ENDTYMER is the inevitable weekly “music blog” series I’ve been working to avoid for some time. It hits at the end of every week with the intent of covering notable new releases, sharing news of new releases, and musing over various personal listening habits. It is a largely informal blog, has opinions, etc. so chill out a bit. — I do my best to cover as much of everything I receive in some form regardless of genre or representation, so, don’t hesitate to send anything and everything my way: email@example.com
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
As July kicks through its third weekly cycle the Album of the Week for my own taste is CRITICAL DEFIANCE‘s ‘No Life Forms‘ the second full-length release from the Chilean thrash metal band as they continue to cut right to the core violence of their sound. Keep in mind I haven’t yet heard the new records from Wake or Imperial Triumphant both of which will likely be the major focus for most heavy/extreme music listeners this week, not necessarily a mega fan of either but I wouldn’t sleep on ’em. If thrash or extreme metal isn’t your thing, there are tons of other brilliant options below, all of which will be reviewed sooner or later.
- WAILIN STORMS ‘The Silver Snake Unfolds‘ [July 22nd, Gilead Media]
- GARDEN OF WORM ‘Endless Garden‘ [July 22nd, Nasoni Records]
- ASHENSPIRE ‘Hostile Architecture‘ [July 18th, Aural Music]
- NORTHLESS ‘A Path Beyond Grief‘ [July 22nd, Translation Loss Records]
- NEBULA ‘Transmission From Planet Earth‘ [July 22nd, Heavy Psych Sounds]
Thank you, ahead of time, for reading. I am eternally grateful for the support of readers and appreciate friendly and positive interactions. Think my opinions are trash and that I suck? Want to totally tell me off, bro? Click away and let’s all live more sensible lives full of meaningful interactions. — If you’re interested in some short reviews and music news, you’ll have to wade through a few dumb quips first, scroll down ’til you see a Bandcamp embed.
COFFEE GROUNDS & DEAD DROSOPHILA
In the midst of enjoying a few weekender midsummer adventures I’ve begun to feel some manner of inkling, an unsettling pang of rot (not at all inspired by replaying the DLC for Dark Souls III, mind you) wherein something wasn’t right in my head. It didn’t turn out to be a distended tooth, or some manner of disease of the gut crawling up my throat in the night to revel in its bile-rich churn… but yep, you guessed it, it turned out to be a foulest run-on bout of nostalgia catching its grip fast, loose and repeatedly taking me out of the enjoyment of the moment, or, of new experiences. Two decades of day in/day out career (pro-tip: it ain’t music blogging) focused thought alongside a home office full of various hobbies has left me without the requisite mirror to parse the highs from the lows, the past from the future… and this begins to emphasize the weight of sixty hour work weeks (plus hobbyist distractions) which only begin to pressurize the need for reflection when I take a day off to step away from bullshit. Alright then dude, what does any of that scrambling for rationale mean? There has to be a balance of appreciation for the past and the extension one’s own purpose into the future, else you become prey to the worst sort of bullshit human existence has to offer.
Hanging onto swells of nostalgia and building up a false sense of inequality between past and present is the most powerful destroyer of personal momentum. Without the delusion of the self-important organism in hand, the idea that something was “great” back in the day and that your foundations of personal taste or experience were “better than” or more significant than what is happening right now in the moment, we can see clearly the typical “aging” slope of a mind shuttering to the continuum of human knowledge and engaging in a falsest “taste war” with shadows. You’ll have to fight the natural urge to become irrelevant once you’ve noticed it, there is a natural form of “human mental apoptosis” telling us that we’ve lived too long, that stagnation of purpose has set in and well, it is… (technically) time to die, and make room for your spawn at least in terms of the natural world of we great apes. Separated from local community by automation and having given your “non-vote” on participatory (or exclusionist) culture and/or communicable religious illness most people have little purpose left beyond age ~35 outside of continuing to feed the greedlust of corporation controlled government, anyhow. At this point, get a tattoo on your forehead that reads: “This machine eats recycled shit” because lets face it, you probably do and that habit has been building-up your potential as a consumer drone ever since you finished your societally assigned basal level of public education.
