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. If you have New Releases, show announcements, or important heavy music news that’ll be relevant or interesting to folks contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Priority to PR/label submissions and straight up if I can’t hear it, I won’t cover it.
THIS WEEK IN NEWS
- Now signed to the ever-growing vortex of The Artisan Era, Canadian prog-tech death metal band SUTRAH can officially announce a four song EP, the progressive/technical death metal band’s first material since 2017’s ‘Dunes’. ‘Aletheia‘ will release Friday, March 13th. The first single is coming in early January. Tune into The Artisan Era on Facebook to keep up: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Spanish thrash metal band HOLYCIDE have released the first single from their upcoming second full-length, the title track for ‘Fist to Face’ which is due for release throuch Xtreem Music on February 14th, 2020. So far the record is sounding clean, modern, political, and their whole gig reminds me of Nuclear Assault, Havok, those sorts of band. Listen for yourself on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Athens, Greece based solo occult black-thrashing heavy metal act PRIMEVAL MASS have aligned with Katoptron IX Records for their fourth full-length ‘Nine Altars’. A summation of a decades work spanning raw evil black metal beginnings towards refined black/thrash a la Blackrat and Bewitcher, ‘Nine Altars’ is planned for a February 21st, 2020 release. Listen to the first single from the album, “Circle of Skills” on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Psychedelic ambient prog-ish doom duo INSECT ARK have channeled some of the post-Candy Cane space rock thump of ‘Kosmonument’ on “Tectonic”, the second single from their upcoming full-length ‘The Vanishing’ due out February 28th, 2020 on Profound Lore Records. An instrumental duo born out of a personal solo project, the duo find an ominous voice by way of a narrative bass guitar descent on this latest track, highlighting Dana Schechter‘s own performances and some specific interplay with this new drummer, who so far sounds like a fine addition. Look beyond the ‘self’ as you listen to “Tectonic” over on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Here’s a great reminder of the somewhat underrated record from HOUR OF PENANCE a few months ago as bassist Marco Mastrobuono performs “Blight and Conquer” from ‘Misotheism’. His glossy, snapping Warwick bass tone is fantastic on this playthrough of the song and it had me wondering why the bass guitars weren’t that pronounced on the record! It kinda goes a bit ‘Whisper Supremacy’ when things get clanging, love it. Watch over on YouTube, and check out ‘Misotheism’ if you missed it: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Blackened art-punk/metal act RASPBERRY BULBS have signed with Relapse Records for ‘Before The Age Of Mirrors’, their fourth album which is due for release on February 21st, 2020. The cassette version will be handcrafted and signed by Marco del Rio (Bone Awl) all else comes through Relapse. The addition of Rorschach’s guitarist most definitely saw greater hype for this already compelling act and judging by the first single “Ultra Vires”, this’ll be a kicker. Check the song out on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- German speed metal act S.D.I. (Satan’s Defloration Incorporated) have announced their fourth album entitled ’80’s Metal Band’ for release on January 31st, 2020 through MDD Records. This comes three decades after their last album and finds the band without their original guitarist. They’ve promised a speed/heavy metal sound dedicated to the title of the record, which best suits their mantra and modus today. Pre-order is up on MDD Records [in German]: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- New progressive death metal project SVENGAHLI have announced their debut EP, ‘Nightmares Of Our Own Design’ will be self-released March 6th, 2020. Fronted and concieved by musician Alex Weber from progressive metal band Exist with the goal of exploring the wild edges of modern progressive death music Svengahli incorporates influences from jazz, contemporary classical and improvised music to shape what sounds like a very clean and decent bout of prog-metal. Not really my thing lately but I love the cover art! Check out a teaser trailer on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- After an important touring stint in Blue Cheer RANDY HOLDEN would appear on some of the sessions for ‘New! Improved! Blue Cheer’ before going off on his own heavy psychedelic trip under his own name, recording this bold and blues-buttered summer of ’69 doom rocker, ‘Population II’ (1970). The story of inspiration for this album is well worth digging through as Holden took influence from great extremes in sound, seeking wall of sound guitars while exploring the imperfect revolutions of sound emanating from machines. It doesn’t take -that- good of drugs to get into ‘Population II’, a lumbering giant from a magnetically charged guitarist. RidingEasy Records are one of the first, if not the only label to legally acquire the license for this iconic and heavily bootlegged album, a work of art so ambitious and otherworldly in its doomed enormity it’d nearly break Holden from the music industry entirely. Right, you can tell I’m excited for this! It releases officially remastered on February 28th, 2020. Tune yourself towards the bevvy of RidingEasy for updates: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Spanish ‘old school’ death metal band APOSENTO are currently recording their third full-length with engineer Dan Díez, same technician who they’ve worked with on previous albums. The new record will be titled ‘Conjuring the New Apocalypse‘ and feature ten tracks, with