SYNCHRONY: Music News, Week in Review & Upcoming (8/02/2019)

SYNCHRONY is a weekly feature focusing on relevant heavy music news, new releases, upcoming releases, as well as a week in review to help folks keep up with all of the content on GrizzlyButts. This’ll also include a list of upcoming releases and some preliminary notes on upcoming reviews or coverage. Some Seattle, Washington area live shows will be intermittently featured. If you have New Releases, show announcements, or important heavy music news that’ll be relevant or interesting to folks contact me at: Priority to PR/label submissions and straight up if I can’t hear it, I won’t cover it.


  • TEMPLE OF DREAD have released a second preview track (“Now You Will Die”) from their upcoming debut ‘Craving Blood Mantras’, which will be released August 30th on Testimony Records. This time around you can really hear the Asphyx/Morgoth influence in their sound with a classic ’89 death beat. They’ve got it up on Spotify and Bandcamp but for now check the song out on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • If you had managed to contain your excitement when a Faustian Pact full-length was announced as on its way this year with Vargrav’s V-Khaoz on keyboards then plug your holes because Werewolf Records, in conspiracy with Hell’s Headbangers, have set September 27th to mark the release of DRUADAN FOREST‘s third album since reforming in 2016. ‘Dismal Spells From the Dragonrealm‘ will be a luxurious double LP with four extended pieces that show even more of V-Khoaz‘ range, who’d started and ended the ambient black metal project in the late 90’s. One fourth of this new 73 minute opus is available for preview on Bandcamp, “Enthralled by Majestic Winters Eternity” isn’t what you’re expecting! [Click/Tap HERE for more info]

  • Transcending Obscurity Records have announced what is likely one of their most anticipated death metal releases of 2019 with the eleventh full-length from Swedish death metal band PAGANIZER. ‘Tower of the Morbid’ appears to pick up where ‘Land of Weeping Souls’ left off with a similarly big production sound and well, Johansson always saves his best riffs for this band, generally speaking. Check out the first preview track “Apocalypse Writings” and keep an eye out for the album on November 1st: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • In celebration of their second decade of communion Italy’s technical blackened death metal heirophants HOUR OF PENANCE have announced details surrounding their eighth studio album entitled ‘Misotheism‘. It’ll be released via Agonia Records and is set to be released October 25th. The album was mixed/mastered at Hertz Studios so, expect something extra loud and brutal! I felt like ‘Cast the First Stone’ (2017) saw movement in a positive direction for the band so I’m looking forward to this one. Pre-orders are up now and singles will follow in the coming weeks. [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Edmonton, Canada based melodic black metal artist ARCTOS have achieved their debut full-length debut album, ‘Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands’ for release on Northern Silence Productions on September 20th. The album’s first single is, put simply, ‘epic’ in cadence as it stomps forth. I’m reminded of Belenos as much as I am Falls of Rauros, so… It is well worth checking out. Fire it up on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Italian metalcore-gone-blackened grindcore act THE SECRET have enlisted a new drummer, Guido Montanarini (Implore, ex-Rhyme), as they move forward with various festival dates and work on a new full-length that’ll eventually see release through Southern Lord Recordings. To celebrate this new union they’ve released a drum cam video on YouTube capturing Montanarini‘s performance of “Agnus Dei” during the Sherwood Music Festival’s ‘Sherwood Goes HC’ segment on July 4th this year: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Perth, Australia based shapeshifters ADVENT SORROW find identity in their past and the fiery Hell of the future on their second full-length ‘Kali Yuga Crown’ that’ll see release on Werewolf Records on September 27th. Expect an unceremonious piece of majestic black metal that courts their old fire, new depression, and ruminates upon each with frightening bursts of rage. Werewolf’s Bandcamp has the opener up for listening, see what you think: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Norfolk, Virginia post-hardcore band DEMONS have released a digital single “Uglier Americans” with profits going to RAICES, the largest immigration legal services provider in Southern Texas. If you don’t mind a bit of political content on my end: [Fuck ICE and fuck anyone who’d separate a family, cage another human being, or sit idly by while opportunists capitalize upon inbred ignorance to distract from the corporate fleecing of the United States economy.] Also hey, it is a pretty good song, bit of a Fugazi/later Quicksand vibe here and there. Much support on both ends. [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Australian heavy/stoner rock band LAMASSU have released the first preview track, “Killing Someone,” from their debut full-length ‘Into The Empty’ which’ll be out September 2nd as a fully independent release. Vocalist/guitarist Chris provides some insight into the lyrical themes of the song: “…musically it all came together pretty quick. Lyrically I wanted to express a realization I had one day when seeing horrible injustice on the news, that too often the people who have the power to change this type of thing are often the ones who create it in the first place.” it has a kinda funky mid-career Soundgarden-esque lean to it, check it out on Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]

