As part of an onslaught of new short-length assaults, on February 16th, 2018, Blood Harvest Records is proud to present Shambles’ Primitive Death Trance on digipack CD and 12″ vinyl formats.
Shambles hail from Thailand, and formed in 1997. Over the past 20 years, they’ve undergone an evolution from brutal grindcore to witching black metal to doomed-out death metal. They’ve accomplished all this across a handful of demos and splits, but at last, in 2016, they delivered their Realm of Darkness Shrine debut album, where the current Shambles aesthetic has been nailed down cold. Indeed, it’s as cold as the coffin, for their latest Primitive Death Trance EP delivers four absolutely DEAD tracks of absolutely gutted, doom-retching DEATH. Barbaric and stripped bare and yet subtly spiced with a hypnotic thrust that eventually overwhelms the senses, Primitive Death Trance is aptly fucking titled.
Death, doom, and the beyond: Shambles take you there with their Primitive Death Trance. This recording is a precursor to the band’s new album for Blood Harvest, which should see release sometime next year. In the meantime, hear the new track “Daemon”
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Shambles’ Primitive Death Trance
2. Dismal Pantheons
3. Illusion Of The Void
4. Primitive Death Trance
Iron Bonehead Productions sets March 9th, 2018 as the international release date for a special mini-album from Germany’s Horn, entitled Retrograd, on CD and 12″ vinyl formats.
Riding high on the critical acclaim afforded its seventh album, Turm Am Hang – released in early 2017 on vinyl LP by Iron Bonehead – the one-man Horn returns with a six-song/27-minute strike of pure pagan epicness. Since 2002, mainman Nerrath has been steadily perfecting a classicist, almost-medieval style of black metal bound to pagan roots. Staunchly solitary to the present day, the initial drive behind Horn was to create nature-themed black metal, focusing on the relation of man and nature in a regional context. The band’s old material, being mainly concerned with detailed descriptions of nature and incorporating rather upbeat, folk-influenced riffing, has made way for more sinister themes and soundscapes over the years. What has remained throughout the course of seven studio albums is the distinct “Horn sound,” featuring siren-like lead guitars, classic black metal-styled vocals as well as clean chorals, and a serious folkloristic approach far from the jolly drunken Viking tunes celebrated these days.
But, with the momentous release of Turm Am Hang, Horn entered a new, intensely poignant period, where the Feldpost material was carried ever forward by with clean and harsh vocals taking turns in conveying largely mid-tempo songs that stirred both raging bloodlust solemn pride. In many ways, the brand-new Retrograd mini-album serves as an ancillary chapter to Turm Am Hang, stylistically set within the same, uniquely Horn landscape and expanding upon the thematics and textures of that towering album. Although comparatively shorter in length, Retrograd is no less vast and no less epic, emitting a widescreen, wanderlusting splendor that’s especially magical given its tight ‘n’ truncated runtime. It’s Horn through and through, mightier and more majestic than ever, and once again breathes fresh air into the ancient spirit of the ’90s, and likewise further cements Iron Bonehead’s grounding in (and continued support of) black metal’s distant past, whether it be Nocternity, Kawir, Front Beast, Disharmony, Blood Tyrant, Runespell, Ithaqua, Naudiz, or the almighty Moonblood. Taste the German steel of Horn’s Retrograd!
Swords drawn, feel the first slash ‘n’ parry of Retrograd with its title track
CLOAK are unleashing their complete forthcoming album, ‘To Venomous Depths’, which is scheduled for release on November 10th.
CLOAK comment: “To us, music is art and art is magic. It is transformative and primal in ways that cannot be simply explained. When we began writing ‘To Venomous Depths’, we knew that we were on to something special; something powerful and fervent. The further we dove into the creative process, the further we ventured into the lowest parts of our consciousness and the highest points of our souls so that every last bit of ourselves bled out into our music. Where we ended up is something that cannot be summarized, it can only be felt. We welcome the listener to join us in that feeling in the hopes that it destroys and revives you just as it has done to us.”
The Artwork of ‘To Venomous Depths’ has been created by Adrian Baxter and can be viewed below.
