From The Fire
Tue, 8 December 2020
Usømmelig omgang med lig
— Denmark is apparently filthy and ugly, to spew out this slithering beast of a cavernous, deranged death with crazed guitar solos and a sick doom twist.
CYNABARE URNE (Finland)
Last of the Icons Alive
— Sinister occult and death also blending black and an incredibly filthy groove. Power.
WYTCH HAZEL (UK)
I Will Not
— Holy shit, an amazing organ-loving, anthemic and epic 70’s style retro with a vocalist that hangs from the rafters. This album is better than the last, and the last won Best Retro in 2018.
Castrate The Perpetrators
— Technical death metal with incredibly emotional and dynamic vocals in the style of Cattle Decapitation. Surprising melodic infects, and the result is a blast.
— A heavy dose of spectrum-sliding vocals slicing my heart. Post-metal interrupted by a proggy death also creates a really spectacular sound. Surprisingly effective.
— French post-black drama and turbulent ferocious black metal with a roughly textured vocalist that breaks into spoken French. Ooo-la-la, don my beret mofos.
— Beautiful and soulful with incredibly passionate singing, and metal guitars that break from post-metal into stoner sludge and bouts of black.
THE DEVIANT (Norway)
It Has a Name
— Ex-lead singer of Gehenna within a frosted wintry scowling Norwegian forest black metal.
Catacombs Part II
— A massive collective including violin, trumpet and saxophone to melt that metal heart.
Mystique de la Vouivre
— Medieval folk and epic melodic black metal, it’s badass.
Tue, 1 December 2020
Eden Doesn't Know
— Haunting meditation inflames to heart-wrenching explodes to savage black metal.
GLORIOUS DEPRAVITY (NYC)
Forced To Witness
— Supergroup of members of Woe, Mutilation Rites and the vocalist of Pyrrhon create tight bludgeoning sped-up death.
ÔROS KAÙ (Belgium)
— Vampire chocolate vocals in psychedelic trance passages mixed with sinister pummeling black and some bleak death. And a cover of 60’s era Pink Floyd!
— More death speed with melodic groove in a short and sweet album.
— Blistering meets brooding black metal with a ton of dissonance and a storm of dark melodic guitar.
My Kingdom Done
— Large, epic death metal sound with tuff boy anthemic boot-kickingness.
Koll med Bilen del II
— Folk melody, theatrical vocals and cinematic vocals creates a unique Norwegian black metal.
YAOTL MICTLAN (SLC)
— Mexican heritage in black metal, hells yeah. Colonialism discussed in lyrics too, awesome. Beautifully melodic and intricate.
SAINTE MARIE DES LOUPS (France)
Funérailles de feu
— Ugly demonic throat, stark tribalistic difficult raw-as-all-hell French black metal.
Tue, 24 November 2020
LIMINAL SHROUD (CAN)
— Cold gothic black, nostalgic melancholy, with abrasive vocals in a furious coupling. Guitars crafted and layered bringing in lush, gazy post-black in portions. Both minimalist and textured, highlighting each style.
ETERNAL CHAMPION (Austin)
War at the Edge of the End
— Another Austin creation of retro-rock metal with a warrior-on-a-horse-galloping, anthemic, grooving, heavy metal with a silky smooth vocalist.
— Serial killer basement metal with bleeding walls and chopped up dissonance hanging from a hook.
The Destroyer of Worlds
— Greek death kicking ass with headbanging riffs, crusty vocals, and soaring epic melodic with twists of doom and black. Solid fucking album.
— Tombs mixes its black metal core with an assortment of death, chugging hardcore and ambient with their signature intensity.
FUCK THE FACTS (CAN)
— Artsy, stylish, melodic death grind with a bleak female vocalist. This really stands out with unusual structures.
LORD FIST (Finland)
Princess of the Red Flame
— Bring me a Finnish falsetto, and I will love it forever. Harmonized guitars and solos swirl within this Friday night heavy metal. Just a blast.
LIE IN RUINS (Finland)
— Thick molasses death with slowed-down beats and an eternity of a growl that stands up against muscular driving beats and demonic screeches.
— Stretched out vocal chords vomiting out scratching vibrations, bleak black metal sweetened with melodic strains.
— Beautifully danceable industrial and dark synth with a sexy baritone of a lead singer.
Tue, 17 November 2020
Call Of R'lyeh
— Lovecraftian-themed menacing, mean, monstrous, muscular old school death.
GUIGNOL NOIR (Switzerland)
— Black metal duo split between vocals and instrumentation. Vocals are theatrical, desperate, wicked and playful. Instrumentation is frosted, raw, riff-driven layering. Epic Swiss.
OF FEATHER AND BONE (Denver)
Baptized in Boiling Phlegm
— Denver’s idea of cavernous death, so extra blistering. Massive bald, bearded metal. I don’t know what they look like though.
Claw Marks on the Throne
— Yeah, usually not my style either, gothic metal? But her fragility against brutality, set against atmospheric melancholy black metal is a balm.
— Demonic vocals hop over a black metal and grind landscape propelled into an unseen dimension. A true mayhem that you may hate, but let it break you.
Through the Eyes of a Rotten Mind
— Murky, creepy vocals hit you like a ton of bricks, the melodic black metal is razor sharp, clawing.
PULCHRA MORTE (USA)
The Serpent's Choir
— Supergroup with members from Skeletonwitch, Abigail Williams, etc. Unrushed pace, sludgy death meets doom.
SHAIDAR LOGOTH (MN)
Consume Pieces of God
— Lots of atmospheric black metal despair in the Minnesota air. Shaidar Logoth shimmers when still, drops of pattering beautiful instruments rippling through, brewing into a storm, mournful screams into the abyss. Melodic is battered out until it is just a ferocious tornado, bleeding their soul. You know?
ANCIENT THRONES (CAN)
The Soul to Flesh
— Charred, raw and bleeding, like we need that to fill our brains and ears, what are we? Fucking insane? This is what I like? What is wrong with me, and you, omg we are all dying.
MOLCHAT DOMA (Belarus)
— Excited to see this synth dark wave band with a brand new album. Definitely some eastern European influence here.
Tue, 10 November 2020
COUNTLESS SKIES (UK)
— Spectacular melodic death metal with epic guitar melodies along with theatrical and dramatic vocals juxtaposed with groove and organic instrumentation that melts the universe. Vocals styling reminds me of While Heaven Wept.
— Electrical storm vocals cutting through raw black metal and vivid melodies.
— French elegance in the form of piano and strummed guitar pools between screams and the swift sharp edge of black metal.
— The lofi death growl is so strange and cool against proggy, pagan rock and psychedelic guitars.
The Pale Horse
— Another brilliant Swedish black brutal cold bludgeoning mixed with sexy doom.
MR. BUNGLE (SF)
Raping Your Mind
— The new Mr. Bungle remaking their 1986 thrash demo is fabulous, romping badassery. The best show of the year perhaps.
Verður von að bráð
— Another incredible Icelandic black metal with that dynamic atmospheric big sound, drenched in despair.
OCCULT BURIAL (CAN)
Highway Through Borderland
— Black leathery winged metal led by a sickle vocal and fueled in chomping thrash and beer. It’s just so obvious.
HANGING FORTRESS (Ohio)
— Swinging between swift death blasts and a lumbering doom pace and a blast of a mid-tempo fist flailing headbang worthy riffs.
— Brooding Iceland strikes again, led by ballads but really stands out with their aggressively-paced songs.
Tue, 3 November 2020
Special election night party mix!
ALICE COOPER (1975)
Welcome to my Nightmare
I'm Going Mad
Rainbow in the Dark
TWISTED SISTER (1984)
I Wanna Rock
JUDAS PRIEST (1984)
Rock Hard Ride Free
In the Night
THE JAMES GANG (1971)
UFO (1974) (watch it live, it is so fucking hot! https://youtu.be/-16KJkJA5Bo)
Fight Fire With Fire
WISHBONE ASH (1978)
You See Red
DEF LEPPARD (1980) (watch it live, the outfits. https://youtu.be/aI_2SchPjks)
BLACK SABBATH (1971)
DAVID BOWIE (1975)
Tue, 27 October 2020
CEREMONIAL BLOODBATH (Vancouver)
— Murky, charred death metal in a cacophonic fog filled with razors.
— Psychedelic, jazz, guttural, experimental, theatrical, cold black, bombastic death, ethnic and industrial. No big thing.
Acidic Twilight Visions
— Debut cavernous death within a filthy twisted riff.
— A mist of guttural vocals layered over pummeling black and muscular riffs.
Get Out From Under
— Ex-The Devil’s Blood in a new project of organic, jamming blues rock.
INVINCIBLE FORCE (Chile)
— Maniacal vocals and blistering death beat breaking into a chomping thrash.
— Technical, lurching-paced weirdo grind pain for your pleasure.
— Big, open tribalistic, sludge with chanting vocals and sinister guitar.
VENOM PRISON (UK)
Defiant to the Will of God
— Badass female lead singer in a release of past released demos and two new songs. Waiting for the rest!
The Screaming Planet
— Kentucky black metal, understand the anger.
Tue, 20 October 2020
— Guitar noodling nerds who understand they need to break it down in the most immense satisfying way in order to get laid.
HORDE OF HEL (Sweden)
— Alien beasts just returning from war-metal.
HENRIK PALM (Sweden)
— Big influencers, my Roommate and Sean pushed me to listen to ex-Ghost guitarist, now a solo synthesizer-lover breaking into the post-punk, krautrock, pagan blues genre.
INFERA BRUO (Boston)
— Switched tempos, switched vocals, technical guitars, and moody electronics scatter across aggressive black metal. Excellent!
LORD ALMIGHTY (Boston)
— I had to buy the vinyl, the album art is epic. Chomping Boston-style hardcore and swinging heavy metal guitars break up the melodic black metal.
SPIRIT ADRIFT (TX)
Screaming from Beyond
— Chris Black is another incredible artist similar to Nate Garrett. Retro metal and hard rocking riffs with epic vocals.
Mada Minu Yuutopia
— Japanese-loving Swedes in aesthetics. Dense, angry, ferocious hardcore, thrash and retro metal. Punk as fuck.
— Denver dudes bring in the concept of the wild west outlaw with twanging western guitars to create the atmosphere in their version of majestic black metal. Makes sense to me. The wild west was evil.
Revel in Gore
— Lean, aggressive, mean-muscled death.
Tue, 13 October 2020
— What a surprising mix of industrial, experimental and cavernous death with crisp production, from a 2-piece no less.
ANAAL NATHRAKH (UK)
— 1995 At The Gates time traveled but the machine hiccupped and they came out the other side as a British grind band that also excels in black and death. The vocal range is immense, from screech scratching to clean and sexy. Yep.
FIRES IN THE DISTANCE (CT)
Reflections in the Ice
— Super synthy melodic lines itself with muscular vocals and a beautifully structured doom and death, really big album.
The Affair of the Poisons
— Priya's harlequin romance metal, which if you don't understand is a Scottish accent on a razor sharp vocal carving out lyrics over a deeply dark catchy speed. Fan me.
— Verklempt is the result. Pain in the screaming and melancholy melody, in a very Minnesota forest black metal with dives into death and post.
ABYSSAL ASCENDANT (France)
Martyrs Of Mordiggian
— Clenched throat creating a sinister guttural, bends from riff to thrash pace. No use keeping up.
— 3 different sections traveling from shimmering black metal to angular death to melodic dream meditative gaze.
— ANOTHER Mariusz Lewandowski album cover, COME. ON. Very unique song structures with a throbbing doom pace, ambient and drone and the frenetic guitar of black metal, created by hot Germans.
JUST BEFORE DAWN (Sweden)
Dance Of Katyusha
— War lyrics match the dread of this world. Swedish riffs in a death atmosphere thickened by doom.
— Sludgy stoner doom that just wants to fucking rock.