  • Leeuwarden, Netherlands melodic death/thrash metal band INSURRECTION have released a music video for “Non Existent Fall”, a song which appears to deal with fibromyalgia, a chronic condition involving multiple points of consistent bodily pain. They’re a bit more graceful in their movement since their 2015 EP and it’d seem Insurrection’s debut full-length ‘Circles of Despair’ is definitely worthy of a grab when it releases August 30th on Big Bad Wolf Records/Headbangers Records. Very 1998, I’m into it! Watch the video on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]

  • If you felt the dark n’ easy grooves of BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT‘s psychedelic beginnings, strap in for a more collaborative and ‘off the cuff’ examination of contrasting tonality as the quintet goes heavier and lighter, dreamier and more sinister, all at once. How so? Ah, by way of their new album ‘Veils of Winter’ which’ll be released on October 11th once again through RidingEasy Records. Need proof? “Motorcycle” is up on YouTube for the listenin’ and I’m definitely feeling the sludgey grunge-ground meets dreamy psych pop it brings: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]

  • Agonia Records can joyfully announce that they will be releasing the next PESTILENCE album, tentatively titled ‘Exitivm’ as they’ve officially signed the legendary (sometimes infamous) death metal band. This is a great fit for the band and label, which is working in conjunction with the band’s own imprint Hadeon Records. Follow Pestilence and Agonia Records to keep up to date on what is to come! [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Oakland, California death metal hole diddling knuckle-dragger smashers VASTUM are just about wrapping up their fourth LP, ‘Orificial Purge’ and hell, it’ll be ready for release in the Fall. They’re working with the great Greg Wilkinson/Earhammer Studios and teaming up with 20 Buck Spin for release. It’ll be good, sounds like they’ve aimed for some sort of transgressive hypnosis in creation of this album and it’s been a bit of a wait. Shit, I was gonna go to MDF 2020 but I might just spend that money on 20BS vinyls instead at this point between their August releases, this, Nightfell and freakin’ Obsequiae sooner or later. Keep your internets peeled for more info soon, or just follow Vastum on Facebook: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Holy shit! You’re not worthy of this latest AGGRESSIVE PERFECTOR record from Dying Victims Productions, ‘Havoc at the Midnight Hour’ (releases November 1st) and its Mercyful Fate meets ‘Show No Mercy’ era Slayer vibes. Insane album art, too. Absolutely hyped for this and love what this label has been doing all year. Make a note to catch up with with the label’s Bandcamp soon but for now jam “Turbo Evil” loud! [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Iron Bonehead Productions have set October 18th as the international release date for cult death metal band UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN‘s mountainous fifth album, ‘Teufelsbücher‘, on CD and vinyl LP formats. The aim was to outdo the previous album which saw a major jut into dissonance and clangor they’d never pushed so far. Hail any ancient cult willing to push the limits to high art and beyond, this is among my most anticipated of the year. Iron Bonehead will simultaneously reissue the band’s cult second album, ‘People of the Monolith’, on vinyl LP as well as a special compilation of their 7″ EPs and a live performance from the 2018 inaugural Never Surrender Fest curated by Iron Bonehead and Nuclear War Now! Bestow your soul to the left hand path provided on “Cranquiluria” by way of SoundCloud: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Canadian progressive/technical death metal project SUTRAH have remarked that their new full-length has finished production with more news to come soon. This also comes with the announcement of a repress of their debut full-length ‘Dunes’, which was among the best releases of 2017, which was released as a limited run of CDs that sold out quickly. Follow the band on Facebook to keep up to date on things as they develop! [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Australian progressive death/thrash metal legends STARGAZER have posted a remastered version of the song “Tryaal By Obsidian” from their split with Sacriphyx back in 2009. No doubt this is a hint that they are working on a compilation of some sort and I am ecstatic, this is one of the most brilliant pieces they’ve written and absolutely count Stargazer among my very favorite bands of the last two decades. [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • One of the earliest and most influential German speed metal bands from the early 80’s MAD BUTCHER appear to have signed a deal with Stormspell Records, presumably to release either discography materials or some of their unreleased and rare material. This Essen formed quartet are an underrated force who were frankly somewhat plagiarized by Destruction if you ask me. Powerful and melodic speed metal with plenty of NWOBHM influence. For now, check out some previously unreleased/forgotten tracks posted by the vocalist on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • HYPE ALBUMS AT PRESS THIS WEEK FROM: Iatt, Agenda, Arctos, Paganizer, Meatwound, Druadan Forest, Cryptivore, Advent Sorrow, Ehlder, En Minor, Mavorim, Pseudocommando, Wreck-Defy, Darkened, and several more. Look for coverage in the near future. Don’t see your album listed? Send it to me!