It is natural to hate, to vociferously detest the fumbling of newer generations incapably catching the torches passed on from previous generations but you’ll never matter in that world without parenting, coddling, and appealing to the “fake it ’til you make it” generation version 4.0 with understanding. If you leave ’em to rot, say fuck ’em all and mosey on up to your recliner and fart it up to reruns, remasters, remakes and relived experiences… then the world will forever stink with increasingly fetid stains of ineptitude, largely due to lack of involvement more than anything else. Plus, hey, you’re still going to manage to live another what, 40-50 years? — The takeaway? A simple point that steadfast reality-based education on history meant to appeal to younger/inexperienced folks (and not just those ‘in the know’) is the right way to deal with this impulse. Pass on your knowledge and experiences rather than touting and hoarding ’em like a rat fink. A long way to get around to saying that I’m working on a new An Exhaustive Study feature these days, but hey, there you go.
This past Saturday (July 16th) ‘The Foreseen Deadline‘ one of the more hotly anticipated brutal death metal debuts from Indonesian scene upstarts GUTTURAL DISEASE finally released and since I’d been looking forward to it since 2015 I’ve more or less given it some time to breathe in mind before mentioning it. I’m not sure that’d been necessary on my part since the gut reaction is the right one when you pick up a machine-gunned sorta slammin’ brutal death record like this, it kicks hard and you’re going to have a great time getting your shit beaten raw to it. The drumming stands out here first and foremost, giving me a sort of ‘Mark of the Legion‘-era Deeds of Flesh feeling at times alongside a hint of Disgorge (US) in his style in between the more slam oriented digs and a generally modern sense of rhythmic diversity. Where I think this album shines most is in the momentum it builds between disgusting vocal runs and huge riffs, the rhythm guitars are exacting in their punishment and locked into place with the beats but we still get plenty of atmospheric reach from the detours taken (see: “A Flesh, Bones and A Mind”). Another undeniable killer app from Brutal Mind this year.
Between six compilations, two boxed sets, a new album and a new EP the false starts and sudden stoppage of momentum for classic Florida death metal band BRUTALITY between 1997 and today caught up with me as I binged through this old favorite’s long journey once more earlier this week. After taking a close, unsympathetic look at the history of Massacre and honestly finding it fucking absolute bunk after 1992 I wanted to basically double check if I was wearing rose-colored glasses in terms of this woefully underrated Tampa-borne act and its many permutations. First off, let me say that I’m talking post-1997 and their first three albums remain untouchable with the third still vastly underrated. Second, uh, off… They’ve recently released (May 22nd via Emanzipation Productions) what’d initially appeared to be a full-length when I’d discovered it whipping through YouTube. ‘Sempiternity‘ turns out to be a compilation which features two new songs, which fuckin’ smoked my ass into cheese plate worthy ham, alongside two re-recordings and some live tracks.
I consider this sort of release an mLP+ where you’re basically getting a 10″ worth of material translated to a CD length thing by way of various extras. Anyhow, if those two songs are a sign of things to come then right there this cult death metal band have basically justified all of the efforts to kick back into gear over the years as these pieces absolutely resemble the quality of forms once expects from Brutality past and present. I definitely want that vinyl on my shelf for the sake of this being worthy of their history, y’know? Whatever changed in terms of staff or songcraft, squeeze that turnip real dead because these newer pieces + re-recorded songs are completely fuckin’ right. Anyhow, I figured a lot of folks missed this one and had felt compelled to give it the thumbs up it deserved.
