30 September, 2013

Iron Man: South Of The Earth – new album


The Obelisk has conducted an in-depth interview with IRON MAN's Alfred Morris III, therefore I refer you here for all the necessary information plus the new IRON MAN's song ‘The Worst And Longest Day’. The tune can be found on the band's new album ‘South Of The Earth’, issued through Rise Above in Europe today, September 30th, 2013, and due in North America through Metal Blade Records tomorrow, October the 1st. ‘South Of The Earth’, produced by Frank “The Punisher” Marchand, awaits your order here (Rise Above store) and here (Metal Blade store), as well as on iTunes and at Amazon's:
“The main thing for me is Al's tone,” [enthused Lee Dorrian, owner of Rise Above Records and former CATHEDRAL vocalist as well as Morris worshipper since the late 80s] “It’s so brutal but in a natural way, no frills, straight for the gut. Listening to his riffs is like being stuck in a vat of molasses, unable to move with a rotating grinder lodged into the middle of your forehead down to the base of your stomach. It’s that heavy!”

Formed in 1988 in Maryland, USA as a BLACK SABBATH tribute band by guitarist Alfred Morris III, whose musical career began in 1977 with mysterious proto-doom cult FORCE, IRON MAN released their debut album ‘Black Night’ through the legendary doom label Hellhound Records in 1993. Described as “an absolute classic in the field of SABBATH-inspired doom,” by Lee Dorrian and as “an absolutely stellar collection of songs” by Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic (more here), IRON MAN's debut was followed by ‘The Passage’ in 1994, before line-up and label instability forced the band into a “late 90s wilderness period”. IRON MAN would briefly re-emerge in 1999, “proving that they remained a force to be reckoned with when they actually showed up”, with their third album ‘Generation Void’ and would fashionably disappear for another 10 years before returning, in style, with ‘I Have Returned’ in 2009. In 2010, Maryland doom circuit veteran “Screaming Mad” Dee Calhoun joined IRON MAN on vocals, recording two EPs, 2011's ‘Dominance’ and 2012's ‘att hålla dig över’:

IRON MAN features: Al Morris III – guitar, “Screaming Mad” Dee Calhoun – vocals, Louis Strachan – bass and Jason “Mot” Waldmann - drums

Horisont: Time Warriors – new album



They believe themselves to be ‘Time Warriors’ and they are convinced that fifty years from now they “would still rock the silver socks of any future man, woman or robot”. They think of a time warrior as “someone who digs really good rock'n'roll and fights all the bad music that’s on the air nowadays by coming to a bad ass show, rocking out and buying real music.” They, ladies and gentlemen, are from Sweden, and they are called HORISONT because:

“those with the artistry and soul required to make music that stirs the blood will never stop chasing that distant horizon, and so HORISONT have both the name and the know-how to blow minds and disperse life's oppressive clouds”

Their labels, Metal Blade Records and Rise Above Records know that real rock'n'roll cannot be faked; real rock'n'roll is apparently “the immortal celebration of prized atavistic values - power and volume, sweat and adrenaline, uncompromising good times and the invigorating squall of past, present and future colliding”. And HORISONT, allegedly, embody just that: “they are real rock'n'roll incarnate - an exhilarating blast of sonic euphoria, custom built to raise spirits and quicken the pulse of any right-thinking rock or metal fan”. So, if you still don’t get it, and you would really like to – you can. Just order HORISONT's new record ‘Time Warriors’ which is out now, September 30th, 2013, in Europe here (Rise Above store) and which will be out tomorrow, October 1st, 2013, in North America here (Metal Blade Records), or get it from iTunes:

“When a band is trying to recapture the sounds of the past, it’s easy to fake a lot of things,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic] “The one thing you can’t fake, though, is the sense of drama, especially when it comes to prog rock and proto-metal. … HORISONT are a band battling with the flow of time, going backwards in a genre that’s all about pushing its sound into darker and more extreme territories. And while they’re not the first band to attempt this, they certainly seem to be taking it seriously, never making a joke out of the galloping sound that helped to influence generations of metalheads in the U.K. and beyond. In a way, the band feel like Civil War reenactors, giving themselves totally to the past in order to make the experience more real for the people of the present, and it’s that dedication that makes ‘Time Warriors’ an album worth spending some time with.” [More here]


The purveyors of the “New Wave of Swedish Old Mans Rock”, HORISONT, are Axel on vocals, Charles and Kristofer on guitars, Magnus on bass and Pontus on drums. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, they time-travel since 2006. The successor to their 2010 debut album ‘Två Sidor Av Horisonten’ (or “two sides of (the) horizon”), was called ‘Second Assault’ and was issued through Rise Above Records and Metal Blade Records in 2012. Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic, had picked two possible angles to approach HORISONT's sophomore effort (that of “an eclectic collection of songs devised by a band that refuses to be pigeonholed” and that of “[a band] still unsure of what it wants to be”) and had argued that “neither angle can change the fact that most of these songs are both engaging and intriguing in their own right” (more here).