Tue, 6 October 2020
Special seminal post-punk albums show, all released between 1978-1981.
THE SOUND (1980), album - Jeopardy
I Can't Escape Myself
SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES (1978), album - The Scream
Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)
WIRE (1978), album - Chairs Missing
Practice Makes Perfect
PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED (1979), album - Metal Box
THE CURE (1980), album - Seventeen Seconds
MAGAZINE (1979), album - Real Life
Shot By Both Sides
JOY DIVISION (1979), album - Unknown Pleasures
GANG OF FOUR (1979), album - Entertainment!
At Home He's A Tourist
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN (1980), album - Crocodiles
THIS HEAT (1981), album - Deceit
NEW ORDER (1981), album - Movement
THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS (1980), album - S/T
THE TEARDROP EXPLODES (1980), album - Kilimanjaro
BAUHAUS (1980), album - In the Flat Field
The Spy in the Cab
Tue, 29 September 2020
— Screaming against the declining world and expressing our collective utter despair and anger within theatrical black metal woven with psychedelic and progressive. So surprising.
Burnt Beyond Recognition ft. Rae Amitay
— Chicago thrash and speed with a cold vocalist and a highly collaborative record. This song features the female vocalist and drummer from Immortal Bird.
VOUS AUTRES (France)
— French black metal with breathtaking horror-influenced atmosphere and sludgy drums.
DESERT LORD (Finland)
— I’m going to be real here. I don’t like stoner, and I like very little doom-influenced anything. I do like stylish hot 70-s revitalist shit from Sweden, but that is not the point. This shit is Finnish smokey vocals that scream in epic glory and psychedelic blues-driven doomy jams that is fucking out there. Loved it.
THE INFERNAL SEA (UK)
Into the Unknown
— Raw throaty intense vampiric black metal with delicious guitar solos; and I headbanged on my couch to his growls. Need I say more.
Throw Your Heart Away
— Look you stuck up assholes, this band is probably a genre that you don’t particularly love, but their hearts throb in full intensity, and you feel it. Male and female vocals that hit you in peak intense raw emotion, singing lyrical poetry, core mixed with black metal and drops of clear post-metal. This was touching.
Le Château Sous les Étoiles
— Black metal jingles in my dried up heart. It pulls a string, and I feel it distinctly. It is an energy that is rabid, and I understand.
Children of Faith
— Lemmy-influenced vocals atop death and thrash and roll that take some time to unearth.
Tue, 22 September 2020
— It fits my mood to listen to face-melting old school death metal that wants to kill me.
SPECTRUM OF DELUSION (Netherlands)
Into Another Formation
— Multi-layered, multi-tempo-ed, multi-vocalized with proggy guitars that takes a deep breath before slamming into riffy techdeath and grind. What a blast.
— The Danes take their green hills and shiny seas and invoke that imagery into rolling atmospheric melodies that peak into dense black metal.
— Debut album with a whirlwind of speed and thrash that is made for good times.
— Finnish fire vocalist breathing over death pummeling shaking skulls into fragments.
— Doom-psychedelic vocal style along with hot theatrical and brutal growls delivered over decadent, unrushed and reflective black moody instrumentals.
— No more album covers by Mariusz Lewandowski I beg of you. Brown noting down-tuned ominous sludge with raspy vocals and goosebump-creating whispers.
Ég tortímdi sjálfum mér
— A step away from traditional blistering Icelandic black metal with a blended sweet and melancholy post-metal.
— Hiidenhauta is all about mixing of hardcore shouts, black metal screeches with female pagan in a folksy black metal hopped up with some crusty hardcore.
Tue, 15 September 2020
SKELETAL REMAINS (CA)
Tombs of Chaos
— Joy ride of riffs and face blowing impact within technical excellence and rhythmic power. Let your mullet flow.
The Mists Rose Like Departing Dreams
— These dudes contemplate, circle melody and infuse a groove rock within the blast of death, grind speed, and black metal screech.
KAIRON; IRSE! (Finland)
— Finnish cosmos shooting into a galaxy of psychedelic rock and shoegaze guitar, pulsating out with those alien brains. Guitarist is from Oranssi Pazuzu and Waste of Space Orchestra, so that same heady, moody, meditative style, but this project is without the metal.
The Kingdom of Nothing
— Finnish duo thickly mutters through a mix of melodic, satanic, black metal guitar and lofi drumming that perpetually progresses.
VOID ROT (MN)
Delusions of Flesh
— Cavernous vocals in a slithering death ripped apart with sinister guitar and drumming groove.
— Steep your brain in black metal speed and sweet strain of melancholy that opens up to so much more. Like your face.
Wings Of The Ark
— Svnth was previously Seventh Genocide. Shoegaze and black metal building blocks that break into atmospheric and stark compositions. Vocalist of Svnth is the guitarist of Bedsore, who also blend genres, but in a predominant death sound.
— Desolate, hellscape Texas is represented in the album art and overall sound. Muscular vocals take control, with heavy metal guitar solo spotlights and spots of organic instrumentation, but bleak is the message.
CULT OF LILITH (Iceland)
— Every song has a weird twist. Often djent, with organic breaks of proggy bass and strummed guitar. Iceland!
Tue, 8 September 2020
Labor Day weekend show, and I curated *my* seminal industrial/goth ALBUMS. These are the albums that started my journey down the rabbit hole.
SKINNY PUPPY (CAN): Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse (1986)
One Time One Place
— In my top 10 bands of all time, Skinny Puppy bent my ear towards aggressive. Their lyrics were political and vegan, and they lived their lives within these ideals. “In the rain collapse calls out which way we'll go.”
SISTERS OF MERCY (UK): Floodland (1987)
— Floodland was darkly rich atmospheric goth, nestled between the massive riff-tastic hits of Dominion, This Corrosion and Lucretia, My Reflection. “When the water comes rushing, rushing in.”
MINISTRY (US): Twitch (1986)
Just Like You
— Pre-dirty Al Jourgensen. After disavowing their ballad-heavy ‘With Sympathy’ with claims that it was the record label’s idea, they ventured towards their truer sound. Rhythmic, aggressive. Twitch was released; and at the same time they were already recording Land of Rape and Honey. “When one dictator is the same as the leader.”
PAILHEAD (US): Trait (1988)
I Will Refuse
— With the freedom of Wax Trax! Records, Al collaborated with Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat, along with Paul Barker and Bill Rieflin (RIP). It was only a short EP with a couple of single releases but had a big impact. Industrial mixed with punk, and genre-mixing was just getting started. This collaboration (in my opinion) had a huge influence on Ministry’s ‘The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste” 1989 album. “Murder and weather is our only news.”
PIG (UK): A Poke In The Eye...With A Sharp Stick (1988)
It Tolls for Thee (Pig Breath)
— Raymond Watts worked with KMDM, Einsturzende Neubauten and Foetus in various capacities. Pig mixed industrial with the heavy riffs of metal. We listened to this album in the car during high school lunch, and realized it was time to become metalheads.
SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES (UK): Peepshow (1988)
— Haunting, evil imagery and the road from post-punk to goth, and I was all about it. “My so-called friends say you're not alive. I'll bake their bones for telling lies.”
SCRAPING FOETUS OFF THE WHEEL (AU): Nail (1985)
The Throne of Agony
— JG Thirwell taught me that super, super, super weird and conceptual was divine. I wrote my senior year high school AP English final essay on this album. “Choke up a thousand Marlboros.”
CHRISTIAN DEATH (US): Sex and Drugs and Jesus Christ (1988)
This Is Heresy
— There are a million wars between fans of Rozz and Valor. Valor’s Christian Death is where I started with this band. I ate up the anti-church and establishment imagery; and I couldn't get enough of the riffs from this particular song. “Your church makes me vomit. Into the vertiginous abyss.”
DEPECHE MODE (UK): Black Celebration (1986)
— I followed Depeche Mode down the romantic goth route; and Stripped was the soundtrack of my depression. “We'll lay on the grass and let the hours pass.”
GENE LOVES JEZEBEL (UK): The House of Dolls (1987)
— Sexy crooners to my soul. This album was my first adult concert with Flesh for Lulu at the Glenn Miller Ballroom in Boulder. “I've knocked on every door in every street. And I don't know how long it's gonna be.”
THE TEAR GARDEN (UK/CAN): Tired Eyes Slowly Burning (1987)
You And Me And Rainbows
— Edward Ka-Spel of Legendary Pink Dots collaborated with members of Skinny Puppy, mostly Cevin Key, in their experimental electronic project The Tear Garden. This was where I realized abstract psychedelic lyrics and keyboards were my jam. This particular song is actually over 16 minutes long and is one of the most powerful songs in this genre. “Aiming skewers at the sheep. Face down, asleep, in onion fields. The frying fields. The worms. They peep through holes which once were eyes. They thrive, they bake, although we painted out the sky, the sun. There's only thunder. And you and me and rainbows.”
Tue, 1 September 2020
The Snare of the Fowler
— Chapter II follow up to last year’s Chapter I. Another epic, melodic, richly-textured black metal. A spectrum from meditation to bellowing. The vocals crawled up my spine in the best way.
— Straight-up tightly-produced death with no bells and whistles and no distortion. Just fist-pumping headbangs.
LAETITIA IN HOLOCAUST (Italy)
Of Feathers and Doom
— A strange duo with a booming fretless bass and harmonizing guitar creating melancholy and cinematic duel of black and death. The vocalist is a charming growling story-teller. .
VENOMOUS CONCEPT (Chicago)
— Short, tight snarls of hardcore groove and grind in a package of political, anthemic lyrics to belt out at a live show when life gets back to normal.
— Coupling death, melodic black compositions and bending tempos with stunning art. Extreme vocals and I’m a goner.
— Belting out political statements in a world gone crazy is perfect meditation. Chunky, swift and tight drumming and direct kicks to the head.
PIG DESTROYER (VA)
— Just an EP? From 45 seconds of eerie dystopian news to 11 minutes of avant-garde electronic and sound effects to the usual destruction of death and grind. The full release will wallop.
— Minimalist poppy and sweet dark wave, dancing to their despair.
— Power metal can be so cheesy, and Judicator certainly is dramatic, but have a hundred badass journeys within each song with rising riffs.
BONE AWL (CA)
Bluestone (Branded into Skin)
— Raw, lofi black metal to play when you are clawing through a grave.
Tue, 25 August 2020
BEAR MACE (Chicago)
— Mark Sugar has helped create a chomping beast of massive riffs, snarling vocals that bely the groove and insanely good guitar.
SILVER KNIFE (Belgium)
— The Belgians mix genres so breathtakingly effortlessly, moving from one and building to the next. Light and dark, sweet and evil, and a hurricane to blow you away.
— Futuristic imagery created within in industrial cage, morphing to industrial to metal and back to noise without taking a breath. Relentlessly on the move.
ARS MAGNA UMBRAE (Poland)
She Who Splits the Earth
— Dense and foreboding, sometimes dreamy atmospheric, churning slow pace malevolence within melodic black metal.
TEMPLE OF DREAD (GER)
Commands from a Black Soul
— Running thrash stumbling forward to a death roar.
OV SHADOWS (Sweden)
I Djävulens Avbild
— The Swedish know frost, this one with moody mutterings, tribalistic drums, and layers of melody.
Yearning from an Uncharted Grave
— Riffs soar high, because this is German and German can only do epic to the epic degree.
— Apparently Oregon is a fantastic breeding ground for steel-tipped daggers of raw.
— Over 30 years and a solid decimating technical death offering with modern funeral doom breaking it apart.
THE SPIRIT CABINET (Netherlands)
Devils in the Details
— Finally some heavy metal, powered up and a vast range of glam, death vocals, theatrical and pagan.
Tue, 18 August 2020
— A slam, a swirl, tempos inhale and exhale, grim death is elevated by a joyous soul. Moody but direct. A winning album here.
