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, don’t hesitate to send anything and everything my way: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
As August grinds out its third weekly cycle the Album of the Week for my own taste is DOLDREY‘s ‘Celestial Deconstruction‘ the debut full-length release from the Singaporean death metal/hardcore punk band. If you’re interested in something a bit more maniac but still rooted in the death metal + hardcore punk/crust headspace, consider checking out Spanish grinders ÓSSERP and their remarkable third full-length, ‘Els nous cants de la Sibil·la‘ as they continue to push themselves beyond grinding crust into savage death metal. If you’re not into anything metalpunk related, Ferum‘s debut will satisfy the ‘old school’ death/doom side of your brain.
- HIVE – Spiritual Poverty (Translation Loss)
- ÓSSERP – Els nous cants de la Sibil·la (Self-Released)
- FERUM – Asunder / Erode (Avantgarde Music/Unorthodox Emanations)
- DEZ DARE – Ulysses Trash (CH!MP Records)
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At the beginning of Lord Foul’s Bane (1977), the first in a three trilogy set of fantasy novels by author Stephen R. Donaldson, the main character Thomas Covenant has finally returned home after being treated for leprosy only to discover he has lost everything, his home, his marriage and his standing within the community where he’d intended to live out the remainder of his life. The catalyst for the novel’s fantasy setting coming to life is, well, the fellow getting hit by a car… that initial immersion of his waking into a fantasy world beyond ‘death’ is effective because it’d appeared as a new life, a hallucination of the afterlife (to him), or a waking dream, eh… we won’t get into the controversial catalyst for the character’s moral ambiguity going forward here, but rather emphasize that this sort of nascent grim (yet not primarily dark) work of fantasy fiction would address skepticism, nihilism, and the author’s glorious brand of what literary critics call “over-writing” making it a prime target (among many) to inspire the true emergence of thinking man’s heavy metal. Credit due to Iron Maiden first, of course, but a lot of the best heavy metal released in the late 80’s came from musicians who placed great value on this sort of compellingly dark and intensely writ fantasy literature, not only to gather scene and setting used to inspire the illustrative potential of heavy music lyrics but for the sake of contributing more than the face value sociopolitical vagaries of the then still competitive yet intellectually exhausted realm of thrash metal. Keep in mind groups like Queensryche and Fates Warning, whom deservedly had the heap of the mindshare by the mid-80’s, often made the connection between both subjects but whatever, ‘No Exit‘ barely had riffs.
In hindsight the quickly developing intellectual illuminati of progressive and technical thrash metal had reached a certain breaking point between two key releases by 1989 — On the sociopolitical apex was the virtually indomitable and still influential ‘Control and Resistance‘ from Watchtower and on the fantasy tip (with deeply introspective application) was the largely under-appreciated theatric peak of German studio project Mekong Delta‘s ambitious brand of progressive thrash, ‘The Principle of Doubt‘. Heavily influenced, in terms of lyrics, by the character of Thomas Covenant ‘the unbeliever’ and the plot of the first of the nine volume series of novels we get the ‘stranger in a strange land’ experience from this album’s lyrics as they echo the outcast, the morally ambiguous heroic perspective of Covenant applied to the feeling of alienation in society. While this is a striking application of what’d appeared to have been little more than a book that’d inspired Ralph Hubert (aka Björn Eklund) when composing the album it isn’t the purpose or complete concept for the record but rather key perspective gleaned from the book smartly applied to the mood of the album. Give me an album which ends up recommending a decent book to me through its lyrics and I’m pretty much sold every time.
Well, the album also has a prog-thrash cover of the Twilight Zone theme and a cover piece which sounds a bit like “Three Blind Mice”… can we take it all that seriously? Yes, in the sense that all Mekong Delta releases made sure to have a bit of fun as they leaned into what were avant-garde ideas for their time. More importantly it gives me a roundabout reason to recommend Donaldson‘s writing (especially the The Gap Cycle series of books) but also encourage a re-listen to ‘The Principle of Doubt‘ which the band has re-released on the digibook format recently.
