SYNCHRONY: Music News, Week in Review & Upcoming Releases (3/20/2020)

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 (3/13/20 – 3/20/20)

  • On the path towards worthy and beautifully detailed reissues of Swedish avant-folk black metal band DRÅPSNATT‘s discography, Nordvis Produktion will reissue the bands third album, ‘Skelepht‘, on May 22nd on digipack CD and on 12″ vinyl LP for the first time. This third and final record from the band was released back in 2012 and features a much more ethereal atmospheric black metal sound, strong washes of synth and plenty of slick guitar hooks, desperate screams, and all manner of woodsy madness. Whenever you see this band compared to Skogen, you’ll understand it a bit more after hearing ‘Skelepht‘. I am very curious to see how they’ve treated the vinyl masters as this album was more professional to begin with compared to the previous two. You can pre-order and learn more about the reissue over on Nordvis‘ website: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Greek death/thrash metal band DEATH COURIER are best known for the underground classic ‘Demise’ they’d release during their initial period of activity in the late 80’s and early 90’s but they returned in 2009 and been hard at work on new material since. In 2013 their second album ‘Perimortem‘ was pretty good for a comeback out of the blue but it sounds like their third album, the recently announced ‘Necrotic Verses‘, will be a more vital and merciless entry into their discography. It won’t take more than a millisecond for the first single “Mourning Ecstasy” to fire off and only two minutes to roll through its full clip. An admirable volley! Transcending Obscurity Records will release ‘Necrotic Verses‘ on June 5th with their usual high-quality treatment in several formats, and the record features some pretty slick art from Misanthropic-Art as well. Check out “Mourning Ecstasy” on Bandcamp for a quick shot of their freshly brutal sound: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • One-man blackened punk n’ thrashing metal act GOLDEN BLOOD lead by musician Erech Leleth has announced his debut four song EP entitled ‘Cum, Coke & Blasphemy’ for release through Witching Hour Productions on March 30th digitally and April 15th for the vinyl version. Intended to be an ode to black metal and his favorite heavy metal classics, Leleth fuses black metal atmosphere, some actually pretty solid classic thrash metal guitar tones, and a Midnight inspired metalpunk attitude. The intention is to prime listeners for an upcoming full-length this summer so, check this out and see if you want more. I like the comparison to Truchło Strzygi in the notes, it is that black/punk attitude but also maybe something more second wave black metal in spirit without sounding cheap or too far refined. Check out “Cum, Coke & Blasphemy” on Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • True fuckin’ death, blackened and ripping hot fresh from the blood-splattered streets of Melbourne, Australia arrives by way of EVOKER‘s first official release ‘Evil Torment‘, an EP set to be released by Blood Harvest Records on May 29th on CD, 12″ vinyl, and cassette tape formats. I mean it is clear these guys have put some time into these introductory riffs with their dual guitar attack making a fantastic first impression between two preview tracks the first of which, “Shackled to the Grave” is a hellion of thrashing blackened death. Love the blasts in the mid-section and the raw feeling of the recording. Primitive but not stupid and still very witching thrash metal at heart. This one is going to be a slaughterer, I can feel it in my bones. Hey they have a full-length in the works in the meantime, too. Get on board! Check out “Shackled to the Grave” and “Exhumation of the Damned” over on Blood Harvest‘s Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Put away that chainsaw, you’re not going to need it in late May when the return of Swedish death metal band CENTINEX will provide a thousand tree-rippers in the form of their guitar tone. This will be the eleventh full-length from the band since forming in 1990. ‘Death in Pieces‘ will of course feature Martin Schulman (Demonical, ex-Interment) but the rest of the line-up is all new folks in the fold from bands like Suffer, Macabre Decay, Skulldrain, and Moth. It will release on May 29th through Agonia Records. I’m actually looking forward to this one, it has been a while since Centinex blew me away but I like most all of their work, along with associated projects. No preview tracks yet but you can pre-order over on Agonia’s website and check out the cover art/formats etc.: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Caligari Records have set April 24th as the day of release for Norwegian death metal band DØDSKVAD‘s debut demo, ‘Krønike I’, on cassette tape format. How to describe this one? Members of Desolation Realm, The Konsortium, and Obliteration making a black/death metal tape that is highly experimental around the edges. One moment it sounds like a Kvist song, the next ‘Mental Funeral’ worthy riffs, some early Bolt Thrower, and if you remember the old viking themed death metal band from France, Asgard. It isn’t as all over the place as it seems and I really enjoyed all of the extra personality given to these already strong death metal pieces. Check out the whole tape right now over on Caligari‘s Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]

  • Trembling walls! Spouting dust as the horrors shriek within the crypts, cracking their bones apart whilst animated by the harried blast beats that’d ensorcele them back to life. The spirits, the daemon, the concrete wallop of their thundering march is the sound of German death metal band SANCTIFYING RITUAL‘s debut full-length, ‘Sanctifying Ritual‘, which will be handled by the crypt-patronage at Iron Bonehead Productions for release on June 5th on vinyl LP and CD formats. These guys have been around since 2008 when they formed between members of Nocturnal Witch, Division Speed, and Alchemyst. Their 2015 compilation felt posthumous at the time and it was a shame because they were like a more brutal Excoriate… but O’ lucifer! They’re alive and ripping. I love this song and am foaming out the ears to hear the whole thing. Experience the torment amidst the blasting horrors of “Into Obscure Abyss” over on Iron Bonehead‘s SoundCloud or look it up on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]

