27 March, 2012

Naglfar: Téras – new album


They took their creative break and now they are back with their sixth album which shall be forever known as ‘Téras’, and which was released upon Europe yesterday, March 26th, 2012, and will ravish Americans today, March 27th, 2012 (as fierce storms, especially the Swedish ones, often do) by NAGLFAR's partners in creative crime, Century Media Records. The album's appealing artwork was created by DARK TRANQUILLITY's (click) talented Niklas Sundin. Visit NAGLFAR's Facebook page to hear the new track ‘Pale Horse’ here, listen to ‘An Extension Of His Arm And Will’ below, and buy ‘Téras’ here.

“Never content with their achievements, NAGLFAR now demonstrate clearly with ‘Téras’ that their classic sound easily projects into the future. If it ever needed a reminder that these wolves from the North are amongst the elite of Swedish black metal, well here it is. This storm will blow you away!” [Predicts the press release:]

NAGLFAR: An Extension Of His Arm And Will - courtesy of Century Media

NAGLFAR (a “nail ship” or a boat made from the fingernails and toenails of the dead or, in other words, a fine Swedish custom) was founded by bassist Kristoffer “Wrath” Olivius in 1992 in Umeå, Sweden. With vocalist Jens Rydén, guitarists Morgan Hansson and Andreas Nilsson, and drummer Mattias Holmgrenhe he recorded debut full-length ‘Vittra’, which was released through Wrong Again Records to mainly positive reviews. Second album ‘Diabolical’, featuring new drummer Mattias Grahn, followed in 1998 and a European tour with American legends DEICIDE ensued. The Swedes went into hibernation until 2002, when NAGLFAR signed with Century Media, through which they released a MCD entitled ‘Ex Inferis’. 2003's album ‘Sheol’ featured new guitarist Marcus E. Norman, and 2004 marked the departure of the band's original singer and founding member Jens Rydén. Following, Olivius became NAGLFAR's vocalist as well. Their fourth long-player, ‘Pariah’, was issued in 2005:

“Indeed, so similar are both men's infernal shrieking [comparing Rydén's voice to Olivius'] that one can hardly tell the difference. Musically, one can’t really tell much difference and what preceded it, either, as shockingly profane lyrics and especially blastbeat-driven hyper-speeds remain, far and away, the most prominent weapon in NAGLFAR's misanthropic arsenal,” [commented Eduardo Rivadavia – more here]

“They also know enough not to overstay their welcome, returning to their dark catacombs just in time to leave the listener wanting a little more,” noticed Mr. Rivadavia. They have nevertheless returned to “the business of creating uncommonly melodic and efficient black metal” in 2007 with ‘Harvest’ which introduced bassist Peter Morgan Lie:

“If these Swedes and their music don’t quite emanate from within the ninth circle of hell, they’re close enough to hear the bones crunching in Lucifer's maw - catch the drift?” [Wondered Eduardo Rivadavia – read the rest here – AllMusic]

NAGLFAR features: Kristoffer W. Olivius – vocals, Marcus E. Norman – guitar and Andreas Nilsson – guitar


25 March, 2012

Mpire Of Evil: Hell To The Holy – new album


MPIRE OF EVIL, featuring former VENOM members guitarist Jeff “Mantas” Dunn, drummer Antony “Antton” Lant (also known as brother of VENOM frontman Conrad “Cronos” Lant) and bassist and vocalist Tony “The Demolition Man” Dolan, will be releasing their full-length entitled ‘Hell To The Holy’ tomorrow, March 26th, 2012 on Scarlet Records. The 10 infectious and groovy tracks of thunderous riffs, powerful rhythm section and abrasive vocals were produced by Mantas himself. ‘Hell To The Holy’s artwork was created by Gyula Havancsák. (According to Scarlet Records, drummer Antony “Antton” Lant has left the band for personal reasons since the recording of the album took place, but a replacement for MPIRE OF EVIL's tour with ONSLAUGHT (click) will be announced soon.)

MPIRE OF EVIL: Hellspawn – courtesy of Scarlet Records

Initially called “Primevil” (after VENOM's album “Prime Evil”, released in 1989) MPIRE OF EVIL was formed by the trio with a wish to “produce something befitting of their musical prowess, something unashamedly heavy and without restraint; free of ego, deception and unreasonable behaviour”. MPIRE OF EVIL's debut mini-album, ‘Creatures Of The Black’, was issued in October 2011 on Scarlet Records. The MCD featured cover versions of four songs that influenced the members of the band (‘Exciter’ by JUDAS PRIEST, ‘God Of Thunder’ by KISS, ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’ by AC/DC and ‘Motörhead’ by MOTORHEAD) plus two brand new original tracks, ‘Creatures Of The Black’ and ‘Reptile’.