Kunnes Varjot Saa
— Ethnic folk-influenced spacy alien black metal with raging guitars and evil imagery via the Finnish guttural vocalist.
Feed on the Blood of Rats
— Another genius album by NYC giants who pull apart black and death with ambient and prog; and still manage to feed the riff monsters.
TERMINAL NATION (AR)
Orange Bottle Prison
— Massive impact in a chaotic package of political hardcore and booming death. Those boots are flying.
The Death Owl in The Tower of Flints
— A trippy capsule of storytelling 70’s and modern death and black weaved into a beautifully melodic and proggy roller coaster ride.
ATRÆ BILIS (CAN)
— A debut album from Atrae Bilis is groove death, full on neck-bracing riffs, dynamic lurching tempos, and technical prowess. This is a fun album.
— It’s a big deal for me to play post-metal because I don’t (usually) like it. This is a stream of consciousness blending so many different genres and creating a wonderfully strange meditative and proggy atmosphere. And it just ROCKS.
— Last year, this band made into my Best Modern Black Metal list with eclectic electronics and a shrieking vocalist surprisingly hypnotic and emotional.
ROPE SECT (GER)
— A solid offering of rolling, warm, soothing, haunting post-punk.
Emanations from the Abyss
— This dude is NZ is in Temple Nightside, who I played last week. He’s into murky evil shit all around.
Tue, 11 August 2020
WELL OF NIGHT (Ohio)
Black Alder Sacristy
— Ohio’s repression beats musicians into creating malevolent black metal. This debut is battering with a splattering of beauty and hella riffs.
SEPULCHRAL CURSE (Finland)
From Within The Bowels Of The Earth
— The vocalist is guttural and deranged screeches clawing at a bleeding sky. Miserable death with melodic and evil all at once.
A Crown of Asphodels
— Portland is apparently the hellmouth. Dense and suffocating black metal with crisp guitar solos and dynamic tempos.
FACELESS BURIAL (AU)
— A fierce and desolate landscape is a perfect atmosphere for a dizzying, shifting, charging death.
Brains on the Tarmac
— Cavernous proggy death with cinematic atmosphere and psychedelic melody. Strange and Italian.
FIDES INVERSA (Italy)
— Relentless black metal with a tiny thread of melody and major twists of dissonant.
TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE (AU)
— Muffled sounds just sound so evil. The vocals are strangled and struggling to emit from the crust of hell. Don’t forget those riffs before it gets buried underground again.
ANGEL MORGUE (NH)
Raped in Church (Touched by God)
— Heated sexy throated words rising, the earth shakes with bass and drums.
MOLDÈ VOLHAL (Norway)
Beyond The Red Horizons of a Thousand Battles
— Folk beaten into you with Norwegian black boots.
Tue, 4 August 2020
— A stunningly produced Portugal black metal album with crisp edges around each instrument, and even though a lean to melodic, it remains icy and sharp.
— Finnish black metal is lined with a gravelly vocalist, pummeling pace and a mist of melancholy guitar that creates space.
IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT (NYC)
Transmission to Mercury
— My #1 album of 2018, they are already back. Still sophisticated and avant garde, multidimensional in concept and imagery. Stunning.
HIGH SPIRITS (Chicago)
— Another jaunt for Chris Black, speaking with the souls of 80’s rockers
At the Crossroads of Infinity
— Groove and death with serpentine heavy metal guitar solos and passages of black metal.
— A blast of riff thrash with a charismatic sharp edge of a vocalist even within the ballads.
SPIRIT POSSESSION (Portland)
Twin Tongued Pathways
— Ulthar bassist and vocalist is part of this duo, creating a completely different sound. Distorted, raw black metal with the energy of thrash that lends to groove, and modern electronic.
Ode À Hathor
— Shezmu is a mean death and black mix often collapsing into slowed-down passages, but pummeling outward to dense.
— French-Canadian black metal is as romantic as you expect: black metal sweetened with melody and organic instrumentation.
RITES OF DAATH (Poland)
Shrines of Seclusion
— Poland proves to be angry and heated in a cavernous
Tue, 28 July 2020
Special dark/cold wave show. All new albums!
TWIN TRIBES (TX)
Heart & Feather (live)
Jusqu'à la mort
CLAN OF XYMOX (Netherlands)
HORROR VACUI (Italy)
IST IST (UK)
SOFT KILL (Portland)
True Lies (Demo)
PLEASURE POLICY (Oakland)
A Particle A Wave
MORTAL BOY (LA)
PANIC PRIEST (Chicago)
IDLE HANDS (Portland)
It Doesn't Really Matter
THE SECRET EXPERIMENT (UK)
One More Day
Tue, 21 July 2020
KHTHONIIK CERVIIKS (Germany)
— A frenzied, sinister abstraction of death and black metal by highly intelligent alien beings that create chaos and melody.
— Angry lurching of different compositional styles within modern death and meditation that breaks into tense noise.
— A layered doomy black metal collection building from Finnish screams and increasing tempo. So. Hot.
— One-man project also of Ashbringer creating a centrifuge of chaos and extreme vocals, the entirety is breathtaking.
— A poppier version of retro prog rock from Sweden, with a sweet vocalist and old school keyboards.
— Depressive and bleak, but don’t let that define it. This is gold at the end of a rainbow, be patient. The vocalist creates depth and rage. Immerse yourself in it.
— Steam rises from the lava heat of the vocalist and the filthy death machine of this debut album.
— Throaty devilish thoughts from a French vampire within minimalist occult with folk and keyboard. Weird.
— A-world-that-is-lost razor-thin black metal, with hints of ethnic folk instrumentation.
Tue, 14 July 2020
COUCH SLUT (Brooklyn)
— The band name, the vocalist, the attitude, all of it is just cooler than the rest. She pours herself in this sound of aggressive, bleak reality. Wield that sword.
— An epic, dynamic, heart-wrenching black metal storm filled with the devil. And your butt.
REBEL WIZARD (AU)
the mind is not your friend
— This guy is emperor of song titles, so much so that I awarded my Best Song Names in 2018. He dives into the unique and blows out in high pitched noise, heavy metal, black metal and industrial. It is just eccentric madness, Aussie style.
BATTLE DAGORATH (USA/Switz)
Twilight of the Cold Sun
— You are not stuck in your house. You can travel to Battle Dagorath’s inky black galaxy and drift out into their dreams with ripples of guitar and building meditative dissonance.
— Romping riffs under a hot summer sky with a seething acidic underbelly. Remember Scorpion Child from Austin? This has nothing to do with that, but they rocked also, in this sort of hot bbq summer rock sort of sound. Completely different, but you know, really similar.
— This really hit my bleeding, big, awesome, incredible heart. Give it a chance, let it wash over your brittle soul. A beautiful slow-burner.
— This new album has incorporated an evil ambient atmosphere in the perfect drops of hot-blooded industrial beat and rhythm.
— Wait for the clean vocals, it is done so well. I am such a snob when it comes to clean stuff, and this is the perfect balance, along with the usual death growls and high-pitched screech. A wide ranging melodic death with beautiful instrumentation, including piano.
Force Of Ancient Steel
— Let's swing our hips wide to the groove of Portugal's Wanderer, straight-forward speed, made for you to punch holes in the sky. Simply loveable.
BARGHEST (Baton Rouge)
— I’ve played this band multiple times over the years, and they are still a beast of snarling, filthy, gargled black metal. So sweet.
Tue, 7 July 2020
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR (Greece)
The First Ape on New Earth
— In my Best of 2016 list, what a wonderful second album of carnival psychedelic black metal and prog. Bubbling in my heart and turning it black from the inside. Sweet and wicked.
The Breaking Point
— In my Best of 2018, this black metal musician is inspired by his wild Minnesota surroundings. His muscular death vocals are a great juxtaposition for the chilling desperate emotional romantic black metal. Let me bathe in the moonlit lake he is crooning to. So hot.
— This 3rd album is jammed with a blast of a range, from death to haunting doom to prog and various instrumentation. Oh you Swedish devils with the juicy riffs, it is in their blood. This is a joy from beginning to end.
CANIS DIRUS (MN)
We Are The Ancient Ones
— Another Minnesota gem where the men wear beards and howl at the moon. The sound is scattered debris of forlorn with the stark brutality of the vocalist, a surprising gentle acoustic and heavy metal solos that remind us of what we love. METAL.
Shrine of Revelation
— Finnish and their amazingly guttural vocals that automatically launch their sound to malevolence naturally. You think it is this mean death, but these bands are really pummeling us with surprises, packages to unfold and delight.
Lonesome Boredom Overdrive
— Their 2019 album was playing in my house last week and I randomly checked on their bandcamp, and they had a newly released single. It didn’t fit in their 2019 album, and they wanted to release it finally – the song title fitting to our times. They have the best warm retro vocalist.
Idzi I Hliadzi
— These little parts of the world where influence is from afar. The Finnish, the Estonians, and now Belarusians. It just thrashes in all directions, heavy metal and doom and riffs and punk pace. And then they throw in the neck churning riffs to make you clap. Thank you sirs.
BLOOD STRONGHOLD (AU/Poland)
— Maybe you don’t have the stomach for a 2-piece raw black metal that spins out to minimal after dabbling in the massive storms of layered ethereal melodies.
LIVING GATE (Belgium)
— You’ve got to expect big things from members of Oathbreaker, Amenra, Wiegedood and YOB. Bright, brutal, ferocious death metal. Simple.
Tue, 30 June 2020
DIABOLIC OATH (Portland)
— Portland is kicking it up a notch with death rumbling riffs, a baritone vocal gust and wicked twists of guitar.
The Brazen Experimentalist
— Trippy, strange, evocative Greek black metal with breaks into dreamy guitar.
Binded to Unusual Existence
— Debut of jangled angles of guitar compositions and drums sewing tight compositions. The exhaustion is somehow relaxing.
— Plaintive piano, trombone and flutes build an ache within fist-pumping almost djent-influenced icy black metal, and a hot vocalist that whispers sweet nothings in French. Quite the trip.
The Malicious Moon
— Old school death done Finnish style with added filth and sludge creating a hurricane of neck churning headbangs.
Sage In Yearning
— Tech melodic-proggy-symphonic death with a spectrum of vocals. One man project, also plays in Nullingroots.
— NYC technical death debut lurches drunkenly until gaining momentum to a muscular monster devouring and spitting out carcasses.
CARACH ANGREN (Netherlands)
Der Vampir von Nurnberg
— Thanks for taking us out of our heads dudes.
— Best of 2017 Pyrrhon stays brutal angular death and grind with lyrical poetry.
NEPTUNIAN MAXIMALISM (EU)
To The Moon ZÂR - Empowering The Phurba Éon Phanérozoïque
— Thanks Rohan @manvsplaylist for introducing this, and has a massive write-up: https://www.heaviestofart.com/post/a-palette-of-sonic-radiance-neptunian-maximalism-eons-review. Meditation meets explosion and requires a lifetime of unpacking.
PAYSAGE D'HIVER (Switzerland)
— Such a weird album – each song starts the same, which makes sense, as the point is to deaden your senses to help make the spiritual journey easier.
Tue, 23 June 2020
— Chomping Swedish rock scraped into ridges of black metal. Roaming guitars build psychedelic and range in this diverse album.
The Spirit of Black Breath
— Icelandic black metal tends to be alien, cold and wicked. This band blends in spectacular clean vocals along with monstrous that are a surprising mix with gloomy melodic black metal, building into epic, large Icelandic-style melodies.
AVERSIO HUMANITATIS (Spain)
The Weaver of Tendons
— Chilled rasp and pummeling drumming bleed to majestic black metal with technical guitar that hints at melody. Large album with incredible vocals.
The Reverence of Swine
— Textured seething miserable death with jagged tempos creating a package of dark distortion.
VILE CREATURE (CAN)
Apathy Took Helm!
