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photo by S. Kujansuu

Finnish atmospheric death metal crypt delvers GHASTLY return this year with third brooding opus Mercurial Passages. As the album nears late May release through 20 Buck Spin, the ghoulish new movement “Out Of The Psychic Blue” is now playing as the label issues preorders and more.

20 Buck Spin will deliver Mercurial Passages on LP CD, cassette, and digital formats on May 28th. Preorders are now live at the label webshop HERE and Bandcamp HERE.

Mercurial Passages was recorded and mixed at Parasite Dune Studios by Ian J. D’Waters and mastered at Redmount Studios by Magnus Lindberg. The mind altering artwork adorning the release is from Riikka Pesonen, once more working with the band for a memorable pairing. Fans of Necrot, Oranssi Pazuzu or Sadistik Forest would likely also find a lot to enjoy within these dreary and dangerous realms. Few bands are writing on this level with so much micro-genre awareness and individual expression.

 

Check out “Out Of The Psychic Blue” below.

Photo by Sephrasis

American acid folk, one time black metal outfit XASTHUR are now releasing a lyric video of the title track as the first single taken from their forthcoming album Victims of the Times, which is slated for release on July 9, 2021. The song deals with social ills and is marvelously trippy, morose, melodic and insightful. Really enjoyed this, like a chapter from a bleak road trip novel like The Talisman.

The American acid folk outfit are also revealing cover arttracklist, and further details of their new full-length. Please view all album details below.

XASTHUR comment: “The title track of our new album ‘Victims of the Times’ has much to do with the state of mind behind how nothing is making sense these days, along with and leading up to homelessness and poverty”, muses mastermind Scott. “This song deals with not caring, being oblivious, delusional, and naive. Consciousness, unconsciousness, people who lie to themselves, thinking or not thinking about things happening to them, money and lack thereof; which leads them from the cities to the streets, like a prison.”

“I lost my home in the middle of the making of that last record”, Scott begins to relate the stark truth behind “Victims of the Times”. “I had gotten used to writing music and lyrics in any kind of living situation. I had been moving a lot, moving from place to place, many being temporary. The ‘I need to be in a cabin in the woods with isolation and candlelight to write music’ type of tale did not fit my situation. I had to learn how to make my music anywhere without such luxuries. Since I never know how long I’ll be somewhere, and because I’m always hundreds of miles apart from anyone, things changed with people, motives, goals, and expectations of all involved.
 
The foundation of this album should be considered ‘LIVE’, because each song was individually recorded live without any studio magic or technology. I worked on my own without a beat or metronome, which resulted in a raw production, but that is how it has always been in the XASTHUR tradition.”
 

Line-up
Scott – 12 & 6-string guitars, keyboards, all music and lyrics
Chris – bass, guitar, vocals
Joe – 12 & 6-string guitar

Style: Acid Folk, Doomgrass, Tech Folk

Recorded live in hotels, on porches and in living rooms throughout the USA.
Written and recorded by Scott Conner throughout the USA between 2016 to 2020
Mixed by Chris Hernandez in California 2020

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Tom from EXODUS announces cancer treatment

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 10:54 AM (PST)
Hey Exodus fans and all metal folks. Keep Tom Hunting in your prayers or thoughts or hails (whatever you do) today.
The band wrote: With our never ending support for our bandmate, friend and brother. We Love You.