22 March, 2012

Aura Noir: Out To Die – new album


Oslo is apparently home to “the ugliest band in the world!”, namely AURA NOIR, who are to return from wherever they have been contemplating upon their cult status tomorrow, March 23rd, 2012 in Europe and on March 27th, 2012 in North America. Their latest masterpiece is called ‘Out To Die’ and will be released through Indie Recordings. VIRUS' Aggressor, IMMORTAL's Apollyon and AVA INFERI's Blasphemer (ex-MAYHEM) promise ‘Out To Die’ to be “more intense and aggressive than ever, with an increasingly stark and raw vibe to it all”:

AURA NOIR: Fed To The Flames – courtesy of Indie Recordings

“Thrash enthusiasts immersed in the stylistic trappings of the surrounding black metal community” as they are described by Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic, AURA NOIR was formed in 1993 by Aggressor (Carl-Michael Eide) and Apollyon (Ole Jørgen Moe) in Oslo, Norway. Their first official release was the ‘Dreams Like Deserts’ EP in 1994, and from there-on the band has apparently become a cult act. AURA NOIR's first recording to feature Blasphemer (Rune Eriksen) was their debut album 1996's ‘Black Thrash Attack’. 1998's ‘Deep Tracts Of Hell’ has been re-mastered and re-issued by Peaceville Records just recently; you can download the track ‘Bloody Unity’ for free here and buy the album here:

AURA NOIR: Blood Unity - courtesy of Peaceville

AURA NOIR's third album, 2004's ‘The Merciless’, featured guest vocals by DARKTHRONE's Fenriz and CARPATHIAN FOREST's Nattefrost, while their next effort, 2008's ‘Hades Rise’, came garnished with Danny Coralles' (ABSCESS and AUTOPSY) guest guitar works.

Full Album Strem: Mencea: Pyrophoric – new album


Progressive death metallers from Athens, Greece, MENCEA, will be releasing their second full-length, ‘Pyrophoric’, tomorrow, March 23rd, 2012 in Europe, and on March 27th, 2012 in North America through Norwegian label Indie Recordings. The album was recorded in 2010 in various studios and was mixed and mastered by the band's own guitarists Stamos Koliousis and Vangelis Labrakis at 210 Studios in Berlin, Germany. ‘Pyrophoric’s artwork was created by MENCEA's longtime collaborator Achilleas Gatsopoulos (Hypnagogia) and its layout was handled by Marcelo Vasco (P2RDesign). Courtesy the band, listen to the full album stream here (BandCamp) or make use of player embedded below:

“The eight track-long soundtrack of unearthly moods, demonstrates an immensely wide sonic landscape, packing punch and diversity that few bands can match. Most of all, it undoubtedly shows that MENCEA belongs to a movement of bands exploring boundaries between extreme metal sub-genres, often morphing into a mix of extreme metal with progressive sensibilities and a non conformist approach to melody as well as storming rhythmic outbursts. ‘Pyrophoric’ is a fresh and fearlessly musical approach to what MENCEA is all about. Energy, sonic richness, and sheer heaviness,” [informs the press release:]


MENCEA: Pyrophoric


MENCEA made their first impressive splash in 2008, with their debut album ‘Dark Matter, Energy Noir’, issued in Europe through Indie Recordings. Well received by the press in the U.K., Scandinavia, Benelux and southern Europe, MENCEA have been invited  to share the stage with GOJIRA, HEAVEN AND HELL, SEPULTURA and ENSLAVED following the release. They have performed at European festivals such as Inferno Metal Festival and UK's Hammerfest. Listen to ‘Dark Matter, Energy Noir’ via player available below or here (BandCamp). In 2009, MENCEA added two new members to the lineup, singer Vlasis Ziouvas and drummer Bertrand Rothen.


MENCEA: Dark Matter, Energy Noir


MENCEA features: Vlasis Ziouvas – vocals, Stamos Koliousis – guitar, Vangelis Labrakis – guitar, Kostas Alatas – bass and Bertrand Rothen - drums

21 March, 2012

Fester: A Celebration Of Death – new album


Norway's FESTER have returned after 18 years of conspicuous absence from the scene; their third full-length, ‘A Celebration Of Death’, has been released just yesterday, March 20th, 2012. Guitarist Bjørn “Tiger” Mathisen and vocalist Thomas Andresen of the original FESTER, bassist Jon Bakker and session drummer Audun Kleive, a renowned jazz drummer, equipped ‘A Celebration Of Death’ with artwork created by Eliran Kantor and invited a special guest, Mortiis, to appear on the last track of the album (plainly titled ‘Rites Of Mortiis’). Listen to/and view two brand new tracks from the album below and buy ‘A Celebration Of Death’, along with the rest of FESTER's stuff here, through their label Abyss Records.

“Musicians, like regular folks, have longings for the good old days, as Tiger Mathisen must have when he revisited his by reviving FESTER and then releasing ‘A Celebration Of Death’. He should have the urge more often, as the quality of FESTER and ‘A Celebration Of Death’ is supreme, with a thick coat of 1993 slathered all over it. There’s even a cassette version!” [was excited Todd Lyons, About.com] … “Solos, like black umbrellas bent against the wind, appear in the funereal procession of dragging beats and elongated vocal phrasing, which for death metal is sung in an upper-castrati range. They work well, providing contrast to the usual buzz-saw grunting. … FESTER plies this quilting texture and tortured tonality throughout ‘A Celebration Of Death’. Each track builds from the previous one by elevating intensity and expanding solos and guitar beds. The riffs pound like chromatic sieges and never sound recycled from old KREATOR or AT THE GATES albums.” [Read more here]

Formed in 1989 in Askim, Norway by a “quartet of teenagers who wished to play hard, extreme music that would describe their dark inner selves” (as many a teenager often wishes), FESTER recorded their first mix of death, black and thrash metal in 1991 (‘The Introduction’ demo), followed a year later by another demo titled ‘Winter Of Sin’. FESTER released their proper debut album, also titled ‘Winter Of Sin’, in 1992 on No Fashion Records, and its successor, ‘Silence’, in 1994 on Lethal Records. The group disbanded shortly after. FESTER was to reunite in 2000, but the reunion was put on hold due to the death of founding member bassist Jørgen Skjolden. FESTER released a compilation of their demos in 2010 on Kyrck Production.