— A 2-piece that soundtracks a dystopian nightmare ranging from creepily sweet to droning and desperate and bitter sludge.
— This made me immediately think of Tribulation with that retro feel and deep infatuation with imagery. Vampire lets loose, which makes these compositions fresh.
I'M IN A COFFIN (Salem)
Slave to My Skin
— A vampire grieves for a lost love, the pure sorrow and theatrics will reach deep inside of you. This is a goth’s dream.
Slave to My Skin
— Black, death and thrash with tight technical guitars.
— Krallice and Geryon released a split, and along with Spectral Lore + Mare Cognitum, are contenders for best of the year. More of the stellar, abstract, mathy, genre-bending cauldron of NYC musicianship.
— Around since the 80’s and still snarling. Immense guitar solos and melody that do not curb the acerbic tone.
Tue, 16 June 2020
— Residing in multiple styles of death, across frenetic paces and vocals, and technical prowess galore. Big, big badass album.
Down The Oubliette Of Maelstrom
— Ohio seethes in repression and women’s rights degradation. Of course people are going to be angry, and this form of expression comes in symphonic black metal with crystal clear layers.
There's No Such Thing as Hope
— A stunning sophomore album with satanic lyrics cut with folksy interludes and clean vocals, culminating in a riff-heavy black metal.
— Slow-churning sludge explodes into death and grind. Members of Lord Dying.
FERAL LIGHT (Minneapolis)
— Andy used to own a Polish diner in the Mission, and moved back to Minneapolis to create intense and intricate American black metal. This duo is awesome to see live.
Relive This Nightmare
— A demonic corpse foot kicks out of its grave in a gurgling lava-burned death intensity. You know, Australian style.
Without Honor and Humanity
— Gargled, kidnapped vocals pleads in a chomping raw death with a flurry of riffs.
— The only original member in this 3rd album is the female lead singer brutalizing with her down-tuned vocals in a black of thrash.
SANCTIFYING RITUAL (Germany)
Stained with Rotten Blood
— We should see a therapist and ask why we are so satisfied listening to tortured sounds.
BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS (Brooklyn)
— Progressive mayhem that scrapes nails in your brain.
Tue, 9 June 2020
PATRONS OF THE ROTTING GATE (Ireland)
— Rotting is a good word. Richly textured proggy death and black with a vocal clenched around it.
— Both ends of the spectrum with melody and edge. Threads of Opeth-style dynamic prog, but with their own modern twists.
En la Oscuridad
— My 2012 Best Mosh. Hardcore and death wearing steel-tipped boots.
A Work Of Ages
— Yeah, this is not for the faint-hearted, but what a joy: desperately filthy, but memorable riffs and a surprising amount of underlying emotion that beats a very lovely heart.
COSMIC PUTREFACTION (Italy)
The Glooming Murk of His Telluric Shrieks
— Deeply monstrous proggy death with bits of space to liven shit up. The gnarly vocals are both shrieks and growls, and interwoven are truly magical Fabio-romance novel covered loveliness. Stylish, and of course Italian.
Absence (feat. Pete Morcey)
— A supergroup of razor-sharp technical grind and chomping hardcore, and stealing bits and pieces from the distortion and fast pace of black metal.
— Ugly death within a strange, dystopian universe of tortured clashing chaos and an unearthly vocalist.
THE RUINS OF BEVERAST (Germany)
— Oh my German black metal overlords Ruins have released (2) splits so far this year, both so different, but very representative of their style of delving into ambient and ritualistic emotional black metal. I am dying for a full release.
Led into the Dark
— A split with a shared lead singer, Gruesome does its uzzze with wicked riff-heavy death-loving guitar-soloing mayhem.
Tue, 2 June 2020
A mellow, sweet show of NEW dark wave/post punk this week.
FRAGRANCE. (France) (2019)
LEBANON HANOVER (Germany)
The Last Thing
Fall in Love
FEARING (Santa Cruz)
A TRANSITION (Berlin)
ORCUS NULLIFY (SC)
THE MURDER MYSTERY (Norway) (2018)
SAFETY LAST (Toronto)
Knives (Original Mix)
CLOSED MOUTH (France)
change your life today
THE WARS (Berlin)
Road of Joy
Tue, 26 May 2020
Exh-Enî Söph (1st Passage – Exiled from Sanity)
— Violins make everything sound French. Theatrical, epic and inter-dimensional black metal.
CRYPTIC SHIFT (UK)
The Arctic Chasm
— Unique guitar melodies that go far out and back mixed with proggy death tempos.
Aux Marches De Lorraine
— Beauty and the Beast, another French monstrosity sweetened by strums of guitar.
Dark Was Space, Cold Were The Stars
— Psychedelic garage krautrock on clouds of bubbles bursting with tiny jagged shards of heavier blasts.
CAULDRON BLACK RAM (AU)
— Australia is topnotch evil. This form is sludge and death with whiplash beats and a smoking demonic vocal.
Spectres in Mist
— Guitarist from Woods of Ypres creates a journey of folk-infused black metal to New Brunswick.
WITHOUT LIGHT (Chicago)
Wretched Ascent Part Two
— Abrasive blown out death vocals is a highlight in this moody, plodding sludge.
PILE OF PRIESTS (Denver)
— Romantic candle-lit death.
— Versatile album with unrushed post-metal building to much bigger. Super pleasant to the brain.
Tue, 19 May 2020
…AND OCEANS (Finland)
Cosmic World Mother
— 25 years of dramatic, Finnish, intense black metal with electronics and a new lead singer from Finntroll.
Last Breath of Yggdrasil
— 28 years of technical knowledge creates sinister and snarling with a gargling set of vocals that is somehow completely understated.
IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS (Denver)
— Mark Lanegan-esque vocals in the ballads, mother-may-I.
LIGHT DWELLER (AZ)
— Arizona sun makes weirdo boy that creates cacophony.
— Death is blurred with anguish and a vocal that rips out the heart.
WAILIN STORMS (NC)
— This is about the vocalist and the romantic genres that propel him into a reverend-like ministry.
ORDER OF ORIAS (AU)
— 2-piece in a cyclone of death groove and black drums and frosted atmosphere.
SECTARIAN BLOOM (CA)
Because We Like It
— Californian arty punk cousin of post-punk.
SINISTRAL KING (GER/NOR/Switzerland)
Where Nothingness Precedes Cosmos
— Might as well have been behind a red curtain with theatrical and dramatic leads and instrumentation.
Walled Slum City
— Fucking grind, brah.
Tue, 12 May 2020
KHÔRA (Norway, Ireland, Greece, Boston)
— Carnival and horror, proggy and alien, psychedelic black and death coupled with fantastic album art.
— Crisp production coupled with old school thrash breaking it down for versatility.
— Razor sharp vocals painted thinly over melodic black metal bringing to surface emotion so uniquely.
THE WIZAR’D (AU)
Master of the Night
— Magical doom and rock sung by a unique nasal alien troll.
— North American black metal despairs over the rise of fascism. Let the art flow from our anger.
— Frenetic lurching proggy death with thrash energy kicking up the pit.
— Ominous aggressive black metal atmosphere explodes into tortured riffs and anguished vocals.
OATH OF DAMNATION (AU)
With Fire and Malevolence
— Malignant death mixes with symphonic and shrieking black metal.
— Crusty LA punks blend hardcore and filth, groove and extreme. It sounds like a hot sweaty summer day.
— Iceland seethes in sinister raw black metal that gurgles out in alien compositions
Vexation Through the Golden Sun
— One man becomes many. Powerful cacophony of bludgeoning death.
Tue, 28 April 2020
— Anonymous band, probably Satan, firing out a layered black metal that dabbles in the dark arts of atmosphere and bleeds in a stunning piano.
— Speed demons with a spin of tempo and groove made for your face.
When Gold Turns Into Lead
— Members of Behexen and Horna creating breast-heaving leather-warrior bare-horseback black metal.
Compelled To Repeat
— A unique blend of muscular death-leaning sludge that meanders under the warmth of a desert rock sun. Screeching strong vocalist is a highlight.
— French spoken with snarls and a drummer that made my eyeball twitch.
— A 2019 Runner Up to my Best of List, so soon with a badass album of heavy metal and a charming vocalist howling his catchy choruses.
Entombed in Gold Forever
— Vermont cheese and dappled forests created black metal with acoustic guitar and a doom twist.
NIGHT DEMON (CA)
— Rancid members do right – now creating catchy heavy metal.
— Epic Viking black metal with talented guests, including Vicotnik of Dødheimsgard, contributing vocals with a theatrical greatness.
MASTERPIECE MACHINE (Atlanta)
— Members of Fucked Up and Power Trip create a decent version of their take on industrial. I kind of don’t like super cool people doing industrial and new wave. It feels like you are stealing from the nerds.
— On a split with Panopticon. Savage black metal that speaks to American history and broken with folk instrumentals.
Tue, 21 April 2020
ULCERATE (New Zealand)
Drawn Into The Next Void
— Topnotch textured proggy-tempoed death with piercing melodies and hooks and strains of post and black metal.
ORANSSI PAZUZU (Finland)
— Psychedelic spacey prog rock that does not sound retro. Finnish aliens at it again with another puzzle piece for your brain.
DROUGHT YEAR (NC)
— One of my favorite industrial sludge distorted band with so much new sound. I stumbled upon them 4 years ago, and I am grateful.
RIPPED TO SHREDS (San Jose/Taiwan)
白骨精 (White Bone Spirit)
— Energetic ferocious and unrelenting death with incredible solos from guest artists like Gridlink and Horrendous.
VOCO (Bay Area)
Goat Haggle at the Black Market
— Traverse the wrinkles of weirdo brains following their own streams of consciousness into progressive rock with a lovely saxophone.
AT THE ALTAR OF THE HORNED GOD (Spain)
— Raw and Viking, epic and haunted, pagan and ritualistic black metal sliced heavily with beautiful melancholy.
— One of my favorite vocalist with more of his honey tones over groove so right.
THE DITCH AND THE DELTA (SLC)
Bleed the Sun
— Vocal styles reminiscent of the greats in Enemy of the Sun – not surprising to be influenced by Neurosis while creating massive sludge.
— Demon-backed bludgeoning scorched earth death.
Tue, 14 April 2020
— Uniquely diabolical structures of dread-filled black metal and chugging hardcore, with a semi-synthetic vocal that pinned me to the wall.
BLACK CURSE (Denver)
Enraptured by Decay
— Another experiment in vocal styles, gurgling and seething with a lurching drumming style that creates groove within every pace.
The Burning Mountain
— Kentucky black metal doesn’t really surprise me. Any weirdo-filled repressed society creates a heaving backlash of angry youth. Kentucky has been shining with diamonds lately, from Knocked Loose to this debut. Both bands have a hardcore edge to it, maybe it’s in the Kentucky water.
FEARING (Santa Cruz)
— Fearing beats a shimmering heart in their style of dark wave, complete with a perfect crooning lad that is incredible live. Their show was a highlight of 2019.
LIKE RATS (Chicago)
— Bassist from Weekend Nachos. Severely death metal now, but still chomping Chicago pit influence.
— A mix of death and industrial effects including a spoonful of danceable beat.
— Ozzy Osbourne reborn within a melancholy Canadian trip.
— Grind from a legendary band that lends a unique lens to the mix.
BLACK MAGICK SS (AU)
— 80’s style psychedelic synth and glam and an off-kilter vocalist.
LIVE BURIAL (UK)
Rotting On The Rope
— Production breathes life into every instrument in a head-bangable death.
Tue, 7 April 2020
Mouth of Abolition
— Confident swaggering of death and power vocals swelling, building, and raining aggression.
We Hang Because We Must
— Immediately ordered this on vinyl. Anonymous brothers live recorded punk-vocalized meditative chaos culminating in colorful crescendos. Reminiscent of my #1 album last year, Witch Trail (Belgium).
