SYNCHRONY: Music News, Week in Review & Upcoming Releases (2/21/2020)

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 Grizzly Butts. This’ll also include a list of upcoming releases and some preliminary notes on upcoming reviews or coverage. If I can’t hear it, I won’t cover it! If you have New Releases, show announcements, or important heavy music news that’ll be relevant or interesting to folks contact me at:

THIS WEEK IN NEWS (2/15/20 – 2/21/20)

  • Aligning allegory of beacon, gathering, and the summit of man’s finite progress against nature, perhaps my most anticipated black metal release of the first quarter arrives as the debut full-length from CÉNOTAPHE which will unveil its thoughtful, meticulous craft by way of Nuclear War Now! Productions who’ve set the date of March 10th for ‘Monte Verità‘, on vinyl LP format. I’ve such enthusiasm for the vision of this band and their sharp taste. I believe pre-orders are up, and will likely fling off the damn shelves. Hey, check out the first preview track “Aux cieux antérieurs” while you’re lookin’ at the butt on the cover art: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Slithering up I-90 from the fog of the valley comes bubbler-chucking stoner/sludge metal trio SORCIA with their biggun of a self-titled debut, out March 13th on Incineration Ceremony Records. Jet your ass back to what, ~1995 when the bigger metal magazines were finally heralding Eyehategod and the nastier side of sludge and you’re where you need to be. They worked with Tad Doyle at Witch Ape Studio and got Jack Endino to master it. Nasty, groovy, and well you tell me if their first preview track “Nowhere But Up” is pretty standard or way classic. I’m voting somewhere in the middle, looking forward to the full jam though. Grab it on Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Wisconsin based technical/dissonant death metal band ARA have resurfaced to announce the coming blast of their second full-length, ‘Jurisprudence‘, will be self-released on May 15th. If you’ll remember last year Northless guitarist/vocalist Erik Steinglen put out that killer Syrictus record last year this is one of this other projects featuring other members of Northless. First off, fuck! That Eliran Kantor artwork is brutal. I love the idea that they’re taking heavy influence from technical and melodic sources, specifically mentioning Anata (whom I love) and yet putting their own work into it. You can certainly hear them hit those goals of dissonance, technicality, and some melodicism on the first preview track, “Cytokine Storm” which is up on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Feelin’ stabby? Swedish death metal’s most foul pool of hydrochloric acid, DERANGED aren’t going to put the bodies in the freezer, this time around binge and purge is on the menu with the first single from ‘Deeds of Ruthless Violence‘ (via Agonia Records on March 27th) entitled “Necro-bulimia Interfering Afterlife”. This reminds me of Broken Hope at their most edgy, ‘Repulsive Conception’ and all the body-flinging gore resultant. When I say that guitar tone is sick, I mean blurrghh! Go watch the lyric video on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Norwegian ambient black metal trio VINTLECHKEIT have not been shy about releasing a constant stream of demos since forming in 2017. Eight releases in 2018, ten (plus some compilations) in 2019, and already two more demos in 2020. Collecting some of their most poignant and potent wintry venom, Eternal Death have set March 27th as the release date for a compilation of two of their best 2019 demos: The ethereal scourge of ‘Svartskogen, svartvinter…’ and the mind-rending scrape of ‘Dødssted…’, both on on vinyl LP format for the first time, entitled ‘Svartskogen, Svartvinter​​.​​​.​​. / Dødssted​​.​​​.​​.‘. Screamingly raw but ethereally calm within the snow-bound Hel they’d create, you can preview the full thing over on Eternal Death‘s Bandcamp right now: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Aeternitas Tenebrarum Music Foundation have announced April 16th will be the day that the world cowers beneath the cosmic lung’s great black fire in the form of TITAAN‘s second album ‘ITIMA‘. A 47 minute song of relentlessly vexing Mesopotamian mysticism, woven outside of time and without regard for any reality beyond its own supreme vision. Too much to sum into few words, it is at least black metal to start and from entirely anonymous fonts of inhuman occult sources. Pre-order: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Didn’t start to feel all that old until I saw this one, stoner rock’s long-standing and ultra-consistent, high energy heavy rock legends FU MANCHU are bugging out for a huge 30th Anniversary Tour basically globetrotting from late April ’til December and thankfully hitting the West Coast here in mid-August. No announcement of support acts, so it sounds like it’ll be a long career spanning set. Get the details and whatnot over on Facebook: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • W.T.C. Productions have announced March 24th will be the day of unleash for German black metal band MEMBARIS‘ fifth full-length album, ‘Misanthrosophie‘. Having formed back in 1999 and long been an outlet of musicians who’d also feature in Porta Nigra and Weird Fate, this band is maybe exemplar of what you’re missing when you generalize the well-hidden German black metal biosphere. Well, that and they’re pretty well stylized here on this record, feeling a bit melodic and avant-garde as you’d expect but also very classicist and raw. I love the abstract cover art from legend Karmazid and the clanging snare hits throughout the first preview song “Architektur fern Struktur”. : [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Netherlands based dank and rotten ‘old school’ death metal band GRIM FATE are finally ready for the headshot with their debut full-length ‘Perished in Torment’. The trio have aligned with Xtreem Music for the release of their debut on April 7th on CD and 12″ LP. They’re big on Finnish death/doom and the above-ground stuff like Incantation and Bolt Thrower, you can hear it right away. This new song “Piles of Corpses” really reminds me of Desecresy for its basement buried production sound and the tonal separation of the two guitars, polyphonic darkness! Go listen over on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • It says it on the tin, eh? ‘Deadly Black Doom‘ is the intent, the description, and the title of the third full-length from the body-shaking, mind-sculpting ingress of Swedish occult doom metal quartet HEAD OF THE DEMON who have aligned with the mastery of Invictus Productions and The Ajna Offensive for this grand event for release on April 30th. Through unwilling possession, desperate incantation, or ye already streaming undying fixation with the dark, enter conjoined bliss with the “Dawn Walker” over on Invictus‘ Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • What a long strange trip it still is, and RidingEasy Records is up on it for a tenth edition of BROWN ACID entitled ‘The Tenth Trip‘, once again featuring 60’s and 70’s underground