18 March, 2012

Full Album Stream: If These Trees Could Talk: Red Forest – new album


The third album by Akron, Ohio post-rock instrumental quintet IF THESE TREES COULD TALK, ‘Red Forrest’, can be enjoyed in full here (BandCamp) as well as below. The full-length is due on March 20th, 2012; the band will self-release the CD and digital versions (purchase here), while the vinyl treatment will be released on Science of Silence Records (buy here). The nine song, 48-minute long album was self-produced at NEMeadow Studios in Bath, Ohio. Will Putney mastered the album and Charlie Wagers of Three Bears Design took care of the album's art direction and design.

“The writing of the record came about very naturally. Once we decided that a song had made it far enough, we tracked it, re-tracked it and just kept adding onto it until we were happy with it.  It was very much a write-as-you-record kind of experience.  The recording console had a flat screen above it that played “Koyaanisqatsi” on repeat, which kind of encapsulates our feelings on what inspired the record,” [explained the band:]




IF THESE TREES COULD TALK, whose music has been featured in various MTV and VH1 shows, as well as in American TV series “Friday Night Lights” and this year's documentary “The Other Dream Team”, was formed by guitarists Jeff Kalal, Cody Kelly, and Mike Socrates, bassist Tom Fihe, and drummer Zack Kelly. They released a self-titled EP in 2006, followed by their full-length debut, critically acclaimed ‘Above The Earth, Below The Sky’ in 2009. Both efforts were self-recorded and self-produced by the band.

16 March, 2012

Full Album Stream: Secrets Of The Moon: Seven Bells – new album


New SECRETS OF THE MOON album, ‘Seven Bells’, has been released today, March 16th, 2012 through Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions; ‘Seven Bells’ comes available as a jewelcase CD, as digipak CD (with extended 20-page booklet and die-cut front cover), as limited collector's box which includes a CD, a DVD, 80-page book, a rosary of course, and even motive cards for each song, and as a limited gatefold double LP. All the aforementioned physical editions of the album can be ordered from here (Prophecy's online shop) and will be shipped to you to wherever in the world you might come from. And as you do just that, order the ‘Seven Bells’ that is, listen to SECRETS OF THE MOON's latest recording in full here (Prophecy Productions YouTube Channel) or below, where you’ll find the group's new video ‘Nyx’ as well, directed by  Fursy Teyssier (LES DISCRETS) and François-Marc Baillet (Viva Emptiness Studios).

“A snake unwinds, coils rasp, its forked tongue hissing between venomous fangs. … ‘Seven Bells’ sees the band taking another huge step by imprinting their characteristic live sound onto this dark tome with the invaluable aid of Tom G. Warrior (CELTIC FROST, TRIPTYKON) and V. Santura (DARK FORTRESS) for the album's mix. Carefully chosen guest appearances by Schwadorf (THE VISION BLEAK, EMPYRIUM), Kvohst (DHG, CODE HEXVESSEL) and Morten Gass (BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE) complete this stunning work. This is the soundtrack of Lucifer rising…” [assures the press release]

Formed in 1995 in Osnabrück, Germany, SECRETS OF THE MOON recorded a couple of demos and a split before issuing their debut full-length, ‘Stronghold Of The Inviolables’, on Sombre Records in 2001. Kneel Before The… Records released their first compilation, ‘De Musica Mondana’, in 2002, followed by a live album (‘Live In Bitterfield 200’) and two additional splits, before SECRETS OF THE MOON found their current home with Prophecy Productions. Longplayer ‘Carved In Stigmata Wounds’ was released in 2004, ‘The Exhibitions’ EP came next in 2005 and ‘Antithesis’ followed in 2006 on Prophesy / Southern Lord Records:

“SECRETS OF THE MOON stay well away from the genre's more savage, atavistic school of thought, and thus verily confirm their desire (and perhaps their German-ness) to freeze their asses off in Dante's iced inferno rather than stoke the fires of hell, if you know what we mean,” [explained Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic] … This generalized austerity actually accentuates the sharp edges and bittersweet wounds inflicted by lengthy explorations such as ‘Ordinance’, ‘Confessions’ et al, which continually test mere mortals' thresholds of pain and pleasure, but likewise prove consistently engaging for close to an hour straight. And standing stiff above it all is vocalist Daevas (aka Lars Plegge), whose gravelly but strict and ideally percussive delivery not only fits the music like a steel glove but also traces a nice, nostalgic ancestry to luminary predecessors like CELTIC FROST's Thomas Gabriel Warrior and CORONER's Ron Broder.” [Read the rest here]

Attired with liturgical chants and shouting crowds, SECRETS OF THE MOON's last record before the ‘Seven Bells’ was unleashed upon those privileged enough to withstand the 74-minute long effort, ‘Privilegivm’, in 2009.