Order of the Mind
— A blast of melodic death and sludge and groove and fist-pumping riffs, just a delightful album.
ROMAN RING (Chicago)
— Drummer from Warforged, guitarist from Immortal Bird, lead singer of Through the Eyes of the Dead, bassist from Wounds, so you know, this shit is not that talented. Textural Death muscle with a bit of experimental and angularity.
— Denmark death and heavy metal bent to chugging groove reminiscent of early Skeletonwitch, including a charismatic lead singer.
— French emotionally pleading black metal howling with melancholy. The French are drama.
Shit Out of Luck
— Death metal is played in Swedish cribs. A tight fist of death, complex and full and somehow packaged in 2 minutes or less.
My Path Of Stars
— Both in duo contribute vocals in a raw black metal with a forefront of drums and hella varied melodies that really makes for a compelling album.
— Sweet melody and jamming guitars create a dreamy, warm, candy of an album.
GNAW THEIR TONGUES (Netherlands)
white void black wounds
— Ghoulish horror and swarming nightmare effects to implode your brain in the most unique ways.
Tue, 31 March 2020
— Nightmare soul decapitation, senses muddled, gasping dying vocals, un-melody, and jarring riffs. What a treat!
Himalaya Massive Ritual
— I am not good enough. They are unexpected genius.
LITTLE ALBERT (Italy)
Bridge of Sighs
— Messa guitarist has a new jammy project with his blues guitar and vocals.
Act V - Repentance
— Australian heat bakes this hellhole of chugging bass breaking black metal speed and a dynamic vocalist who also pummels on drums.
OMEGA INFINITY (GER/AU)
— 2-piece with members from Ne Obliviscaris and Todtgelichter, exploring haunting, lonely sound and play with industrial, including a Killing Joke cover.
Ithyphallic Spirits of Procreation
— Middle eastern folk is popular with metal bands; this band uses the ethnic instrumentation with technical proggressive death metal and monster drums.
THOUGHT LEADERS (Bay Area)
— Post-punk deviates to an edgy and progressive melodic romanticism.
Je n'existe Que Dans La Souffrance
— Snarling French in a tangled raw, ferocious, throaty, traditional black metal.
TEMPLE OF VOID (Detroit)
— Funeral doom pace is mixed with a growling beast and rifftastic groove.
Tue, 24 March 2020
BLACK ROYAL (Finland)
— Black Royal is a groove hard, fist pump, beer chug, Finnish death guitar, chanting vocalist blast of an album.
SERPENT COLUMN (USA)
Wars Waged in Private II
— Free on Bandcamp, so that it can be downloaded to your computer and possess it with the full power of all that is evil.
— I worship, and I mean, worship this poetry. It is a dance in the moonlight with a boy in a Bauhaus t-shirt, and you are 16 and it's the 80's and you are only worried about nuclear holocaust. Sweet, sweet times.
Filipojakubská noc na Štangarígelských skalách
— Slovakia bros, they have it going on, especially the song names. I mean, it is a wild ride of Slovakian black metal hell with bouts of fun synth to break it apart.
— First came Morbus Chron, who released their last album "Sweven" in 2014. Now leader Robert Andersonn starts a new band with the same title, going free into long journeys of prog and jazz and psychedelic and a 70's tone.
MARE COGNITUM (split w/ SPECTRAL LORE) (Portland, Greece)
Venus (The Priestess)
— This is one of favorite black metal albums this year. These 2 bands are a great coupling, both excelling in black metal that takes its time, and then completely breaks apart into furious. So so fucking good.
MASTER BOOT RECORD (Italy)
— Italian brains create weird synth compositions with random genres that somehow work.
HIGH TONE SON OF A BITCH (Oakland)
— The who's who of Oakland create a thoughtful E.P that jams a beautiful psychedelic stoner that heavily riffs.
CRYSTAL COFFIN (Vancouver)
Ride Through the Night
— Solid debut of Canadian black metal with a stunner of a vocalist.
Tue, 17 March 2020
ULCERATE (New Zealand)
Stare Into Death And Be Still
— Tightly wound tech death unraveling into melodic strings, proggy tempo and doomy paces. Full album releases next month.
— Scott Hoffman from High Spirits and Dawnbringer brings forth another project with retro glam and heavy metal choruses and an edgier vocal.
RUIN LUST (Brooklyn)
Prison of Sentient Horror
— Crawl through the destruction with the walls crumbling all around.
HIBISCUS BISCUIT (AU)
Wake Me Up
— A summer psychedelic breeze, floating you farther into a starlit galaxy.
— The screech of Finnish vocals paints the chamber of haunting, massive, bleak black metal, rhythmically unexpected.
Rainbow in the Dark
— If you know Khemmis, you will not be offended they took the titanic task of singing a cover of Ronnie James.
5 R V L N 5 (Chicago)
— Pronounced Surveillance, an ominous vibration evolving to darker industrial beats.
Beheading the Buddha
— Yes, you may hate this type of vocal, but get over yourself. It is the guttering of the gut of a guttural vocal that vibrates through a tornado of churning guitars, and breaks into the most delicious instrumental synth trances. You will not find what you were expecting here.
— B-movie horror synth composed for you to be murdered by a serial killer after losing your virginity.
— Tribal black atmosphere with sinister beat and melody created in a monstrous dimension.
— Frothy LA new wave to dance with your asymmetrical bangs and pointy shoes.
Tue, 10 March 2020
EARTH ROT (AU)
— In a world of Australian tech geniuses, this band stands out with a blend of a multitude of schizo genres that inspire you to do jumping jacks. Thrash, rock, black and death.
Qui Serais-Je Si Je Ne Le Tentais Pas
— Weird, gothy, swarming and minimalist effects injected within majestic and dynamic black metal.
Winds of Dysphoria
— (Norwegian) Grammy nominated dudes using electronic horror keyboard effects.
Halls of Amenti
— Oh yeah, hooks and amazing vocals in a psychedelic sludge and post-metal.
BENEATH THE MASSACRE (Montreal)
— Meandering melodies interweaved with brutal whalloping frenzies and mayhem.
— A Neurosis-styled heavy sludge and post-metal with a lean to riffs.
VENOMOUS SKELETON (Israel)
Alevas San Tatianas Aleli
— Members of Sonne Adam in the most cavernous filth-driven death.
PHASE FATALE (Berlin)
— Druggy Front 242 with no vocals.
BEAST OF REVELATION (Netherlands)
The Cryptic Void
— Lumbering pace and bubbly vocals frothing at the surface.
VIOLET COLD (Azerbaijan)
— Black gaze band adds electronic dance to the mix. This is a unique one.
Tue, 3 March 2020
REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER (France)
Au Bord Du Gouffre
— Expressed pain by anguished French, including mournful guitars and vocals within the swirl of black metal.
CULT OF FIRE (Czech Rep)
Har Har Mahadev
— Reinvention or reincarnation in Hindu imagery setting the tone of introspective and meditative and unusual effects with a savage vocalist. Two albums in this release.
— Brutal Australians play with multiple styles of vocals, some pummeling, and a clean prog style. The instrumentals are disarming and dynamic.
— Deeply romantic dark wave with an added gruff metal vocalist to add texture.
Revenge by Fire
— The speed and infectiousness of a thrash and black metal album that careens off a cliff in the best possible way.
MEDICO PESTE (Poland)
God Knows Why
— It doesn't surprise me that members of MGLA would create this incredible diverse and weird avant-garde style of black metal. Can't wait for the full album to drop.
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA (Sweden)
— Hot satin shorts and mullet bbq rock.
— Gaze meets black with piano, horns and acoustic guitars to create aching loveliness.
— Deathcore and grind are going to pummel your face off your neck. The entire album is a diverse ride.
ON THORNS I LAY (Greece)
— Melancholy never felt so good. Beautiful death from six hot greek men.
Tue, 18 February 2020
Earth and Ash
— Explosive hardcore and grind with a mechanical industrial edge taking it to the next level.
BLAZE OF PERDITION (Poland)
— Dudes, this black metal band did a cover of Fields of the Nephilim. I am in love.
The Ones from Hell
— Sinister black metal that compels a headbang with its groove and snarling vocalist.
Darker Than Black
— Angel vocals immersed in psychedelic doom and heavy touch of goth.
PORTA NIGRA (Germany)
Die Entweihung von Freya
— German, all I want.
SOMETIMES WE MAKE MUSIC (SWMM) (Norway)
— Three vocal styles really is the forefront. The sound overall is a dichotomy of folk and epic, soaring and guttural.
RASPBERRY BULBS (NY)
— The focus is raw in a stylish NY edgy punk and hardcore.
DAWN OF SOLACE (Finland)
— This is music made to invoke something deep inside of you. Be prepared. Contemplative Finns.
Monarchy of Shadows
— Gawddammit, Fade is no longer in Tombs?? Yeah yeah, riffs, atmosphere, etc.
The Stumbling Block
— Tight death loosened with melodic atmosphere and unique tempo-lurching vocals.
GOD DETHRONED (Netherlands)
Blood Moon Eclipse
— Solid and talented death from middle aged men that may not be as angry anymore.
Tue, 11 February 2020
— 3 albums in a year! Kings of lead-up: cold sheets of mid-tempo black metal with growled vocals and melodic groove guitar eventually bursting into frenetic. Good stuff.
Face the Bütcher
— Speeding demonic warriors, both on the album cover and sound. Vocalist chomps and massive riffs are bolts of fire.
Mind Ov Maggots
— Another snarling black metal one-man project in the Australian vein of Convulsing.
COFFIN CURSE (Chile)
Descend into Abhorrence
— Rampant, tight, gnarly speed and thrash with lurching death in a South American brutality.
Those Who Are Long Gone
— Varied vicious and minimalist with even accordion mixing it up.
Ropes Pt. II
— Female band with a baritone lead singer within a slower-tempo and thickly-downtuned groove.
The New Sun
— The vocals are everything, encasing you in the beauty of their bubble of modern post-metal sound. Seriously, take a break and listen to this whole album.
OBSIDIAN TONGUE (Maine)
Return to the Fields of Violet
—Haunting soaring melody, definitely from the drama of Maine.
THE SPIRIT (Germany)
The Wide Emptiness
— Evil demonic death broken into pieces of emotional guitars and vocals, with thrash groove riffage.
Tue, 4 February 2020
My Best of the Decade show, counting down to my number 1 album of the last 10 years!
BATILLUS (Brooklyn), album – Furnace (2011)
Song: ...And The World Is As Night To Them (0:25-9:00)
— This song is in my top 10 of all time, and watching Fade headbang to it is the best ever. They are kings of lead up and hotness. Fade is also the mastermind of Statiqbloom.
VENENUM (Germany), album – Trance of Death (2017)
Song: The Nature Of The Ground (10:09-15:42)
— This album builds upon itself, revealing bits in every listen. I think I listened to this vinyl every Friday for a year, bringing me to my weekend in a mesmerizing psychedelic death trance.
HORISONT (Sweden), album – Second Assault (2012)
Song: Crusaders Of Death (16:00-20:40)
— Sweden has so many beautiful rocking retro bands, and Horisont is their king. Each song has a unique way of jamming out.
ORANSSI PAZUZU (Finland), album – Kosmonument (2011)
Song: Loputon tuntematon (21:10-26:58)
— Alien brains unleash waves of strange immersive eclectic intergalactic textures.
DAWNBRINGER (Chicago), album – Nucleus (2010)
Song: The Devil (27:40-33:37)
— First time I was introduced to Chris Black, also of High Spirits and Aktor. His guitar tone is is rocker 70's, glam 80's and the riffage of a thousand headbangers.
THE RUINS OF BEVERAST (Germany), album – Exuvia (2017)
Song: Surtur Barbaar Maritime (34:12-43:03)
— I listened to both Venenum and The Ruins of Beverast every Friday to decompress from the world. Each minute brought me closer to not absolutely hating everything and everyone. The Ruins of Beverast is evil, demonic and tribal. And the album cover is fucking awesome.