HORISONT features: Axel – vocals, Charles – guitar, Kristofer – guitar, Magnus – bass and Pontus - drums


27 September, 2013

Full Album Stream: The Vision Bleak: Witching Hour – new album



First they sneak up on you with that Fursy Teyssier-created stop-motion video for ‘The Wood Hag’, and once you hear the rest of it, it’s hard not to fall under THE VISION BLEAK's spell; in conspiracy with their label Prophecy Productions, the duo's new album is available for listening in all its Brothers Grimm & Co-inspired entirety here (Prophecy Productions YouTube channel) and below. The press release is calling the ‘Witching Hour’ creepy and haunting entertainment and besides, the flute is a killer - so get your own copy of the album and help THE VISION BLEAK to spin another tale here (Prophecy Productions shop). ‘Witching Hour’ is out now in Europe, September 27th, 2013 and will be distributed in North America from October the 8th on.


Guitarist, bassist and keyboardist Ulf Theodor Schwadorf (of EMPYRIUM) and singer, drummer and keyboardist Allen B. Konstanz (of NOX MORTIS) founded THE VISION BLEAK in 2000 in Mellrichstadt, Germany. The masters, as well as the downright inventors of the horror metal genre, first recorded a demo called ‘Songs Of Good Taste’ in 2002, which they followed up with a self-titled single a year later. Their debut full-length, ‘The Deathship Has A New Captain’, issued in 2004,  recreated scenes from John Carpenter's “The Fog”, Friedrich Murnau's “Nosferatu” , Fritz Lang's “Metropolis” and recalled the legends of Werewolves and Frankenstein, with an added touch of H.P. Lovecraft. Their second album, 2005's ‘Carpathia – A Dramatic Poem’, was described as “nothing less than a horror metal concept album par excellence!”, and its successor, 2007's ‘The Wolves Go Hunt Their Pray’, provided ‘By Our Brotherhood With Seth’, THE VISION BLEAK's anthem and the high point of the band's every concert. On their fourth album, 2010's ‘Set Sail To Mystery’, THE VISION BLEAK succeeded to combine the driving goth-rock of ‘The Deathship Has A New Captain’, the drama and heaviness of ‘Carpathia - A Dramatic Poem’, and the Nordic aggression of ‘The Wolves Go Hunt Their Prey’.

THE VISION BLEAK features: Ulf Theodor Schwadorf - guitar, bass and keyboards and Allen B. Konstanz - vocals, drums and keyboards










Full Album Stream: LowCityRain: LowCityRain – new album



You know what they say; in each and every one of us there is a little bit of LOWCITYRAIN, HERBST, LANTLOS and IMPAVIDA, and these ingredients come together especially well in one Markus Siegenhort from Rheda, Germany, who this time (LOWCITYRAIN) immerses himself into the 1980s and the New Wave bands such as THE CURE, the KILLING JOKE and the ASYLUM PARTY, as well as contemporary dreampop/chillwave acts such as M83 or WASHED OUT. His latest music project's (LOWCITYRAIN) self-titled debut album is out now in Europe, September 27th, 2013, and will be issued through Prophecy Productions in North America on October the 2nd. ‘LowCityRain’ awaits your order here (Prophecy Productions shop), so get your CD, LP or CD with goodies (box) as you are listening to the full album here (Prophecy Productions YouTube channel) or below. Now, you know what I always say; to each his/hers '80s, and believe you me, mine were anything but what follows, heh:

“ ‘LowCityRain’ is loneliness and hope, distraction, ecstasy and escapism. It is a reckoning with your own inadequacy and uncertainty under the cover of the style and the dolce vita of the 1980s: the yearning for comfort, dancing alone with your eyes closed, lonely car rides through the centre of the city at night, the aloofness of the girl who doesn’t even know you...”

