After three wilderness years with doom gods Spiritus Mortis and Lord Vicar, electronic warriors Tähtiportti, and black metal sorcerers Azrael Rising, Sami Albert “Witchfinder” Hynninen is back in business with Opium Warlords. On November 3rd, Opium Warlords shall release Droner through Svart Records.
Droner is the fourth Opium Warlords album, and it brings Hynninen’s uncompromising musical vision to its most sparse form. It is noisy lo-fi riff music consisting only of particles unquestionably necessary, but at the same time with a musical spectrum that is very wide and open. It is experimental and avant-garde, still with roots deep in the very heart of heavy rock music. It is concrete blues, diving to the existence and the smallest molecular spheres of minimal riffs, and what seems to be an endless repetition of them. From these rather skeletal elements, it occasionally reaches neo-classical, even medieval spheres and death-romantic chambers of apocalyptic folk. Onto all of this, disturbing lyrics are chanted by unnamed, hostile protagonists.
The lyrics come entirely from outside, already existing sources: a book written by Finnish culture radical Jouko Turkka, a ritual of Ndembu people, and a letter written by scarlet woman Marjorie Cameron. The purpose here is to create a soundtrack that pictures and reflects the contents of the textual force. The result is primitive and brooding sonic landscapes of war, ritual, and death. Gone is soothing warmth of the preceding album, Taste My Sword Of Understanding. Droner is all about nuclear war and clear, post-apocalyptic primitivity of the surviving culture. It is torturing purification through purgatory, to a new world and new form of life.
First track premiere to be revealed shortly.
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Opium Warlords’ Droner
1. Year of 584 Days (20:32)
2. Samael Lilith (20:30)
3. “Closure” (18:55)
DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT will kick off their European headlining tour supported by French brothers in spirit, REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER at Gleis 22 in Münster, Germany tomorrow evening, September 21st.
Please find a list of all currently confirmed dates below.
On the short-term cancellation of INTER ARMA due to circumstances beyond the American band’s control, DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT commented: “We are shocked about the news as we’ve been looking forward very much to share stages with INTER ARMA, but we have no other choice than accept this and move on with the tour. We hope that you understand and we apologise to everyone who wanted to see them! We have tried everything possible to find an adequate substitute, but unfortunately it was impossible on such short notice. As a result, REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER will have more stage time and we want to give local acts a chance to join our shows. Interested bands should get in contact with us.”
DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT Festivals
22 Sep 17 Hamburg (DE) Hamburg Metal Dayz
DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT
+REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER
21 Sep 17 Münster (DE) Gleis 22
23 Sep 17 Köln (DE) Gebäude 9
24 Sep 17 Rotterdam (NL) Baroeg
25 Sep 17 Nijmegen (NL) Merleyn
26 Sep 17 Esch-sur-Alzette (LU) Kulturfabrik
27 Sep 17 Wiesbaden (DE) Schlachthof
28 Sep 17 Stuttgart (DE) Keller Klub
29 Sep 17 Marseille (FR) Jas Rod
30 Sep 17 Barcelona (ES) Razzmatazz 3
01 Oct 15 Madrid (ES) Sala Characol
02 Oct 17 Nantes (FR) Le Ferrailleur
03 Oct 17 Paris (FR) Le Petit Bain
04 Oct 17 Strasbourg (FR) La Laiterie
05 Oct 17 Lyon (FR) O’Totem
06 Oct 17 Zürich (CH) Werk 21
07 Oct 17 München (DE) Kranhalle
08 Oct 17 Salzburg (AT) Rockhouse
10 Oct 17 Budapest (HU) Dürer Kert
11 Oct 17 Wien (AT) Arena
12 Oct 17 Ceské Budejovice (CZ) MC Fabrika
13 Oct 17 Leipzig (DE) UT Connewitz
14 Oct 17 Berlin (DE) Lido
DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT will hit the roads in support of their brand new album, ‘Finisterre’. Please find artwork, track-list, and more information below.
