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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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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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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.”

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.

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.”

Metal has long had dalliances with Tolkien lore in the long shadow cast by Zeppelin’s Middle Earth appreciation. Amon Amarth, Gorgoroth,  Ephel Dúath and many more (including of course even the highly problematic Burzum) have names or themes inspired by Mordor or other realms. Recently the highly entertaining Gimli, Son Of Gloin project has been getting some buzz/traction. Now we have the new lyric video from Cuban black metal pioneers Mephisto off their Pentafixion release to add to the list of metal thus inspired. The band Mephisto was founded in September 1997 in the city of Holguín, Cuba and blend orchestral and other metal influences into their tapestry of darkness.

Mephisto are:

Osney Cardoso Riaño -Vocals
Alexander Jorge Parra – Bass
Kevin Chaperón – Guitars
Fabián F. Rodríguez González – Guitars
David Leonardo Nieves Naranjo – Drums

photo by Shannan Jessica

If you want some technical death metal that combines chilling terror with Universal dread, you could do far worse than the absolutely fuck-nuts arrangements of Blindfolded and Led to the Woods. Out today, the death metal collective’s latest release Nightmare Withdrawals is a major train barreling off the tracks chaos embracer that is deceptive in that the band are in complete control the whole time.

Nightmare Withdrawals was recorded at The Sitting Room Studio, mixed by Samuel K Sproull, mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, and completed with cover art by Agreatmass and additional artwork/design by Nina Morice. The album features guest vocal contributions from Karl Sanders of Nile on “Atop The Wings Of A Magpie” and Callum Gay of Spook The Horses on “Lucid Visitations.”
Writes guitarist Ben Atkinson, “Nightmare Withdrawals continues from our past records with chaotic and complex riffs but draws in a more nuanced and locked in approach with heavy grounded sections. From beginning to end the album tells a story of agony, trauma and release that is dark, unique, soul crushing, yet emotive.”

 

 

Guess Dr. Manhattan decided he needed a little Man Cave Love Shack

France’s Pathfinders are ready to make first contact with the landing of their debut album Ares Vallis via label Music-Records on April 16, 2021.

Just like the NASA space probe “Mars Pathfinder” that their name is originated from, Pathfinders are embarking on an encounter of the metal kind. Entering the Ares Vallis, the band is rooted in a primary sound of groove metal, but introduces fans into an astronomical discovery of twelve tracks assembled with progressive, thrashy, djenty, and melodic tones.

The band adds:

“We are fascinated with space exploration, especially following recent odysseys to the red planet. We believe it may be the next step in humanity’s evolution of uncovering what this universe holds. This is an album of us telling stories on adventures to and from Mars.”

The band’s lead single “Damned Earth” was released earlier this year, and it immediately crushes everything in its path, leading an assault with speed and breakdowns, along with a tinge of hardcore tendencies mixed with accelerating quantum force.

Fans of bands such as Lamb of God, Periphery, Parkway Drive, and In Flames will be intrigued to enter the undiscovered metal terrain that Pathfinders are offering up.

Pathfinders was formed in 2018 and consist of the Gaucher brothers Jérémy (Bass) and Romain (Guitar) with Jérémy Barthélémy (Drums), Benjamin Daguet (Guitar), and Clément Levy (Vocals).

“Damned Earth” can be heard on the following links:
YouTube: https://youtu.be/ujmLEJ4tFu0
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2OP2Ivv

“Ares Vallis” will be available on all digital platforms via Music-Records on April 16, 2021.
CD pre-order here.

Digital download of single “Damned Earth” on Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal here.

Fun Fact: The album title “Ares Vallis” is named after an outflow channel on Mars, which appears to have been carved by fluids, perhaps water.

Photo by Elizabeth Gomez (Globelamp)

Kingston, New York-based avant rock/punk outfit WALKING BOMBS presents its most infectious material to date, with the expansive new full-length release Tears We Should Have Shed. With the record now confirmed for independent digital release in April, the cover art, track listing, preorders, and track “Time To Go (Fuck Q)” have been posted.

The project of one Morgan Y. Evans, joined by a wide cast of collaborators, WALKING BOMBS here delivers a musical study in navigating regretful occurrences in humanity with Tears We Should Have Shed. It is a record steeped in sorrows and triumphs, delivered through a wide range of varied musical styles.