TAPPIN’ HELLA DEPRESS-BUSSY
Remember DEPRESY? No man, you really don’t unless you’d somehow stumbled upon maybe ‘Sighting‘ (1999) whilst looking for death metal bands who used keyboards, or if you were exploring Slovakia’s substantial and unique ‘old school’ death metal history (as I was back in 2005, after discovering Dehydrated‘s ‘Ideas‘). These folks were something extra in the world of “symphonic” black/death metal often compared to early Septicflesh, Avenger, or even Emperor depending on the album and yet by 2010 or so they’d take an quite extended break from releases. I’ve brought this up for the sake of well, of course, having missed the return of a sort of legendary cult band with a valuable back catalog as ‘Psycold‘ (released by Metal Age on May 22nd) marked the bands official return beyond an EP in 2018. We’ve got dreamy almost post-hardcore/rock songs embedded in later Aeternus-esque blackened death percussion and a circus of keyboards framing frantic riff whirls and such. It all reads as the exciting carnival of limitless morbidity that Depresy have always brought, very much in the style of Scandinavian rock-oriented black metal but with their own spirit behind it. A morbid, catchy sort of ride I think the very few people whom know this band outside of Europe will enjoy digging through. Check out “Desirable State” to get a general idea of the density of ideas that overflow on this thing.
NOISE ROCK NERD /?/ GO TO FEST
Denver, Colorado-based heavy rock band ABRAMS have announced their latest full-length, ‘In The Dark‘, will release this coming September 9th by way of Small Stone Recordings. The first single is, well, surprisingly heavy and uses an enormous guitar tone in the way that groups like Torche have in the past to emphasize the big, beautiful groove of the song within its melodic rock hook. Album opener “Like Hell” does a fine job of gearing up for the album ahead and that’d been intentional on their part. Per the band: “[…]There’s a little something here for every rock fan – hooky vocals, heavy riffs, pounding drums, and even some HM2 [distortion] for those metalheads out there. I’d like to think If Queens Of The Stone Age played on Trap Them’s guitar rig, you’d get this song. Enjoy!” and while it won’t get you crossed-arms cult riff bros excited in the least I felt like this was a solid shot of energy on an otherwise dull day spent cooking in the sun.
Iron Bonehead Productions have announced they’ll release the latest mLP from BLACK GRAIL, titled ‘VIIII‘ on CD and 12″ vinyl this coming September 23rd. You might know this Chilean black metal trio from their split with Ysengrin or their first two full-lengths, think along the lines of doomed and rocking Mortuary Drape-esque dealings and you’ll be in the right headspace to receive ’em:
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions have announced their upcoming release of the debut album from New Jersey Grindcore/Crust duo MASS EXTINCTION. ‘Never-Ending Holocaust‘ deals with animal cruelty head-on within this record, largely focused on their abusive conditions for consumption as well as the torture the animals endure for the sake of foul creature comforts. This should very much be on your mind in the wake of the latest coronavirus outbreak (the latest in an ongoing trend we’ve seen since 1965) as animal mistreatment, abhorrent genetic experimentation/testing, and consumption are inarguably at the core of these repeated waves of cross-species viral agents. “Each of the album’s 10 tracks examines a specific issue related to animal agriculture, dairy, testing labs, fur farms, commercial fishing, and other industries which allow humans to profit from animal abuse & exploitation.” The CD/digital versions are up now for pre-order and will be released on August 19th.
A Dionysian misadventure? A slick ‘BB & The Operators‘ rebreather? Either way there is a new BRANT BJORK (Kyuss, Fu Manchu, et. al.) record on the way, in fact it will be his fourteenth studio album, titled ‘Bougainvillea Suite‘ and the first single should imply a heavy dose of very chill, catchy kinda hop with “Trip on the Wine”. The record will be out this coming October 28th via Heavy Psych Sounds Records.