1. Aufbruch (9:49)
2. Ein letzter Tanz (13:49)
3. Skepsis Part I (5:05)
4. Skepsis Part II (5:36)
5. Finisterre (11:13)
The musical puzzle that adds up to become DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT turns into something more complex – yet also clearer defined on the band’s fourth studio album, ‘Finisterre’. The original pieces are still in play: the aggressive German directness akin to ENDSTILLE and a penchant for brooding melancholy as embodied by IMPERIUM DEKADENZ. Spiralling psychedelic moments comparable to DEAFHEAVEN and WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM also find their place – as well as a knack for majestic melodies that shows parallels in Swedish black metal spearheaded by MARDUK and DARK FUNERAL.
Yet while DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT are clearly progressing along the lines laid out by their previous acclaimed effort, ‘Stellar’, the band has found a way to make these pieces fit more seamlessly. ‘Finisterre’ flows together into a coherent picture that stresses the Germans’ unique approach and sound. This album marks the point where DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT turn their various influences into a work entirely of their own expression despite never trying to cover up their roots. This impressive maturity has been reached through several stages.
Founded in 2009 by guitarist Nikita Kamprad and vocalist Tobias Jaschinsky,DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT garnered early attention with their self-released debut ‘Der Weg einer Freiheit’ (2009), which quickly sold out and was re-issued with new drum tracks a year later. Following the ‘Agonie’ EP (2011), their second album ‘Unstille’ (2012) already cored international acclaim. In the aftermath of this record, co-founding member Tobias left and main songwriter Nikita Kamprad took over his vocal duties.
The frontman was first heard on third full-length ‘Stellar’ (2015), which sawDER WEG EINER FREIHEIT gaining traction across the pond as well as expanding their European base. Having performed along such diverse acts as WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, NEAERA, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, AMENRA, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX, and DOWNFALL OF GAIA as well as playing prestigious festivals such as Graspop, Hellfest, Resurrection, Roadburn, Summer Breeze, and Wacken has honed the band’s songwriting skills to razor-sharp precision.
‘Finisterre’ clearly stands at the apex (for now) of the steep climb that DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT have taken. This German star is finally shining in full black.
Today, timezapped neuropunks Expander stream the entirety of their highly anticipated debut album, Endless Computer. Now set for international release on October 15th via Nuclear War Now! Productions, hear Expander’s Endless Computer in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Although black and death varieties of metal have largely thrived in the modern era, it has been conspicuously more difficult over the past decade or more to find a thrash band that both follows in the strong traditions of its forefathers and at the same time pushes beyond established boundaries to develop a sound that is unique unto itself, rather than being a stale form of mimicry of the subgenre’s heyday. Hailing from Austin, Texas, and to this point having released two EPs, Expander has broken the mold and developed its own niche through a novel concoction and recombination of musical and thematic elements that broadly span the genres of metal and punk. Expander’s music, lyrical themes, and chosen artwork are decidedly futuristic without being gratuitously experimental. The most appropriate point of reference that one might choose in drawing a direct comparison would be to Killing Technology-era Voivod. Expander, however, is noticeably more aggressive than its Canadian predecessor in its approach and delivery, which is clearly demonstrated on Endless Computer.
The concept behind the album is that of a shapeless cosmic entity which represents the pinnacle of technological advancement and seeks autonomous control over all atomic matter in the universe. This vision is musically reflected in the myriad of oftentimes unconventional riffs and progressions that manage to tunnel their way into the inner-consciousness of the listener and subvert independent cognition, much in the same way that a digital virus infects and takes control first of a single machine and then progressively engulfs entire networks of them. Not to be underestimated with respect to its overall impact on this album is the level of mindfulness to all aspects of production on this recording. Whereas a great deal of metal, particularly that of the black/death variety, runs a high risk of overproduction, thrash metal with a futuristic focus, such as this, benefits immensely from a healthy degree of attention to clarity and precision, which is proven in this case. Also a product of the band’s diligence in capturing the best-possible recording was its decision to faithfully reproduce its live sound to the greatest extent possible. To this end, the band transported its entire backline from its home base in the heart of Texas to faraway GodCity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts, rather than rely on the house equipment to only approximate the desired outcome. The final nod to detail is the perfectly representative cover artwork by Luca Carey, with whom the band worked very closely to ensure that the artwork reflected the lyrical themes of the music as accurately as possible.