DEAD, FOREVER GONE
Back in 2017 I’d actually been pretty new to Swedish melodic black/death metal band The Moaning‘s sole full-length release ‘Blood From Stone‘, if you’ll recall I’d made my first pass at An Exhaustive Study for melodic black metal back then, remarking on the album as such: “…A nice alternative to Silence of the World Beyond by A Canorous Quintet, similar production and Swedish meloblack/death sound. Something about this reminds me of Sacrilege, another Swedish melodeath band but minus the In Flames-type maiden riffs. The Moaning went for speed over complexity compared to say, Sacramentum, but achieved an exciting and aggressive melodic death metal record with black metal production and vocals. The quality of the songwriting is consistent and the production itself is just meaty enough to feel like an old Merciless or Kreator record. This is a newer discovery for me so I don’t really have much of an opinion on how it truly compares to other records I’ve had for years upon years. Highly professional and far from a throwaway ‘me too’ release.“
After five years of listening to this album and now owning an original No Fashion CD copy as well as the 2013 Century Media reissued LP, both of which where nutso expensive, I can safely say I am a fan of this album on the same level as well, the records I’d mentioned alongside it five years ago. I didn’t really have anything new to say about it nowadays other than appreciating its relation to Gates of Ishtar and Satariel these days. Ah, I guess I finally realized the back cover for the tray card has a picture of a band member wearing a Cradle of Filth shirt, which is a pretty big character flaw in hindsight. Anyhow it definitely seems like I need to completely revise and rewrite that old feature from 2017 as it has been obliterated by time… unlike the album which continues to smoke hard.
ITS WOLFIN’ TIME
Austrian atmospheric folken black metal act NAHTRUNAR released their brilliant fourth full-length back in early July and of course I’d missed it. ‘Wolfsstunde‘ reads like a dream meant to channel the eyes of an long distant ancestor, archaic and glowingly so within its runic magick obsession and sleeping beauteousness. Fans of Forhist and especially the first couple of Taake releases should appreciate the finer details poured into pieces which ring of floaty dramatism and some manner of ancient calling. Those finer details, however buried or slickly interlaced they read, give me well enough reason to mention this record here. Anyhow, great album and was glad to discover it even if I’d missed the release window. Title track is my favorite thus far.
HIS MAJESTY OF SODOMY
Hail to Brazil! Hail to Count Demönlust! Hail to hellraisers DEATHSLAÜGHTER! This arcane and raw thrashing Hellenic-influenced daemonic black metal band from São José dos Campos (southeast Brazil) formed circa 2016 and have made incredible work of their various heavy metal, punk, and black metal scourged influences for two full-lengths thus far. Their second album ‘Passing Through the Valley of the Sodomites‘ is heavily influenced by Greek black metal but certainly doesn’t keep things slow and sinister, focusing heavily on raw thrash/speed metal clangor and bestial aggression. Love the rotten sound and brutal energy of this band, sounds ancient and still manages plenty of intense melody. Will try and crank up a review for it if I can. The CD version will be released Cianeto Label and the cassette tape version from Timeworn Records.
Brisbane, Australia-based thrash metal band ASYLUM will release their latest album ‘Tyrannicide‘ on September 2nd. The latest single + title track from their upcoming album gives us the band’s deal up front: “Since the beginning of Asylum our music has mostly been about current events and what’s going on in today’s world. While watching worldwide events, the way society interacts, and the overall state of humanity; we channeled our thoughts and feelings into 9 songs that depict the world as we see it. From tyrannical governments to sadistically corrupt organizations, ‘Tyrannicide’ makes a statement both musically and lyrically.” Good on ’em too, as proper thrash metal of a certain mid-to-late 80’s era seems to be what they’re all about, along with a sort of Revocation-esque touch to their sound. Check them out:
Iron Bonehead Productions have announced October 14th as the release date for HANGHEDIEF‘s debut mini-LP, ‘Overduyvelsche Boosheit‘ on CD, 12″ vinyl, and cassette tape. Unorthodox black metal which’ll remind folks of the cryptic earlier 90’s side of things. Curious and caustic stuff with an interesting illustrative art style for the record. Check out the first single below:
Canadian hardcore/punk progressivists FUCKED UP have announced their latest EP ‘Oberon‘ will release October 7th via Tankcrimes. It is an interesting one which I don’t think folks will expect to reference late 90’s metalcore, that same era of sludgy powerviolence and such. Psychedelic sludge from a proggy post-hardcore group? Hmm, I’m into it. Check out the first single:
As someone pointed out in this next YouTube videos comments, “none of their guitars have heads.” Big mistake! Eh, all jokes aside I greatly appreciate how RIPPED TO SHREDS have angled into what makes them special and inspiring for many rather than burying the lede as they announce their first record for Relapse ‘debut full-length ‘劇變 (Jubian)‘ which releases October 14th. “The cultural context and impact of Ripped to Shreds as a Taiwanese-American band cannot be understated” one of the major points of purpose beyond tributing classic 90’s death metal (and a bit of grind) is “to increase the visibility of ABCs [American-born Chinese] in extreme metal by being very blatantly Chinese.” very refreshing to read and to see new faces and new perspectives within the often shuttered world of OSDM, underground or above-ground. Otherwise I’d appreciated the maniac vocals here, looking forward to the full album.
