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.
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
It’s always interesting to see what bands come up with when their members are comprised of musicians that are primarily known for another style of metal. Maryland’s Thonian Horde fits this description as its members have all been involved in various parts of the doom/heavy rock spectrum for some time but with this project they’ve turned to black metal. After releasing a self-titled debut last year the group has readied a follow-up titled ‘Inconnu’, which Grimoire Records will be putting out on September 22nd. Today we’re premiering the ninth track on the album Organized Oppression, which showcases their ability to deliver raw black metal alongside rock grooves.
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.
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.
I wouldn’t consider Paraguay one of the more well-known sources of death metal, but Verthebral seems ready to change that. This fearsome four-piece has been stewing 10 songs for their full-length debut, “Regeneration,” and it’ll be ready to serve on June 29th via Satanath Records. To whet your appetite, we’ve got a sizzling new song premiere for you — introducing Old Man’s Memories.
An aggressive palm-muted assault opens up the song, clearing space for double bass to thunder by, bolstered by powerful bass clanking in the background. An uptick in tempo takes the verse to a neck-breaking pace before winding back to the intro/chorus, which with the addition of repugnant vocals has taken on an anthemic (if still pleasantly putrid) quality. We’re then treated to two solos, both of which have their own distinct personality while maintaining the level of antagonistic energy. The odd-time bridge that follows is death metal perfection — I feel guilty admitting that something so brutal could be so catchy, but there you have it. A final short sprint aided by double bass downbeats and a unified guitar attack takes us to a final chorus and catastrophic outro.
Old Man’s Memories is but one meaty slice of “Regeneration,” but I’m already hungry for the whole thing. Verthebral proves they’ve got the chops and songwriting skills to put their country on the map. We’re betting the final result will be a real treat.
“Regeneration” will release June 29th via Satanath Records.
Rabid, hateful, with a penchant for nihilism — that’s how we’d describe Persian black metal duo Zurvan. With their second full-length album, entitled “Gorge of Blood,” creeping closer toward its June 28th release via Satanath Records, we’re pleased to reinforce their bleak outlook on life with a brand new song premiere. It’s called Filthy Calendar of the Time, and it’s an abusive slab of black metal that hits like a rusty steel shovel. Listen up — this one’s gonna bury you.
Zurvan rips from the crypt with a fiery expulsion of thrashy, blackened riffing and red-hot leads. Things pick up quickly — a quarter-note downbeat over a flurry of 32nd double bass notes carries the track forward into a spiraling, blackened abyss. Around the halfway mark, the drums slow to a 6/8 time signature, the rhythm guitar activates its clean channel, and a frenzied solo rises up like a smoldering effigy, a permanent scornful look sewn onto its face that etches itself in your mind through the remainder of the song.
Filthy Calendar of the Time is simple songwriting at its best — vicious verse, caustic chorus, and a sufferingly bleak bridge section/outro. The vocals are potent, yet not overly present — Zurvan is content to let their instruments do the talking, and like any solid nihilistic black metal act, the conversation turns violent fast. The good news is you only have to wait a few more days until you’ve got the whole album, so try to hold out until then, okay?
“Gorge of Blood” releases June 28th via Satanath Records.
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.
Ljosazabojstwa’s aggressive take on black/death metal turned heads in late 2015 with a rip-roaring three-track demo. Now, with new EP “Sychodžańnie” in the chamber and ready to fire on June 30th via Hellthrasher Productions, it’s clear these Belarusian brawlers will take no prisoners. Take a listen to our premiere of the second track off “Sychodžańnie,” entitled Zhuba.
The midtempo intro/verse alone is enough to get anyone’s noggin nodding in rhythmic fashion, but it’s the following bridge section that shows how capable Ljosazabojstwa has become at shifting genres in such a short time. The sound of a funeral knell halts the assault of the guitars, slowing them down into a trudge with grinding bass and doom-y hammer-ons. The accompaniment of transcendent organs suggest you’re plodding toward a fate that’s at once terrible, majestic, and inevitable, before breaking away with speedy thrash riffing and blackened heaviness. Ljosazabojstwa switches gears into a 6/4 rhythm, followed up by a less-intense (though no-less powerful) slower beat reminiscent of the intro — then it’s back to neck-breaking brutality before a punchy end.
Ljosazabojstwa is able to cram oodles of metal goodness into their songs without making them feel overstuffed. Although not much is known about them as a band, Zhuba proves they have the energy and aggression to be a formidable black/death act to watch this year.
“Sychodžańnie” releases June 30th via Hellthrasher Productions. Read our past interview with Ljosazabojstwahere.