SECRETS OF THE MOON features: sG – vocals and guitar, T. Thelemnar – drums and Ar - guitar








Charred Walls Of The Damned: Zerospan – new video



The new CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED video, ‘Zerospan’, was directed and edited by Mike Schiff and Sean McEwen with special effects and make up done by Brian Spears and Pete Gerner from G and S Effects and features Bryan Haeffele:

“I’m so excited that fans will finally be able to see the ‘Zerospan’ video after many months of hard work! For fans of horror like myself, this video is the perfect mix of technological horror and all out brutality. The ‘Zerospan’ video is like a mini horror film and the story follows the lyrical subject matter perfectly and creates a haunting vision of a man absorbed by the world's ever growing technology. What it comes down to, though, is that it’s pretty much just a kick ass heavy metal video! Big thanks to Mike, Sean, Brian, Pete, Bryan, Metal Blade, and everyone who helped make this video awesome!” [Explained the group's founder Richard Christy excitingly.]

‘Zerospan’ comes off all-star metal outfit's, CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED, second album ‘Cold Winds On Timeless Days’, released in October 2011 on Metal Blade Records. ‘Cold Winds On Timeless Days’ – which can be bought here, through Metal Blade - was written and demoed by Richard Christy (starring on drums), with additional music written by Jason Suecof (starring on guitar) who produced the album as well. The album clocks in at 58 minutes across 12 tracks. Richard Christy recorded drum tracks at the Hit Factory Criteria, New York, while recording of the rest of the album took place at Orlando, Florida's Audiohammer studios. Lyrically, the album consists of songs about Richard Christy's every day observations while living and working in New York City. Read in amazement:

“ ‘The Beast Outside My Window’,” [commented Christy] “[is] loosely inspired by the Queensboro (59th St. bridge), I can see it outside my window. Anything you see outside your window every day, no matter where you live, becomes a part of your life, and as funny as it sounds, having a window is something new to me that is particularly inspiring because I lived in a storage unit with no windows for eight years in Florida!”

CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED: Ashes Falling Upon Us – courtesy of Metal Blade

CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED is the brainchild of former ICED EARTH drummer Richard Christy who in 2009 assembled a dream-team made up of vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens, bassist Steve DiGiorgio and producer (and longtime friend) Jason Suecof to play guitar. The assembly then proceeded to recorded the project's self-titled debut, which it released via Metal Blade Records in 2010:

“This is a 2010 release, but it might as well have been recorded in the '80s because CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED are a 21st century band with a consistently '80s-minded sound; their hard-driving but nuanced approach is a combination of ICED EARTH, JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN. … This 35-minute CD doesn’t pretend to take metal in any new directions, but it pleases - and there is no doubt that Owens gives 100 percent, which isn’t surprising when one takes his history into consideration,” [commented Alex Henderson, AllMusic, in his review of the album]:

CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED: Ghost Town – courtesy of Metal Blade Records


14 March, 2012

Full Album Stream: Spawn Of Possession: Incurso – new album


Released yesterday, March 13th, 2012, through Relapse Records, listen to ‘Incurso’, SPAWN OF POSSESSION's third album in all its technical death metal brilliancy here (BandCamp), or via player available below. SPAWN OF POSSESSION's first album released in over five years and the band's first for Relapse Records, was recorded at Pama Studio with producer Magnus Sedenberg and should be bought here (Relapse Records):




Formed by guitarists Jonas Bryssling and Jonas Karlsson and drummer Dennis Röndum in 1997 in Kalmar, Sweden, SPAWN OF POSSESSION worked hard at perfecting their craft for three years as a trio, before they recorded their first demo, ‘The Forbidden’, and before they had found a fitting bass player in Nick Dewerud. Second demo, ‘Church Of Deviance’, was recorded a year later which in 2001 secured them a contract for debut full-length with Unique Leader Records. ‘Cabinet’ was recorded with producer Magnus Sedenberg and released in 2003:

SPAWN OF POSSESSION: Swarm Of The Formless – courtesy of Relapse Records

SPAWN OF POSSESSION: Church Of Deviance – courtesy of Relapse Records

SPAWN OF POSSESSION took to the road following the release, touring tirelessly across Europe and North America. Their sophomore effort ‘Noctambulant’, released through Neurotic Records in 2006, featured vocalist Jonas Renvaktar as well as guest appearances by members of CANNIBAL CORPSE, SEVERED SAVIOR and DISAVOWED:

SPAWN OF POSSESSION: Lash By Lash – courtesy of Relapse Records

These days the group consists of vocalist Dennis Röndum, bassist Erlend Caspersen (also in BLOOD RED THRONE), drummer Henrik Schönström and guitarists Jonas Bryssling and OBSCURA's Christian Müenzner.