HORROR VACUI (Italy), album – Return of the Empire (2014)
Song: 5000 (43:35-47:40)
— One of those shimmeringly romantic deathrock and dark wave albums that you hear once every 20 years. Brings me right back to those days living in my parents' basement, staying up to watch 120 Minutes.
GRAVEYARD (Sweden), album – Hisingen Blues (2011)
Song: The Siren (48:42-54:32)
— Listening to this album will make your jeans flare, your joint light up, and your long hair part in the middle. A retro jewel with a gorgeous lead vocalist. I think they won the Norwegian grammy.
DAVID BOWIE (UK), album – Blackstar (2016)
Song: Lazarus (54:51-1:01:09)
— Sob, David Bowie. This album does you justice. Made to be played with wine and good friends.
SHE PAST AWAY (Turkey), album – Belirdi Gece (2012)
Song: Sanri (1:01:41-1:05:50)
— The new generation of dark pop and dance wave is spectacular. They are true vampires. I got to see them on my birthday, and I will never forget.
My #1 Album
MURMUR (Chicago), album – S/T (2014)
Song: Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1:06:27-END)
— Easily my number one album. It blooms from psychedelic to jazz to vicious black metal, and each second between is a joy.
Tue, 28 January 2020
My Best of 2019 ends here with my #1 album, Witch Trail (Belgium)!
A lot of metal bands chose Mariusz Lewandowski as their artist this year, and received the exact same cover. He should not have done that. So I've skipped all of those bands, even though technically the art is awesome (e.g. Fuming Mouth).
Ad Patres (FR), album - A Brief Introduction To Human Experiments: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0625848865_10.jpg
Critic (France), album - Eveil De L'esprit: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0185422145_10.jpg
Damnation Defaced (Germany), album - The Devourer: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0317751538_10.jpg
Disentomb (AU), album - The Decaying Light: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2784689877_10.jpg
Feral (Sweden), album- Flesh for Funerals Eternal: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3992260695_10.jpg
God Disease (Finland), album - Drifting Towards Inevitable Death: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3703540376_10.jpg
Guðveiki (Iceland), album - Vængför: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1910583303_10.jpg
High on Fire (Oakland), album - Bat Salad: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1834743777_10.jpg
Hornwood Fell (Italy), album - Damno Lumina Nocte: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0987484078_10.jpg
Ogarya (France), album – Inclination: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1079877534_10.jpg
Plaguebringer (CAN), album - Diabolos: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1020675703_10.jpg
Pulchra Morte (USA), album - Divina Autem Et Aniles: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0838456446_10.jpg
Relics Of Humanity (Minsk), album - Obscuration: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a4101279720_10.jpg
Seer (CAN), album - Vol. 6: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1552924366_10.jpg
Skullpture (Chile), album - Reborn In Decay: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1628348844_10.jpg
Triumvir Foul (Portland), album - Urine of Abomination: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a4279260030_10.jpg
Vader (Poland), album - Thy Messenger: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0740756423_10.jpg
Vale Of Pnath (Denver), album - Accursed: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0493728966_10.jpg
Venom Prison (UK), album – Samsara: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2210657858_10.jpg
Vimur (GA), album - Triumphant Master of Fates: https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1633501463_10.jpg
Evil Psychedelic Avant Garde
PHOBONOID (Italy), album - La Caduta di Phobos
Song: CoRot-7b (0:25-5:57)
— Psychedelic takes you on a cerebral journey: bending, decompressing, compressing. Phobonoid has a massive album, dense, dystopian, alien and fully immersive.
Waste of Space Orchestra (Finland), album – Syntheosis
— Waste of Space Orchestra builds upon these peyote dreams of different textures and feels and movements and effects, rumbling over your brain, erupting in your brain, pulsating through your brain.
CLOUD RAT (MI), album – Pollinator
Song: Last Leaf (7:31-9:57)
— Grindcore pummels raw dissonance within a short set of time. Cloud Rat creates yet another album that is a vibrant furious rebellion, poetic and punk. Her vocals are versatile enough to also front a dark ambient album, ALSO released last year.
Full of hell (MD, PA), album – Weeping Choir
— I saw Full of Hell live, and it was without a doubt one of the best live shows ever. The vocalist is a god, just powerful and reining his wrath upon the peons.
No One Knows What The Dead Think (NJ), album - s/t
— Thriving New Jersey dynamic grindcore with expressively insane vocals and brutal tempo. The album is hella solid.
RITUAL HOWLS (Detroit), album – Rendered Armor
Song: I Can Hear Your Tears (10:29-15:21)
— I love this vocalist so much. Romantic, lush wave with a darker goth, deathrock and industrial layer.
Statiqbloom (Brooklyn), album – Asphyxia
— I know it is really boring for me to love Statiqbloom every time he releases an album, but he is incredible. Experimental and strange, badass vocal effects, nostalgic, all of it rolled into the perfect cold, creepy industrial package. Statiqbloom has won my “Best of” multiple times before.
Die Sektor (GA), album - Death My Darling
— Catchy, melodic industrial and electronic dance and synth with nods to their forefathers like KMFDM and Skinny Puppy. Modern streaks of experimental break apart the dance, keeping the compositions unique. The vocals are very reminiscent of Ogre.
KNOCKED LOOSE (KY), album - A Different Shade of Blue
Song: Belleville (15:53-19:09)
— Kentucky brings the inspirational, anthemic passion and a lead singer that drives their fans crazy. There is a metal edge, including a secondary gruff vocalist.
Portrayal of Guilt (Austin), album - Suffering Is A Gift
— 2018’s Best Hardcore with a sophomoric album that is darker, bleaker and more chaotic.
Oozing Wound (Chicago), album - High Anxiety
— This trio has always made me so fucking happy. Fans of Karp and Big Black, and produced by Steve Albini, and it shows. Thrashcore, noise, angular, prog-crust with smokey vocals.
Fuming Mouth (MA), album - The Grand Descent
— Filthy crust layered death with down-tuned breakdowns.
Warm Male Vocals
MAGIC CIRCLE (MA), album - Departed Souls
Song: Valley Of The Lepers (19:36-26:40)
— Lead singer is a powerful, groovy 70's FIERCE with an emotional level that was unique.
Spirit Adrift (AR), album - Divided by Darkness
Temple of the Fuzz Witch, album - S/T (stoner)
Cult Of Luna (Sweden), album – A Dawn to Fear
Bask (NC), album – III
Blackened Death (2 Winners!)
XOTH (Seattle), album - Interdimensional Invocations
Song: Mountain Machines (27:32-31:20)
— Chomping technical metal and turbulent tempos with a venom-pitched vocalist.
WORMWITCH (Vancouver), album - Heaven That Dwells Within
Song: Dancing in the Ashes (31:53-36:27)
— Fighting for #1 album of the year and WAY different from Xoth. Unafraid to blend gorgeous guitar instrumentals and groove to create a vivid texture.
Vacivus (UK), album – Annihilism
— Fire-breathing demonic beast with technical harmonizing guitar monsters, interweaving to create ripping riffs. The vocalist is a massive spread of guttural and screech.
Bölzer (Switzerland), album - Lese Majesty
— Raw animalistic predatory metal with experiments in tempo creating more chaos.
Haunter (TX), album - Sacramental Death Qualia
— Technical shards of dissonant-shaped death that pummel, mastered by one of my favorite musicians, the dude from Convulsing, hearts.
American Black Metal (2 Winners!)
VIMUR (GA), album - Triumphant Master of Fates
Song: Adversarial Impetus Ignition (37:17-44:47)
— There are black metal forests in Georgia. The southern side warms this otherwise cold and dramatic structure to chomping and catchy. A blast.
AORATOS (CO), album - Gods Without Name
Song: Holy Mother of Terror (45:43-49:57)
— Witches breathe through the instruments creating dense weird creepy effects and wicked forms.
Vale (Oakland), album – Burden of Sight
—Raw pummeling aggression, filthy punk grit, and massive female vocalist.
Yellow Eyes (NYC), album – Rare Field Ceiling
One of my favorite black metal bands, Yellow Eyes always release albums that require time to unpack. Raw American black metal, Yellow Eyes has mind-melding tempo changes, sinister and buzzing creeping atmosphere, hella riffs and a desperate vocal that hides within a shroud. It’s dense spectacularly strange story-telling, providing more insights with each listen.
Mizmor (Portland), album – Cairn
Horror upon horrors upon ash upon death upon dead until you are gone.
Death (2 Winners!)
VALE OF PNATH (Denver), album – Accursed
Song: Accursed (50:54-55:34)
— Sinister concoctions of evil, progressive, horror death in the script of a snake-hissing vocalist.
BLOOD INCANTATION (Denver), album - Hidden History of the Human Race
Song: Slave Species of the Gods (55:55-1:01:20)
— Guitars build-up within an insane wall of strange compositions that drop into mesmerizing pools of psychedelic.
Soulmass (FL), album – The Weakness of Virtue
— Crisp production and strangling gurgling vocals with head churning explosions built within sinister doom. And the doom really infiltrates, bringing in unique compositions and time to stretch.
Hath (NJ), album – Of Rot and Ruin
— Melodic funk and harmonizing gorgeous guitars were an added texture to neck-chomping tempos and a scorched vocalist. Stylish font and album cover added bonus.
Ossuarium (Portland), Living Tomb
— Portland is the coolest city in the country. Truly fire and hell death, a vocalist barely breathing above ground.
Saturday Album and #1 Album of 2019
WITCH TRAIL (Belgium), album – S/T
Song: Afloat (1:02:17-END)
— Saturday album is the one I listen to the most. Witch Trail blends alternative, metal and noise rock, but what makes it erupt is their vicious singer. It is the juxtaposition of light and dark without tight boundaries.
Tue, 21 January 2020
Best Live Show:
JONATHAN BREE (New Zealand), at Rickshaw – an intimate experience to the most unique show I have ever seen outside of Skinny Puppy
ORANSSI PAZUZU (Finland), at Cornerstone – the Finnish are the only men that look good with man-buns
PINK TURNS BLUE (Berlin)/NEAR DARK FEST, at The Uptown – romantic dark wave festival introducing me to female-led The Ire (Detroit) and Yama Uba (Oakland)
SHE PAST AWAY (Turkey/UK), at Neck of the Woods – on my birthday no less! Sold out, the bay area showed UP; and I met some really nice people that night
STUMPFEST FESTIVAL, at Mississippi Studios – we got to see our friends Terry Gross and hang out in Portland
PETER MURPHY (UK), at The Chapel – he sang the entire Deep album and special songs from Love Hysteria and I was pretty much in tears the whole show
KRYPTOS (India), album – Afterburner
Song: Dead of Night (0:25-5:23)
— Nostalgic heavy metal that is catchy without being repetitive, with a fiery evil singer. Everything we want from a sword wielding witch.
Traveler (CAN), album - S/T
— Damn straight, guys fucking rock.
Spirit Adrift (AR), album - Divided by Darkness
— Nate Garrett’s vocals bring life to his lyrics. This is heart-wrenching heavy metal.
Crypt Sermon (Philly), album - The Ruins of Fading Light
— This album goes on for days; full on lyrical genius sung by a doom-master.
Horseburner (WV), album – Fathoms
— Similar to their brethren West Virginia band Brimstone Coven with southern charm and whiskey vocal, but with a unique harder edge.
Atmospheric/Melodic Black Metal
MISÞYRMING (Iceland), album - Algleymi
Song: Með Svipur á Lofti (6:51-13:52)
— Revels in the torment, vocalizing their surroundings in a haunting, frosty black metal with different styles and energy.
Belenos (France), album - Argoat
— Belenos vocals are rippling energy. He rolls over achingly melodic guitars, entrenching the sound with more soul. This is not black gaze, this is raw, thoughtful and immense with accompanying cathedral vocals.