  • Texas-based experimental black metal project SARPA will self-release their debut full-length, ‘Solivagus‘, on June 5th. Sarpa features musician David Baxter who also plays in Plutonian Shore and has some history in bands Skrew (yep, the industrial metal one) and Škan. Judging by the first preview track, “Triad of Might”, the sound is raw and as unorthodox as the compositions, which have a satisfying enough urgency to their attack. Each part of the eleven minute song feels like a movement of its own and I’d actually warm up to this sound pretty quickly. Looking forward to hearing the whole thing. For now, check out “Triad of Might”: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Pomona, California based death/hardcore band XIBALBA have announced their fourth full-length, and third for Southern Lord Recordings, ‘Años En Infierno‘ will release on May 29th. More Dan Seagrave artwork, more infernal Bolt Thrower meets All Out War style and hey, Arthur Rizk produced so you know it is going to be huge. Its been a while since this band were kicking around so I’m up for it, actually I’d thought Xibalba had split-up so this was a cool surprise. For now we get the cover art, pre-orders, and a 30 second trailer for the album. Take a peek over on Southern Lord Recordings’ YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Denver, Colorado esoteric sludge/post-doom metal trio IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS will invert the minds of all that ‘Lux‘, their fourth full-length, touches on May 15th when the band self-releases it. This is dark and epic stuff recorded at some damned impressive high fidelity and features guest spots from members of Khemmis and Primitive Man. I’m surprised a label like Southern Lord hasn’t snatched this band up, but the band have been independent since they started in 2011 and it sounds like they’re doing it their way. The ten minute opener “The Fools Journey” should tell you all you need to know, check it out on Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Iron Bonehead Productions have announced June 19th is the day that morbid black metal once again creeps out of the shadows for the release date of THE RITE‘s debut full-length, ‘Liturgy of the Black‘, on CD and 12″ vinyl LP. The Rite are a relatively new collaboration between A.Th (Black Oath) and Ustumallagam of Denial Of God aiming for an ‘old school’ black metal approach leaning towards early Samael, Celtic Frost, Goatlord and the deeper underground that man revisionists might call black/doom metal today. Should make sense considering the main players in the band, eh. I loved their ‘The Brocken Fires’ EP, discovering it when IBP released it more broadly last year. The first preview track, “The Black Effigy” sounds more refined and deliberate with its performances. Check it out over on YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Get ready for that opening guitar solo! Swedish rock/metal legends KATATONIA have released an official video for “Behind the Blood”, an impressive single from their upcoming ‘City Burials‘ full-length, due out on Peaceville Records on April 24th. This is an undeniably catchy song, impeccably performed and it feels oddly nostalgic. And it turns out that is the point, the song is a nod to the heavy metal they’d grown up with. Hence the incredible leads throughout. It is still a trademark Katatonia piece but you’ll surely pick up on what they’re after, the kind of thing bands like Amorphis never ‘grew out of’, and I mean that in a good way. The album is shaping up to be deeply reflective. Check out “Behind the Blood” over on Peaceville Records’ YouTube: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Formed as a continuation or, a resuscitation of classic ‘extreme’ 90’s sludge metal kings Grief, the reality of COME TO GRIEF is a dismal fate we all deserve. The rasping harass is a spiked n’ sinister comfort away from the din of life, the brutal sledging of their doom cuts through grateful flesh, meat that hadn’t felt a thing in months. Their new stuff continues to inhibits whatever dopamine the mind can muster, in fact their second EP ‘Pray for the End‘ is out now through their own Grievance Records, and it is goddamned great. They’ve also swapped in a new bassist, Randy Larsen (ex-Cable, ex-Isis). ex-Cable? Yep, they’ve disbanded… It is a rotten world we live in, why not listen to wholly rotten music? Support the real sludge bands out there, don’t let ’em die. Get ‘Pray for the End‘ over on Bandcamp: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • Xtreem Music have announced what is probably the coolest shit I’ve heard in the last decade, 10 INCHES OF DEATHCULT is an exclusive series of 10″ releases by that will re-issue select ‘cult’ death metal demos from the 80’s and 90’s. Each release will be limited to 300 copies with three colors available with even more limited t-shirt runs attached to most releases. All of this comes from Xtreem Music directly and they’re keeping it all in house. Awesome, eh? Well, it will be when you hear some of the planned demos. Sinister ‘Perpetual Damnation’, Mortician ‘Demo 1’, and many more releases including Acrostichon, Crucifix, Deteriorot, Disset, Exmortis, Goreaphobia, Imprecation, Killing Addiction, Necrophiliac, Old Funeral, Sorcery and more. Keep an eye on the Xtreem Music store, they’ll only be selling them there: [Click/Tap HERE for more info]
  • NOTABLE ALBUMS AT PRESS THIS WEEK FROM: Savage Annihilation, Behold the Arctopus, Shitfucker, Sleepwulf, Smokemaster, Golden Blood, Death Courier, Origin of Infinity, Ashtar, Trick or Treat, Ande, Aposento, Dodskvad, Hammer of the Sky, Endless Forms Most Gruesome, Grand Massive, Come to Grief, Enablers, Foes, Sarpa, Drapsnatt, 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 (3/13/20 – 3/20/20)


  • …From the Tomb 3/16/20: “Hoofbeats from a thousand angry mares.”
    • 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 17 new releases.
    • Favorites: Necrogosto, Nite, Baxaxaxa.

REVIEWS: Big releases this week from Sweven, Malokarpatan, Grift, Thanatos, and many others. On the more mainstream side of things Hyborian‘s new record is pretty good but the latest Lucifer and Myrkur albums are totally dry/iterative. Next week is too jammed with good records to get to everything in time, but I’ll put up a big first quarter of 2020 list soon that’ll cover everything great that couldn’t be gotten to in great detail.



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 (3/21/20 – 3/31/20)


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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