Given the blistering pace at which humankind increasingly finds itself entangled in the web of its own creations, Endless Computer may indeed serve as a harbinger of the fate that we have sealed for ourselves.
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Expander’s Endless Computer
1. Biochron Space Suit
2. R-Type 2 Civilization
3. War Terminal: The True Front Line
4. Endless Computer
5. Authority Spire
6. Opulent Tesseract Ascension
7. Mechanized Deathcanal
9. Cold Orbit
10. Cold Orbit II: Facing Worlds
Nuclear War Now! Productions sets November 15th as the international release date for Wrath of Darkness, a special split album between Wrathprayer and Force of Darkness.
Chile’s storied history within the greater context of the South American black/death metal underground is extended with Wrath of Darkness, a joint LP from two of the country’s most respected current bands, Wrathprayer and Force of Darkness. Whereas most releases of this type are generally regarded as “splits,” owing to the separate nature of each band’s contribution, Wrath of Darkness is instead aptly considered a whole work, given the close-knit alliance between the two bands. Each individual element – including the music itself, art direction, and overall thematic concept – was deliberately developed in a collaborative effort involving both entities with the singular goal of producing the most cohesive release possible. The result of this endeavor, hereby released under the proud banner of Nuclear War Now!, is one that clearly validates the several years of work required for its realization.
Although Wrathprayer and Force of Darkness differ to a noticeable extent in the details of the composition and execution of their music, they are clearly united in that their styles are most firmly rooted in the black metal subgenre. On the one hand, Wrathprayer blends the foreboding nature of black metal with an oppressive, suffocating aura more commonly associated with death metal. Force of Darkness, on the other hand, peppers its interpretation of black metal with an impressive array of razor-sharp, blisteringly-precise riffs that tend to resemble the most evil variants of thrash.
The individual contributions by both bands are perfectly bookended and bound by the intro, “Inhaling Wrath,” performed by Wrathprayer, and the outro, “Exhaling Darkness,” performed by Force of Darkness. The five intervening tracks – two by Wrathprayer and three by Force of Darkness – are emblematic of two bands at the creative apex of their existence. Highlighting Wrathprayer’s side of the record is “De Profundis,” which opens with a chorus of desperate cries from the depths of the fiery pit and is then quickly consumed by a swirling maelstrom of aural ire. Force of Darkness then inherits this storm and multiplies it, culminating in “The Order,” a near-seven-minute opus that lays waste to any semblance of meagerness that may have somehow withstood the previous assaults.
With the whole of this work greater than the mere sum of its parts, Wrathprayer and Force of Darkness effectively redefine the notion of the split release and instead revive the more noble ideal of true collaboration, in service of darkness and wrath. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Wrath of Darkness
1. Intro – Inhaling Wrath
2. Tria Serpentis
3. De Profundis
4. Wall of Fire
5. Nunc Scio Tenebris Lux
6. The Order
7. Outro – Exhaling Darkness
tracks 1-3: Wrathprayer
tracks 4-7: Force of Darkness
Osmose Productions announces the signing of Norway’s Sjukdom. The first fruit of this union shall be the band’s highly anticipated second album, Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer, which shall see release early next year.