LOWCITYRAIN features: Markus Siegenhort – everything and Felix Wylezik - session drums









26 September, 2013

Full Album Stream: Vulture Industries: The Tower – new album



Proud to be depicted as “complete oddballs; the Mad Hatter's tea party irregulars with an “Alice In Wonderland” surrealist brand of dark metal cabaret”, VULTURE INDUSTRIES also make music worth listening to - and worth buying. Their third full-length will be issued through Season Of Mist on September 27th, 2013 in Europe and on October the 1st in North America – and while you are placing your pre-order for either CD or LP version of ‘The Tower’ here (Season Of Mist e-shop), listen to the entire album below, courtesy the label. ‘The Tower’ was recorded at the vocalist Bjørnar E. Nilsen's Conclave & Earshot Studios in Bergen, Norway, mixed by ENSLAVED's Herbrand Larsen, and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. VULTURE INDUSTRIES' new animated clip was created by Costin Chioreanu:

“Admittedly, there’s a significant cheesiness quotient that’s met on VULTURE INDUSTRIES' ‘The Tower’. But instead of a grating wink of self-awareness or a dunderheaded charge into lousy metal, it approaches unconventional metal in an expertly balanced way. The band's style is fluid, running between ENSLAVED-style blackened prog and Mike Patton-grade carnival barkery. So while it doesn’t have the panoramic bleakness of ALTAR OF PLAGUES' ‘Teethed Glory And Injury’ or the polar reversal of DEAFHEAVEN's ‘Sunbather’, its smart choices make for a damn fine metal record,” [wrote MetalSuck's Sammy O’Hagar – more here:]




Formed in 1998 in Bergen, Norway, VULTURE INDUSTRIES, who were initially known as “Dead Rose Garden”, these days claim Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Alice Cooper, as well as ENSLAVED, MASTODON and NEUROSIS (among numerous others) as their influences. Their 2002's demo, ‘The Enemy Within’, and 2003's ‘The Sleeper’, followed by 2005's EP ‘The Benevolent Pawn’, earned the band comparisons to the PROVENANCE, SOLEFALD and ARCTURUS. They recorded their debut album between 2006 and 2007 at the producer and vocalist Bjørnar E. Nilsen's Conclave & Earshot Studio and released it through Dark Essence Records in 2007, followed by ‘The Malefactors Bloody Register’ in 2010. Both albums were received favourably by the European press.

VULTURE INDUSTRIES features: Øyvind Madsen – guitar, Eivind Huse – guitars, Tor Helge Gjengedal – drums, Kyrre Teigen – bass and Bjørnar E. Nilsen – vocals


24 September, 2013

Kvelertak: Evig Vandrar – new video & Meir – full album stream

If KVELERTAK would know of one specific ‘Meir’ whom I unfortunately know of, they would surely think twice before naming their latest album in such a fashion. Like the character in their new Tjorus-directed clip, he searches for something, maybe the eternal youth (Google says ‘Evig Vandrar’ means “eternal youth”), but unlike the character in the clip, he leaves a distinct trail of slime wherever he visits and on whatever he touches. Anyhow, ‘Evig Vandrar’ comes off the unstoppable Norwegian rock and roll pathfinders' new and second studio album ‘Meir’. ‘Meir’, apparently Norwegian for “more”, was released in March 2013 on Roadrunner Records. It conquered the Norwegian Albums Chart (VG-lista), peaked at position number 18 on the Finnish Albums Chart and at number 20 on the Swedish Albums Chart (Sverigetopplistan), to name but a few of the album's achievements. You can still listen to the full record here (Roadrunner) and buy it here (Roadrunner Records store), on iTunes or via Amazon/Amazon MP3. The CD was produced by CONVERGE's Kurt Ballou and features cover artwork by BARONESS' John Dyer Baizley. Now, since the lads insist on singing in Norwegian, them being Norwegian and all, you might wonder what they are singing about. Well, wonder no more:
“[Explained Erlend Hjelvik, the voice:] There’s songs about trepanning (drilling a hole into a human skull) to release evil spirits which they did in the old days to mental patients. There’s also songs like ‘Nekrokosmos’ which is basically about an Anti-Christ figure coming from a spaceship down to the earth from a black hole to basically destroy everything. And there are also shameless anthems about being on the road. It’s not really folklore based. I was really inspired by BLUE OYSTER CULT and MONSTER MAGNET and black metal lyrics from bands like DARKTHRONE and TAAKE when I wrote the lyrics to the new one:” [Read the whole interview here (NoiseCreep):]

Formed in 2006 in Stavanger, Norway by a bunch of friends who decided to create music drawing inspiration from every corner of something that could fit into their idea of good hard-hitting and catchy music, KVELERTAK first stunned their quckly-growing fan base with mesmerizing live performances. KVELERTAK's music was eventually exposed on Norway's National Radio which helped the band to ink a deal with Norwegian label Indie Recordings. The group's eponymous debut album was released in June 2010 in Europe through Indie Recordings and in June 2011 in North America through The End Records. In March 2011, KVELERTAK were awarded with two “Spellemann Awards” - a prestigious Norwegian music award  - for Best Newcomer and Best Rock Band. In June 2011, IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) certified ‘Kvelertak’, the album, Gold, after it had sold more than 15,000 copies worldwide:
“Just when you think every possible rock & roll subgenre has already been mixed, matched, and spliced with every other available subgenre beyond any conceivable alternative, along comes a band like KVELERTAK to set you straight,” [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – read more here:]