Important statement from our man Tom Hunting:

“Today I will be starting treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma. It’s a gastric tumor that was diagnosed in my upper stomach in February. I’m making this public to raise awareness for people to pay attention to symptoms of stomach and esophageal issues. If they persist, please go get it checked out. I’m not gonna be sheepish talking about it. I feel that if I can help someone with what I’ve learned, or someone out there has information to share with me, it’s a win-win! When you can name the enemy, it’s empowering, and you’re 1 step closer to killing it!
Ok, you’ve heard the bad news. The good news is he feels great physically! I’m gonna beat this like a fucking snare drum that owes me money!!! I’ve had great doctors and a great support system that is an army in itself. I’m ready for the fight!
We have a lot to celebrate this year with the release of what will be a career-defining album and tours to follow! I’m stoked for everyone to hear it, and even more excited to get out there and play some of it! I will see you all very soon! CHEERS!!!”
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Los Angeles-based Light The Torch will release their new album and second full-length You Will Be the Death of Me on June 25th via Nuclear Blast Records. The band shared the video for the first track, “Wilting in the Light,” which was directed by Ramon Boutviseth.

“The album was a welcome distraction, and we dumped every emotion we had into YWBTDOM,” says the band’s vocalist Howard Jones. “Everything we went through individually and together with this album drew Fran, Ryan, and I together. I couldn’t be more proud of this album knowing I made it with my family.”

Upheld by head-spinning seven-string virtuosity yet anchored to skyscraping melodies, Light the Torch crafted 12 metallic anthems, including an unexpected cover of the ’80s hit “Sign Your Name” by R&B singer Terence Trent D’Arby.

You Will Be the Death of Me was recorded at Sparrow Sound in Glendale, CA where the band once again worked with the production team of Josh Gilbert and Joseph McQueen [Bullet for My Valentine, Suicide Silence].

Light The Torch consists of Howard Jones [vocals], Francesco Artusato [guitar], and Ryan Wombacher [bass].

Whitechapel‘s Alex Rudinger was brought on to fill out drums duties for the release.

Photo: Reid Haithcock

WATCH: “Your Crucifixion” (Official Music Video)

PREORDER: Dream of Ascension

Metallic hardcore band Tooth and Claw announced the impending release debut full-length, titled Dream of Ascension, via Good Fight Music on May 21st. The group also shared the scathing lead single “Your Crucifixion” and the accompanying music video via a premiere with Decibel Magazine. On the track, the band mixes pissed-off hardcore with hints of death metal, twisting menacing riffs in with plenty of groove before launching into an eerie chorus. Despite the unchecked anger found on the single and throughout the album, the band says, “Believe it or not, Your Crucifixion might be the most optimistic, uplifting song on our LP.”

Formed during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders of Spring 2020, Tooth and Claw features Scott Crouse (Earth Crisis, Sect), Daniel Austin (Die Young), James Chang (Undying, Catharsis, Sect), and Cameron Joplin (Magnitude) exploring new realms of aggression. On their debut album, Dream of Ascension, Tooth and Claw skirt the typical tropes found in hardcore by mixing their bludgeoning attacks with sinister melodies, achieving a balance of innovation and pure aggression. Watch the video for “Your Crucifixion” here and preorder the album Dream of Ascension here.

Tracklist:
1. Dream of Ascension
2. Your Crucifixion
3. Time’s Desire
4. Seventy Times Seven
5. Kiss of Night
6. Arrival
7. Torn in Half
8. Spiritual Lust
9. Ravage

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One of the few good things about this pandemic life has meant time for people to dig deep and soul search for an even more meaningful sense of self-expression. After all, we have had reminders daily that time is precious and you ought to be true to yourself, right? As a writer it has also been a good chance to have random email convos with incredible and talented cool folks and Suzi Moon is certainly high on the list of radness level as far as “rad people I have gotten to communicate with” in recent times goes.

Suzi Moon radiates the essence of punk attitude and makes the balance of sweet and sour seem effortless in glam gutter songs like “I’m Not A Man” or the rollicking “Nuthin’ To Me” that you can snarl or sing-a-long with like nobodies business. Yes, the Civet and Turbulent Hearts alumna is going solo and has delivered a fantastic video for the instantly memorable “Special Place In Hell” track from upcoming debut EP CALL THE SHOTS.

Read our chat BELOW.

