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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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INTERVIEW: Dutch Black Metal/Post Punk Band Laster

Laster- Ons vrije fatum

2017 may just be getting started, but we’ve already heard some albums that are potential end of the year contenders and are sure to still be talked about eleven months from now.  One of those is ‘Ons vrije fatum’, the sophomore effort from Dutch black metal band Laster.  The group came to my attention back in 2013 with their demo ‘Wijsgeer & Narreman’, which offered up sprawling, bleak instrumentation that pulled from equal parts Burzum style black metal and that of the depressive variety.  A year later ‘De verste verte is hier’ took those ideas to an entirely new level, reaching truly stunning levels of atmosphere that reached truly epic proportions.  The album ended with a surprise shift into shoegaze and post punk, hinting at more experimentation to come.

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INTERVIEW: Greek Heavy Metal Band Agatus

Agatus- The Eternalist

In October Agatus released their third album ‘The Eternalist, their first full length in nearly fourteen years.  The interim period saw two limited EP released in 2011 and 2012, with the title track of 2012’s ‘Gilgamesh’ finding its way onto ‘The Eternalist’.  While earlier incarnations of the band explored elements of black metal that were reminiscent of some of their other Greek counterparts, over the years Agatus has gravitated towards heavy metal and progressive rock to create a sound that’s epic in scale yet warm and inviting at all the right moments.  Traces of black metal remain, but this is a very different effort when compared to the group’s back catalog and it finds them reaching new heights.  ‘The Eternalist’ draws you in with bombastic riffing that has traces of early progressive rock and traditional heavy metal wrapped in a black metal esthetic, revealing more nuances with each listen.

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Interview with black/death metal band TRENCH WARFARE

Trench Warfare are a potent black/death metal band from US. They’ve released one highly acclaimed demo in ‘Perversion Warfare’ and it retains the classic black/death essence of this style. It’s violent, uncompromising in its vision and holds much promise for the future. Here’s a brief interview with the members to find out more information about their band.

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INTERVIEW: U.S. Technical Death Metal Band Crator

The Ones Who Create: The Ones Who Destroy

Crator’s debut full length ‘The Ones Who Create: The Ones Who Destroy’ completely snuck under my radar when it came out back in September, coming to my attention a little over a month later thanks to a promotional push from Clawhammer PR.  You’re likely to see the New York based band branded as a supergroup, though I prefer to think of them as a group comprised of metal musicians whose other projects I am a big fan of.  Formed by Jeff Liefer (Tentacles), Jason Keyser (Origin, ex-Skinless), and John Longstreth (Origin, Dim Mak, and a whole slew of other important death metal bands over the years) with Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia) playing bass and working the boards, that wealth of talent is evident throughout.

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