KVELERTAK features: Erlend Hjelvik – vocals, Bjarte Lund Rolland – guitar, Maciek Ofstad – guitar, Vidar Landa – guitar, Marvin Nygaard – bass and Kjetil Gjermundrød – drums 


Kongh: Counting Heartbeats – reissue


Is it me, or have days recently become shorter than 24 hours? And if you, like me, need to slow down, the mighty KONGH just might be the answer you are looking for. Agonia Records is reissuing KONGH's critically acclaimed debut album ‘Counting Heartbeats’ as deluxe digipack with artwork by Seldon Hunt, with a bonus CD including the 25-minute long ‘Drifting On Waves’ from the 2008 split LP with OCEAN CHIEF, and the full 2006 demo. The reissue is limited to 1,000 copies worldwide and since the first batch of CDs comes with an exclusive silver-print shirt – hurry up and order this gem here (Agonia e-store).

Guitarist and vocalist David Johansen and drummer Tomas Salonen know full well that no matter one's musical background, drinking large amounts of beer on weekends will eventually bring one to explore the depths of heaviness. With a common desire to play monstrously heavy music, and exhibiting a total disdain for restrictions in terms of structure and length of songs (since 2004 in Vetlanda, Sweden), they, naturally, by 2005 came to regard themselves as KONGH. The following year, they decided to record four full songs they have written, and named the 45-minute recording ‘Demo 2006’:

KONGH have become a trio when bassist Oskar Rydén joined in; as such the band had signed their first album deal with Swedish label Trust No One Recordings and had once again entered the studio in Vetlanda. Leaving nothing to chance, KHONG released their debut album, ‘Counting Heartbeats’, on a crucial date of 07/07/07. Great reviews, good album sales and praise followed as expected: ‘Counting Heartbeats’ was nominated for a P3 Guld award (a music prize which is annually is awarded by the Swedish radio station Sveriges Radio P3) in the “Best rock/metal album” category:

KONGH's 60-minute opus consisting of five tracks, ‘Shadows Of The Shapeless’, was issued through Trust No One Recordings in Europe, while Seventh Rule Recordings distributed the band's sound to U.S. public for the first time:
“The lone guitar - sometimes clean, other times hugely distorted - drifts atop a swollen river of bass and drum throb. The guitarist, David Johansson, also sings, in a voice that can manage a dreamy croon but more often opts for a gravelly roar reminiscent of NEUROSIS. The rhythm section has more than one trick up its sleeve, though, sometimes opting for a bluesy swing that recalls Swedish hard rockers NOVEMBER, and on ‘Voice Of The Below’, the band launches into a SABBATHy stomp. There’s one short track here, ‘Tänk På Döden’, but one could hardly call it a single – it’s an instrumental interlude that’s just as spiritually desolate and crushingly heavy as its longer brethren, with a dash of Neil Young in the guitars,” [appreciated Phil Freeman, AllMusic – more here:]

In February 2013, KONGH's third album, consisting of four tracks which translate into 45 minutes of music plus guest appearance by guitarist John Doe from CRAFT, was released through Agonia Records. Recorded at Teknikkompaniet in Vetlanda, Sweden by Peter Lundin and mixed and mastered by CULT OF LUNA Magnus Lindberg, listen to the ‘Sole Creation’s opening and closing tunes below and download the truly touching ‘Skymining’ free of charge here (SoundCloud), generosity of Agonia Records:
KONGH features: David Johansson - guitar, bass and vocals, Tomas Salonen – drums and Olle Hedenström - bass (live)