See the new LUNA 13 clip “Sekhmet” at Knotfest HERE. One of our favorite industrial metal acts, it is great to see the inventive, bass heavy and evil as fuck group thriving!  This song is in homage to a history of female warrior goddesses. Filmed in the duo’s home of Joshua Tree, California, the video is set in a desolate desert background and features contributions from art crew Grindhaus with the video directed by the group’s Otis Johnson

Dr. Luna says to Knotfest.com, “The video is a group of Wastelanders invoking Sekhmet in the desert with fire. It was the very first track we wrote for our God.Dis album release and represents our style of going from slow doom to thrash in a blink.”

 

Knotfest.com says of the video and track: The hellacious duo of Dr. Luna and Lilith Bathory continue to refine their signature of black metal adjacent electronica with their latest offering … the tandem’s latest is among the effort’s heaviest, indulging the band’s black metal sensibilities in a track that plays out like a spiraling decent into the bowels of hell.”

 

“Sekhmet” is the latest single from the dark lord duo’s album God.Dis that was released last November through new label, COP International (the home of Stabbing WestwardChiasm, Stoneburner, Deathline International and Suicide Queen). Previous videos have included “Cursing The Sky” (premiered via Outburn) and “Sacrificial Lamb” (premiered via Decibel). Thematically, songs on God.Dis cover the grounds of witchcraft, nuclear war and modern conspiracy theories. It’s a release that Sonic Perspectives deems “feels both simultaneously ethereal and omnipresent.”

BESVÄRJELSEN join Magnetic Eye Records

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 6:50 AM (PST)

BESVÄRJELSEN have penned a multi-album deal with Magnetic Eye Records. The Swedish forest rockers will release their sophomore album via the label this year and also contribute a track to the forthcoming “Back in Black Redux” homage to AC/DC.

BESVÄRJELSEN comment: “We are extremely thrilled to be joining Magnetic Eye Records”, writes drummer Erik Bäckwall. “We know that we have come to the right team as we will be joining an amazing roster on this renowned label. In all modesty, we think that we have written our finest material yet for the new record, so we are very much looking forward to record and share it with the world as soon as possible!”

Jadd Shickler welcomes the Swedes: “I feel extremely privileged in welcoming Besvärjelsen onto our roster and I promise that the world of heavy music will be floored by what this amazing group does next”, comments the Magnetic Eye Records label director. “Having been part of the heavy rock underground for some time, I am fortunate to know many great musicians going back quite a few years. Sometimes such artists re-emerge with new bands and projects and I am lucky to be one of the first to hear about them.  The very moment that original Dozer drummer Erik let me hear material from his new band Besvärjelsen, I knew they were something special and magical. Altareth, Heavy Temple, and now Besvärjelsen, 2021 is shaping up to be a hell of year for great bands joining Magnetic Eye Records.”

The boundary pushing creative characters behind THE LION’S DAUGHTER are streaming their potent new record Skin Show ahead of Friday’s Season of Mist release date. The immaculately Sanford Parker produced and Colin Jordan mastered release builds on the synth explorations of Future Cult with an even more sophisticated aura of barely contained unease or outright explosive sleek yet blackened dystopian angst. These songs create an atmosphere of illicit and surreal, disturbingly tormented sensual unrest that is accentuated by the visual presentation intensely.

Giordano says, “We worked with (artist) Mothmeister again for the album art and used a similar approach as we did with the music. Things are stripped down, more direct, more focused. There’s a sense of fear, isolation, and madness that very much correlates with the music. The character on the outside is in white and surrounded in light, while the character on the inside is in black surrounded by darkness. But it’s ultimately two sides of the same character. I think that’s a good representation of the themes within the album, dark things within people that they may want to keep hidden.”

The band will also be hosting an in-person album release party and merch pop up in their hometown of St. Louis, MO on April 8 on the Punk Patio of The Record Space. Fans who attend the event will be able to purchase the record one day in advance of the release and will have an opportunity to meet and greet the band. 4 Hands Brewing will be sponsoring the event and providing free beverages to those who are 21+. The event is free to attend and will occur from 4:00 – 8:00 P.M. CDT. RSVP HERE.