We’re finally graced with a couple of new songs from German industrial, sludge, doom, brutalist thrill-addikts VALBORG whom are gearing up for their eighth full-length album ‘Der Alte‘ to land here on scorched Earth. It arrives via Prophecy Productions this September 9th and, of course I am stoked. Check out the short but stomping “Hektor” and leave it on loop:
The good folks at RidingEasy Records have announced an August 5th release date for the self-titled debut from Los Angeles, California doom-rockers EARLY MOODS. “From the beginning, the purpose for this band was to incorporate our love of traditional doom metal with a heavy metal approach,” guitarist Eddie Andrade says. “We wanted to show that heavy doom can be complemented with melodies and harmonies. Black Sabbath meets NWOBHM is what we aim for, really.” Have they hit their mark? I’d say so, I mean get your ass three or for bars into lead single “Live to Suffer” and you’ll get it. Anyhow I’ve been spinning this one for a couple of days and am already convinced, if you love the Witchfinder General side of things but always felt it was a bit clunky or not as inventive as say, Pentagram, with the Sabbath groove definitely get on this one.
If a shot of traditional doom/heavy metal was totally your gig to start then how about something a bit more non-traditionally traditional? Maine-based trio MANIC ABRAXAS will stoke the epic heavy metal hero in your bosom a bit with their striding album closer/debut single “Black Destrier” but, don’t think that is all they’re about since these guys have something weird up their sleeve at every turn if we can consider their last two records any indication. Fans of sludgy speed metallic epic heavy metal and high fantasy sojourns by way of riff should make a note to check out their independently released third LP ‘Foreign Winds‘ on CD this coming September 30th. For now check out “Black Destrier”:
Detroit, Michigan-based death/thrashers PERVERSION are finally ready with their second full-length album after nearly a full decade. Hells Headbangers have announced September 9th day and date when they’re release ‘Dies Irae‘ on CD and cassette tape with vinyl later on this year. Jumping into this first single “Axioms of Domination” it is clear their guitarists have their pulse set to a combination of raw, blackened German thrash and bestial death metal which fans of Vomitor and Desaster should appreciate:
San Francisco, California-based death metal/crust quintet ACEPHALIX have announced they are readied up with their fourth full-length album, ‘Theothanatology‘ which 20 Buck Spin has confirmed for a September 30th release. An underrated force in the Bay Area extreme crust and metalpunk scenery of the late 2000’s that’d morphed into a pillar of pure death metal, it’ll be interesting to see what this record brings as I believe it is the first without original guitarist Kyle House (Decrepisy, Rokkr). The first single “Abyssal” definitely provides an absolute gravel-dusted cannon of ‘Wolverine Blues’ dogged rhythm with an almost unexpected level of force kicking right for the neck with the first impression. Definitely looking forward to this one:
FIVE SHORT “CASUAL REVIEWS”
EISENKULT / ATRONOS ‘Split‘
(Purity Through Fire, July 23rd)
For the folks in German black metal band Eisenkult insanity and catchy (or at least memorable) black metal seem to walk hand-in-hand as their always unhinged yet readable knack for triumphal freakouts continues to land as the right spiritus for traditional black metal attitude. Abrasive sound design, surreal synth, and appreciably fine guitar techniques blend into a scouring jog and blast event here on their side of this split CD. I’d missed their second album when it released so, I’ll have to go back and check it out if the material was anything like this minus the second vocalist. For my taste the main event here is getting more Eisenkult as I believe this band has a genius streak running through everything they do and these songs are running wild.
Atronos‘ side of the split was initially less interesting to me, but only because I’d already heard these demo tracks upon release in May earlier this year. His work is no less accomplished in terms of approaching the triumphal shade of black metal in his own way, which admittedly sounded a bit like Horn upon first spin for the sake of it being so damned song oriented. You may very well end up enjoying his work best overall if you’re looking for black metal to swing your tankard along with. The pairing of bands makes sense here in terms of a shared spirit (and vocalists) though we find interesting enough contrasting points of view or, use of melody otherwise. If you are not keeping up with the German underground black metal spheres, this split should make it clear you are missing out on consistently strong artists managing admirable consistency between releases.