20 September, 2013

Onslaught: VI – new album


“ ‘VI’ is a fucking beast of an album in every sense of the word. With the world sinking deeper into darkness each passing day we at least now have the perfect soundtrack for the journey south. ‘VI’ truly is the sound of Hell on Earth,” [wrote Matt Phelps, Uber Rock – more here]
‘VI’, ONSLAUGHT's sixth album, is out now, September 20th, 2013, through AFM Records. Their latest genre's classic was recorded at Hansen Studios in Denmark with producer Jacob Hansen; ONSLAUGHT's main man Nige Rockett is mightily proud of the final result:
“We really pushed ourselves to the limits in making this record and I think that truly shines thru in the final results. ‘VI’ is the most brutal and technical album ONSLAUGHT has ever made no question, it’s old school, it’s contemporary and it’s fucking aggressive in the extreme, with a few big surprises thrown in for a good measure… We’ve gone about the whole album-making process with a completely different approach and mindset this time around, ranging from the artwork [created by Par Oloffson] thru to the final mixes with Thomas Johansson, who I must single out for mention along with our drummer Michael Hourihan for really upping the ante in the ass kicking stakes! We’re feeling kinda proud right now and pretty confident the fans are gonna dig it too...!”
Get violated by two new (out of nine) ONSLAUGHT tunes below, and get your own copy of ‘VI’ from EMP, from here and here (Nuclear Blast store), from AFM Records here, or from Amazon:

ONSLAUGHT was formed in Bristol, England in early 1980's by guitarist Nige Rockett and drummer Steve Grice. In 1985, the duo was joined by bass player Jase Stallard and vocalist Paul Mahoney. The band that has started as a punk band gradually transformed into Britain's finest thrash collective. As a quartet, they released their debut album, ‘Power From Hell’, in 1985. More successful 1986's ‘The Force’ followed after Stallard switched instrumental duties and became the group's second guitarist, and new vocalist Sy Keeler replaced Mahoney who took over Stallard's vacated bass position. ‘The Force’ is considered ONSLAUGHT's classic by critics and fans alike. Several lineup changes and the addition of GRIM REAPER's vocalist Steve Grimmett later, ONSLAUGHT's third studio album, ‘In Search Of Sanity’, was released in 1989. After disbanding in 1991, the band reunited in 2004 with Sy Keeler on vocals, Alan Jordan on guitar, Nige Rockett on guitar, James Hinder on bass and Steve Grice on drums and released 2007's ‘Killing Peace’:
“If one needs a sports analogy, ONSLAUGHT come across like veteran baseball players who never made it to the major leagues but have done a lot of training and working out in recent years and are determined to make up for lost time. There is nothing uneven or inconsistent about this CD; the material is excellent, the performances inspired, crisp and undeniably focused,” wrote Alex Henderson, AllMusic – more here]
In 2010, the band signed with Germany's AFM Records through which they put forth ONSLAUGHT's fifth record and which was described as “extremely violent and back to our roots but also sounding very contemporary” by Nige Rockett. ‘Sounds Of Violence’ outsold its predecessor in less than one year. “You have to respect these veterans for choosing to forgo safety in nostalgia and risk exploring a more modernized mosh machinery on ‘Sounds Of Violence’,” commented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic (more here).

ONSLAUGHT features: Sy Keeler – vocals, Nige Rockett – guitar, Jeff Williams – bass, Andy Rosser-Davies – guitar and Mic Hourihan - drums

14 September, 2013

Full Album Stream: Noire: Dark Reverence – new album


Winnipeg, Canada's NOIRE and Deathbound Records have kindly made the band's entire debut album, ‘Dark Reverence’, available for our listening pleasure, so enjoy it below and support the group here (NOIRE's Facebook store) or through Deathbound here (once available). ‘Dark Reverence’ official release date is set for October 1st, 2013:
“Not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves, NOIRE draw inspiration from bands such as DISSECTION, OPETH, ENSLAVED, and EMPEROR, unleashing brooding twin guitar harmonies, thunderous drum work, intelligent bass lines and snarling vocals to create an atmosphere that is uniquely their own:”

NOIRE, a progressive black metal band, was founded by vocalist, guitarist and pianist Andrew Lawes and guitarist Bob Fitzgerald in Winnipeg, Canada in 2011. Joined by drummer Derrick Kroll and bassist Craig Peeples a year later, the band's list of interest encompasses such divisive subjects as forest, music, grimness, coffee and health.

NOIRE features: Andrew Lawes - electric and acoustic guitar, vocals and piano, Bob Fitzgerald - electric and acoustic guitar, Craig Peeples – bass and Derrick Kroll - drums