In addition, THE LION’S DAUGHTER will be hosting a two-hour radio special via Gimme Metal on April 9 @ 3:00 P.M. EDT to celebrate the release of the new record! Frontman Rick Giordano has cultivated a very special playlist and will be present in the live chat to interact with fans! As always, it is FREE to subscribe and sign up! Tune in HERE.

Moreover, THE LION’S DAUGHTER will also be supporting the new offering with a brand new live stream! The virtual concert is part of a four night event by Sinkhole and will air on Sunday, April 11 @ 8:00 P.M. EDT. The band will also be joined by HELL NIGHT for a double feature! Tickets and merch bundles are available at THIS LOCATION.

Las Vegas metalcore veterans DISTINGUISHER have released a music video for their emotionally charged new single “We All Suffer” at Metal Injection HERE. A direct follow up to their well received track “Nothing Is Real” – released in March – the song sees the group showcasing their full dynamic range and melodic abilities with Metal Injection commenting “Combining heavy, nu-metal influenced groove, powerful vocals, and chilling melodies, with a solid bit of djent at the end, Distinguisher pulls together all the best elements of metalcore in a fresh way.”

The group elaborated on the thought process behind “We All Suffer” saying, “We All Suffer” directly follows up a track we released 3 weeks ago titled “Nothing Is Real.” The idea of making two songs with accompanying music videos that tie in together was something we’ve talked about doing for a very long time. The goal of this release I think stemmed from wanting to showcase the contrast of the band. We want people to know that we will continue to push the extremes of our sound, whether it’s heavy, more melodic, or even more nu-metal influenced. Both titles were meant to be blunt and painfully inevitable. While “Nothing Is Real” touches on the perception of life and the anxieties that come with it, “We All Suffer” simply states the inevitable in that we will all one day be gone, and that’s something I’ve continued to struggle with the older I get. “We All Suffer” lyrically is filled mainly with questions that I personally feel never get answered in life, and the song’s overwhelming sense of emotion was very much centered around the chorus. I’ll never forget the night Josh and I locked in what would be the main vocal melody, the rest of the song came together so naturally from there. We’re all incredibly proud of the music we continue to make, but we all individually stand by this being our favorite Distinguisher song to date, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”

“We All Suffer” is part of DISTINGUISHER’s 2 track release Nothing Is Real / We All Suffer which sees the group deftly alternating between raw, punishing aggression, soaring choruses, and mosh pit inducing groove while never straying from their highly emotional and fearlessly honest lyrical content. The effort leaves listeners in no doubt that DISITINGUISHER are at the very forefront of metalcore’s new crop of bands that are pushing the genre further than ever before.

Photo_by_William_Faucher

The new NOÊTA song “Elm” is the title track of their newest Prophecy release, out 4/23. It sounds like wrestling your deepest sorrows on a forest bed somewhere distant and overcast, if you could even see the sky. It is an intensely beautiful and intense realization of dark folk, tension and muted stillness paired with fae, bittersweet emotion. The song just feels wonderfully, painfully alive in a delicate state of strength. It almost fluctuates between chill and warmth in remarkable conversation with it’s own state of self. Remarkable energy paired with Êlea’s memorable vocal presence, especially when you learn the song is concerned with embracing or departing life itself.

NOÊTA comment: “The title-track ‘Elm’ is in parts told through the words of Sylvia Plath”, reveals frontwoman Êlea. “Her poem ‘Elm’ is an almost physical expression of anxiety and depression as something real and vivid that is living inside some of us –  something that is dark, terrifying and malevolent. Being haunted by anxiety and depression can lead to fear of the uncontrollable malignity living within the self. It claims the afflicted as its own in order to kill. This poem became even more upsetting to me after learning that Sylvia Plath went on to commit suicide not long after she wrote it.”