cover art from artist Naroa Etxebarría. Xtreem Music are aiming for April 2020 for the release of this album. Stay tuned to their Facebook to keep up to date: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- What could be the common thread between A.J. Von Drenth (Beyond Belief), John McEntee (Incantation), and Bob Bagchus (Soulburn, ex-Asphyx)? Old school die-hards who found their path through death metal music by way of heavy and huge doom metal riffs. At the very least this new project shared between the trio BEAST OF REVELATION is the black and blue face of death, an oozing and life-threatening collapse of the flesh… er, it is a huge sound for any death-doom fan to latch onto. The first single and title track from their upcoming album, “The Ancient Ritual of Death”, does bring the amalgam of Netherlands-meets-Unite States death/doom sounds you’d expect but with a very loud and very polished sound. Iron Bonehead Productions will release their debut full-length on March 6th, 2020. Check out the title track for yourself on Iron Bonehead’s SoundCloud: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Norwegian metal-punk act DRITTMASKIN have signed a deal with one of my favorite up-and-coming labels, Edged Circle Productions for the release of their self-released 2018 debut, ‘Sosial Prolaps’, on February 7th, 2020. This will act as a vital introduction to this driven and truly adventurous band before they record their second full-length, which is expected for release on their label in later 2020. If their next album is as good as the first, I’m all in on this band. Check out “Punkeboms” on Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Slovakian black/heavy metal cultists MALOKARPATAN have released a new song entitled “Filipojakubská noc na Štangarígelských skalách”, the first single taken from their third album ‘Krupinské ohne (The Fires of Krupina)’. This much anticipated work will be released in full on March 20th, 2020 through the great work of Invictus Productions and The Ajna Offensive. This first glimpse of the album is substantial in offering their own unique vision of true heavy metal that is blackened and folkish by nature. Invictus’ Soundcloud has the track: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Countless lingering Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian souls dance in the rapturous hail of melting Earth as Memento Mori announce their latest signing, ‘old school’ progressive death metal act INANNA from Chile, the decades-long expanding vision of Diego Ilabaca (Coffin Curse). I love the story of inception for this band, citing “Morbid Visions and Altars of Madness, with the mysticism and transcendence of the long and amazingly structured compositions of his ’70s prog-rock heroes” cited as early influences. Their sound would evolve between classic death metal sounds across their first two full-lengths eventually reaching a prime level of refinement incensed by bloody sacrificial guts. If you love StarGazer, Scenery, and the evolution of ancient prog-death madness in the hands of the enlightened this is your gig. ‘Transfigured in a Thousand Delusions’ (2012) is up on Bandcamp so check that album out first and foremost, it is very underrated. This year it is all about Coffin Curse for the guys but they’ve agreed to a new full-length in 2021! Keep an eye on Memento Mori‘s site for updates: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Easily my most anticipated release from Finland based black metal label Purity Through Fire coming at the end of January, this debut from Swedish symphonic black metal act GREVE, ‘Nordarikets Strid’ lands on the 31st. This is one for folks who’ve more recently warmed up to the Limbonic Art/Emperor side of things but might want something more overtly melodic and specifically graced by the grand atmospheric hand of Swartadauþuz. Think closer to Vargrav and further from Gardsghaster. A simple, swaying beauty threads the heavy atmosphere of “Offerbål till Gudarna” drifts in like snow and freezes with menace, on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- Nuclear War Now! Productions have set March 15th, 2020 to release Brazilian cult NECROGOSTO‘s EP, ‘Ancestral Bestiality’, on 12″ vinyl format. I reviewed a reissue/wider release of their 2017 tape not too long ago and was thrilled by its old school Brazilian thrashcore (eh, think Warfare Noise heaviness). The eye-popping priests on this album art should sell folks on this quick. They’ve tweaked the bass guitar tone slightly for this mini-lp and to great effect on “Serpent of 1000 Eyes”, check out the song yourself on NWN! Prod’s Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- I’d mentioned Belgium based technical death metal band PESTIFER‘s new album ‘Expanding Oblivion’ a few weeks ago and we’ve now got “Ominous Wanderers” as a preview track leading up to the release on XenoKorp this March 13, 2020. This is a fantastic song and the 2 minute build-up of “Ominous Wanderers” was completely engaging, plenty brutal and a good first hit of the record’s style. So far it is sounding like one of the biggest releases in March for my taste. Check out the song on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
- NOTABLE ALBUMS AT PRESS THIS WEEK FROM: Suum, Hex A.D., Nyogthaebslisz, Mortal Incarnation, Into Pandemonium, Aseptic, Gorevent, Mavorim, Invocation, Greve, Soul Dragger, Holycide, Mammock, Drittmaskin, Vananidr, Witchcrawl, Loits, CB3, Agabas, Primeval Mass, 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 (12/14/19 – 12/27/19)
- Ten From the Tomb 12/16/19: Constrained apparitions of contentment.
- This week I focused solely on albums that came out this week (well, last 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: Oak, Daemoniac.
- Next week (12/30) will cover requests from independent bands.