Cannibal Corpse: Torture – new album / Encased In Concrete – new video


One of the most revered death metal acts, CANNIBAL CORPSE, have released their twelfth offering of audio molestation just yesterday, March 13th, 2012 through their faithful partners in crime, Metal Blade Records. Entitled ‘Torture’, the record was produced by HATE ETERNAL's Erik Rutan at his own Mana Recording Studio in St. Petersburg, Florida and at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas. As expected, the album was received warmly, heh, by the business' elders; Decibel Magazine awarded ‘Torture’ with 9/10 (“As always, the band's musicianship is downright inspiring. And their songwriting has never been better.”) and Hellbound matched the grade (“This album fucking destroys and I wouldn’t have expected or accepted anything less…”). Visit Bloody Disgusting here to watch some poor guy getting ‘Encased In Concrete’ (available below as well), courtesy video director David Brodsky of MyGoodEye, listen to the albums opening track, ‘Demented Aggression’, below and buy ‘Torture’ here.

“From the moment the aptly titled ‘Demented Aggression’ explodes to life in a storm of blistering riffs and turbulent drums it is unequivocally apparent that the band are at their ruthless best, and everything that follows backs this up vehemently. From the monstrous chugging of ‘Sarcophagic Frenzy’ to the deeply sinister ‘Followed Home Then Killed’ or the loping evil of ‘Scourge Of Iron’, every track hits with sledgehammer force, and each one boasts its own hideous character, the band refusing to repeat themselves at any point. “While we make everything as heavy as possible there’s a very strong emphasis placed on song writing in this band, trying to make every song individual, and I think you should be able to hit play at any point on a record and be able to tell one song from another almost instantly,” states bassist Alex Webster. “We want all the songs to be brutal death metal, but we also want them to be instantly identifiable from one another, and that’s something that is definitely true of the songs on ‘Torture’.”

CANNIBAL CORPSE: Demented Aggression – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

One of the hardest working (and oftentimes controversial) bands, CANNIBAL CORPSE, formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1988. Vocalist Chris Barnes, guitarists Bob Rusay and Jack Owen, bassist Alex Webster, and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz secured a contract with Metal Blade Records with a demo released in 1989, and debut full-length (and CANNIBAL CORPSE's first to be banned in Germany), properly garnished with a B-horror movie album cover and ludicrous over the top lyrics, ‘Eaten Back To Life’, followed in 1990:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: A Skull Full Of Maggots – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

“This band's obvious goal was to deliver the musical equivalent of B-movie horror flick, and on that level, the album is outrageously successful,” concluded his review of CANNIBAL CORPSE's second bloody splatter, 1991's ‘Butchered At Birth’, Alex Henderson, AllMusic. “One will need the lyric sheet to know just how gross songs like ‘Under The Rotted Flesh’, ‘Meat Hook Sodomy’, ‘Covered With Sores’ and ‘Rancid Amputation’ are - the grunting vocals are impossible to understand.” (Read the rest here.):

CANNIBAL CORPSE: Meat Hook Sodomy – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

In 1992, CANNIBAL CORPSE released yet another highly controversial album ‘Tomb Of The Mutilated’, fired guitarist Bob Rusay in 1993, replaced him with ex-MALEVOLENT CREATION's Rob Barrett, and, in 1994, played the part of a club band in the Jim Carrey's “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: I Cum Blood – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

The last album to feature singer and founding member Chris Barnes was their 1994's ‘The Bleeding’:

“The riffs absolutely grind, just as the rhythms pulverize and the vocals thunder. And it’s indeed the thundering vocals of Barnes that make ‘The Bleeding’ so special, definitely one of the standout death metal albums of the mid-'90s – he’s one of the best growlers in the business, and his subsequent departure (to join SIX FEET UNDER) would be a gaping one, albeit one that wouldn’t prevent CANNIBAL CORPSE from lumbering on for many more years with their colorful madness,” [wrote Jason Birchmeier, AllMusic – read the rest here]:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: Stripped, Raped, And Strangled – courtesy of Metal Blade

Reportedly the first death metal album to enter American chart Billboard 200 was CANNIBAL CORPSE's ‘Vile’, released in 1996. The album was the band's first recorded with their new vocalist  ex-MONSTROSITY's George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher and their last to feature guitarist Rob Barrett (until 2006's ‘Kill’) as well as their last recorded with their longtime producer Scott Burns:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: Orgasm Through Torture – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

CANNIBAL CORPSE celebrated a decade (since their first gory step was made) with 1998's ‘Gallery Of Suicide’, featuring new guitarist Pat O'Brien and new producer Jim Morris, and Colin Richardson-produced ‘Bloodthirst’ followed in 1999:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: I Will Kill You (1998) – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

CANNIBAL CORPSE: Unleashing The Bloodthirsty (1999) – courtesy of Metal Blade

Deprived of CANNIBAL CORPSE for years, the group's German fans loved their eight album, 2002's ‘Gore Obsessed’, so much it entered Germany's Album Chart at number 71. ‘Gore Obsessed’ was produced by Neil Kernon:

