SYNCHRONY: Music News, Month in Review & Upcoming Releases (12/23/20)

SYNCHRONY is (usually) 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 contact me at:

NEWS (11/28/20 – 12/23/20)

  • RAVENOIR is a relatively new black/death metal band from Czech guitarist/vocalist Alesh A.D., who is best known (to me) for his work on Root’s ‘The Book’ and the early 2000’s records from Cales. At work on his craft since the late 80’s, the experience in hand shows on Ravenoir’s recently announced debut ‘The Darkest Flame of Eternal Blasphemy‘. Gothoom Productions will release the album February 21, 2021. Alesh also performed on some albums from Big Boss so no surprise that he provides some guest vocals but the big surprise is instead a cameo from guitarist/producer Andy LaRocque! Learn more and pre-order over on Gothoom’s webstore: [MORE INFO]
  • Iron Bonehead Productions have set February 5th, 2021 as the release date for the second mini-album from United States-based black/psychedelic solo project WHITE NIGHTS titled ‘Solanaceae‘. It will release on CD, 10″ vinyl, and cassette tape. An even more focused trip than the last, witness the eye-crossing ecstasy of the ~13 minute title track “Solanaceae” over on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • Werewolf Records have set January 15th, 2021 as the release date for RVBBER VVITCH‘s 2019 debut album, ‘Mastvrbations Malveillantes MMXVII‘, on CD format. The Canadian “industrial black metal” solo project births their style as a crossing of bleak bondage/fetish gear aesthetics, black metal, dark ambient, industrial, and experimental metal ideas. This isn’t my thing on any level but it will surely catch your eye, if not your ear. Check it out on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Signal Rex have announced February 12th, 2021 as the release date for PESTIS CULTUS‘ highly anticipated self-titled debut album. ‘Pestis Cultus‘ will see the dark of night on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape. These guys were formerly known as Snorri and despite being a solid band who’d delivered a demo and EP a few years ago, this name fittingly sounds a bit less… Cuddly. Listen to “To The Old Ruins” on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • Heidens Hart Records have announced January 15th, 2021 will be the release date for Dutch pagan black metal duo SAGENLAND‘s debut album, ‘Oale groond‘, on CD and vinyl LP formats. They’re pretty upfront about their obsession with traditional Scandinavian black metal of the pagan variety, specifically: “the legendary Ulver trilogy, old Dodheimsgard, and Arckanum.” Brilliant nods to give and you’ll hear that folken affect on the brand new preview track “‘t Leste gedicht (Twentse earde)” over on Bandcamp [MORE INFO]
  • Hell’s Headbangers Records have announced December 30th, 2020 as the international release date for a special split album between Japan’s COFFINS and Germany’s DEPRESSION on CD and vinyl LP formats. They’ve put out two new tracks for preview in case you’re unfamiliar with each band: Coffins’ doomed mind-shattering heaviness on “Things Infestation” and Depression’s death-grinding classic “Mass Extinction of the Parasite Race,” both of which can be streamed over on Bandcamp [MORE INFO]
  • Nuclear War Now! Productions have announced February 15th, 2021 will be the day of release for the second album from Japan’s raw black-thrashers EVIL which they’re calling ‘Possessed by Evil‘, on 12″ vinyl LP. The CD and cassette tape versions will released in a few days on December 25th. Hear the latest single “首斬り Reaper” over on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Caligari Records have set January 7th, 2021 as the release date for CD version of Tuscon, Arizona death metal duo EXSUL‘s self-titled debut EP. The cassette and digital version released earlier this year. This shit is ace, fucked up and slimy death metal that never overthinks its next move. Grab a CD and listen to the whole album on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Iron Bonehead Productions have set February 19th, 2021 as the release date for VØIDWOMB‘s debut EP, ‘Altars of Cosmic Devotion‘, on CD and 12″ vinyl. The blackened death metal quintet emerge from Viana do Castelo, Portugal with grime and glorious heaviness in hand. Really looking forward to this one. Check out the title track “Altars of Cosmic Devotion” on Iron Bonehead’s SoundCloud [MORE INFO]
  • Portland, Oregon shred ready power-thrashers SILVER TALON have released their latest single, “Deceiver, I Am”, in the form of a music video. I’m definitely feeling Halford (as in the band) vibes and those Häxan clips, feels very 1987 even if the music doesn’t always. The single will be released as a limited 7″ (includes a cover of Savatage “Power of the Night”) before the band’s upcoming M-Theory released full-length album is ready to go. Watch the music video over on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • Iron Bonehead Productions have set February 12th, 2021 as the release date for German death metal band ABYTHIC‘s highly anticipated third album, ‘Dominion of the Wicked‘, on CD and 12″ vinyl LP. I’ve loved everything they’ve put out so far but I’ve always felt they are best as a mid-to-slow doomed pace, and I think the funereal death chasm of album closer “Augury of the Doomed” should convince you. Check it out over on Iron Bonehead’s SoundCloud: [MORE INFO]
  • Kentucky based heavy/doom metal band BRITON RITES have revealed their upcoming second album, ‘Occulte Fantastique’ will release this December 18th via Echoes of Crom Records. The band’s first record released in 2010 before they’d split up in 2014. They’ve made a lyric video available for “The Masque Of Satan”, strong traditional doom metal akin to mid-to-late 90’s Cathedral. Check it out over on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • Saturnal Records have announced January 15th, 2021 as the release date for a live CD/DVD release from Greek black/death metal band EMBRACE OF THORNS ‘Revelation of All Sins’ collects a CD featuring a live show from Athens in 2015, and a DVD of their appearance at Armageddon Descends Festival. You can find pre-order and other info on Saturnal’s Webstore: [MORE INFO]