Red Fang’s new album cover, artwork by Orion Landau

 

True rock believers RED FANG return with Arrows this year, scheduled for a June 4th release via Relapse Records. I am loving the super limited tape option which probably already sold out as I write this. As for the title track video…it is certainly humorous. Don’t goof with katana swords though, kids. I remember in social studies class years ago my buddy and I interviewed this sword master guy once who said he knew of a guy who played with one once drunk and like decapitated his St. Bernard or something super horrible and that story has scarred me for years. The bong chopping here is much more benign.

“It was so gratifying to put these songs on tape with Funk!” says guitarist/vocalist Bryan Giles of the album that was produced by longtime collaborator Chris Funk (Murder The Mountains, Whales and Leeches). “It felt very comfortable with a loose schedule. We didn’t take it one song at a time, but added guitars, vocals, or general weirdness whenever an idea sprang to mind. We busted out a hurdy gurdy! It was that fun.

Long live Rock!!”

“WOW! We are SO EXCITED to finally release this record to the world! We finished the album way back in December 2019 and then… something happened that is not worth discussing…,” adds vocalist/bassist Aaron Beam“Making this record felt totally loose and easy. It felt like we were just doing whatever the fuck we wanted, and not overthinking anything. That attitude reminded me a lot of what it felt like to make Murder the Mountains. The result doesn’t sound anything like MTM, but it has more of that vibe.”

 

News of the eagerly-awaited album, the band’s first collection in five years, arrives with a new chapter in the band’s unparalleled canon of Whitey McConnaughy-directed music videos as the foursome unveils a clip for“Arrows” (https://youtu.be/lwQPJ1G2n5o). “Arrows” finds Red Fang once again exploring creative ways to spend the label’s music video budget in a subtle nod to the band’s classic “Wires” video.

“His way of presenting us really works,” says guitarist David Sullivan of the band’s relationship with Whitey. “That first video he did for us for ‘Prehistoric Dog’ gave us a big jumpstart as far as the band getting popular. And we love working with him.” 

Arrows tracklist:

 

    1. Take it Back
    2. Unreal Estate
    3. Arrows
    4. My Disaster
    5. Two High
    6. Anodyne
    7. Interop-Mod
    8. Fonzi Scheme
    9. Days Collide
    10. Rabbits in Hive
    11. Why
    12. Dr. Owl
    13. Funeral Coach

 

Pre-orders for the 13-song album are available now, with Arrows available in a variety of formats, including standard versions of the LP, CD, cassette and digitally, as well as, a limited-edition liquid filled LP, deluxe CD (exclusive to Europe and Relapse.com), and two collectible bundles: LP with a limited Arrows blacklight poster and a Red Fang x Psycho Las Vegas limited-edition Texas Hold’em themed box set. Dubbed the Fortune Hunter Gamblers Pack, the poker-themed package includes branded casino-quality playing cards, dice, collector’s coin, custom boxing, and a card of authenticity (all featuring custom artwork by Ian Colazzo), as well as the LP, and t-shirt. Physical pre-orders are available via Relapse’s webstore (http://bit.ly/redfangarrows), while digital downloads and streaming links can be found here: (https://orcd.co/redfangarrows).

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India’s socially aware thrashers AGAINST EVIL have a new lyric video (with band footage as well) for anti propaganda song “End Of The Line”. It is the title track of their pending new album. Billy Sheehan is even on a tune.

Shasank (Rhythm, Lead Guitar) shares more details about the song: “This is the title song and also the heaviest song on the album! It’s about a dystopian future where common people have no rights and are trapped under the control of evil governments and shadow organizations. We also got the idea for the cover artwork after writing this song, where the band also known as The Army of Four are being sentenced to death by the electric chair for rebellion against the evil government. Overall, it’s a very aggressive heavy metal song with a good blend of thrash.” 

Seems timely when you think of how authoritarian governments are removing band’s entire digital work from streaming if they disagree.