12 September, 2013

Full Album Stream: Windhand: Soma – new album


“Nothing short of transcendent”, visit Pitchfork here (or simply scroll down) for “syrupy slow, downtuned doom hooky and anthemic” ‘Soma’, WINDHAND's forthcoming album due everywhere by September 17th, 2013 via Relapse Records. Stirred by singer Dorthia Cottrell's beautifully haunting voice, chaperoned by WINDHAND's dual guitar attack, ‘Soma’ was recorded and mixed by the band's own guitarist Garrett Morris and mastered by James Plotkin at The Darkroom in Richmond, Virginia. In severe case of overconfidence in order to balance things out, or simply because you like what you hear, visit Relapse Records' store here or WINDHAND's BandCamp page here, or search for ‘Soma’ on iTunes and at Amazon's/Amazon MP3:
“The songs on ‘Soma’ fit together so well, and lead the listener on such a progressive journey from fist-pumping exhilaration to utter despair that it’s easy to imagine it as a concept album,” [discovered Karen A. Mann for About.com (more here), while the album certainly deeply affected Angry Metal Guy's Steel Druhm who spewed:] “ ‘Soma’ is 75 minutes of ponderous, tooth-rattling SABBATH riffs slowed to a dead snail's pace and each song is an extended exercise in dronation, elongation and attention deficit failure. While certainly heavy, this seemingly wood-themed album is often as interesting as its inanimate subject matter while being devoid of anything the listener can hang onto as the endless waves of monotonous riffs sweep them downstream to the moss peepery.” [More here:]

Founded in 2009 in Richmond Virginia, WINDHAND is a stoner, doom metal band made up of guitarist Aschiah Bogdan, bassist Parker Chandler, vocalist Dorthia Cottrell, guitarist Garrett Morris, and drummer Ryan Wolfe. In March 2012, WINDHAND released their self-titled debut LP which became an instant underground hit, selling out multiple vinyl presses in a matter of months. The album was recorded and mixed by guitarist Garret Morris and mastered by Bill McElroy:

WINDHAND officially signed to Relapse Records in March 2013. As a prelude to their second album, they released a split with their label mates COUGH in April 2013.

WINDHAND features: Asechiah Bogdan – guitar, Parker Chandler – bass, Dorthia Cottrell – vocals, Garrett Morris – guitar and Ryan Wolfe - drums

11 September, 2013

Ulcerate: Vermis – new album


And now dear visitor, steel yourself for hammering assault that is ULCERATE. New Zealand death metal adventurers' fourth album, ‘Vermis’, will be officially out everywhere by September 16th, 2013, except in North America where it is due a day latter “following weeks of pre-release commendations from journalists' wide-eyed and fearfully enthralled reactions to this band's relentlessly punishing shock-and-awe performance”, as their new label, Relapse Records, gleefully puts it. MetalSucks, where the stream is hosted (here) calls the ‘Vermis’ “goddamn filthy” and its makers “more brutal than a herd of rhinos gang-raping a poodle”. The “unforgiving, unrelenting and unapologetic fifty-five minute barrage of dissonant, suffocating, cutting edge death metal at its finest” was recorded at MCA Studios in Auckland, New Zealand under the watchful eye and meticulous ear of drummer and ULCERATE co-founder Jamie Saint Merat. If you happen to survive the onslaught, ‘Vermis’ awaits your order here (Relapse store), on iTunes and at Amazon's/Amazon MP3.

Formed in Auckland, New Zealand in 2000 by guitarist Michael Hoggard and drummer Jamie Saint Merat with an aim of creating dark, oppressive death metal, ULCERATE fist tested the waters with a couple of demos, ‘Demo 2003’ and ‘The Coming Of Genocide’, recorded between 2002 and 2004:

Raising enough eyebrows, including those of Dutch label Neurotic Records, they then proceeded to work on their debut studio album, 2007's ‘Of Fracture And Failure’, which reportedly offered nine tracks of “crushing dark death metal, a new-found appreciation for linear song-writing and a mix of pure rhythmic and dissonant extremity”. Following the release, ULCERATE had toured New Zealand extensively and apparently lost vocalist Ben Read and guitarist Michael Rothwell somewhere along the way. Consequently, the band's bassist Paul Kelland stepped up for vocal and lyrical duties and Oliver Goater was recruited as live guitarist. Their second longplayer, 2009's ‘Everything Is Fire’, was depicted as “a seriously impressive album”:
“Their music combines the brutal, downtuned riffing of traditional death metal (think IMMOLATION or MORBID ANGEL) with the dissonance and shifting time signatures of GORGUTS and the slow, atmospheric passages reminiscent of ISIS. Their use of repetition seems to owe as much to SHELLAC as to SUFFOCATION, and their ability to move the music forward at what seems like a crushingly slow pace while in fact playing quite fast is hypnotic,” [wrote Phil Freeman, AllMusic – more here:]

In 2011, ULCERATE delivered ‘The Destroyers Of All’, their their second album issued through Willowtip Records. A challenging listen, the effort was once again received exceptionally well by critics, with Phil Freeman, AllMusic, recommending it to “fans of progressive, forward-looking metal” (more here):
ULCERATE features: Paul Kelland – vocals, and bass, Michael Hoggard – guitar and Jamie Saint Merat – drums