“Most impressively, the album remains interesting from front to back, thanks to concise song lengths and a healthy variety of tempos, which alternate from rat-tat-tat machine gun-style onslaughts to chugging mid-tempo mosh sections (check out ‘Dormant Bodies Bursting’ to hear it all in one song). And don’t forget about those great song titles; fans won’t be disappointed with numbers like ‘Hatchet To The Head’, ‘Compelled To Lacerate," and the exquisite ‘Sanded Faceless’. This is great stuff,” [was youthfully excited Andy Hinds, AllMusic – more here]:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: Pit Of Zombies – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

The last album recorded with guitarist Jack Owen, one of the band's founding members, was their ninth album 2004's ‘Wretched Spawn’, which was followed by ‘Kill’ in 2006. ‘Kill’ marked the return of guitarist Rob Barett and introduced Erik Rutan as CANNIBAL COPRSE's new producer. ‘Kill’ debuted at number 170 on Billboard 200 chart:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: Decency Defied (2004) – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

CANNIBAL CORPSE: Make Them Suffer (2006) – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

The group's highest-charting album came in 2009; ‘Evisceration Plague’ debuted at number 66 on Billboard 200:

“For the most part, as far as the genre of death metal goes, there is CANNIBAL CORPSE, and there is a bunch of copycats. You know you can always count on this veteran metal act to deliver another brutal offering of extreme metal with each new release (in other words, zero chance of any needless stylistic experimentation - the lads like things just the way they are). … All the expected elements of a solid CANNIBAL CORPSE recording are present - metronome-like precision drumming, razor-sharp riffing, guttural growls akin to a caveman, and dark lyrics,” [stated the facts Greg Prato, allMusic – more here]:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: Evisceration Plague – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

Note: You can download all the above CANNIBAL CORPSE tracks (and some others) free of charge if you visit Metal Blade SoundCloud here.


Terrorizer: Hordes Of Zombies – new video & full album stream



American grindcore pathfinders, TERRORIZER, have a brand new video out, directed by their own Anthony “Wolf” Rezhawk. ‘Hordes Of Zombies’ is the title track from TERRORIZER's latest recording, released in February 2012 on Season Of Mist Records. Alongside Rezhawk (who “returned for his second menacing oration [and now visualization] of dark politicized prophecies about the apocalyptic near future”), TERRORIZER's current lineup includes Commando (a.k.a. Pete Sandoval) on drums (“blasting out armor-piercing beats and defending his territory as one of the most brutal drummers alive”), guitarist Katina Culture (“to shred in place of the late Jesse Pintado, who’s still felt to be in the band in heart and spirit; she’s attempted to do justice to Jesse's frantic-yet-precise tornado of riffing while adding her own style to the mix of sonic wreckage”) and bassist David Vincet (who obviously needs no further introduction). Listen to the full album here (BandCamp) or below, download yourselves the track ‘Subterfuge’ here free of charge and buy the album here (Season Of Mist):


TERRORIZER: Hordes Of Zombies


Featuring Pete Sandoval on drums, Jesse Pintado on guitar, and Oscar Garcia on vocals, TERRORIZER formed in 1987 in Los Angeles, California. By the time their debut album, ‘World Downfall’, was released in 1989 on Earache Records, TERRORIZER has already disassembled, with its members joining bands as MORBID ANGEL, NAPALM DEATH and NAUSEA. Their debut album, a 16-track, 45-minute affair which took producer Scott Burns two days to record and mix, and which featured David Vincet on bass,  is nevertheless regarded as one of the landmark grindcore albums. TERRORIZER reformed in 2005 with Jesse Pintado and Pete Sandoval, Anthony Rezhawk on vocals and Tony Norman on bass, and issued their second album, ‘Darker Days Ahead’, in 2006 on Century Media. Five days after its release guitarist Jesse Pintado died due to liver failure. They reunited again in 2009 and signed with Season Of Mist in 2011.


13 March, 2012

Full Album Stream: Lord Mantis: Pervertor – new album

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LORD MANTIS (who already have a following that they fully intend to expand) have a new record out as of today, March 13th, 2012 via that vile label called Candlelight Records. ‘Pevertor’, LORD MANTIS' second beast of rebellion and fury, was produced by Sanford Parker. The art for the sound (which just might bring back the memory of your face hitting broken glass) was created by Justin Bartlett. Listen to the album in its vicious entirety here (BandCamp) or via player available below, and visit NPR here and acquaint yourselves with perpetrators through most revealing interview NPR's Lars Gotrich conducted with LORD MANTIS' guitarist Andrew Markuszewski:
[When asked what role does blasphemy and perversion take in LORD MANTIS, Markuszewski replied:] “You’ll find blasphemy and perversion in various states of practice in every member of this band. ‘Pervertor’ comes straight from our beating black hearts. While I won’t exactly go into specifics on what each of us does in our lives to communicate evil, if you listen to the music and read the lyrics - understand that we practice what we preach, for the most part. I mean, none of us have committed the act of murder on a physical level, yet, but everyone in the band has realized that evil eye in them. Bill [Bumgardner] hates everyone, for the most part. Charlie [Fell] is one demented and twisted soul. He’s probably the last guy you’d want to be at the mercy of. He actually bit me in the leg once. I still have a scar. Granted, I did teabag him while he was in a straitjacket, though. Greg [Gomer] is dating an intense and professional dominatrix. I’m a blasphemous and hedonistic monk:”

