SYNCHRONY: Music News, Week in Review & Upcoming (12/13/2019)

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.


  • NOTE: This is the final SYNCHRONY entry for 2019. The rest of 2019 will include a final Top 50 Albums of the Year list, a doom metal list, and several backlogged reviews from November and December releases. All incoming news between 12/14/19 and 1/03/20 will be included in the first entry of SYNCHRONY for 2020. THANK YOU all.
  • Great news to kick things off as Canadian progressive death metal band SUTRAH have announced a second pressing of their majestic 2017 debut ‘Dunes’. So? Ah, well they’ve signed with The Artisan Era for that pressing and… A new album they’ve just finished production on. ‘Dunes’ was one of my favorite releases a couple years back so, I’m glad to be able to get it on vinyl soon and even happier they’ve got new material coming soon. The band describes their second album as their “first gasps of air… bound to what lies beyond the waves”. Nice. Follow them on Facebook to keep up: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Even more exciting news the fifth full-length album from Finnish doom metal trio CARDINAL’S FOLLY entitled ‘Defying the Righteous Way‘ is now complete. It’ll be released in 2020 through Rafchild Records. Another band on my ‘Best of 2017’ list that I’m eager to hear more from. They put out a great split with Lucifer’s Fall earlier this year, so check that out ASAP. Follow them on Facebook to keep up: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Norwegian progressive stoner/heavy metal act HEX A.D. have announced the first single for their upcoming fourth full-length as “Astro Tongue”, an upswinging rocker that the band cites guitar greats Michael Schencker and John Norum for influence, along with psychedelia-infused lyrics inspired by “Spiral Architect” era Black Sabbath. The single is our first hit of their upcoming LP, ‘Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden‘, which will be released on February 21st 2020 on Fresh Tea. Pre-order and a link to the full “Astro Tongue” single are available on the label’s website: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • BERZERKER LEGION have released a music video for the song “Obliterate the Weak” from the album of the same name, coming from Listenable Records on January 31st, 2020. I have to say I wasn’t really anticipating this one much, but after reading Jonny Pettersson‘s (Wombbath) explanation of the album’s theme, I’m really interested in the full listen: “the concept is based around how religion is poisoning the world…” and how “…weak minded sheep will do anything in the name of whatever god they believe in”. Yep, that is my jam, full support. Mid-paced Hypocrisy style song, sounds pretty good. Check it out on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Are you a doom metal fan and need something unusually massive to look forward to in 2020? UK doom metal trio GODTHRYMM featuring ex-My Dying Bride, Vallenfyre, and Solstice members will unleash their debut album ‘Reflections‘ February 14th, 2020 through the luxurious doom-lined coffers of Profound Lore. They’ve released “Among the Exalted” as an early single and its ‘Shades of God’-esque sound is going to break your blackened heart when it releases on Valentine’s Day. Beyond excited for the album. Listen now on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Conquerors by occult forces, W.T.C. Productions have admirably set February 7th, 2020 as the date of release for Athens, Greece bound SERPENT NOIR‘s third album ‘Death Clan OD’. The follow up to the highly underrated ‘Erotomysticism’ (2015) will be the strike of the dagger to light the blood electric, to set the dragon’s vision afire. Caustic and roaring but patient in their strike, the groups efforts are still directed by the duo of Yiannis K. and Kostas K. (Embrace of Thorns) but now includes members of Ofermod, Acrimonious, and Head of the Demon. Something to anticipate for fans of Greek black metal, and occult black metal in particular. Listen to the first preview track “Astaroth: The Jaws Of Gha’Agsheblah” on Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info
  • Nordvis Produktion have announced February 28th, 2020 will be the day of release for dark folk project BLOOD AND SUN‘s second long-player, ‘Love & Ashes‘. Spearheaded by musician Luke Tromiczak, the album has been about two years in the making and roughly six years in the writing. If you’re not familiar with ‘White Storms Fall’, their debut from 2013 and you are a fan of neofolk/dark folk absolutely start there and await further previews for the time being: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]

