Staff picks


Naxatras - III
12.10.2018 | Groovy stoner jamz

III is one of those albums that takes you back. Back to school? Back to the future? No, rather back to that golden era of 70s psych music where people were popping tabs in the hot Western sun and widdly diddlying on their instruments for the next 72 hours. Retro jamz done right: riff heavy, groovy, and faaaaar ouuuuut maaaan.

If you've been enjoying what bands like Weedpecker, The Re Stoned, and Samsara Blues Experiment have been up to lately, this one's for you.
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Abattoir
The Body - I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer.
22.05.2018 | Industrial noise dark ambient sludge something or other
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There's not much new here out of Chip, Lee, and company, but when their atypical, genre-bending formula has been working so well lately, what's really worth fixing? Here industrial, sludge, noise, and black metal influences combine yet again into a frightening yet oddly beautiful maelstrom. Certainly not for everyone, but definitely for those who love nightmarish music that has no qualms in smashing down artistic boundaries.

Listen.

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Apothecary
Death Grips - Bottomless Pit
01.04.2018 | Krokodil

Is you a hot head bent on giving bad people good ideas? Or just some trash trying to ring a bell with some Houdini magic tricks? Eh, it don't really matter I suppose. But if you're looking to avoid the warping spikes in the bottomless pit and the BB poison in the bubbles buried in this jungle, please dial 80808 to find the three bedrooms in a good neighborhood.
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Apothecary
Pylar - A Ella Te Conduce La Sagrada Espyral
16.10.2017 | Expansionist drone metal

"So man, what's new for music today?"
"Eh, not much. Pylar, that Spanish band, they just dropped a new album that takes the drone genre to incredible heights once again, incorporating chanting, string instruments, horns, native percussion, and intricate, jazz-like drumming into a massive, doomy core. All with artwork and lyrics that allude to ancient shamanism and druidism as well."
"Meh, drone is so boring. When's that new Morbid Angel coming out?"

Immerse thyself.
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BloodTears
Deathspell Omega - The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
08.11.2016 | Return of the king
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So here we are. Six years and two EPs later, the mighty Deathspell Omega have returned with new material. It's not "Doomspell Omega" or a reggae black metal album, and sure, one could complain about a rehash of old ideas here. But I'll be damned if it isn't nice to have these titans of French black metal back on the throne showing all their emulators how the game is really played.

Go and get it.
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BitterCOld, Mr. Doctor, Marcel Hubregtse
Howls Of Ebb - Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
17.06.2016 | Lovecraftian black/death

Howls Of Ebb are a fine example of the growing tendency towards experimentation taking place right now not only in black metal, but in death metal as well. There's little that can be said about this album other than that it's a bizarre, stimulating journey into a blackened death whirlwind oozing of psychedelic bounce and eerie atmospheres. Say that doesn't sound fun and Yog-Sothoth will devour you.

Raise those tentacles high and sing to the Old Ones.
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Mr. Doctor
Withered - Grief Relic
25.05.2016 | Broken neck

Grief Relic is my first time crossing paths with Withered, the joining of the mighty Ethan McCarthy (Primitive Man, Vermin Womb, ex-CTTTOAFF) to the band being a treat that immediately raised interest. This black/death metal infantry is armed to the teeth with all the fixins: blitzkrieg guitars, thundering drum and bass, monstrous vocals from Ethan and Mike Thompson, and a pleasantly variable tempo ranging from frantic bangers one moment to slow, painful crushers the next. If you've been running low on the brutality pills lately, Withered are happy to compensate.

Get rekt.
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Deadsoulman, Marcel Hubregtse
Almyrkvi - Pupil Of The Searing Maelstrom
10.05.2016 | Industrial BM... in space
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As further testament to the fact that Icelandic black metal is not purely confined to Deathspell Omega emulation, Almyrkvi, the one man project of Garðar S. Jónsson, is hitting the scene hard this year with this debut EP. The music here is something of an industrial-influenced brand of ambient black metal: thick, almost mechanical-sounding riffs create a hypnotizing atmosphere, enhanced by atmospheric breaks interspersed throughout. Think something along the lines of Blut Aus Nord + Darkspace. Easily one of the best BM releases I've yet heard this year.
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Ag Fox, Mr. Doctor, ScreamingSteelUS, Paz
Primitive Man - Primitive Man / Sea Bastard [Split]
18.03.2016 | Dirty doom dabblings
Bandcamp music player

The misanthropic, kvlt-tinged sludge of Primitive Man is ready to throw down with Sea Bastard's lumbering, cavernous brand of doom on this monstrous new split. It's the Primitive Man side that leaves the greater impression, with a pleasant return to a grittier, Scorn-like production, but the crushing Sea Bastard track is nonetheless a powerful, worthy complement. I'm not usually one to get all that crazy about splits, but this one's a definite beast.