GRIZZLY BUTTS‘ WEEK IN REVIEW (7/27/19 – 8/02/19)


  • Ten From the Tomb 7/29/19: The adipocere beneath your fingernails.
    • This week I chose to cover a bunch of death metal related records from 2019 that I felt were overlooked or that I wanted to write about but never got around to a full review.
    • Must hear: Itheist, Cold Curse, Pathetic, Sxuperion.
    • Next week’s theme will be requests from independent bands, or just requests direct from bands. Just to put it out there in the universe: Please send MP3 files, not WAVs and not a link to your Bandcamp (unless it is a download code) if you’d like to be reviewed.
  • Thrash ‘Til Death #31: Slaughter (Canada) 1984-1989
    • Slaughter were undoubtedly just as vital to the birth of true death metal rhythms as Hellhammer, Master, Death, Possessed, Slayer etc. were especially when considering North American origins and their influence upon classic Swedish death metal. They are one of my all time favorite groups and this despite a raw and bloody discography that consists almost entirely of demos, rehearsals and one incredible full-length. Of course I’ve included their album as Strappado, and had a great time revisiting this band that was so vital to getting me to look beyond thrash and hardcore towards extreme metal.
    • Next week (8/06) will feature the fairly low-key discography dig-up for Chicago, Illinois underground death/thrashers Funeral Nation from 1989-1994. Doubt it’ll be a band many know but they are well worth remembering.
  • Metal of the Month: July’s Finest 15 Releases (2019)
    • In every recap of July out there folks have undoubtedly noted that this is a very slow month compared to last year and just a generally slow release month for heavy music but I’d say, you’re not looking close enough at independent releases! Scour Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Metal-Archives, Discogs, RateYourMusic, etc. whatever you need and you’ll find a plethora of things that might’ve missed your outbox any given month. Do more!
    • The big release this July is obviously Tomb Mold, a band I’ve been wacky over since the first album and demos. I had the privilege to interview the band and have been overjoyed to see the rest of the world fully embrace and love ‘Planetary Clairvoyance’ as much as I have. Otherwise some newcomers and old favorite projects were on tap. The big cheese on my plate was Desecresy with an album I found addictive as hell. Otherwise: Impure, Restless Spirit, Cherubs, Carnal Tomb, Holocausto, Shades of Deep Water, Halshug, Andavald, Celestial Grave, Falls of Rauros, Enforced, Nightfucker, and False all made the list. Not a lot of honorable mentions, I haven’t been writing as much lately for many reasons I won’t detail too much further than I already have.

REVIEWS: Because I have been screening more of the releases I receive and avoiding metalcore, radio rock, power metal, and such the pool to pick from has been considerably small these last two months. I try to listen to everything regardless of release date and genre but when I have limited time I want to only cover the best things that mean the most to me personally. I hope to make June/July seem like a vacation compared to the amount of content I have coming up but time will tell if I manage the ambitious goals I’ve set for the second half of the year. The big releases this week were Excuse, Mylingar, Total Hate, The Rite and Deceitome with special mentions for Swarn and By the Spirits. Almost all of these are in some stage of review besides Excuse which is already posted.

UPCOMING SHOWS: [That I’ll likely attend]

  • CORROSION OF CONFORMITY @ KISW’s Pain In The Grass 8/03/2019 @ White River Amphitheater – Auburn, WA
  • ACID KING w/Wizard Rifle, Warish 9/21/19 @ Highline – Seattle, WA
  • VOIVOD & REVOCATION w/Skeletal Remains 9/25/19 @ El Corazon – Seattle, WA
  • ELIMINATOR FEST 2019 w/Deceased, Morbid Saint, Witch Vomit, R.I.P. & more 9/27/19 @ El Corazon – Seattle, WA
  • HIGH ON FIRE, Power Trip, Devil Master & Creeping Death – 12/02/2019 @ Neumos – Seattle, WA



NOTE: This small sample includes overlooked releases that are not yet reviewed or covered but are recommended. Some of these will still be featured in other coverage. An asterisk (*) indicates that a review is drafted or in preparation. Click/Tap on RECORD LABEL name for preview, stream, or store.

UPCOMING RELEASES (8/03/19 – 8/09/19)


NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list, some titles are already reviewed and/or covered and some have yet to enter the final queue for consideration and processing. An asterisk (*) indicates that a review is drafted or in preparation. Click/Tap on RECORD LABEL name for preview, stream, or store.

Did I miss something important this week? Send me an e-mail and tell me about it. It is always worthwhile to speak up for the lesser known stuff. Please remember you can contribute to my Patreon @ only $1 USD per month ($12 a year) to help keep me in front of the computer writing about metal. Thanks.

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