Mammoth Mammoth: Sittin Pretty – new video

Since they are “bigger than Jesus and louder than hell” I suppose they can do what they like and this (see video) is what they like doing. ‘Sittin Pretty’ comes off MAMMOTH MAMMOTH latest album ‘Volume III Hell’s Likely’, issued through Napalm Records in November 2012. The heavy-murder-fuzz rockers from down under, the “most rock n’ roll, rock n’ roll band in the history of history”, the practitioners of the type of rock “that some times kills unicorns”, MAMMOTH MAMMOTH's second full-length apparently “ripped straight not only from the bucket bong, but straight from Satan's anus too” can be found in all its incarnations here (Napalm Records' store) - “each individually cursed by a one titted Haitian voodoo priestess”.

Native to Melbourne, Australia and sharing a reckless dedication to having the audience witness a band who is willing to bleed for them, MAMMOTH MAMMOTH are proving to be one of Australia's hottest and heaviest rock bands. They are chasing mayhem and hunting unicorns since 2008, when they issued a self-titled EP, followed by a proper album, properly titled ‘Mammoth’ in 2009:

MAMMOTH MAMMOTH features: Ben Couzens – guitar, Mikey Tucker – vocals, Frank Trobbiani – drums and Pete Bell – bass


10 September, 2013

Full Album Stream: Nhor: Within The Darkness Between The Starlight – new album



Shrouded in such mystery that I have never even heard of him until just now, NHOR has a new album out since August 30th, 2013. Courtesy Prophecy Productions, listen to his ‘Within The Darkness Between The Starlight’ here (Prophesy's YouTube channel) or below and, presuming you are liking it, buy the album here (Prophecy online store). Accompanied by a short story written by Nhor with unique artwork specially illustrated for the album, ‘Within The Darkness Between The Starlight’ is available as gatefold double LP limited to 500 copies. The album's cover art was created by Sin-eater.


Creating his own dreamlike world defined by music, literature, and visual art since 2009, NHOR is a one-man project from Herefordshire, Midlands, United Kingdom. He says he owes everything he created to the universe:

“I owe it to the stars and planets, to the moon and the earth, to the wind and the rain. To the forest and its creatures, everything I have is borrowed from them. My music is but a poor interpretation of their song and my imagination is but a diluted replica of mother natures.”

Nhor's musical panorama spans from piano compositions on 2009's ‘Nhor’ and 2010's ‘Upon Which Was Written Within The Stars’, to archaic black metal on 2011's ‘Whisperers To This Archaic Growth’. Each release was accompanied by Nhor's own short stories, each of which was written in the context of their releases as well as to the project's own imagery. Enjoy this enigmatic artist's entire music catalog here (BandCamp).









09 September, 2013

Vattnet Viskar: Sky Swallower – new album


VATTNET VISKAR, a black metal quartet from New Hampshire, USA, have just released their debut longplayer, ‘Sky Swallower’, in Europe, September 9th, 2013. The album was issued in North America through Century Media on September the 3rd. Recorded at Universal Noise Storage in Newburyport, Massachusetts with producer Brett Boland, ‘Sky Swallower’ features eight songs of “masterfully executed atmospheric black metal devotion” and Kip Wingerschmidt (who allegedly fights for truth, justice, and steaming hot pork dumplings) of MetalSucks fame agrees, giving it four out of five (horns) and describing it “a worthy contribution to black metal's continually shifting shape” (more here). The album's art was created by Bryan Proteau. Kindly place your order here (CM Distro Europe), here (CM Distro North America) or find ‘Sky Swallower’ on iTunes or Amazon/Amazon MP3.

Hailing from the small town of Plaistow, New Hampshire, VATTNET VISKAR aim for big:
“Something wicked this way comes, wending its way through damp back alleyways and down leafy New England back roads, whispering through still water and dark fog. The clarion call for the next great wave of American black metal has sounded, and VATTNET VISKAR is leading the charge.”
Following a well received two-song demo in 2011, they have released a self-titled EP, available for your enjoyment below, courtesy the band. Released in 2012, the recording had, reportedly, Pitchfork's Brandon Stosuy hooked in a matter of seconds and salivating by the end of its 27 minutes: “It’s an assured offering for such a young band,” he added:

VATTNET VISKAR features: Chris Alfieri – guitar, Seamus Menihane – drums, Nick Thornbury – guitar and vocals and Joey Perron – bass