  • The second full-length from Portuguese occult black metal act HUMANART, ‘(Further) Into the Depths’, was released back in late April on Dark Ages Works but we’re just getting a lyric video for the lead single “Nefilim” this last week. Timing aside, this is a fine black metal song recalling the dark orthodoxy of Scandinavia in the early to mid 90’s and Humanart do a fine job of creating their own groove within that exalted sound. Check it out on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • February is looking killer for Invictus Productions as they officially reveal the cover art, release date, and details for the second album from Swedish death-artistes ENSNARED who’re set to unveil said album on February 14th, 2020 once again in conspiracy with Dark Descent Records. The title will be ‘Inimicus Generis Humani’ and they’ve promised auld sounds, doom-ridden landscapes, miasmic violence! Stoked to be spear’d in the chest ’til death by it, I loved ‘Dysangelium’ (2017). Jump over to Bandcamp for the album art, preview song, and pre-order: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • The fine folks at Antiq Records have announced a phenomenal conjoining of artists that has been a year in the making, a three-way split album between dungeon synth artists DRUADAN FOREST, BANNWALD, and URUK-HAI entitled ‘Kingdoms Long Gone’, to be released February 2nd, 2020. I loved Druadan Forest’s 2019 LP ‘Dismal Spells From the Dragonrealm’ and cannot wait to hear their next track and discover these other two projects. Feel the immense stature of a looming castle, a shocking pile of stone set as a mountain man-made as you experience Bannwald’s first track “Fortress I” on Antiq‘s Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • TODAY IS THE DAY have signed with BMG Music for their follow-up to 2014’s ‘Animal Mother’ which will be entitled ‘No Good To Anyone‘. The title refers to a dark period for bandleader and mastermind Steve Austin, who suggests the record is a rocking psychedelic record that “is beginning of the end of your life.” The first single, the title track, is an expansive take on post-metal, atmospheric sludge and Austin’s own brand of darkness which I’d discovered with ‘Temple of the Mourning Star’ back in 1997. Fans of Tombs and Lord Mantis should really go run and check the song out. More details soon, so far they’ve suggested a release date in early 2020. Check out Jef Whitehead‘s fantastic cover art and listen to “No Good to Anyone” on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • NOTABLE ALBUMS AT PRESS THIS WEEK FROM: Ensnared, Serpent Noir, Disbelief, Blood and Sun, Kvaen, Saturnalia Temple, Folian, Grey Skies Fallen, Thoren, Berzerker Legions,  Izthmi,  Hazzerd, Druadan Forest, and a few more. Look for coverage in the near future. Don’t see your album listed? Send it to me!

GRIZZLY BUTTS‘ WEEK IN REVIEW (12/07/19 – 12/13/19)


  • Ten From the Tomb 12/09/19: …In power, in loftiness of soul-in contempt.
    • This week I focused solely on albums that came out this week and this will be the continued ‘soft launch’ of a new Monday feature that provides shorter reviews for albums coming out that week, starting in 2020.
    • Must hear: Officium Triste, Nightbearer, Israthoum.
    • Next week (12/16) will cover new releases for the third week of December.
  • Thrash ‘Til Death #50: Death (United States) 1983-1987
    • Death is a daunting subject to address, a massive discography of constant change and refinement from a self-taught genius who’d been given the gift of a guitar to deal with his brothers passing at 9 years old. Schuldiner ends up as one of the most influential musicians in the creation of Death Metal as it began in the United States in the early 80’s and the feature ends where true death metal begins: ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ on the cusp of ‘Leprosy’.
    • Death means so much to me because they were the first death metal band, followed by Immolation, that had me thinking about more than violence, gore, and brutality while listening to great guitar riffs. My mind has never been the same, and I am so heavily/thankfully influenced by albums like ‘Human’.
  • 20 Underground Noise Rock Albums You Missed in 2019
    • Here is the fifth of six sub-genre specific ‘end of the year’ lists for 2019. It was such amazing year for Noise Rock! There are still plenty of good/great things to check out but I’ve hit most of the stuff that isn’t released/releasing in December. For this list I literally just cuddle up with a bunch of my favorite noise rock bands from the year. My favorite Noise Rock releases from 2019 will be included in the Top 50 Albums of the Year.
    • Highlights: Salvation, Chat Pile, Trigger Cut, Fun.
  • Metal of the Month: December’s Finest 15 Releases (2019)
    • A fine month that folks likely won’t dig into until early next year, there are yet a few incredible records from December 2019 that deserve your attention before we call it quits for the year.
    • Includes: Oath of Cruelty, Horrified, Cianide, Blot & Bod, Mosaic, Nova, Xantam, Revel in Flesh, Skullcrush, Cult of Erinyes, Haxandraok, Touch, Solace, Depressed, Sacrifizer.
  • The Year in Review | 2019
    • This is a general recap of all of the Metal of the Month columns, all Thrash ‘Til Death entries, all Video game coverage, every BACKLOG, SYNCHRONY, and Ten From the Tomb entry for each month as well as the Top 15 for each month of the year.
    • This does not include the Top 50 Albums of the Year which is coming… When it is finished! I’ve finalized the order this week. The deadline is December 18th but it might come sooner.

REVIEWS: The big releases this week were from: Nightbearer, Xantam, Mosaic, Skullcrush, In Obscurity Revealed, and Officium Triste.

  • None! Reviews will pick back up after 12/18/19 and will focus on November and December releases from: Horrid, NEDXXX, Analogue Black Terror [Book], Oath of Cruelty, Cianide, Horrified, Revel in Flesh, Into Coffin, Blooming Carrions, Unfathomable Ruination, Kosmokrator, Deivos, Lord Mantis, Diabolic Night, Child Bite, Necropanther, Numen, Slow, Serpent Warning.



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 (12/14/19 – 12/31/19)


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 donate to help keep me in front of the computer writing about metal. Thanks.

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