  • Personal Records, a new label from Majestic Downfall’s Jacobo Córdova, have announced February 5th, 2021 as the release date for Romanian atmospheric extreme doom metal act MOURNERS‘ debut album, ‘Act I: Tragedies‘. Mourners consists of former members of funeral doom project Eye of Solitude, think of the band as a spiritual succession. You can stream the full album now and pre-order over on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Extreme blues, doomed punk with a Suomi-Samhain blackened soul BLACK TOTEM’s kinda black n’ rolled deathrock is their own. Their second album ‘II: Shapeshifting’ arrives this January 29th, 2021 via Svart Records. I’ve only heard “Dead Meat” via their latest musiv video for it but my takeaway was Samhain meets Sarke-levels of bluesy black n’ roll. Check out the video for “Dead Meat” over on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • METAAL, yes in the vowel rich Dutch language “Metal” is a bit extra and this same-named documentary looks to reflect and document the gloriously extreme golden era of metal in The Netherlands between 1985-1995. Filmmaker/producer Redman and Köhnen (Celestial Season) have started a crowdfunding campaign are in production stages of an documentary that aims to be a memoir for the rise of influential extreme metal within an infamously heavy scene. Interviews with original members of Thanatos, Asphyx, Pestilence, Celestial Season, Gorefest, Sinister, Acrostichon, The Gathering, and many more are to be included. Testimonial interviews from fans of the scene include Testament’s Eric Peterson, Atheist’s Kelly Shaefer and Soulfly’s Max Cavalera among others. Check the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and watch a teaser for the film on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • Purity Through Fire have set January 31st, 2021 as the release date for VERMINEUX‘s second demo release, ‘1337‘, on CD and cassette. So far they’ve released the promo track “Oriflamme” and I think the melodic side of their raw black metal/ambient sound shines through here. Vermineux is a solo project from Sacramento, California musician Spectre, who is best known for his work in Minenwerfer. ‘1337’ apparently concerns itself with the first part of the Anglo-French Hundred Years War. Check out “Oriflamme” over on YouTube, or Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Listenable Records have announced Polish traditional heavy metal lifers CRYSTAL VIPER‘s eighth full-length ‘The Cult‘ will arrive this coming January 29th, 2021. The first single from the record is the title track “The Cult” which you can check out over on YouTube and various other platforms: [MORE INFO]
  • Black Lion Records have announced they will be releasing the upcoming full-length from classic Swedish melodic death metal band ABLAZE MY SORROW which they’ve titled ‘Among Ashes and Monoliths‘. The northern Swedish label will release the CD, cassette, and digital versions on February 12th, 2021 and the vinyl version is TBA. Very promising sound between the two singles they’ve posted for the album on YouTube, I’ve linked the title track here: [MORE INFO]
  • Geneva, Switzerland-based melodic black/death metal band STORTREGN have announced their first release with The Artisan Era will be their fifth full-length, ‘Impermanence‘. The album is lined-up for release this coming March 12th, 2021. So far we’ve gotten a look at the incredible album art from Paolo Girardi, some details on production staff/studios, and a track listing. Check it all out and keep up with the band over on Facebook: [MORE INFO]
  • 20 Buck Spin have announced their first title of 2021 with New York’s blackened wargrinders GRAVESEND who’ve joined the party with their debut LP, ‘Methods Of Human Disposal‘, due out February 19th, 2021 on all formats. We’ve seen war metal’s interpretations slide into a blackened form of grindcore before over the years but I think these guys are onto something with the ultra extreme scum vibes of the first single “Needle Park”. Check it out on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Swedish sludge-doomsters SPELLJAMMER have returned for a second album after nearly six years with ‘Abyssal Trip‘, which will once again be put out on all formats via RidingEasy Records. It releases this coming February 26th, 2021. Distant and damned stuff if we’re gauging interest off of “Lake”, the first single you can jam over on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Blood Harvest Records have announced they’ll release the cassette version of the latest EP from Denver, Colorado’s ASTRAL TOMBDegradation of Human Consciousness‘. So far I’m not sure what to think of this one, clunky first impression but I like the abstract ideas explored. Check it out of you’re into Warp Chamber and Blood Incantation. Preliminary thoughts, anyhow. Go jam “Transcendental Visions” over on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Don’t see news of your album listed? Send it to me (along with the album):

GRIZZLY BUTTS‘ MONTH IN REVIEW (11/28/20 – 12/23/20)



Eased up on the lists this year, and eased up in December in general… it will keep me from reaching a lot of new readers but I hit my limit after the Sludge/Doom one, which was combined to begin with. The plan to cover more albums in …From the Tomb throughout 2020 and take it easier on “Albums You Missed” End of Year lists was a very lukewarm success. I’d missed about ten planned reviews throughout the year, missed the final ‘Nothing but Black Metal November’ list, and cut smaller lists of Psychedelic rock, Traditional Heavy Metal, and Experimental Music albums. Although I felt like I covered far, far more albums the progression into November/December still felt like a monumental undertaking. Drafts of each bunk list are still saved, so one or more of them might crop up during January. There were a bunch of black metal and traditional heavy metal releases I’d spaced on when writing my Top 100 albums of the year: Serpent Column, Turia, Esoctrilihum and most late December releases, but this really just comes down to the reality of liking/loving things but not necessarily listening to them to death. The result came naturally and it is what it is. 2021 will bring a few column renames, a few new columns, and I will start “remastering” certain lists and material that was originally published on a community website from 2011-2017.

TRANSILVANIA – Of Sleep and Death (Invictus Productions)


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.

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