heavy rock, heavy psych, and some proto-metallic bits here and there if you’re into the chunky, groovy, buzzing weirdo rock of our forgotten past. What I continue to love about this project is that the songs they’re using for these compilations are responsibly sourced and licensed, going to great lengths to get the best versions straight from the artists or the folks who hold the rights. I always get at least 5-6 bands I’d never heard of, and kinda love out of each of these trips but it seems like I’ve missed the last couple. It’ll drop on April 20th, of course. For now check out the dark lyrics on Michigan psychedelic rock band Sounds Synonymous’ track “Tensions” from their ‘Tensions / Babylon’ 7″ single back in 1969 on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Nine Records have announced they’ll release the fourth album from Finnish doom metal band CASKETS OPEN, ‘Concrete Realms of Pain‘ on March 20th. I remember when they came out with their second album ‘To Serve the Collapse’ and picking it up based on the album cover, back then they had this interesting mix of typical post-Reverend Bizarre doom metal sound with a few songs that were ‘punk-doom’ kind of like Debris Inc. and it seems like they’ve leaned more towards the epic doom side of things since, a bit more expressive like Cardinal’s Folly. The first preview track from the album, “White Animal”, has a music video ready to go and you can check it out on YouTube now: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • I walked through the hallway, one side was all sliding doors that were half-open and full of empty shelves. I’d grown so accustomed to the dark that the light switching on turned my eyesight green. At least I saw nothing but green for the next hour or two. All I remember is that it was neon, an ugly and frighteningly raw neon. Iron Bonehead Productions have set April 24th day to drop out of life and into a tab, a lid, and ‘Into the Lap of the Ancient Mother‘ the debut EP from WHITE NIGHTS. A sensory experience, gurgling in the dark beneath the oppression of psychedelic black organist murmurs, deathrock’s thumping drum, and eyelid-sagging menace. Perhaps the enticing toxic flower of “Drift From Irminsul” could speak for itself: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Eisenwald have announced Italian avant-black/folk metal band BLAZE OF SORROW‘s sixth album ‘Absentia‘ will release on April 24th in North America. The first single from the record, “Notturna” is remarkably varied to the point that I’d have to stop what I was doing and pay attention to the level of detail they’ve worked up to. It reminded me of the second Aeternus album a bit, still very much black metal but with a wild pagan heart and in tune with many different dimensions of life. An exceptional song, really fine album art, and I’m pretty psyched for this one on first impression. Listen to “Notturna” on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Sepulchral Voice Records once again flings open the doors to perception and slams out a depraved article of dissent, this one from death cult BLACK CURSE who will adulterate with their debut full-length ‘Endless Wound‘ on April 24th (North America) on CD and vinyl LP. Formed in 2015 (as Maliblis, unless I am mistaken) Black Curse features members of some of Denver’s biggest extreme metal acts (Primitive Man, Blood Incantation, Spectral Voice, Khemmis) and plays a raw, bestial take on death metal that should feel familiar and limit-pushing at once. Insane vocals really help “Charnel Rift” make an unholy first impression over on Sepulchral Voice’s SoundCloud: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Now in their tenth year of stunning presence, psychedelic prog-black metal band HAIL SPIRIT NOIR have announced they’ve signed with Agonia Records for their yet untitled fourth album, setting a tentative release for roughly June 2020. Essentially a spiritual offshoot from underrated avant-symphonic black metal act Transcending Bizarre?, Hail Spirit Noir caught some major attention for their second full-length ‘Oi Magoi’ (2014) and have kept folks waiting four years since the last. Who knows what to expect, beyond something strange and dark. Follow Agonia Records on Facebook to keep up with developments as they come: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • XenoKorp have announced the revelation to witness, ‘The Mother of All Plagues’, will be the seventh full-length album from French death metal gods MERCYLESS. It celebrates their 33rd year since forming and will be released July 7th. Well, I was sold just seeing their name because Mercyless first two and last two albums are some of my favorites but the press release sells it even more: “1987 years ago, the bastard son died at age 33. Formed in 1987 and 33 years old, Mercyless will release 7th album on the 7th day of the 7th month, spitting 11 ravenous blasphemies in the face of Christ…” Ah yup, I’m into it! They’re bringing back some former members for guest spots, along with members of Agressor and Catacombs, while also including some covers of Venom, Hellhammer, and Possessed on a bonus CD for special editions. Read all about the different versions on XenoKorp‘s website: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Brutal Italian death metal band DEVANGELIC explore the Mesopotamian realm of the dead on their third full-length album ‘Ersetu‘, which has been announced for a May 15th release through the impressive modern vision of Willowtip Records. I know they probably worked on the concept of the album and all that but man, I gotta say this first single just whips! “Sigils of Fallen Abominations” is both brutal and strange in the best way possible, like early Nile meets Disgorge’s wreckage, check it out on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • If you were worried the soulful sentiment of ‘All Tree’ might’ve jumped ship for HEXVESSEL‘s latest album ‘Kindred‘, witness the second stage set with a panopticon reopening its eyes upon the world from infinite perspectives. “Billion Year Old Being” sets its sights upon the greater theme of the album, the interconnected nature of all. Gorgeous themes and well, some of that 60’s British folk breathiness provides comfort for the slowly opening gaze of the third, fourth, and ten-thousandth eyes. An absolutely dizzying piece of an album I’m anticipating even more after hearing this second single. ‘Kindred‘ is out April 17th on Svart Records. Watch the music video, shot and composed by bassist Ville Hakonen on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • NOTABLE ALBUMS AT PRESS THIS WEEK FROM: Psychonaut, Sign of Evil, Devangelic, My Dying Bride, Collision, Brackwasser Knipp, Verikalpa, Black Curse, Caskets Open, The Guilt, Oblivion Gate, Membaris, Noctu, V:XII, Balmog, Yaldabaoth, Dawn of Oroboros, The Heavy Eyes, Hecatombe, Infirmum, Abrams, Shockproof, Father Befouled, Titaan, Randy Holden, The Goners, Weed Demon, Holden, Marrowfields, Solipsism, Satan’s Cross, Pirkan, Leiru, Profeci, Conquest Icon, Rotting Kingdom, Putrid, Ruin Lust 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 (2/15/20 – 2/21/20)