Primitive Man HERE
Sea Bastard HERE
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D.T. Metal, Marcel Hubregtse, wormdrink414
Skáphe - Skáphe²
05.03.2016 | Next level black metal
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A wise man once said that "two heads are better than one," and perhaps no album this year has yet demonstrated the truth of this maxim better than Skáphe². The grand result of the combination of the talented Alex Poole (Chaos Moon, Esoterica, Krieg) and the mysterious D.G. (Misþyrming, Naðra), this album is a mesmerizing journey through the capabilities of two of the best composers modern black metal has to offer. AOTY contender.

Name your price on Bandcamp. The Elder Gods are feeling generous.

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BitterCOld, Mr. Doctor, Deadsoulman, Paz
Ulver - ATGCLVLSSCAP
11.02.2016 | Ulver doing Ulver
Bandcamp music player

The new output from the Norwegian black metallers gone electronic maestros is just more of what Ulver have been doing splendidly for years now. Oozing of drone and psychedelic influence, it's a powerful exercise in transcendent beauty and diversity, with each track managing to have its own distinct flavor while still following a common theme. Forget the fact that you can't pronounce this album's title. Instead, focus on the fact that this is probably the most immersive and stimulating Ulver album in quite a good while.

Go and get it.
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Deadsoulman, BitterCOld
Chaos Echśs - Transient
30.10.2015 | Indecipherable

Chaos Echśs are a prime example of why French metal has gained such a solid reputation for being very forward-thinking and experimentally inclined in the past decade. Typically labeled as death metal or death doom, this album doesn't stop there, with the band also adding in elements of black metal, drone, jazz, psychedelia, and more to their sound. At some points fast and incredibly heavy, at others meditative and transcendent, Transient is a bizarre, polymorphous beast that defies classification, and seems to be nothing more than a full embrace of the power of human ingenuity.

Go have a listen and ponder over the nature of improvisation.

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Deadsoulman, Marcel Hubregtse, Mr. Doctor, wormdrink414, BloodTears, BitterCOld, Darkside Momo
Weedeater - Goliathan
24.06.2015 | Good ol' Southern sludge

Nothing new and fancy to see here, folks, just pounding, crunchy sludge with a bit of a bluesy twist that hits the groove gene right where it needs to. If you can't get enough of the sound of bands like Bongzilla, Eyehategod, etc. and you haven't yet heard Weedeater, do yourself the favor. Finger-lickin' good!

LISTEN.
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Deadsoulman, wormdrink414
Bong - We Are, We Were And We Will Have Been
01.06.2015 | Epic hail Shiva Hindu raga sitar drone
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Are Bong really doing anything new here? No. Do they need to? No. Coming back with another chapter in their sitar-fueled drone rituals, the band's music is as focused, relaxing, and meditative as ever.

Go get yo trance on.
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Deadsoulman, Daniell, Mr. Doctor, Nefarious, Ag Fox, ScreamingSteelUS
Death Karma - The History Of Death & Burial Rituals Part I
23.02.2015 | Transcendental black/death
Bandcamp music player

Infernal Vlad seems to like death. A lot. Death Karma is a new band that sees the Cult Of Fire front man teaming up with the band's drummer for a musical spectacle that can only be described as stunning. Black and death metal combine seamlessly, in a way that is both thundering and bang-able, but also eerily hypnotic and surprisingly catchy with its sense of groove and enhancement from Vlad's distinct sense of melody. If these guys needed any further proof that they're incredibly skilled composers, this is it. Early AOTY contender.

Bandcamp.

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wormdrink414, Mr. Doctor, Ag Fox