Recorded throughout 2020, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Sean Paul Pillsworth at Nada Recording Studio in Montgomery, New York (Senses Fail, Shai Hulud, My Chemical Romance), Tears We Should Have Shed sees Evans performing lead vocals as well as acoustic guitar, trombone, bass, guitar, and piano contributions across the album. Additionally, the record features contributions from Elizabeth “Le Fey” DaPena (Globelamp), Sean Paul Pillsworth (Nightmares For A Week, Jerk Magnet), David Brenner (Gridfailure), David Bodie (ex-Time Of Orchids, Divest, Kayo Dot), Taraka Larson (Taraka, ex-Prince Rama), Jack Manley (The Jenifer Shop), and Justin Zipperle (Shadow Witch).

“I’ve always enjoyed bands like Orange 9mm, Faith No More, or Swans where even though you knew it was them you might be surprised song to song or album to album by some big stylistic twists and turns.  My own work in bands since 1993 has also reflected that often,” Evans states. “This WALKING BOMBS album explores a lot of punk and hardcore and kind of Type O influences more than some of my other releases with this project that were more grunge or post punk heavy. There’s also a little bit of classic rock influence sprinkled here and there. But it all compliments the general themes of regret for human folly.”

Songs like “Brash Bandages” and “GeneralGrievousAngel” deal with self-reflection and sobriety, whereas elsewhere the harsh noise landscape of “Focus Shifting The Apocalypse” or the pop-punk-meets-Jawbreaker-influenced “Time To Go (Fuck Q)” examine the frenzied, cult-like impact of disinformation on a gullible society. The goth-toned title track and Bad Religion-influenced “I Will Miss You” look at the highs and lows of the life of an underground lifer musician. Other moments include examinations of Red Scare-era and modern sexism, healing, gaslighting, and trauma.

Evans delves, “This is not so much a record about trying styles and ‘seeing what sticks’ because I can’t live my life by that unhealthy metric. It’s very important to not take the ability to release a range of music while alive for granted. I almost went into a diabetic coma last year and have a year of sobriety again. Covid and a lot of intense events of 2020 really made me restless to channel some love and pain. If feels like a triumph that we safely made a record last year. It meant a lot to me to have everyone involved who played a role, but especially to finally make a full-length album deep in the woods at Nada Recording Studio with my dear friend Sean Paul Pillsworth after several decades in the scene together.”

Stream the title track to Tears We Should Have Shed’s closing punk ripper “Time To Go (Fuck Q)” RIGHT HERE.

WALKING BOMBS will release Tears We Should Have Shed digitally on April 23rd. Find preorders at Bandcamp HERE and watch for additional audio previews and more to be issued in the coming weeks.

 

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ORYX release “Last Breath” track via Brooklyn Vegan

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 9:00 AM (PST)

Denver sludge trio, ORYX have unleashed a deadly new track titled, “Last Breath” today at Brooklyn Vegan. The track comes from the bands forthcoming full-length, Lamenting A Dead World, due for release on April 30, 2021 via Translation Loss Records.

About the track, vocalist and guitarist Tommy Davis shares: “Last Breath is a rumination on the Earth responding to humanity parasitically taking from it without constraint or care. Wandering in mortal dissolution, our vanquish is certain death.”

Lamenting A Dead World is set for release on April 30, 2021 via Translation Loss Records. The much awaited album has already received high praise from across the metalsphere and continues to turn heads with each powerful and emotive listen. Pre-order and digital pre-save is available now HERE. Track listing, album info, and more is listed below.

We’re stoked today to help spread the dark anti-gospel of Italian black metal act XEPER‘s new release Ad Numen Satanae. While the Garden of Eden snake on the cover art does kind of look like a lovable if mischievous missing cast member from The Land Before Time series wandered into a hot and heavy moment between Adam and Eve whilst innocently seeking a tree star, this record is actually pretty evil. Spare but crisp production meets sophisticated but molten black and coldly focused dark path passion. It is a cleaner sound than some early wave BM fans will like but to my ears it is a great blend of classic aesthetics and more sophisticated musicianship.

The album will be available on CD and digitally via Soulseller Records on February 26th 2021. The vinyl release follows on May 7th.

