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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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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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ALBUM STREAM + REVIEW: Ill Neglect / Lambs ‡ – Trisma 7″ (Sludge Grind Split)

If you’re looking to give 2017 a heavy, bombastic start, here is just the split to get the job done. Titled ‘Trisma’, this 7″ vinyl release brings together two sludge grind mammoths in Italian band Lambs ‡ and German entity Ill Neglect. A collaborative release by multiple DIY labels, this split is a bleak, dreary record that contains a monstrous tone overall. Though it clocks under just twelve minutes, the shear abrasiveness and the intensity of the riffs would have you playing this record over and over again. To give you an idea about what this album holds, we have a full early stream of the album, followed by my review below.

Ill Neglect / Lambs

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The Grindhouse Chronicles – #2 (Feat. Piss Vortex, The Sound That Ends Creation, Japanische Kampfhörspiele, Unyielding Love, Loath)

There was never really a doubt in my mind regarding the number of releases in extreme music these days, but damn! The sheer number of kickass grindcore and other grind related projects lurking in the underground is something I did not anticipate. This second edition of the article kept getting delayed, not because I couldn’t find enough bands to write about. Quite the opposite really. Most of the delay was caused by me trying to figure out which bands to include and which ones to push for later editions.

So without further ado, here are 5 bands playing grind and other grind influenced styles of extreme music that I highly recommend you check out.

Grindcore

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SONG PREMIERE: German Extreme Metal Band Ctulu

Ctulu- Ctulu

Now in their twelfth year of existence, Germany’s Ctulu are set to release their new self-titled full length on November 18th via MDD Records.  I’ve yet to tire of bands that incorporate elements of Lovecraft into their music, and Ctulu is another whose imagery ties into various Lovecraft tales.  While their previous three full lengths skewed heavily towards black metal, this new self-titled effort branches out significantly and blurs the line between genres, which explains the “extreme metal” tag on the band’s social media pages.  Today we’re excited to bring you an exclusive stream of the song Treibjagd, which showcases how much the group has evolved from their earlier days.

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INTERVIEW + SONG PREMIERE: German Atmospheric Black Metal Band Frigoris

Frigoris- Nur ein Moment…

Germany’s Frigoris left a strong impression with their sophomore effort ‘Wind’ back in 2013. What had started off as a pagan black metal had transitioned to a more atmospheric direction, resulting in lengthy arrangements that were able to build up to some stunning levels of cold yet inviting atmosphere.  Three years later the group is back with their most ambitious effort yet.  Titled ‘Nur ein Moment…’ this is the first of a two part concept album that explores the inner thoughts of a person on the verge of committing suicide.  It’s a topic that’s perfectly suited to the chilling melodies and abrasiveness of black metal, and Frigoris delivers it in a truly captivating and thought provoking manner.

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SONG PREMIERES: Death Metal Heavyweights The Dead Goats & Demonbreed

Testimony Records

On July 22nd, German label Testimony Records will release two monstrous death metal CDs, the sophomore full length from Poland’s The Dead Goats and the debut full length from Germany’s Demonbreed.  Though both pull from the old-school Swedish HM2 sound to an extent, the way that they incorporate that tonality differs and they ultimately head off into different directions.  With the release of both records about a month away, last week Deaf Forever premiered a song from both albums.  But if you can’t read German, we’re lucky enough to give you the scoop on why you should pay attention to both bands.

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SONG PREMIERE: German Black Metal Band Der Rote Milan

Der Rote Milan- Aus der Asche

Germany continues to spawn some of the better black metal Europe has to offer right now, and newcomers Der Rote Milan are another name you’re going to want to become familiar with.  Though they’ve only been around since 2015 and have kept their identities obscured (though there does appear to be some overlap with Stellar Master Elite), the band’s debut ‘Aus der Asche’ showcases a level of polish not always present this early on.  Containing eight tracks of unrelenting material, Der Rote Milan will release ‘Aus der Asche’ on July 1st independently.

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INTERVIEW: Ancst – German Crust Punk / Black Metal Entity

Bringing together elements of crust punk, black metal, noise and ambient music, German band Ancst is anything but your run of the mill metal band. Their debut full length ‘Moloch’ is a vicious statement against fascism, racism and the record brims with anger. Released through Vendetta Records and Yehonala tapes in early March, the album saw a wider release through Halo of Flies. The band is currently gearing up for their tour of Europe to promote the album and we managed to ask them a couple of questions regarding the album, their political stance, the DIY scene and much more. Here is what Ancst had to say…

Ancst

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