Chicago's LORD MANTIS first began as a sludge attack consisting of Bill Bumgardner (also in INDIAN) on drums and Greg Gomer on guitars. With addition of Charlie Fell (also in NACHTMYSTIUM and AVICHI) on bass and vocals, they evolved and defined their sound. In 2007, LORD MANTIS released an EP titled ‘Period Face’ and in 2008, with most of a full-length written, Andrew Markuszewski (also in NACHTMYSTIUM and chief member of AVICHI) was asked to join and further build upon their sound musically and lyrically. ‘Spawning The Nephilim’ was recorded and engineered by Sanford Parker and released on Seventh Rule Records in 2009. “Amid the collapse of the world, individual despair, and the ever broadening increase of human deception and madness, LORD MANTIS is setting the stage for the apocalypse with ever greater force and willpower,” in 2011 welcomed the group Candlelight Records.

LORD MANTIS features: Drew Markuszewski - lead guitar and vocals, Charlie Fell – bass and vocals, Bill Bumgardner – drums and Greg Gomer - guitar

Full Album Stream: Sigh: In Somniphobia – new album


Out in Europe since yesterday and ready to conquer North America today, March 13th, 2012 with some help from Candlelight Records, is ‘In Somniphobia’ (“a sonic nightmare that lasts for more than an hour”), the ninth studio offering from legendary extreme metal enigmas SIGH. The 11 track opus features guest appearances from MASSACRE's Kam Lee and MEADS OF ASPHODEL's Metatron, as well as cover illustration by renowned artist Eliran Kantor. Listen to full album stream here (BandCamp), where you should purchase the ‘In Somnifobia’ from, or below - courtesy the label. SIGH's video for ‘Far Beneath The In-Between’, available for your viewing pleasure below as well, was directed and edited by Yossi Darmon.

[Offered an insight into the album vocalist and keyboardist Mirai Kawashima:] “This is your sonic nightmare. This is the music that lies somewhere between your reality and imagination. This is the heaviest, scariest, craziest and by far the best album by SIGH in every aspect. Be sure to smoke first then listen to this with headphones. Bad trip guaranteed.” [Clarified things up a bit the press release:] “The musical direction is pretty much far removed from that of the last two albums, ‘Scenes From Hell’ [2010] and ‘Hangman's Hymn’ [2007]. It is not easy to describe its direction, but probably one can say that it is something between ‘Imaginary Sonicscape’ [2001], ‘Hail Horror Hail’ [1997] and ‘Gallows Gallery’ [2005], or rather, simply a nightmarish version of ‘Imaginary Sonicscape’. Put heavy metal, classical music, jazz, Indian traditional music, Stockhausen, and Xenakis into a cauldron of hell and stir it, you’ll get ‘In Somniphobia’. This is surrealistic, ethnic, druggy, atmospheric and definitely scary! Lots of vintage gems were used in the making of the album such as a Minimoog, Prophet-5, Clavinet D-6, Roland RE-201 Space Echo etc. along with some ethnic instruments like Indian Sarangi, Sitar, Tampura, and Tabla.”

[‘In Somniphobia’ was reviewed by Ned Raggett, AllMusic:] “But the strings and sweetness that emerge as the song progresses give a sense as to their modernity as well - a classic combination of everything that superior Japanese artists seem to always do better than anyone else, redoing possibilities from everywhere into their own distinct sounds. As a result, that ‘The Transfiguration Fear Lucid Nightmares’ sounds simultaneously like a romantic classic Mexican movie number and a chorus of the damned seems only appropriate. … Ultimately there’s a feeling of carnival at play almost in a Tim Burton[-esque manner],” [read the rest here:]


SIGH: In Somniphobia


Taking their inspiration from the '80s thrash metal while mixing in horror movie soundtrack atmospheres and synthesizer arrangements, SIGH was founded by vocalist and keyboardist Mirai Kawashima in 1990 in Tokyo, Japan. After recording a couple of demos, SIGH released an EP titled ‘Requiem For The Fools’ in 1992 (Wild Rags), and signed with Deathlike Silence Productions for their debut full-length, 1993's ‘Scorn Defeat’. The trio, comprised of bassist, keyboardist and vocalist Mirai Kawashima, guitarist Shinichi Ishikawa and drummer Satoshi Fujinami, struck a deal with Cacophonous Records next, through which they released three albums: ‘Infidel Art’ in 1995, ‘Hail Horror Hail’ in 1997, and ‘Scenario IV: Dread Dreams’ in 1999. SIGH's self-produced fifth album, ‘Imaginary Sonicscape’, was issued in 2001 on Century Media Records: “Just about every track contains some sort of bizarre “What were they thinking?” twist, such the out-of-nowhere dub-reggae breakdown in ‘Scarlet Dreams’ or the chorus of giggling babies that suddenly cuts in at the end of ‘Requiem: Nostalgia’,” praised the recording William York, AllMusic. With new drummer Junichi Harashima on board, Fujinami switched over to four strings, and as a quartet SIGH recorded their next album, 2005's ‘Gallows Gallery’ (Candlelight Records), which was re-released in 2007 by The End Records, the group's next in line of ever changing labels. Featuring a whole array of guest musicians, ‘Hangman's Hymn’ came out in 2007:

