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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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INTERVIEW: Polish Death Metal Band Kingdom

Kingdom- Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment

Polish death metal band Kingdom released their third full length ‘Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment’ last October via Godz ov War Productions and it was one of those albums that caught my attention from the first song.  Like many of you, Kingdom had flown under my radar previously despite the fact that they had been cranking out destructive and dark death metal since 2003.  Coming in at a quick thirty four and a half minutes, this is one of those albums that is blistering from start to finish and leaves behind scorched earth in its wake.

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INTERVIEW: Polish Black Metal/Doom Band UR

UR- Hail Death

Poland continues to be a hotbed for some of the strongest death and black metal out there, and with labels like Pagan and Arachnophobia releasing material on a regular basis it can be hard to keep up.  One release that caught my attention right towards the end of 2016 was the debut EP from UR, the six-song ‘Hail Death’.  Coming in at a little under twenty minutes, UR keeps their songs on the shorter side but accomplishes a lot with each one.  Rather than simply laying down fierce, unrelenting black metal like some of their country mates, this band delivers equal amounts of harsh black metal and somber melodic passages that have a doom and gothic tinge to them.  It’s a strong first showing that hints at even greater things still to come, and is another example of a Polish act that already feels like they’re pushing outside of the usual genre boundaries from the very beginning.

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SONG PREMIERE: U.S. Black Metal Band Wreche

Wreche- Wreche

When it comes to black metal, there are plenty of bands offering their own take on different variations of the genre but it’s a bit rarer to find groups that feel truly unique. Some have done this through complicated song structures and atmospherics, while others have accomplished a different sound by using unconventional instruments.  Los Angeles’ Wreche is the latter, as the duo has written black metal with piano and drums as the only instruments.  Piano has often played a role in this genre, particularly when it comes to the symphonic variants, but the way it’s used on this group’s self-titled full length feels genuinely different and delivers a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  With the album set for release on May 26th from Fragile Branch Recordings, today we’re excited to bring you a premiere of the song Fata Morgana.

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SPECIAL FEATURE: German Black Metal Round-Up

When it comes to black metal and its related offshoots, you’re more likely to think of countries like Norway and Sweden.  But if you’ve been paying attention over the past decade or so, you’ve probably started to notice that more and more quality material has been originating from Germany.  Though they don’t get quite as much notoriety as some of the other countries out there, Germany has a considerable amount of talent and the TO staff has put up a round-up of recent black metal and black metal related releases from the country.

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SONG PREMIERE: U.S. Atmospheric Black Metal Band Vials of Wrath

Vials of Wrath- Days Without Names

Vials of Wrath’s second full length ‘Days Without Names’ first saw release independently on CD and digital formats in September of 15th, but Fragile Branch Recordings has decided to give the atmospheric black metal album a cassette version with modified artwork and a bonus track.  Based out of Maryville, Tennessee, this one-man project has been releasing material since 2011 that has incorporated the atmospheric and melodic influences of bands like Agalloch and Panopticon aside some of the more traditional black metal styles.  In advance of the cassette reissue, today we’re excited to run an exclusive stream of the bonus track Within the Grey to give you an idea of everything this project has to offer.

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SONG PREMIERE: U.S. Thrash/Heavy Metal Band Death of Kings

Death of Kings- Kneel Before None

Atlanta’s Death of Kings has had plenty of time to perfect their blend of thrash and heavy metal, as they’ve focused on short form releases like demos and EP’s since forming in 2009.  Last month the group released the single ‘Hell Comes to Life’, and now they’re finally set to put out their debut full length ‘Kneel Before None’.  Set for release June 2nd via Boris Records, it’s clear that the amount of time Death of Kings has spent honing their craft has been put to good use, as the album is full of blisteringly intense riffs and soaring vocals that blur the lines between abrasive thrash screaming/singing and falsetto heavy metal singing.  Today we’re premiering the album opener Shadow of the Reaper so you can hear just why these guys are one of the more promising bands to come out of Atlanta in recent memory.

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INTERVIEW+ALBUM PREMIERE: Chilean Death Metal Band Soulrot

Soulrot- Nameless Hideous Manifestations

They may not have released their first material until 2013, but Chilean death metal band Soulrot’s origins trace back to the early 1990s.  It’s clear that guitarist J.L. Olmos and company have been making up for lost time, as they’ve kept a steady stream of releases coming over the past few years.  Following a demo and EP, the band is now preparing to put out their debut full length ‘Nameless Hideous Manifestations’ on April 24th via Memento Mori.  And it’s sure to make a strong impression, as even though there’s that familiar Boss HM-2 buzzsaw sound and a good deal of Swedish influence to the writing Soulrot doesn’t feel like a clone of any one particular act and has the riffs to back things up.  We’re excited to offer you a full stream of the album alongside an interview with the band so you can get crushed by its immense weight and ominous atmosphere.

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