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.