Natt and Avsky established Sjukdom in September 2011. After having one record under their belt, the pace changed for a faster, more in-your-face style of black metal. This was a change that the whole band was into, and the result came out brutal. With war as a main theme, the music fits the lyrics very well. The music may have changed a bit since the first record, but you can clearly hear that this is Sjukdom. Accompanied by Aske (former member) from Sweden, the forthcoming Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer turned out to be just the way they wanted.
Release date, cover art, and tracklisting for Sjukdom’s Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer to be announced shortly. In the meantime, hear “Naervaer,” the first track to be revealed from Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer
Hells Headbangers sets the release date for a special, LONG-overdue reissue of Black Death’s self-titled debut album. The CD version will be released November 17th while the vinyl version – which includes a 12″ and a 7″ – will be released December 29th; the cassette tape version is out now.
Highly sought after by collectors, not only is Black Death a crucial piece in the rich history of Cleveland heavy metal, its original 1984 release marks the first full-length by an all-African-American heavy metal band. More than that, with the band’s origins dating back to 1977, Black Death are largely known to be the first African-American metal band. But most of all, Black Death’s lone album is a fucking classic of raw ‘n’ wild HEAVY fucking METAL with a thirst for the epic and dramatic.
Black Death’s original lineup consisted of Siki Spacek on lead vocals and lead guitar, Phillip Bullard on drums and percussion, bassist Daryl Harris, and guitarist Gregg Hicks. “This was the original, classic lineup of the band,” says Spacek. “I met these guys waaaaaay back in 1977 while I was in the 11th grade, on the exact same day that I was expelled from school. At this point in time, I had already decided that music was the direction that I wanted to take my life in, and heavy metal was the perfect way to accomplish this goal.”
Indeed, across the original version of Black Death – which consisted of a seven-song main LP and then a two-song 7″, both of which Hells Headbangers will reproduce down to the same detail, including the original band logo as envisioned by Spacek – the four maniacs of Black Death create a towering work of true metal magick. The production is almost punkish, emitting a blown-out and garagey atmosphere, but this ably benefits this maniacal playing across the collective nine songs. Energy and electricity explode from every note, passion writ large across each time-evaporating minute; every player is giving it his all and going for the throat, finding that elusive balance between the barbaric and virtuostic. The songs themselves possess the swagger of red-blooded rock ‘n’ roll, but are generously daubed in the darkness and mystery of aeons-old metal. Imagine, if you will, Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny boosted with an OTT meanness or if Cirith Ungol were punks but indulged their Thin Lizzy tendencies more. Truly, Black Death is that awesome and awe-inspiring.
“I always wanted to create the ultimate HEAVY METAL band,” Spacek states humbly, “a band that was able to cover the broad spectrum of the emotional realms of music that other artists like Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin had done but individually within their own respective bands; I wanted to create a heavy metal band that would have the best qualities of each these bands. I also had a visual look in mind of black leather and spandex with chains and studs, projecting a strong image befitting the band that I had in mind.”
As for the oft-discussed issue of race, “Being an all-dark American heavy metal band was not a preconceived idea by any of us,” Spacek says. “It was something that just happened to turn out that way. To us, and especially to me, we were a heavy metal band PERIOD. A coloring book is a coloring book no matter what different colors are used inside of them.”
As fervent supporters of their hometown metal scene, Cleveland’s Hells Headbangers will endeavor to make sure this massively anticipated reissue of Black Death’s lone classic is of the highest standard, including making it available on both CD and cassette tape for the first time ever. “I have been asked how I feel about the upcoming reissue of the very first Black Death album,” Spacek concludes. “There are a variety of emotions that I have, but the most important one is of relief – FINALLY! Not only will the congregations of heavy metal be able to have personal access to it, but I can finally get my own copy of the damn thing – hahaha! And we have Bill Peters along with Chase Horval and the whole gang at Hells Headbangers to thank for making this reissue a reality and for helping me to reclaim my musical legacy! But most importantly, I want to thank all of the fans who have stayed true and interested in the ‘four dark horsemen of heavy metal’ and its current incarnation, Black Death Resurrected! It’s been a LOOOOOOONG time coming, mates – 33 years, in fact – but now it’s finally made it here…”
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Black Death’s Black Death
1. Night of the Living Dead
2. The Hunger
3. When Tears Run Red (From Love Lost Yesterday)
4. Fear No Evil
5. The Scream of the Iron Messiah
7. Black Death
– 7″ 45 RPM-
1. Here Comes the Wrecking Crew
In anticipation of their upcoming first North American tour starting today (dates further below), Slaughtbbath stream the entirety of their Contempt, War and Damnation compilation. Released today by Hells Headbangers on CD format, hear Slaughtbbath’s Contempt, War and Damnation in its entirety exclusively HERE.