- 20 Underground Doom Metal Albums You Missed in 2019
- Here is the last of six sub-genre specific ‘end of the year’ lists for 2019. It was such amazing year for Doom Metal! 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. There is plenty of death/doom and doom in my Top 50 Albums of the Year but there are a few adjacent favorites on this list.
- Highlights: Taiwaz, Pylar, Saltas, Hexgrafv, and the very underrated Plateau Sigma.
- The Top 50 Albums of the Year | 2019
- A general Top 75 is given between 25 runners-up and 50 of my personal favorite records of the year. This deliberation took roughly a full month to place in order and some of the changes were made up ’til the very last minute, including swapping Serpent Warning for Take Offense‘s killer album and swapping Tomb Mold up to #2 instead of #4. I could easily just do a Top 100 album run and put it all in alphabetical order but I find it more valuable to suss out an order so that I can reflect upon the year and nurture my own emotional connection with music.
- Ten From the Tomb 12/23/19: Cybele, tympanon, and frenzied Phrygian dances.
- I was working on a 50 item list that included 2019 albums I missed but decided to stop 20 and focus on some extreme metal. Black, death and some doom step into this loosely themed list meant to point towards some interesting highlights for 2019.
- Highlights: Horrid, Ultra Silvam, Umbra Conscienta, Slow, all of it ’em really.
REVIEWS: It has been a much needed break time lately but I’m just about back in the swing of things. I’ve got one more 2019 video game to review, one more to play, about 45 metal albums to review, and two vinyl reviews to do. It’ll all get done when it gets done.
- The Outer Worlds (2019) | REVIEW [Video Game]
- NEDXXX – NEDXXX (2019) | REVIEW
- Analogue Black Terror (2019) | REVIEW [Book]
- Oath of Cruelty – Summary Execution at Dawn (2019) REVIEW
RELEASED/OVERLOOKED THIS WEEK (12/14/19 – 12/31/19)
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.
- HORRID – As We Forget Our Past [Dunkelheit Produktionen] ANCIENT DEATH METAL*
- NEDXXX – NEDXXX [Norma Evangelium Diaboli] SATANIC BLACK MAGICK*
- CIANIDE – Unhumanized [Hell’s Headbangers Records] DEATH METAL*
- GROWING HORNS – The Nobility of Pain [Self-Released] SLUDGE/DOOM METAL
- DAEMONIAC – Dwellers of Apocalypse [Xtreem Music] DEATH METAL*
- OAK – Lone [Transcending Obscurity Records] ATMOSPHERIC DEATH/DOOM
- DREAMLORD – Disciples of War [No Remorse Records] THRASH METAL
- BLOODLET – Viper in Hand [Translation Loss] DARK METALCORE
- ANGELBLAST – Rotting Paradise [Edged Circle Productions] DEATH METAL
- NEFARIOUS SPIRIT / VOID PRAYER – [Goatowarex] BLACK METAL
- CULT OF ERINYES – Æstivation [Amor Fati Productions] BLACK METAL
- DEPRESSED – Beyond the Putrid Fiction [Black Lion Records] DEATH METAL
- VERTHEBRAL – Abysmal Decay [Transcending Obscurity Records] DEATH METAL
- GOATBLOOD – Apparition of Doomsday [Dunkelheit Produktionen] WAR METAL
- GROGALDR / KOMMODUS – [Goatowarex] BLACK METAL
- HAXANDRAOK – KI SI KIL UD DA KAR RA [Ván Records] OCCULT BLACK METAL
UPCOMING RELEASES (1/01/19 – 1/10/19)
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.
- MAMMOCK – Itch [Self-Released] NOISE ROCK
- UNBOUNDED TERROR – Faith in Chaos [Xtreem Music] DEATH METAL
- ASEPTIC – Cascading Fluids [Redefining Darkness] DEATH METAL
- VAEOK – Vaeok [W.T.C. Productions] BLACK METAL
- EMPIRE OF THE MOON – Εκλειψις [Iron Bonehead Productions] BLACK METAL
- WALDGEFLUSTER – Stimmen im Wind 2020 [Nordvis] ATMOBLACK METAL
- HAUNT – Mind Freeze [Shadow Kingdom Records] HEAVY METAL
- KAWIR – Adrasteia [Iron Bonehead Productions] PAGAN BLACK METAL
- KASSAD – London Orbital [Hypnotic Dirge Records]
- SNORLAX – II [Brilliant Emperor Records] BLACK/DEATH METAL
- LOTUS THIEF – Oresteia [Prophecy Productions]
- UNREQVITED – Mosaic II: la déteste et la détresse [Prophecy Productions] POST-BLACK
- MORTAL INCARNATION – Lunar Radiant Dawn [Sentient Ruin] DEATH/DOOM
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.
<strong>Help Support Grizzly Butts’ goals with a donation:</strong>
If you appreciate what you’ve read, please consider donating directly using PayPal.