“ ‘Hangman's Hymn’s represents an unqualified return to form: back are the always unpredictable but now refocused, synthesizer flourishes and orchestral bits arranged by vocalist and keyboard wizard Mirai Kawashima; back with a vengeance are the devastating riffs and dazzling solo flights of guitarist Shinichi Ishikawa; and, more importantly, back are the speed, the attitude, the hatred - black metal, baby! … So here, praise Satan, is SIGH's glorious redemption!” [cheered Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – read the rest here]

On SIGH's next record, Kawashima relinquished most of his vocal duties to the band's newest (and prettiest) addition, vocalist and saxophonist Dr. Mikannibal (“whose death-like Cookie Monster growl proved no less fierce and fearsome than the scratchy rasps she replaced” noticed Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic). ‘Scenes From Hell’ was issued in 2010 on The End Records.

SIGH features: Mirai Kawashima – vocals and keyboards, Shinichi Ishikawa – guitar, Satoshi Fujinami – bass, Junichi Harashima – drums and Dr. Mikannibal – saxophone and vocals


12 March, 2012

The Human Abstract: Complex Terms – new video



It’s a bit hard to keep up with THE HUMAN ABSTRACT's goings on, being such a complex group as they are. Nonetheless, they have a new clip out, ‘Complex Terms’, and a new singer, Ryan Devlin of CORELIA, filling in temporarily or permanently on vocals. The tune ‘Complex Terms’ comes from THE HUMAN ABSTRACT's exactly a year ago released album ‘Digital Veil’, produced by William Putney and released through E1 Music. In its debut week, ‘Digital Veil’ sold approximately 3,200 copies in the United States, entering the Billboard 200 chart at number 177. Buy the album (and your next favourite T-Shirt) here.

[Music critic Phil Freeman discovered THE HUMAN ABSTRACT's sound fitting somewhere between MUSE and NEURAXIS:] “Some songs (‘Complex Terms’ and ‘Horizon To Zenith’ in particular) owe more to MUSE than others, but that’s not really a bad thing. The closing track, ‘Patterns’, is one of the best cuts on the record, dramatic and shredtastic. This is a major statement by a band that seemingly has yet to peak,” [he encouraged – read the rest here]

Taking their name from one of the British poet's William Blake allegorical poems, THE HUMAN ABSTRACT formed in Los Angeles, California in 2003. They released their debut album, ‘Nocturne’, on Hopeless Records in 2006. (“Ever wonder what the emo kid equivalent to RUSH is?” inquired Stewart Mason, AllMusic. “The debut album by progressive-minded post-hardcore act THE HUMAN ABSTRACT is a pretty good approximation.”) The group lost their founder A.J. Minette in 2007, replaced bassist Kenny Arehart with Henry Selva and released their second full-length, a concept album that “tells the story of one unnamed man” entitled ‘Midheaven’ in 2008. A.J. Minette returned to THE HUMAN ABSTRACT in 2009, when they parted ways with vocalist Nathan Ells whom they replaced with Travis Richter. Eventually, keyboardist Sean Leonard left the band in favor of knowledge (he went back to school). THE HUMAN ABSTRACT signed with E1 Music in early 2011, and, in keeping with tradition, parted ways with their guitarist Andrew Tapley (who announced his departure graciously via Facebook: “I will not be playing with THE HUMAN ABSTRACT anymore. This wasn’t decided by me; however, there are no hard feelings.”) Singer Travis Richter decided in was more important to “focus on his girlfriend and amateur electronic music side of his career” than to continue on with THA in August 2011.

THE HUMAN ABSTRACT (currently) features: Ryan Devlin – vocals, A.J. Minette – guitar, Dean Herrera – guitar, Brett Powell – drums and Henry Selva – bass




09 March, 2012

Final Darkness: Ghost – new video & Final Darkness – full album stream



Impressed by the work they did for KATAKLYSM, former INTO ETERNITY guitarist Rob Doherty turned to producer Stanimir “Staca” Lukic and director Ivan Colic: “Their work has a visual appeal that really stands out for me, so I can’t wait to see the final product.” The final product, filmed in Serbia, can be enjoyed above. ‘Ghost’ comes off Rob Doherty's project FINAL DARKNESS debut self-titled album released in December 2011. ‘Final Darkness’, in works for the last six years, was tracked at Touchwood Studios in Regina by Justin Bender and Rob Doherty. With guest vocal and guitar appearances from INTO ETERNITY's Tim Roth and Justin Bender, the recording was mixed in Chicago by multiplatinum producer Neil Kernon and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music in New York. Listen to the album here (BandCamp) or via player available below and buy it here or through iTunes:


FINAL DARNESS: Final Darkness


“FINAL DARKNESS focuses on the addictive personality along with the troubles that follow that dark path. The songs look at overcoming some of life's hardest obstacles - death, hurt, pain, greed, and hate. They also look beyond the plane of human existence to ask, “Is there another dimension where the five senses are obsolete,” [asks the press release]