BLACK MAGNET ‘Body Prophecy‘
(20 Buck Spin, July 29th)
Following up the decidedly noisier industrial metal ultraviolence of their debut LP ‘Hallucination Scene‘ Oklahoma-borne beat magnate Black Magnet (aka James Hammontree) looks not only to the specific scrape of early 90’s ugly-bumping industrial influenced popular rock/metal but now appears to shape more involved, memorable beats into the harass inherent to the style. Earlier comparisons I’d made to Third Mind/Roadrunner era Front Line Assembly still read as wishful thinking on my part, at least in terms of crafting memorable vocal “hooks” and a certain corruption of EBM but fans of Pitch Shifter, late mid-to-late 90’s Godflesh, and the edgier side of 90’s Skinny Puppy should appreciate the interaction between the machine and the vocals themselves. They do reach a point of circa 1994 angst anthem yeeesh on tracks like “Incubate” but this only serves to add color and variation between the more intense, accomplished pieces such as “Hermetix” which suggest personalization of forms beyond obvious influences, at least to some degree. As a big fan of everything JKB and everything up ’til HALO14 or so, I like where this guy is going with this thing but I haven’t really found that undeniable -hit- in terms of songcraft just yet but I have to appreciate just how much better this second LP sounds, ace production and tons more readable layers to these pieces when compared to the previous album.
ERNIA ‘How to Deal with Life and Fail‘
(Transcending Obscurity Records, July 22nd)
Ernia is a deathgrind quintet out of Logroño (northern Spain) whom I’m familiar with for the sake of their self-titled debut which was released in 2016 but remixed and given wider release in 2019, I’d ignored that release so I figured I’d give this one a fair shot. Though they are arguably playing a modern sort of chunk-riffed grindcore with a wide array of influences their sound generally recalls the heyday of bands like Cephalic Carnage, not so much by direct comparison of sound but that general peaking of modernist grindcore that’d had the ability to work all manner of sounds, song ideas, influences and jokey quips into the dense and inspired form. The major influence on the guitar work/vocals seems to be a mix of grind and chaotic hardcore, which I don’t have any sort of modern reference for but I appreciated the sheer ruckus they’d managed without getting so rowdy that it became embarrassing mush. The energy of this record is wild enough and I had fun with it but it became grating after a few listens, so I ducked out.
CASTRATOR ‘Defiled in Oblivion‘
(Dark Descent Records, July 22nd)
Death metal quartet Castrator features members transplanted from all over the world but their collective output manifest a sound and style which feels right at home within the realm of the thrash-built early days of New York death metal, kicking along with a sort of ‘Eaten Back to Life‘ edged brutality which absolutely focuses on the riff throughout but also makes sure to drop a fat, moshable groove within most pieces. The riff-obssessed songcraft and structuring of ‘Defiled in Oblivion‘ is the major pull-in for my taste as reading the logic of each set of elite guitar progression shows some truly clever chord-dealing, firing off songs which read authentic as straight forward thrashing ‘old school’ death metal from that circa ’91-’93 era. This’d brought mind every thing from peak (’01-’04) Torture Squad to early Sinister to start, thrashing bands which had a foot in the brutal death metal door at some point in their early evolution so, I’m interested to see if they pick up increasingly brutal notions as they continue to develop their sound more. In terms of taking this in as a debut, I couldn’t be more impressed.
GALLOWER ‘Eastern Witchcraft‘
(Dying Victims Productions, July 29th)
Gallower are a Polish black/speed metal band and this latest EP, which follows their debut LP, is clearly meant to be played obnoxiously loud. At low volumes the drum sound on this thing is kinda trash but when cranked and shaking up the room it was easy to get where ‘Eastern Witchcraft‘ was coming from. If you’d felt like ‘Behold the Realm of Darkness‘ sounded a bit too studio fresh then I think the more raw, distant growl of the guitars on this EP should suit you as this is the most ‘organic’ the band have sounded to date. If you are a fan of Carrion‘s ‘Evil is There!‘ and earlier Necronomicon (Germany) this should be your gig. I’m looking forward to their next full-length if they keep this sound up, and keep writing songs like “Susanoo’s Deceit”.
<strong>Help Support Grizzly Butts’ goals with a donation:</strong>
Please consider donating directly to site costs and project funding using PayPal.