1. To Venomous Depths / Where No Light Shines (7:53)
2. Within the Timeless Black (6:56)
3. The Hunger (6:10)
4. Beyond the Veil (6:42)
5. Death Posture (4:06)
6. In the Darkness, the Path (6:33)
7. Forever Burned (6:12)
8. Passage (2:47)
9. Deep Red (10:05)
Total playing time: 57:24
Atlanta, Georgia in the Deep South of the USA is probably not among the cities named as first suspects for a black metal influenced rock band to emerge. Yet there at the crossing of two old American railroad lines, CLOAK was conceived in the year 2013.
Their debut full-length, ‘To Venomous Depths’ is simply a perfect amalgamation of Nordic black metal with catchy hooks and melodic rock. And while the Americans are not claiming to be reinventing the wheel, their outstanding song-writing is catapulting this album to the top.
CLOAK have named DISSECTION, DEEP PURPLE, and FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM as main influences, but their harsh yet groove-fuelled sound has invited critics to draw comparisons with such acts as TRIBULATION, WATAIN, and YOUNG AND IN THE WAY.
After spending two years in the rehearsal room carefully preparing their material, CLOAK released a first sign of life in the shape of ‘Demo 2015’, which created an audible buzz in the US underground.
A two-track, self-titled EP followed in 2016, gaining the Americans worldwide attention and critical acclaim. In their short time of existence, CLOAK have already shared stages with renowned acts such as WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, WINDHAND, INTER ARMA, SATAN, and TAAKE.
It will not take CLOAK long to capture your interest, but with each new spin ‘To Venomous Depths’ will reveal new details that make their discovery worthwhile. There are no fillers on this debut album, just hits. Let’s rock this cool darkness!
Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of HORRENDOUS. The American death metal addicts will release their much anticipated fourth album through Season of Mist.
HORRENDOUS comment: “The time has finally arrived to announce our newest creation to the world. It was a painful birth, fed on the paranoia and malaise of our times, and has since matured into a sprawling colossus that consumed us as we constructed it. It is our monument to uncertainty, to the mad perseverance of the soul and its tired labors, and the redemptive cycle of failure and resiliency – another stone rolled to the peak, demanding all of our abilities, and we can’t wait to watch it fall.”\
When HORRENDOUS formed in 2009, the band’s three founding members attended the same university and were obsessed with old school death metal. Driven by a desire to capture and rekindle the mystique of an already bygone era in the history of metal, the Americans fused elements from both sides of the Atlantic into a cohesive sonic landscape, which resulted in the ‘Sweet Blasphemies’ demo.
The demo kindled a fire of early interest and the blaze swept fast beyond their home in South Carolina with HORRENDOUS being picked up by their first label, which let to the release of the band’s debut full-length ‘The Chills’ (2012).
With growing confidence and progressing as musicians, HORRENDOUS began to expand upon the traditional death metal formula, conjuring a bolder, more sophisticated sound from disparate elements beyond the limitations of any genre. This lead to the albums ‘Ecdysis’ (2014) and (after relocating to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) ‘Anareta’ (2015), which scored an impressive 24/50 in the Terrorizer Magazine (UK) “Album of the Year” list – as well as making it into the top-lists of US magazines such as Stereogum, Spin, Decibel, and many more. Each successive record marked a new step in the evolution of the band and carried them further on their adventurous journey of musical awakening.
HORRENDOUS are currently recording their fourth album at Damian’s studio Subterranean Watchtower to be released by Season of Mist in 2018.
Damian Herring: guitar, vocals
Jamie Knox: drums
Matt Knox: guitar, vocals
Alex Kulick: bass
Today, Greek black metal institution Kawir stream the entirety of their highly anticipated seventh album, Exilasmos Set for international release today via Iron Bonehead Productions, hear Kawir’s Exilasmos in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Since 1993, Kawir have been one of the unsung pillars of the classic Greek black metal sound. While the names Rotting Christ, Varathron, and Necromantia are incredibly important to that style’s foundation, it was Kawir who kept the faith during the ’90s and into the new millennium. In 1994, the then-young band released two pivotal 7″s, Eumenides and a split with Japan’s Sigh – on the pivotal Cacophonous Records, no less – and then followed those up in 1996 with the To Cavirs MLP, which is the first truly pagan-oriented record to hail from the Greek black metal scene. With that mini-album, Kawir set about on a Hellenistic crusade to celebrate their native gods and mythology in their lyrics and sartorial presentation. From the late ’90s onward, the band continued to remain prolific, perpetually committed to fine-tuning their idiosyncratic craft, culminating in underground classics Arai (2005) and Ophiolatreia (2008). Although 2012’s Ισόθεος featured a cross-continental lineup, the album further solidified Kawir’s status as unique icons in the black metal underground.