The Great Old Ones (France), album: Cosmicism
— There is nothing like French brooding. The Great Old Ones use blast beat heavy lead-ups and French rasps that bleed into deep unexpected loveliness.
NECROPANTHER (Denver), album - The Doomed City
Song: Death at Hand (14:25-17:19)
— Necropanther’s vocalist is an insane alien beast lining riffs and groovy thrash and monster death.
Illyrian (Alberta), album – The Entity
— Canadian fists flying to speed, technically tempoed, and viciously vocalized.
High Command (MA), album - Beyond the Wall of Desolation
— Warm thick guitar that chomps, romps and punches.
Inculter (Norway), album – Fatal Visions
— Hammer precise drums and earth shattering riffs to keep it real.
— Technical thrash with disjointed proggy tempos.
INTER ARMA (VA), album - Sulphur English
Song: A Waxen Sea (17:50-25:12)
— Refined sludge in the form of dreamy and meditative that bleeds into filthy and proggy, and experimental becomes post-metal,
Terre (Belgium), album - S/T
— Creeping, deep into the earth is a writhing vocal. This is where the band starts, penetrating its filth with a down-tuned dirty thick bass.
Fange (France), album - Punir
— Fange has it all, including noise, industrial, hardcore, sludge, laid atop a slab of atmospheric black metal.
Rorcal (Switzerland), album - Muladona
— Thick pummeling drums in a vicious black and death metal and abrasive core.
Lord Mantis (Chicago), album - Universal Death Church
— Sludgy, dense, and textural, with melodic and groove in the mix.
WACHENFELDT (Sweden), album - The Interpreter
Song: Ut (26:02-33:30)
— Savage drums and riffs crushing each other into pinpoints of compressed blazing horror-filled thrashing and swelling sharp guitar solos and harmonies.
Tomb Mold (Toronto), album - Planetary Clairvoyance
— Pummeling drummer is also the blistering vocalist, both instruments their own beasts. Guitars follow on a wild ride breaking apart the ferocious death metal.
Light Dweller (AR), album – Incandescent Crucifix
— Holy shit this is a huge album; jagged, angular, sharp and complex.
Ceremony Of Silence (Slovakia), album – Oútis
— Psychedelic death metal now? Expand the brain and then pummel it into pieces, living the Slovakian dream.
Unaussprechlichen Kulten (Chile), album - Teufelsbücher
— Angular weird proggy death with refreshing piano.
Arallu (Israel), album – En Olam
— Middle eastern ethnicity fully integrated in explosive death metal. Infectious, unique and deeply headbang-worthy.
Modern Black Metal
SCHAMMASCH (Switzerland), album – Hearts of No Light
Song: Ego Sum Omega (34:21-42:09)
— Emotional and gruff baritone juxtaposed with shimmering instrumentals in a soaring, majestic black metal that drizzles into a goth mist, proggy interludes, and retro doom.
Deathspell Omega (France), album - The Furnaces of Palingenesia
— The vocalist is at the forefront, a grunting guttural menace, creating a horror-atmosphere where the plodding tempos and strange mesmerizing guitars follow.
Svartelder (Norway), album – Pits
— Being chased down a wind-swept black metal mountain by a rabid vampire in a hot folk outfit. Completely under the radar.
Mesarthim (Australia), album - Ghost Condensate
— Electronics within a shrieking black metal is just, surprising.
Guðveiki (12/18) (Iceland), album - Vængför
— Another explosive alien black metal offering from Iceland, raw and progressive and scary.
DIÄT (Berlin), album - Positive Disintegration
Song: We (42:49-46:38)
— Old school alternative alternating from poppy to ambient to gothy-dance to noise and punk.
Boy Harsher (MA), album – Careful
— Massachusetts duo with deeply emotional and stylistic dark and minimal wave supported by velvety female vocals.
TR/ST (Toronto) album – The Destroyer
— I cannot tell you how much I love this lead singer. Just, love.
Evil Male Vocals
LORD MANTIS (Chicago), album – Universal Death Church
Song: Fleshworld (47:25-55:30)
— Vocals scratch and rasp and screech and whisper horror.
Vortex of End (France), album – Ardens Fvror
Profanatica (CT), album - Rotting Incarnation of God
Vacivus (UK), album - Annihilism
Negator (Germany), album – Vnitas Pvritas Existentia
VENOM PRISON (UK), album – Samsara
Song: Sadistic Rituals (55:54-59:38)
— Beastly muscular vocals accompanied by brain-bashing, stunning, surprising, dense, REQUIRED death metal mixed with aggressive hardcore.
Vale (Oakland), album – Burden of Sight
Immortal Bird (Chicago), album – Thrive on Neglect
Bethlehem (Germany), album – Lebe Dich Leer
False (MN), album - Portent
Freedom of Fear (Adelaide), album – Nocturnal Gates
Best German Black Metal, #2 Album
KRATER (Germany), album – Venenare
Song: Atmet Asche (1:00:29-END!)
— The best albums are indirect, they are unexpected, they are filled with a million facets that are undiscoverable. My favorite black metal is this textured journey, and Krater all in a dystopian package.
Imperium Dekadenz (Germany), album – When We Are Forgotten
— 2 piece creating diverse and textured sound, a glossy, foggy, ethereal black metal, cascading desolation and sorrow.
Thormesis (Germany), album – The Sixth
— Desperation-lined vocals creates heartfelt melancholy not shying away from sweet melody and instrumentals; and organic drumming steering away from machine beats. The whole album is explosive in emotional energy.
Verheerer (Germany), album - Monolith
— Brooding and theatrical with glorious and vivid compositions, but still fucking rocks out.
Schattenfall GER), album - Melancholie des Seins
Chanting poetry from a new vocalist in this sophomore album.
Negator (Germany), album – Vnitas Pvritas Existentia
— Fantasy world of monsters and battles and horns that creates just a blast. Whimsical, if your brain was fucked.
Tue, 31 December 2019
— One man band, fueled by Satan. Gargling monster vocals and an onslaught of pummeling nightmare vocals and angry riffs.
TORTURE CHAIN (US)
Chaos at Feast / The Ascent of Deimos
— Another sole-brained band creating a strain of venomous death metal with a distant vision of cold horror atmosphere.
— Carnival, symphonic and theatrical concoction of proggy and furious.
CULT OF ERINYES (Belgium)
Nothing Is Owed To The Void
— Belgian sinister with layers of spewing guitars and cruel vocals.
The Decapitator's Prayer
— Sledgehammer drums and vocals that blow fire and ash.
The Second Sun
— Misty malaise mixed with dense and distorted sludge and a hardcore vocalist.
With Everburning Sulphur Unconsumed
— Romantic black metal with a growling baritone vocalist.
— Colorado black metal, raw and bleak with enough melody and groove that bleeds into symphonic.
— A duo with an explosive vocalist that can do blistering fast and massive slow fury in building compositions.
UNDER THE PLEDGE OF SECRECY (Germany)
— Intense prog and grind and technical death metal with German surprises.
Tue, 24 December 2019
Special holiday dance party set!
Add it Up
PINK TURNS BLUE
If Two Worlds Kiss
Sails Of Charon
I Wanna Be Free
SISTERS OF MERCY
Nine While Nine
Ashes to Ashes
Personal Jesus (Remix)
Bizarre Love Triangle (Remix)
WHAM (RIP George Michael, sob)
Tue, 17 December 2019
BLOOMING CARRIONS (Finland)
Enchantment Of Slaughtering
— Murky Finnish vocals is an alien beast traversing a desolate horror-filled atmosphere.
Into The Temple Of Spears
— Raw animalistic predatory death metal with prog and experiments in tempo creating more chaos.
SUN OF THE SLEEPLESS (Germany)
The Lure of Nyght
— Split with Cavernous Gate, another cool German band. Layering romantic universes; shimmering breaking into blistering.
Nightmares For The Blind
— Mosh pit raucous death metal that just really wants to punch you in the face.
THE SERFS (Germany)
— Lovely danceable nostalgic synth wave.
Age of Capricorn
— Grim bleak eastern Europeans have knack for adding sweetened melodies to show their romantic side.
— Gritty, muscular death mixed with raw, horror black with synthy doom helping with melody. .
— This spacy stoner psychedelic with an ethereal vocalist is better than most in this genre. Polish do it again.
— Clenched fist of grind, but songs are diverse with experiments in tempo and melody making an appearance.
Tue, 10 December 2019
All dark wave, cold wave, post-punk, deathrock, goth, noise rock show.
THIS COLD NIGHT (Austin)
— Like the name of the album Black Cherry, a tart and sweet concoction of guitar and synth, incredibly emotionally nostalgic for 80's era dance-floor and cold wave.
TRISTESSE LOYAL (Germany)
— Languid German vocalist dripping disdain on electronic effects and beat; and super catchy to boot.
LAS ERAS (Buenos Aires)
— Bass-heavy, depressive side of pop ala New Order style. I liked the touch of early industrial in the following song.
DEE BEE RICH (Germany)
— You know Berlin has it going on, their music follows no pattern which means the scene is truly independent and vibrant and inspirational. A fun jangling noise trip. These guys are hip.
EDWARD KA-SPEL (London)
— Legendary Edward with his poetry.
— A touch of emo-punk vocals with melodic-driven guitars.
CAUSA DE MUERTE (Chile)
— Female-fronted goth singing in Spanish. Sad face and shit, band recently no longer together.
THE WRAITH (LA)
Of the Earth
— Must be in the LA water. Deathrock rockin' goth through the veins, the vocalist reminded me of Mission UK.
STATIC PALM (London)
— My favorite type: sexy, danceable, darkly throbbing electronic with vivid threads of melodic synth and heavy bass. English men know how to do it.
— Siouxsie-sharp vocals singing in incredibly dense, guitar-driven, emotional and sweet compositions held tightly within dark lyrics.
PLEASURE POLICY (CA)
Thousand Years of Tears
— Deeply baritone is always the vocal of a vampire.
SINDICATO VERTICAL (Spain)
— "You fucking lie." The lead singer is super charismatic; talking, muttering, shouting, singing, yelling. Everything I want from a man.
— Australian punk and deathrock led by a steel-edged female vocalist ala early Courtney Love.
CLOSED MOUTH (France)
— Prolific dark alternative band, creeping a spider dance across a gloomy ocean.
Lickspittle (A Nut In The Paste)
— A theatrical poetic symphony of instrumentation. Whimsical noise alternative, wholly unique.
Tue, 3 December 2019
— Fire-breathing demonic beast with technical harmonizing guitar monsters, interweaving to create ripping riffs. The vocalist is a massive spread of guttural and screech.
TAN KOZH (France)
A la gloire d'Indra
— Intense black metal, yes; the name translates to Old Fire and the vocalist is an incendiary match. Dynamic tempos and clear lyrics in French.
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS (WA)
— These bands need to stop using Mariusz Lewandowski to create the album covers, he has like a billion now out there in the exact same style. Abigail Williams has that cascading instrumentation Agalloch-style, with a lead singer that breaks into clean. Achingly romantic in parts.
Set as a free download: https://blood-music.bandcamp.com/album/walk-beyond-the-dark
— Medieval metal that shimmers in stone corridors of yore, blending gorgeous compositions with mood and bite.
LORD MANTIS (Chicago)
— The entire album has now been released, and it is still dives into sludgy dense and textural, with melodic and groove in the mix. Still pummels brah.
— 25-year-old Ragnarok has changed drummers, drummer became vocalist, and they are still relentless black metal curbed with heavy metal.
Key to Victory
— Gritty horror death with varying speed creating the bloody sound.
FUROR BREVIS (France)
— Distorted mask of sophisticated, deranged and acidic black and death atmosphere.
UNFATHOMABLE RUINATION (UK)
— The vocalist will tear you apart, with both muscular and sharply carved screeches accompanying a stabbing insane tempoed mix of brutal death metal.
