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VIDEO PREMIERE+INTERVIEW: Spanish Death/Thrash Band Canker

Canker- Earthquake

While not as well-known abroad, the 90s Spanish death metal scene had quite a few noteworthy bands that contributed their own take on the genre.  Through the efforts of Xtreem Music a lot of these groups have had their earlier material re-issued and offered up new albums, sometimes a decade or two after they were last heard from.  This is the case with death/thrash band Canker, who originally re-issued their 1994 debut ‘Physical’ in a compilation that included their earlier demo material.  Now they’re set to release their third full length album ‘Earthquake’ on September 18th, their first all-new material since 1997’s ‘Exquisites Tenderness’.  What you may not know is that this actually isn’t a brand new record from the current incarnation of Canker, but rather a previously finished and unreleased album that’s been lying dormant since 2005.  But you wouldn’t know it upon first listen, and it gives listeners a window of where the band was at this point in time and where they’re likely to be headed in the future.

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SONG PREMIERE+ALBUM REVIEW: U.S. Black Metal Band Necrolytic Goat Converter

Necrolytic Goat Converter- Isolated Evolution

When it comes to band names in the metal genre, oftentimes the more outlandish a group is named the more attention they get.  This could certainly work in Necrolytic Goat Converter’s favor, as the one-man project from New York caught my attention for that reason.  On debut full length ‘Isolated Evolution’ (due out August 18th as an independent release), founder Chris Voss blurs the lines between old-school black metal and depressive black metal while adding in a number of other influences.  Today we’re premiering the third song The Dark Within, which showcases a rock/punk swagger mixed in with the abrasive black metal tone.  But don’t just take my word for it, as we have a full review of the album below courtesy of Shrivatsan.  ~Chris Dahlberg

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INTERVIEW+ALBUM PREMIERE: Finnish Death Metal Band Desecresy

Desecresy- The Mortal Horizon

Tommi Grönqvist has been responsible for quite a bit of quality Finnish death metal over the years, as he spent over a decade with Slugathor before forming Desecresy with vocalist Jarno Nurmi.  Desecresy has put out albums at a steady pace, and even though this has amounted to four full-lengths over the span of five years each one has explored different elements of the death metal genre.  This year’s ‘The Mortal Horizon’ represents the biggest change for the band, as Jarno Nurmi left the band and now Grönqvist has stepped up to do vocals in addition to continuing to write all of the instrumentation.

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SPECIAL FEATURE: Doom/Sludge Round-Up

One of the great things about the sludge and doom genres is how much variation can be found.  While there are plenty of bands out there beating the same old riffs to death, there are even more putting their own spin on the styles and adding in different influences.  The TO staff has compiled a list of recent releases that stand out, and you’ll find that each one is able to bring something different to the table.  ~Chris Dahlberg

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VIDEO PREMIERE+INTERVIEW: U.S. Technical/Progressive Death Metal Band NYN

NYN: Of Chaos and Salt

NYN first came to my attention when they released the single The Apory of Existence around the end of June.  While there’s a lot of tech death and progressive death metal out there, this song caught my attention with the sheer amount of things happening.  Highly technical and heavy riffing gave way to soaring keyboards that had a significant prog rock feel, and the vocals spanned everything from high pitched black metal style shrieks to death growls.  It stood out a lot, even considering how much of this material comes my way, and put ‘Entropy: Of Chaos and Salt’ on my radar as a highly anticipated 2017 release.

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INTERVIEW: Lithuanian Black Metal Band Au-Dessus

Au-Dessus: End of Chapter

Lithuanian black metal band Au-Dessus released their debut full length ‘End of Chapter’ back in May via Les Acteurs de l’ombre Productions, and it’s the type of album that is capable of leaving a lasting impression.  While Lithuania doesn’t have quite as expansive of a metal scene as some other European countries, these guys could definitely put their country on the map for quite a few listeners.  Rather than simply sticking with the tried and true black metal sound, Au-Dessus pushes outwards and pulls in elements of post hardcore and sludge into their dense arrangements.  Sometimes the way that they layer their instrumentation is reminiscent of French acts like Celeste, as the haunting melodies and density of the music feels like it’s going to completely overwhelm you.  But there are others that have build-ups similar to post metal like Mouth of the Architect, where dark melodies continue to increase in volume until they’ve reached absolutely crushing proportions.  The balance between black metal’s grit and the dark emotional aspect of these other genres works perfectly, giving Au-Dessus a cinematic feel that will bring plenty of vivid imagery to mind.

Although Au-Dessus has been around since 2014, ‘End of Chapter’ might be many listener’s first exposure to this promising newcomer.  To find out a bit more about what went into the album we had the chance to ask drummer Šarūnas some questions.  ‘End of Chapter’ is available now on Les Acteurs de l’ombre Productions.

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ALBUM STREAM+REVIEW: Swedish Black/Thrash Band Nekrokraft

Nekrokraft- Will o' Wisp

Over the past year, Swedish label The Sign Records has been exposing listeners to a number of promising bands from their home country.  Rather than sticking with one particular genre, they’ve put out releases from almost every sub-genre of metal.  One of their more recent signings is black/thrash group Nekrokraft, whose debut full length ‘Will o’ Wisp’ originally saw release in November of last year.  With the end of year timing this one may have slipped under your radar, but with an official North American release of the album set for July 7th now is a great time to fix that.  Today we’re streaming ‘Will o’ Wisp’ in its entirety so you can hear for yourself how well these guys have this style down.

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SONG PREMIERE: UK Black Metal Band Kassad

Kassad- Faces Turn Away

Black metal is one of those genres that does its best to overwhelm the listener, though how a particular band reaches that point varies wildly.  In the case of London based Kassad, the one man project achieves this through dense layers of instrumentation that have a warlike feel and cold industrial undertone alongside sprawling introspective soundscapes.  Kassad is a relatively new project, having released a three song EP ‘Humans’ last year before composing the seven track full length ‘Faces Turn Away’.  Originally released in an extremely limited run of cassettes a few months ago, Hypnotic Dirge Records is set to give the album a CD and digital release on July 6th.   Today we’re premiering the fifth song from ‘Faces Turn Away’, Broken.

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SONG PREMIERE: U.S. Sludge/Post Metal Band Atonement Theory

Atonement Theory- Illumination

Chicago’s Atonement Theory is the solo project of Jay Jancetic, who also plays guitar in Harm’s Way and has been involved with a slew of other bands in the past.  While Harm’s Way stuck with the heavy and aggressive side of the spectrum, Jancetic’s goal with Atonement Theory is to strike a balance between the heavy and melodic and he’s accomplished that through drum machine driven sludge/post metal.  The project’s debut EP ‘Illumination’ came out in vinyl last year, but it’s now getting a digital deluxe version with a new bonus track on July 28th.  In advance of the upcoming re-release we’re excited to offer a stream of the EP’s title track, which starts off the five song effort.

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