The album End of the Line will be out May 14th via German/Swiss based record label Doc Gator Records in Europe and independently the rest of the world. The sound of Against Evil is best described as Heavy Metal with Power and Speed ​​Metal influence.

RIYL Overkill, Testament, Annihilator, Acrassicauda, Evile.

(Gothenburg, Sweden – April 1, 2021) – Swedish melodic death metal pioneers AT THE GATES announces their new full-length album The Nightmare Of Being today. The album is set for release on July 2nd via Century Media Records.

 

While main parts for The Nightmare Of Being were recorded in several different Swedish studios (drums at Studio Gröndal with Jens Bogren, guitars and bass with Andy La Rocque at Sonic Train Studio and vocals at Welfare Sounds with Per Stålberg), the album was mixed and mastered at Fascination Street Studios (Amon Amarth, Opeth, Kreator, etc.) by Jens Bogren, who previously worked with AT THE GATES on their 2014 comeback album At War With Reality. The album’s visual concept and album cover was developed by artist Eva Nahon.

 

“The overall theme deals with the topic of pessimism, and I have been diving deep down in pessimistic philosophers. Trying to understand this way of looking at the world. It is not a negative album, more a gateway into new ideas for me personally, trying out different perspectives. You could call the album an introduction to pessimism as a concept, I guess. It is a very dark album, but not negative,” states AT THE GATES vocalist Tomas Lindberg Redant about the album concept.

 

Musically The Nightmare Of Being unveils a newly liberated and adventurous AT THE GATES with some of the bravest and most mesmerizing material they have ever written. Lindberg Redant adds, “It still sounds like AT THE GATES, 100 percent. It is just more of everything.”

 

The Nightmare Of Being Tracklist:
1. Spectre of Extinction
2. The Paradox
3. The Nightmare of Being
4. Garden of Cyrus
5. Touched by the White Hands of Death
6. The Fall into Time
7. Cult of Salvation
8. The Abstract Enthroned
9. Cosmic Pessimism
10. Eternal Winter of Reason

 

Further details about The Nightmare Of Being, its various formats, and pre-order will be revealed on April 30th. Mark your calendars!
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‘This album is essentially a reflection of the societal ills that hold us back from having the grand culture and community the United States loves to pretend it has.’ – KZ

Hello dear readers and happy Trans Day of Visibility. Hope people are lifting one another up today and feeling good and loved. I need cold water thrown on my face after the inane stupor I entered from just reading an article about how friggin’ Michale Graves might testify on behalf of some loser Proud Boy Jan. 6th insurrectionists. Uh, that’s your character witness? What is he gonna do? Get up there and go ,”You’re lookin’ through the eyes of a Psycho! An American Psycho (Whoa-oh!).” The sad part is I don’t know if that would work in the fash mob defendants favor more or less considering how compromised many of our courts are.

One thing that DOESN’T make me want to scream in frustration (at least not in a bad way) is listening to the cathartic and brilliant new record Modern Grotesque from melodic post-screamo East Coasters Dreamwell, pretty much the most impressive shit I have discovered in a long time. This record , especially after the shared PTSD of 2020 we are all semi-thawing from,  just feels like a massive release of hope, heart and triumphant defiance. A cry for a more caring and dignified world for people who are different, sensitive or just genuine… for the lovers, dreamers and you (to get more Kermit than Pepe up in here). It is an album that reminds me that feeling things is not weakness and which has some of the fiery and passionate type of playing that first got me into bands like UOA, At The Drive In or On The Might Of Princes.

Modern Grotesque also boasts some of the most impactful melodic playing I have heard in a long time this side of really good Modest Mouse, moments that just take artful twists and turns that couldn’t have been generated through a cynical aim and only through vibrant and vulnerable love for the music.

Please enjoy my chat with vocalist KZ as much as I did.

Read more BELOW.

Photo Credit: Jared Shute