One of the most elite hordes in the shit-hot Chilean black/death scene, for a decade and a half now, Slaughtbbath have prolifically pursued a fierce ‘n’ fiery vision of total black/death METAL. With a rich yet uniformly exemplary discography, this power-trio have laid waste to the underground across a myriad demos, splits, EPs, and 2013’s now-classic debut album, Hail to Fire.
Now aligned with Hells Headbangers since last year’s red-eyed ‘n’ raging split 7″ with Grave Desecrator, Slaughtbbath hereby present an exclusive collection of tracks from their post-Hail to Fire period. Aptly titled Contempt, War and Damnation, this seven-track CD compiles tracks from splits with Grave Desecrator, Ill Omen, Kill, and fellow Hells Headbangers cult Hades Archer as well as a rare compilation track and a brand-new song specifically recorded for this release. As ever going from strength to strength, Contempt, War and Damnation displays a Slaughtbbath at the peak of their powers, pulsing with both bestiality and burliness alike, and yet exhibiting a nuanced songwriting nous that is second to none.
As North America quivers before Slaughtbbath’s impending assault on its shores alongside fellow Chilean tyrants (and new Hells Headbangers labelmates) Communion, prepare for Contempt, War and Damnation!
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Slaughtbbath’s Contempt, War and Damnation
1. Astral Rape
2. Nefast Fireground
3. Tyranny From Sodom
4. Inverted Hierophany
5. Bestial Descension
6. The Sands of Despair
7. Black Revelation of Death
Confirmed dates and venues for Slaughtbbath and Communion’s first North American tour, dubbed Barbaric Cruelty Over North America, as well as poster art are as follows:
September 8-9 – Wings of Metal Festival @ Katacombes
September 12 – Worcester, MA @ Ralph’s Rock Diner
September 13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Metal Kingdom
September 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire
September 15 – Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
September 16 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies Music Joint
September 17 – Hamtramck, MI @ New Dodge Lounge
September 20 – Buffalo, NY @ Rockin Buffalo Saloon
September 21 – Toronto, ON @ Coalition
September 22 – Sherbrooke, QC @ Le Murdoch
September 23 – Considered Dead Festival, QC @ Multi Meduse
Blood Harvest Records sets November 10th as the international release date for Serpentrance’s debut mini-album, The Besieged Sanctum, on CD and vinyl LP formats.
Originally released as a limited-edition cassette in early 2015, The Besieged Sanctum introduced this Russian cult to the international underground with a lurking menace. Comprised of members hailing from such elite hordes as Pseudogod, Ill Omened, and Sickrites, Serpentrance create a swirling, sulfurous maelstrom of ritualistic black/death trance. Both seemingly improvised and militantly martial, The Besieged Sanctum heaves its hulking mass in a deceptively doomed manner: always a sense of vertigo engulfs the listener, no matter the tempo – from sub-atomic crawl to blastbeaten bestiality – and textures bleed in and out like a lingering fog. Now amended with an exclusive bonus track, the 31 minutes comprising this new Blood Harvest version creates a gestating womb of eldritch dread and incantory solemnity.
Enter The Besieged Sanctum with Serpentrance HERE
Preorder info can be found HERE.