Carcass: Surgical Steel – new album


(Hopefully you don’t depend on me for your breaking news.) CARCASS, one of “the first bands of the extreme metal genre to try a different lyrical approach - one that reflected a fascination with surgical gadgets and peculiar words straight out of a med student's textbook” (Greg Prato, AllMusic – more here), and one of grindcore's founding fathers, are back after way too many years with a new album. Fittingly called ‘Surgical Steel’, visualised by photographer Ian Tilton, the album is available for free listening below, courtesy that fine label Nuclear Blast Records. ‘Surgical Steel’, the band's first studio release since their 1996's LP ‘Swansong’, was produced by Colin Richardson and mixed and mastered by HELL's Andy Sneap. Joining the band's co-founder guitarist Bill Steer and bassist and vocalist Jeff Walker are TRIGGER THE BLOODSHED's Dan Wilding on drums and PIG IRON's Ben Ash on guitar. Do expect some guest vocals from CARCASS' co-founder and original sticksman Ken Owen as you click the play button. Out on September 13th, 2013 in Europe, on September 16th in the UK and on September the 17th in North America, ‘Surgical Steel’ awaits you here (Nuclear Blast Europe), here (Nuclear Blast US store), on iTunes, on Spotify and at Amazon's.

Hailing from Liverpool, England, CARCASS were formed in 1985 by singer and guitarist Bill Steer and drummer Ken Owen. As bassist, vocalist and known hunt saboteur, Jeff Walker, joined the worthy cause in 1987, a deal with Earache Records matrialised. Sharing vocal duties on the trio's debut LP, 1988's ‘Reek Of Putrefaction’, the band had been reportedly displeased with their debut album's production; ‘Reek Of Putrefaction’ nevertheless peaked at position number 6 on the UK Indie Chart, with BBC Radio One's John Peel declaring it his favourite album of the year, while AllMusic's Ned Raggett stressed CARCASS is “both one of the best and funniest bands around” (Example: “Your vagus implodes, as nausea strikes / Savaging your body in terminal retch / Violent spasms and decaying enzymes / Engulf your throat as you belch” – from ‘Vomited Anal Tract’) – more here:
Featuring “some of the deepest male vocals ever recorded and overall feedback doom crunch” (Ned Raggettt, AllMusic – more here) as well as track titles their fans have come to expect (‘Embryonic Necropsy And Devourment’, 'Cadaveric Incubator Of Endoparasites’, ‘Crepitating Bowel Erosion’ etc), CARCASS' second album followed in 1989. Ladies and gentlemen, ‘Symphonies Of Sickness’:
Adding ARCH ENEMY's Michael Amott to their ranks as second guitarist, CARCASS “continued to develop and expand their music” on 1991's ‘Necroticism - Descanting The Insalubrious’. Their third LP, a guide to economical disposal of dead bodies, turned out to be “a death metal album through and through, make no mistake”:
“It may lean toward thrash as much as it does grindcore, but it’s still awfully damn ferocious,” [wrote Jason Birchmeier, AllMusic] “Jeff Walker spews out his septic vocals in a manner sure to send children and grandparents fleeing, and his lyrics are just as medically jargonistic as ever, though a bit toned down in terms of shock value.” [More here:]
“Whereas he once sang in a growling voice à la a dragon desperately in need of some Pepto-Bismol, Walker adopted a slightly more traditional metal singing style, while the band was no longer afraid to let IRON MAIDEN-esque guitar work enter the mix,” introduces CARCASS' fourth full-length work, ‘Heartwork’, Greg Prato (more here). Issued in 1993, the album entered Billboard's Heatseekers chart at number 23 and the UK Album Chart at number 67. Delineated as “that rare album that so carefully dissects and reconstructs its original form that its additional body parts seem like they were there all along” by Johnny Loftus, AllMusic (more here), visit Earache on BandCamp here for its “full dynamic range edition”:
Amott would leave the band after recording the ‘Heartwork’ and would form SPIRITUAL BEGGARS in 1994 and ARCH ENEMY in 1996. Steer, Owen and Walker contracted guitarist Carlo Regadas with whom they recorded one final CARCASS's album (until now), 1996's ‘Swansong’. Viewed as their most divisive album (“fans of unadulterated grindcore should approach with caution, listeners seeking out an excellent example of technical thrashing will love what ‘Swansong’ has to offer” advised Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here), ‘Swansong’ was followed by an array of CARCASS compilation albums and tributes. Owen, Walker and Regadas continued on with hard rock band BLACKSTAR, while Steer founded a blues band FIREBIRD in 2000 and has recently hooked up with GENTLEMAN'S PISTOLS.

CARCASS features: Bill Steer – guitar, Jeff Walker – bass and vocals, Daniel Wilding – drums and Ben Ash – guitar