XEPER was formed in 2007 in Treviso / Italy by guitarist Guh.Lu, best known as a former member of bands such as Setherial or Impiety and currently as the bass player of Gorgoroth. The project features musicians from the worldwide Black Metal scene like V. Einride (Whoredom Rife) on drums, Maelstrom on vocals and guest appearances of the great Blasphemer (Vltimas, ex-Mayhem, Aura Noir), Mantus (Patria) and various others.


Artwork by Marcelo Vasco.

Tracklist:

1. Fiat Interitus

2. The Hidden Genesis

3. Under The Will Of Satan

4. Riding The Spiral Of Lilith

5. Purity And Death

6. Snake That Brought The Flame

7. Ad Numen Satanae

 

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ANUBIS cover MEGADETH’s “Tornado Of Souls”

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 6:50 AM (PST)

Cleopatra artist’s ANUBIS, a rising thrash force from  Los Angeles, have a new Megadeth cover out! Featuring veterans of local and national metal bands Hatchet, Screams of Syrens, and Hydera, ANUBIS “,…combines the speed and aggression of thrash metal bands like Megadeth, Testament, Havok with the twin guitar attack and soaring vocals of melodic metal like Helloween, Savatage, and Iron Maiden.”

This cover version is lean and sleek with the band clearly determined to showcase what they can do. While it is hard not to compare it to the iconic and meaner original, this version pops and leaps out of the speakers with a modern metallic commendable lifeforce.

We look forward to seeing what else this band has in store!

GOD OF NOTHING release the vertigo inducing “Locust”

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Friday, February 19, 2021 at 9:33 AM (PST)

Real heavy and dissonant furniture smashery today via deathcore band GOD OF NOTHING‘s new single “Locust”. Love the uneasy and queasy intro leads over the churning, mosh ready hate fest (and the weird af Korn-esque possessed serial killer janitor in a mop closet rubbing his bloody hands together vocals around 2:30).

When asked about the song, Vocalist and songwriter Ritz Holsclaw had this to say “This song is for people that feel alone and left in the dark. It’s a statement letting people know, it’s okay to not be okay. Our friend Adam Mercer is a personal friend that we felt would best fit this song with his experience of struggle. Just know, it’s okay to not be okay.”

Well, that fits with my murderer alone in the dark impression! And it is ok not to be ok, though this song doesn’t sound like Demi Lovato and Marshmello (no hate, I love that song). But yeah, this might not make you feel that much better as this shit is fuckin’ bleak! But we all need to vent those kind of emotions sometimes as well!

An upcoming LP just announced by the band is called Vicious Cycle which is due out March 12 Worldwide on LEGEND Recordings. This is a great label that is also home to acts we adore such as September Mourning, Karma Kids and Paralandra, to name a few.

“Locust” also features Adam Mercer of A Wake In Providence. All pre-orders include 3 instant downloads of already released tracks “Burn” and “Sledge” as well!

Pre-order bundles are available right now at

https://www.legendshop.co/category/god-of-nothing

MADAME MAYHEM releases “Cruel Heart” single

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 12:17 PM (PST)

MADAME MAYHEM released her new single “Cruel Heart” to all digital platforms! The single was co-written by Madame Mayhem and Keith Wallen (of Breaking Benjamin).

 

“This was one of the first songs Keith Wallen and I wrote together. I always have such a great experience co-writing with Keith. I remember listening to this demo on my way home after we finished writing and just getting so excited to share it. I have been patiently waiting for the right moment to release this single and I think now is as good a time as any! This song is near and dear to my heart and I am excited for the world to hear it!” says Madame Mayhem.

 

She adds, “I performed this song live on tour a few times prior to recording it, which only makes this release even more special because of the excitement the crowds had for “Cruel Heart” hearing it for the first time as an unknown song. I remember having conversations with fans after the shows about how much they connected with it, which means so much to me! I hope the song continues to connect with people through this release.”

This song was produced and arranged by Johnny K (Disturbed, Megadeth, Sevendust, Finger Eleven), who also played bass on the track. Lead vocals and backing vocals were performed by Madame MayhemKeith Wallen performed guitars and backing vocals and Jason “JBomb” Harrison was on drums.

 

The video was directed by http://www.onerpmstudios.com/.