Cover and tracklisting are as follows
Tracklisting for Serpentrance’s The Besieged Sanctum
2. The Aphotic Temples
3. Among The Timeless Tombs
4. The Tongueless Oracle
5. The Funeral Mass Of The Abhorrent
Midnight contributes an exclusive cover of D.R.I.’s “I Don’t Need Society” for a hurricane relief benefit. Available as an exclusive Bandcamp download-only track, all profits from Midnight’s “I Don’t Need Society” cover will be donated to the Red Cross in their efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
A statement from Midnight mainman Athenar reads: “Being wild nutty metalist/punkoid/scumball/rockheads blah blah blah, we all feel we don’t need society. But like it or not, we are a part of society…I think? Maybe not, but anyway, here’s an interpretation of ‘I Don’t Need Society’ by one of my all-time favorite Texas bands, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles! So, instead of buying a pair of those used soiled panties off of Ebay or that 13-inch-long unsanded dildo that you’ve had your eye on for quite some time now, use that cash to help out some folks in the Lone Star State who may need a pair of soiled panties or a dildo of some sort.”
In other Midnight news, the band recently revealed the first track from their highly anticipated third album, Sweet Death and Ecstasy, which will be released later this year on 2CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats via Hells Headbangers. Titled “Penetratal Ecstasy,” hear the first taste of Sweet Death and Ecstasy HERE
By now, Midnight need no introduction. Guided by the twisted muse of Athenar since 2003, this Cleveland cult have been slaying the metal/punk underground with their own, highly addictive brand of lust, filth, and sleaze, subsequently building up a sizable catalog and garnering a rabid fanbase. While there’s certainly fanatics for the band’s early EP work, it was Midnight’s debut album, Satanic Royalty – released to international fanfare in 2011 by Hells Headbangers – that entered the band’s name into the annals of “classic.” Never one to rush things (nor drop an EP along the way), Midnight continued their underground dominance with No Mercy for Mayhem in 2014, further perfecting their signature sound. Now, with their massively anticipated third album, Sweet Death and Ecstasy, Athenar and co. return with their darkest and most daring effort yet.
Granted, upon the first detonating chords of opener “Crushed by Demons,” it would be fair to assume that Sweet Death and Ecstasy is simply classic Midnight…until the tracktime nearly doubles what a characteristic track of theirs would be. This is no mere bloat, though: bookended by two of the band’s longest songs to date, Sweet Death and Ecstasy lays bare a more anguished ‘n’ aggravated Midnight, forever in thrall to the usual subjects (LUST, FILTH, SLEAZE) but speaking a slightly different, altogether-more-poisonous tongue. It both charges harder than ever – even harder than the band’s early EP work, arguably – and also puts on the brakes to bang ‘n’ clang in a manner most foul. Indeed, Midnight truly deliver Sweet Death and Ecstasy in a swift 32 minutes, and it’s absolutely addicting. What’s more, the CD version will feature a bonus disc that’s a 12-song live rehearsal recorded in 2015 by Commandor Vanik. There’s no dawn for Midnight…ever!
Osmose Productions sets October 27th as the international release date for Caïnan Dawn’s highly anticipated third album, F.O.H.A.T.
Once again, Caïnan Dawn have probed the infinite resonance of the everlasting chaos. Through seven tracks with strong atmosphere, the cosmic substance F.O.H.A.T reveals the mysterious link between Mind and Matter. F.O.H.A.T is the personified electric vital power, the transcendental binding unity of all cosmic energies, on the unseen as on the manifested planes. This is the final of a reversed path that was ending with Nibiru, the destructor, and followed by thAVMIAL, the twins.
Prepare for a journey beyond eternity. Kaos, Theos, Kosmos… Begin that journey with the new track “Ylem”
Additionally, a teaser for F.O.H.A.T can also be viewed at HERE.
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Caïnan Dawn’s F.O.H.A.T
1. Kaos Theos Kosmos