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JOINT INTERVIEW+REVIEW: U.S. Sludge/Doom Bands Moros & Black Urn

Black Urn/Moros Split

Splits continue to be a fantastic way to introduce listeners to new bands.  I probably end up mentioning this just about every time that I cover one, but splits have been one of the easiest ways to discover and new groups I hadn’t had the chance to hear yet.  This is once again the case with the recently released split between Moros and Black Urn, two fairly new sludge/doom acts from Philadelphia that might just be making some of the bleakest material the city has to offer.  Each band only has two releases to their name prior to this split, so chances are you might not have come across them yet if you’re not from the local area.  But if you’re a fan of anything sludge and doom related, this is a split you need to hear.

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INTERVIEW: Marc Bourgon of Cancelled

Cancelled was conceived as a side project for Marc Bourgon of Fuck the Facts and Greber.  It was a pleasant surprise in my rotation given just how different it is from the pack.  Given these variations from the norm, I was happy to accept the opportunity to pick Marc's brain on the new music, his influences, and the future of the project.

INTERVIEW: U.S. Black Metal/Grind/Experimental Band Sloth Herder

Sloth Herder- No Pity, No Sunrise

Grimoire Records continues to be one of the better labels out there for metal that pushes the envelope.  The Maryland based label also stands out from other small and mid-size ones for the simple fact that they record all of the material they put out, as co-owner Noel Mueller works the boards for any release bearing the Grimoire name.  Following releases from The Vomiting Dinosaurs and Blood Mist, March 24th will see the label put out their third effort of 2017, the debut full length from Sloth Herder.  Titled ‘No Pity, No Sunrise’, the full length finds the Maryland by way of Pennsylvania and Virginia band taking all of the elements from their earlier EP’s and splits to the next level.

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INTERVIEW: U.S. Atmospheric Black Metal Band Ovnev

Ovnev- Cycle of Survival

The United States has some of the most stunning atmospheric black metal around, as there are a number of different groups that have been inspired by the sprawling landscapes and vast wilderness in certain parts of the country.  One of my fairly recent finds is Ovnev, a one-man project based in Texas.  After releasing a two song demo in 2015 that encompassed material written as far back as 2008, Ovnev released their debut full length ‘Cycle of Survival’ in late November via Naturmacht Productions.  A concept album that explores a man heading off in the wilderness to live off the land before ultimately meeting his end at the hand of nature, the album uses sweeping atmospheric passages and soft acoustic moments to tell this tale.

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INTERVIEW+ALBUM PREMIERE: French Death Metal Band Ritualization

Sacraments to the Sons of the Abyss

When it comes to black and death metal, France continues to have some of the better bands out there.  One that’s gone a bit under the radar for some people is Ritualization, a death metal act that’s been around since 2006 and released some demos, a split, and an EP to date.  They came to my attention back in 2011 with the ‘The Vision of Fading Mankind’ split with Temple of Baal, and following the 2013 EP ‘Beyond the Shrine of Shattered Bones’ Ritualization has finally unleashed their debut full length.  Titled ‘Sacraments to the Sons of the Abyss’, the album came out on Iron Bonehead Productions on February 3rd and you can stream the entire release below as well as check out an interview with the band’s vocalist Warchangel.

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INTERVIEW+ ALBUM PREMIERE: Norwegian Heavy Metal Band Ghost Avenue

Ghost Avenue- Impact

When you think of Norway, chances are that the metal bands that come to mind are on the extreme side of the spectrum.  Certainly much of the metal from that country over the past two decades has skewed towards black metal and similar styles, but there are some talented acts that channel melodic heavy metal if you dig a bit deeper.  One of these is Ghost Avenue, formerly known as Ghost.  Formed in 2002, the group has been offering their own take on melodic heavy metal and hard rock across two full length albums, and now they’re ready to release album number three via Pitch Black Records.  Titled ‘Impact’, this is a sci-fi concept album that features powerful, soaring vocal lines courtesy of singer Kim Sandvik and catchy guitar leads.  With the album set to come out this Friday, February 3rd, we’re excited to offer you an exclusive first listen of the entire release alongside an interview with the band.

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INTERVIEW+SONG PREMIERE: UK Sludge/Doom Band Sail

Sail- Slumbersong

Sludge/doom has absolutely blown up in recent years, with more and more bands vying for your attention than ever before.  Typically the genre has branched off into two directions, with one side trying to come through with the heaviest, ugliest sounds around and others going for a more rock feel.  So it’s always refreshing to find a group that’s doing their own thing, and this is where Sail caught my attention.  Previously known as Husk, their newest full length ‘Slumbersong’ is set for release March 3rd on Hibernacula Records and incorporates elements of sludge, rock ‘n roll, prog, and everything between.  Today we’re excited to premiere the opening song from the album, Praise And Hatred.

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INTERVIEW + SONG PREMIERE: Experimental Black Metal/Trip Hop Artist netra

netra- Ingrats

Since the release of ‘Mélancolie urbaine’ in 2010, netra has been blurring the lines between genres.  The one man project was originally based in France, later relocating to Norway, which influenced the themes on sophomore effort ‘Sørbyen’.  What netra was able to do on both of those releases was to take harsh, abrasive elements from depressive black metal and weave in trip hop, jazz, and other electronic/experimental sounds to create something that felt genuinely different.  One of the consistent elements has been melancholic, dreary soundscapes that are created with both aggressive and melodic sections.  In 2013 netra branched out further, collaborating with rap duo We’rewolves on the ‘Dreading Consciousness’ EP.  Now the time has come for the third full length from this project, ‘Ingrats’, which Hypnotic Dirge Records will be releasing on March 9th.  Today we’re bringing you an exclusive premiere of the song Everything’s fine, and whether this is your first time coming across netra or not you’ll find this project to entice you with a sound that’s not quite like anything else out there.

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ALBUM PREMIERE + INTERVIEW: Italian Death Metal Band Ekpyrosis

Ekpyrosis- Asphyxiating Death

Memento Mori has established themselves as one of the standout labels releasing death metal and death/doom of the old-school variety.  With each passing year they’ve unearthed more and more promising newcomers while also reissuing some material from veteran acts.  One of their first releases of 2017 is ‘Asphyxiating Devotion’, the debut full length from Italy’s Ekpyrosis.  Formed in 2013, Ekpyrosis has released two demos and an EP prior to this album, giving them plenty of time to hone their take on gnarly, heavy hitting death metal.  Compared to some of their other European peers, this group pulls a good deal of influence from classic U.S. acts and they’ve done it justice without coming through as a mere retread.  Today we’re excited to give you the chance to listen to ‘Asphyxiating Devotion’ in its entirety before it officially releases on January 23rd.

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