Then, just last year, Iron Bonehead released the massively acclaimed Father Sun Mother Moon, which saw Kawir return to an all-Greek lineup and recast their classic sound in a whole new light, and now they continue that forward momentum with the fiery Exilasmos. If the 64-minute Father Sun Mother Moon was the sound of Kawir indulging their most epic expanses – always with power and poignancy, it must be said – then the 42-minute Exilasmos is its punchier and more restless counterpart. Across its six characteristically cascading tracks, Kawir take a decidedly darker and more aggressive turn, racing into the fray in a manner most mid ’90s (or To Cavirs, as it were) but never losing the inherently heroic aspect so crucial – and so engaging, after all these years – to their Hellenic sound. Supplementing that dark heroism is the addition of a fulltime keyboardist in Aristomache, who lends mystical light and shade to the band’s surge ‘n’ swell. Further coloring the windswept wildness of Exilasmos are an endless supply of dramatic solos from guitarists Melanaegis and founder Therthonax.
But, as ever with Kawir, the sonic portrait they paint is imbued with a deep lyricism hailing the Greek pantheon. In the case of Exilasmos, the record is conceptually about the tragic dynasties of the house of Lavdakides (Oedipus Tyrannus) and the house of Atreus. Both dynasties nearly exterminated themselves, and all these violent and inhuman acts brought forth the wrath of Zeus and the curses were consequently laid upon the whole bloodline. “Exilasmos” in Ancient Hellenic Language means calming down the gods’ wrath, so it perfectly describes the tragic events featured in the namesake album.
Recorded at Esoteron Studio in Athens and mixed and mastered by Esoteric’s Greg Chandler at Priory Studio, Exilasmos is yet another gleaming jewel in the rich Kawir canon.
After announcing changes in their lineup, Spanish death metal band Bizarre has now launched a single track in form of a lyric video which shows their development featuring a new vocalist and bassist, and which also serves as an appetizer for their upcoming debut album for Xtreem Music in 2018.
The new song is entitled “Psyche,” and you can watch the video directly HERE.
“Psyche” is also available for free download at Xtreem Music’s Bandcamp HERE.
Release date and more details to be announced shortly. In the meantime, visit Bizarre’s official Facebook page below.
Today, Dutch death metallers Neocaesar – a band formed by all ex-Sinister members like Mike van Mastrigt (vocals), Bart van Wallenberg (guitars), Michel Alderliefsten (bass), and Eric de Windt (drums) – premiere the new track “Valhalla Rising”.
The track hails from the band’s highly anticipated debut album, 11:11, which was self-released a few months ago but is now seeing official release & distribution through Xtreem Music on December 5th.
Formed back in fall 2014 by these four ’90s ex-Sinister former members, Neocaesar wrote their debut album during 2015 and recorded it during 2016 while playing shows through Holland, Germany, Denmark, and Czech Republic. 11:11 was released in early 2017 as a limited self-financed pressing just to get the band out and playing around, but it’s now when this album will get the promotion and distribution it deserves with the help of Xtreem Music.
Every good fan of the true Sinister sound of the early ’90s, will for sure love Neocaesar’s debut since this is probably one of the best European death metal albums of the year! The previously revealed “From Hell” can be heard at Xtreem’s official YouTube channel HERE as well as the label’s Soundcloud HERE.
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Neocaesar’s 11:11
1. Initial Novum (Intro)
2. From Hell
3. Victims of Deception
4. Invocation of the Watcher
5. Sworn to Hate
6. Valhalla Rising
7. Prelude to Darkness
8. Angelic Carnage
9. Sigillorum Satanas
10. Blood of the Nephilim
SHINING are streaming the second song taken from their forthcoming album, ‘X – Varg Utan Flock’, which is scheduled for release on January 5th.
