Withered - Grief Relic

Broken neck 25.05.2016

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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Almyrkvi - Pupil Of The Searing Maelstrom

Industrial BM... in space 10.05.2016

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.

Primitive Man - Primitive Man / Sea Bastard [Split]

Dirty doom dabblings 18.03.2016

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

Skáphe - Skáphe²

Next level black metal 05.03.2016

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 Alexander 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.

Free download on Bandcamp. The Elder Gods are feeling generous.


Ulver doing Ulver 11.02.2016

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
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Chaos Echús - Transient

Indecipherable 30.10.2015

Chaos Echús 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, the creativity with this band doesn't stop there, and they also add 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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Weedeater - Goliathan

Good ol' Southern sludge 24.06.2015

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!

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Deadsoulman, wormdrink414

Bong - We Are, We Were And We Will Have Been

Epic hail Shiva Hindu raga sitar drone 01.06.2015

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.

Death Karma - The History Of Death & Burial Rituals Part I

Transcendental black/death 23.02.2015

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.


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wormdrink414, Mr. Doctor, Ag Fox
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Senmuth - Dakhmas

Industrial Siberian Khatru Metal 12.01.2015

What would happen if Genghis Khan traveled in time to our current era, stole Fredrik Thordendal's guitar, and then played an electronic symphony for himself back in the 1200s with it and his own little folk instruments while his hordes swept across the steppes of Russia? Why, Senmuth's Dakhmas would happen, of course.

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Schammasch - Contradiction

Melodic Black/Death 11.12.2014

Here's one of the few albums from this year that's actually deserving of all the hype it's been getting. The sophomore effort from this Swiss foursome is amazingly detailed and incredibly varied in its songwriting. At times takes a slow and trancelike black metal approach, with surprisingly beautiful solos to accompany. At others, pounds you into dust with a furious death metal crunch, and at other moments still is extremely relaxing in its attention to melody and atmosphere. A powerful blend of personalities, and a worthy addition to any extreme metal fan's musical library.

Perhaps one could say the diversities are... a contradiction?

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Progenie Terrestre Pura - Asteroidi

Inside Samus Aran's brain 20.10.2014

Coming off of a powerful debut with last year's U.M.A, this Italian BM duo decides to follow it up with a curveball, a nonmetal EP. Best be off with you if you're looking for the more aggressive side of the band's personality with this one. Asteroidi is for those listeners who delighted in the ringy ding ding electronics of the debut, and wished to see the band go deeper with them, an effort at which they certainly succeed here.

Beware the Metroid scum.
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Introspekrieg, Ag Fox

Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

One man Atmo Black 08.10.2014

If you're a serious follower of this style, you know the usual. The project of Jacob Buczarski, Mare Cognitum is raw and hard hitting black metal, but also interspersed with all those beautiful, melodic, and dreamy undercurrents that we all know and love and that've come to make this style so goddamn good when it's executed right. Highly recommended for fans of Chaos Moon, Spectral Lore, Sombres Forêts, etc. And shoutout to my buddy Fearmeister for turning me onto all the great stuff on I, Voidhanger's current roster, definitely a label worth investigating.

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Blood Of The Black Owl - A Banishing Ritual

Sioux Drone 14.08.2014

The one man project of Chet W. Scott, Blood Of The Black Owl is a hypnotizing journey through foreboding sounds and monolithic landscapes. Native American themes abound, with use of wind flute and some drony, chant-like vocals to help heighten the vibe and make you feel as though you're being banished by the ritual of the album's title. This album may be four years old, but screw it: if you're down with the whole drone/dark ambient nonsense, this is definitely one you need in your life.

Begin the daze.
Picked by: Apothecary

Bölzer - Soma

Blackened death 11.07.2014

The hype surrounding the band following the release of Aura last year is proven not undeserving with their second EP. Riffs with a great hook, a thundering old school death metal sound with a bit of a modern twist, and subtle threads of black metal that hold all the seams together. If your expectations were high for this, chances are good you won't be disappointed.

Check out "Steppes" over here.

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