Tue, 26 November 2019
— Yoda ear metal. Gurgling demonic alien vocals with groovy thrash and monster death that is fist clenchingly satisfying.
WITCH TRAIL (Belgium)
— Beautiful post-punk and dark alternative blended into a thick cloud of noisy black metal. Don't miss this album.
— Melodic underpinning the cold black metal drumming and atmospheric guitars all in a dystopian package. Another excellent German black metal band.
CONSTELLATIA (South Africa)
All Nights Belong To You
— Misty shoegaze shattering into a blooming canopy of black metal.
— Just, unique. Electronic bursts, disjointed piano, and a howling beast lost in the mayhem. In the past I thought these guys were a bit much, but this album is compelling.
— Bluesy vocalist drenching the lyrics. Bass-heavy noise and psychedelic twisted ala Chicago.
Beyond The Exosphere
— Super catchy melodic death and moody heavy metal with a black metal vein. Yep, all of it, and even though it is super catchy, it is also explosive and a blast.
Us D‘R Höll Chunnt Nume Zyt
— Crusty, grim black metal drowning you in its sweat and blood. But fun!
Rid of You
— Heavy rock with a lean to 90's era proggy alternative and a stunner of a vocalist.
STREET SECTS (Austin)
If Life is a Gift, It's in Very Poor Taste
— It felt I was listening to Foetus and Skinny Puppy. True early industrial-style.
Tue, 12 November 2019
— Chanting, meditative, guttural throat carving, experimental, strange, weirdo black metal.
— TR/ST (formerly Trust) have been around for 10 years, and I am just learning to completely fall head over heels with the meteor-shower vocalist and romantic synth backdrop. Achingly lovely dark wave.
Carnations were not the smell of death. They were the smell of desire
— Rorcal's song titles are masterpieces themselves. Thick pummeling drums in a vicious black and death metal and abrasive core.
VIALS OF WRATH (TN)
— A spectrum of tragic and sweet with black metal guitars and a slice of raw grieving vocals.
The Body Cosmic
— Each song is a textural journey that comes out of a parallel world.
Fools Gave Chase
— Punk rock with heavy metal ballads and a sharp-edged hardcore vocalist. They love the slow-down energized with unique riffs.
— Supergroup with a theatrical Lemmy-sounding vocalist of Darkthrone, with symphonic peppering of ballad sweetness.
Från eld till aska
— A great balance of melancholy stringed folk and black metal with an alien vocalist.
Tue, 5 November 2019
Épopée - Par Le Sang Versé
— Medieval horn and fiddle with black metal and sexy French vocals.
— Duo mixes rubber band twang and doomy melodic with jaunty black and roll.
Rebirth by Blasphemy
— Anthemic beer, neck, and bonding metal.
STRANGE PEOPLE IN PAIN (Chicago)
— Victor Fisher aka The Lord Reverend Wizard of Alchemical Despair aka the infamous Bruce's Crain's acquaintance is mostly a philosophizer that lends his wholly compelling and uniquely creepy vocal to a wonderfully emotionally-laden black metal. I listened to this on repeat.
The Tyranny of Imagination
— Yes, this sounds like Opeth.
YEAR OF THE COBRA (Seattle)
— Wide range of female vocals in a bass-driven fuzz and stoner.
CHTHONIC DEITY (Denver)
— Colorado death is evil, period. It's the lack of oxygen.
— Lush post and regular black metal with a sharp edge of desperate vocals.
VOICE OF RUIN (Switzerland)
— Riff-heavy thrash and death with drums that blast your face off.
Tue, 29 October 2019
— Another badass German black metal with incredibly emotional desperation that made me nuts(ier). The lead singer, I bow to his screams.
Plague Revival 20XX
— A scifi-loving technical black speed and death muscularity with a lead singer who lets loose and pushes this out of control.
— Blackgaze is not benign; Alcest is soaring and bellowing landscapes that breathe fresh.
THE GREAT OLD ONES (France)
— Blastbeat heavy lead-ups paced into headbanging French broodiness.
— Dead, Euronymous, Varg, Norwegian prison, books, movies, documentaries, legends. Well the legends have released their malevolent beast of a sound yet again. Attila's vocals are extraordinary evil.
DAWN RAY’D (UK)
The Smell of Ancient Dust
— Raw aggression sliced with violin and vocals, screeching against fascism and invisible borders.
Necromancer of the Red Sun
— Slow, sinister, thickly-toned guitar swirled with groove and riffs.
COFFIN ROT (OR)
— Portland brings the chunky jagged death speed.
EXHORDER (New Orleans)
— 30 years creates a cacophony of explosive thrash.
CHAINED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN (MA)
I Will Possess Your Heart
— The vocalist highlights this brand of sludge, with a spectrum of brutal breaking into gorgeous clean.
Tue, 22 October 2019
— Scorched, bubbling, explosive heat from a tightly textured mass.
— Norwegian jagged black metal with death chomping at the edges.
THE HOLEUM (Spain)
— Somber melancholy epic sludge with quiet pools of guitar and saxophone.
LIGHTNING BOLT (RI)
— Rabid fans at their shows for a reason. Drummer vocalist is a performance artist. These guys are actually getting better, frenzied and loud and unique as ever.
UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN (Spain)
Flapping Membraneous Wings
— Angular weird proggy death and nothing creating boundaries. Surprising piano refreshes.
HOLY SERPENT (AU)
— Soaring psychedelic rock and a deeply romantic vocalist.
La Flamme Noire de Ge'henom
— Debut melodic black metal with thrash and gravelly vocals.
— Norwegian black metal with clean production, but don't be scared. Solid offering,
FVNERAL FVKK (Germany)
To Those in the Grave
— Crisp, clean layers with tempo and vocals as the main instruments.
Tue, 15 October 2019
— Ah, I love me a little goth and deathrock in black metal. Cloak also has a sexy baritone wrapping it up in a blast of a package.
BLOOD INCANTATION (CO)
The Giza Power Plant
— Psychedelic expands the tight corners of death into a wild tempestuous ride.
King of Pain
— Part of a split with Carcinoid, playing their brand of gnarly doom and death.
— This is from their debut full-length, released with their split with Gosudar. Filthy crusty death distorted into a vomit of sound.
Scythe of Mass Damnation
— Nothing but serious, raw, and desperate.
— The vocals are just wickedly unique and scratching the edges of your brain.
Wondering If I Exist
— Electronic and sludge with a haunting lead singer.
— Another vicious, pummeling death with breakdowns of mid-tempo and sinister horror.
EXHUMED (San Jose)
Naked, Screaming, and Covered in Blood
— More old-school explosive chompable nuggets from Exhumed.
Tue, 8 October 2019
— Middle eastern ethnicity fully integrated in explosive death metal. Infectious, unique and deeply headbang-worthy.
Curiosity And Obsession
— Chicago brings in the proggy to this atmospheric black metal with a bleak and beautiful theme.
HIGH COMMAND (MA)
— Chomping, bumping, romping, punching, lurching, thrashy good times.
SEMPITERNAL DUSK (Portland)
Refracted Suffering Through The Windows Of Hell
— Portland wine with death metal. Perfect.
...He Shall Reap a Thousandfold
— Germanic black metal is my favorite. Brooding and theatrical with glorious and vivid compositions, but still fucking rocks out.
— Technical thrash with disjointed proggy tempos.
LORD MANTIS (Chicago)
— My 2014 Best Album of the year is finally back with the original lead singer who is famously raspy. And by famously, I mean, to me. This is a razor sharp vocal spread over mutated sludge, and I am looking forward to the full November release. With members from Abigail Williams, Cobalt, Indian, Pelican, and more.
TOXIC HOLOCAUST (Portland)
— Run in place with your parachute pants to this soundtrack.
FISTER (St. Louis)
For Whom the Bell Tolls
— One of my favorite sludge bands just released an album of covers. Hell yeah dude.
BLUT AUS NORD (France)
— More French black metal covered in a layer of mist and ethereal.
Tue, 1 October 2019
Heart In Hand
— Opeth dive straight into the prog rock galaxy of sound effects, jammy meandering, piano, organ and intimate vocals.
— Heavy metal-infused anthemic Lovecraftian-loving thrash.
A Realm Beyond
— Frosty warrior-marching black metal crossed with deeply emotional atmospheric melodic.
— Black metal vocalist supporting groove and death.
WHITE WARD (Ukraine)
Poisonous Flowers of Violence
— A massive album relaying a distorted, proggy, saxophone-filled post and black metal. It's a weird one.
MURDER MADE GOD (Greece)
— Machine precise beats with bleak vocals makes it an evil Helmet.
The Obsidian White
— Ballad-loving grandiose guitars and blast-beated black metal.
— One-person steaming demonic vocals, pummeling blast beat and suffocating dread breaking into galloping riffs.
Tue, 24 September 2019
(As Now) We Must Succumb
— Metal does depressive in the most monstrous way. This 2-piece adds a touch of gothic melancholy along with a fiery baritone vocalist and eruptions in riffs.
— 8th album from this 1-piece who is uplifting in his solemnity; and sweet in his rage. Immense black metal that is incredibly thoughtful. I loved this album from beginning to end.
NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE DEAD THINK (NJ)
— Thriving New Jersey scene offers No One Knows What The Dead Think is dynamic grindcore with expressively insane vocals and brutal tempo. The album is hella solid.
IMPERIUM DEKADENZ (Germany)
A Cave Called Wisdom
— Black hearts flutter around my head as I get swallowed whole by this 2-piece.
Subversion of a Heathen Tongue
— Technical shards of dissonant-shaped death that pummel, mastered by one of my favorite musicians, the dude from Convulsing, hearts.
Bane Of Fire
— A chugging, buzzing, blast-beated badass death from another incredible 1-piece!
CULT OF LUNA (Sweden)
— I gave up on Cult of Luna when I gave up on post-metal. But this is strong, atmospheric doom with so many different angles. They are back. Well, they were always here, just back to me. Me, the most important in this equation.
Blood, Diarrhea, and Tears
— Oh, it is so easy to google "Bones Diseased" and come up with nothing relevant to a band. This is seething badass infectious Chicago death. Fuck yes!
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS (WA)
I Will Depart
— Crisp, translucent production; guitar tone is incredible. Just heard the single, excited to hear the rest.
Tue, 17 September 2019
— Alien dissonance with cracks and mountains and whirlwinds and black holes, taking you out of your brain. Exactly what we need.
CLOUD RAT (MI)
— Cloud Rat has released 2 albums - a dark ambient synth weird-wave E.P; and a full-length of her grind and vibrant vocals. Love the diversity and quality of releases from this band. Yet another band I missed live because I was out of town for work.
DOLD VORDE ENS NAVN (Norway)
— Norwegian powerhouse of a supergroup, featuring members of Ulver, Nidinger, Dodheimsgard creating a too-short tempo-driven black metal E.P. I wanted more.
— Immensely fun chomping thrash and death with vivid melodic punching through.
BLOOD RED THRONE (Norway)
— Splattered death with riffs, and a full range of vocals from beginning to end.
Age Of Excuse V
— Possibly far right-leaning, but I don't go with vague rumors. This is my Best Black Metal of 2016, bringing more of the excellent: deeply emotional black metal with filth and undertone of evil.
— Dude, so refreshing for a chaotic technical dense black metal.
— Another awesome Norwegian band this week! The bassist of Mayhem and some other dudes have created their awesome version of Satanic black metal. All hail my butt!
As Above So Below
— Muscular, filthy, galloping, terrorizing death.
KEYS OF ORTHANC (CAN)
Uruk Agh Burgul
— Tolkien loving dorks create dramatic black metal (surprise surprise) with a plethora of vocal style: high, low, and clean.
EYE FLYS (PA)
— Full of Hell dude creating tempo-lurching noise rock.
The Parting Of A Neck
— What else do you expect from the name of this band. Full on hate.