The song “Gyllene Portarnas Bro” (which translates as “Golden Gate Bridge”)
SHINING mastermind Niklas Kvarforth comments: “Our new track, ‘Gyllene Portarnas Bro’ has been in the works since 1999 and is one of the calmer moments on this record. Built around three different parts, it was originally intended for the album, ‘Livets Ändhållplats’. It was later reworked for ‘Redefining Darkness’, but it wasn’t until now that this song finally started to make sense. Lyrically, it speaks of the seduction of the human mind and spirit, the ultimate destruction of the life cycle of the one being seduced. Indeed, this track sets the mood for the violent darkness that follows.”
SHINING are furthermore releasing the artwork of ‘X – Varg Utan Flock’, which has been created by Kevin Rolly and can be viewed below.
1. Svart Ostoppbar Eld (7:11)
2. Gyllene Portarnas Bro (6:39)
3. Jag Är Din Fiende (7:05)
4. Han Som Lurar Inom (8:03)
5. Tolvtusenfyrtioett (2:53)
6. Mot Aokigahara (9:33)
Total playing time: 41:24
Niklas Kvarforth is not the first artist struggling with mental illness and related issues. The erratic Swede is also not the first musician whose inner demons are part of the creative genius. Yet in the world of metal, his band SHINING remains as a unique and outstanding act in terms of talent and musical excellence.
Never shy about his personal afflictions, Niklas Kvarforth is once again baring his tortured soul with ‘X – Varg Utan Flock’. His anger, his confusion, his pain, and his torment are all becoming tangible on the tenth album in the band’s long history. For a point of reference, the legendary ‘V – Halmstad’ release probably offers the most appropriate comparison. Yet all the influences SHINING fused into their previous masterpiece, ‘IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends’ (2015) are also still present. Eclectic influences from progressive rock, jazz, classical music, and even faint traces of pop have left their mark.
In addition to the broad musical spectrum on display, Niklas Kvarforth’s deeply emotional laments emerging from the dark depths of his twisted mind go beyond the usual scale of metal bands in their great vocal scope and variety.
Founded in 1996 by Kvarforth, SHINING self-released ‘Submit to Self-Destruction’ in 1998 and spawned the term “suicidal black metal” with this debut 7″. A couple years after first full-length, ‘I – Within Deep Dark Chambers’ (2000) and sophomore album, ‘II – Livets Ändhållplats’ (2001) had cut deep marks into the underground scene, Niklas replaced his whole crew, which started a continuous cycle of line-up changes. With MAYHEM drummer Hellhammer on board, ‘III – Angst’ (2003) and ‘IV – The Eerie Cold’ (2005) began to gather major press attention. At the same time, SHINING focused on bringing their vision and often controversially received live performances to Europe. Yet Kvarforth’s mental health led to cancellations, physical and psychological fights within the band, and finally a break-up. Not content to let things rest after his breakdown, the restless singer returned with new members and the acclaimed masterpiece, ‘V – Halmstad’ in 2007. By then SHINING had reached headliner status and toured with other great acts such as SATYRICON and MAYHEM. Several line-up changes later, the Swede recorded two albums in one session: ‘VI – Klagopsalmer’ was released in 2009, to be followed by ‘VII – Född Förlorare’ two years later. The band also received their first gold disc for the single ‘Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel’ in Sweden. After rotating more musicians in and out, SHINING returned with ‘Redefining Darkness’ (2012) and a less aggressive, yet more sinister sound. Before signing to Season of Mist, the band released the project ‘8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd’, which featured six of Kvarforth’s favourite vocalists. In August 2014, SHINING entered Andy LaRocque’s Sonic Train Studios to record their ninth album, ‘IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends’ as the sum of Niklas Kvarforth’s musical evolution and experience. More line-up changes and breakdowns followed.
Yet Niklas Kvarforth clawed his way up from the depths once more and returned to Andy LaRocque and Sonic Train Studios to record another album. The result, ‘X – Varg Utan Flock’ is a musical masterpiece far beyond simple genre limitations and a shining tribute to the achievement that a troubled mind is capable of when driven by a passionate will to excel and overcome. Listen with respect.