  • An early full album stream of SATURNALIA TEMPLE’s ‘Gravity’ (2020) | PREMIERE
    • Listenable Records were kind enough to provide the opportunity to premiere ‘Gravity’, the third album from occult psychedelic doom metal masters Saturnalia Temple. I am honored, and very much over the moon for this fine album.
    • Note: The post includes a CD Giveaway for the album so, make sure you enter as a winner will be decided soon.
    • A lyric video is included for the title track, “Gravity”.
  • …From the Tomb 2/18/20: “Forever between grief and high delight.”
    • This year Ten From the Tomb changes to …From the Tomb and is no longer limited to ten releases. It will post every Monday with a list of at least ten new releases coming out during that current week and a short review will be included for each one. This week features reviews for sixteen new releases.
    • Favorites: Torpëdo, Mourir, Psalm Zero, Phantasmagore.

REVIEWS: Big releases this week from Saturnalia Temple, Raspberry Bulbs, Lowrider, Hex A.D., and Invocation. I’m not on the list for On Thorns I Lay and Mondo Generator but those two sound great, and I don’t care about the Ozzy record but its out. Reviews for Today is the Day and Slaughter Messiah will post this weekend most likely. Reviews for albums by Xenobiotic, Primeval Mass, and Nawaharjan will follow before the end of the month, I didn’t miss them!

UPCOMING SHOWS:  [That I’ll likely attend]

  • TODAY IS THE DAY w/Child Bite February 24th @ Funhouse – Seattle, WA
  • LORD DYING w/Black Label Society, Obituary March 3rd, @ Showbox SODO – Seattle, WA
  • VASTUM March 20th @ The Highline – Seattle, WA
  • ORIGIN w/Defeated Sanity, Wake etc. April 6th @Club Sur – Seattle, WA
  • GAYTHEIST w/ Pinko, Post/Boredom April 11th @Substation – Seattle, WA
  • FU MANCHU August 14th @ Neumos – Seattle, WA



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

UPCOMING RELEASES (2/21/20 – 2/28/20)

cover Banisher - Degrees of Isolation

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. A plus (+) indicates that the album has already been reviewed. 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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