Today, horror metal cultists Vaultwraith stream the entirety of their highly anticipated debut album, Death is Proof of Satan’s Power, Set for international release today, on Halloween, via Hells Headbangers, stream the entirety of Vaultwraith’s Death is Proof of Satan’s Power HERE
Deep within the tenebrous bowels of a dark and decrepit castle was it that the black ritual was undertaken. Assembled there were four of the worst sinners this world has ever known, utterly profane and perverse: The Warlock, He of the Blasphemies… Alucarda Bellows, She of the Devil… Esteban Walpurgis, He of the Evil Rites… and Baron Blood, He of the Flesh & Blood. A blood-red full-moon hanging in the benighted sky, they began the unspeakable ceremony. Mercyful Fate and Bathory albums were offered unto a flaming pyre, as were the celluloid artifacts of Jess Franco and Paul Naschy. Once some esoteric incantations in Latin and Sumerian were uttered alongside the spilling of hot sacrificial blood did that loathsome quartet play the notes known but to the most impious and obscene. And it was then, at the foreboding stroke of midnight, that the shuddersome fiendish spectre did arise from out of the stygian void: the Vaultwraith!
While its ominous conception dates back to 2012, it was not actually until the untimely death of that legendary underground warlock, Jim Sadist of the infamous Nunslaughter, that Vaultwraith truly arose from the netherworld. Before his death, Sadist had been in talks of joining the Devilcraft Cult, and it was indeed those dangerous meetings that conjured the very soul of the thing, bringing infernal life to what had been, before, but a formless nightmare. Now sworn to an unwholesome and unholy pact with devils, witches, and all that is supernatural, Vaultwraith was begotten upon the summer solstice of 2016. Inspired by those masters of classic ‘80s metal such as King Diamond, Iron Maiden, and early Metallica as well as the heavier occultism of Celtic Frost and Nocturnus, it evinced an otherworldly marriage of furious heavy metal guitars, dueling monstrous extreme metal vocals, and keyboards straight out of a Hammer Horror film. The result of all this utter devilry was black hymns that not simply dripped with a palpable atmosphere of unadulterated evil but that were hauntingly melodic, as well.
The very first manifestation of Vaultwraith’s malevolence came in the form of the Wrath of the Wraith demo in late 2016, and it was this tape that seduced obscure label Turanian Honour Productions to arrange a split 7” with, so very apropos, Nunslaughter, this to be freed from Hell sometime in 2017. But it was those maniacal overlords of underground death and black metal underworld, the one and only Hells Headbangers, who did behold the true potential of that Devilcraft Cult and offered to unleash their full-length masterpiece of aural horror, Death Is Proof of Satan’s Power. Eleven dreadfully metaled tributes to all that is morbid and macabre, it is due to lurk forth from the shadows in 2017.
And so, as you descend down, down, down unto the accursed black heart of that very same abandoned castle, you must ask yourself: are you prepared to bear witness to the Vaultwraith?
Ordering info can be found at Hells Headbangers’ Bandcamp HERE.
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Vaultwraith’s Death Is Proof of Satan’s Power
1. The Vaultwraith
2. Ravaged In the Crimson Mist
3. Infernal Realms Unfold
4. Dark Desires Unleash the Legions of Lucifer
5. Night Ride Through the Black Woods
6. Manifest at Midnight
8. Open Grave Rape
9. High Priestess of the Wolf Coven
10. Damsel In Disgust
11. Skeletonized Malediction
Today, Italian technical thrashers Centripetal Force reveal the first track as well as cover art and tracklisting for their forthcoming debut EP, Eidetic, which will be released on December 20th via Xtreem Music. Entitled “Eidetic Memory,” hear the first taste of Centripetal Force’s Eidetic HERE.
Formed back in 2010 by Stefano Saroglia (guitars) and Andrea Carratta (drums), Centripetal Force completed the lineup with John Knight, who is lead singer of UK progressive metal band Synaptik. The musical style of the band is twisted, technical, and progressive thrash metal in the vein of bands like Watchtower, old Cynic, Mekong Delta, Control Denied, Coroner, later Death, and Toxik.
In 2017, Centripetal Force recorded three songs destined to be their debut EP, entitled Eidetic, and with this, they got a deal with Xtreem Music for its release in December of the same year. The band is now working on more songs for a second EP to be released sometime in fall 2018, but that’s another story…
In the meantime, hear “Eidetic Memory” from Eidetic both HERE
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Centripetal Force’s Eidetic
1. Centripetal Force
2. Eidetic Memory
3. Death of a Marionette