Well, finally man here’s a new goddamned AUTOPSY song to gear us up for their long-awaited new studio album ‘Morbidity Triumphant’ out September 30th through Peaceville. The first track is going to stalk you a bit at the doll factory before it kills your ass: “Skin By Skin” is one of the better lyric videos I’ve seen in a while. I completely hate all of the doll head stuff in the video, and after I watched it YouTube kept recommending documentaries on historic cases of inbreeding… Sick as Hell, sickening stuff. Anyhow, this eighth album is sounding appropriately nutso.
Invictus Productions has announced September 30th as the release date for a brand-new EP from thrashing black/death metal wrecking crew SACRILEGIA ‘Sold Under Sin‘ which’ll be out on CD and 12″ vinyl. Was way hot on ‘The Triclavian Advent‘ and can’t wait to get fuckin’ spiked by their next one. Here’s the first preview song:
Southern California progressive thrashers MADROST have announced the first in a planned series of live recordings this fall on Lost Wisdom Records. ‘Lost Lives Volume 1‘ is a throwback to the band’s early days, featuring songs found on the band’s recently reissued full-length debut, ‘Maleficent‘. Good on ’em for giving proper catalog to their history. The band comments: “The Lost Lives Series is a retrospective of the band’s early career. Starting this series off, this long-forgotten era has officially been restored and is now ready to be shown to the public. This particular release showcases the band in October of 2009, just two years after they originally formed. Warts and all, the band was firing on all cylinders and were well on their way to becoming a much tighter machine.” You can check out a preview over on Bandcamp:
“Congrats you’re canceled you stupid bitch” ah, music to my ears. Amphetamine Reptile Records (!) have announced they’ll release Chicago-based (previously Ohio, eh?) noise rock-adjacent duo MR.PHYLZZZ‘ full-length ‘Cancel Culture Club‘ this coming October 1st. Nah, I don’t remember how to pronounce the band name, not my problem bucko. But hey, you can go listen to the first single “Mr. Entertainer” right now and dig it. I really like the song, and this quote: “When I started recording, I finally felt like I was capturing how I always wanted Mr.Phylzzz to sound; blown-out guitars, clipping drums, tons of odd/weird vocals, screaming in trash cans with mics in them, throwing in samples of my cats, leaving in creaks and sounds of the room” because the recording really does capture the room in an uncomfortable kinda way, vivid kinda freakout deal and again, its a cool song:
Full blown darkness is the goal for Norwegian black metal colossi NORDJEVEL and ‘Gnavhòl‘ is the result, or, their third full-length in this brutal style of grotesque black metal hammering. The album will be released on September 23rd via Indie Recordings. The latest single/music video for “Of Rats and Men” is the right kind of morbid trip for such a slab of an album:
HAAVARD is acoustic solo project from Håvard Jørgensen aka Lemarchand (Dold Vorde Ens Navn) who is best known for his work on early Ulver and Satyricon records, the fellow has released the opening track “Printemps” as the first single taken from his self-titled debut album ‘Haavard‘ which’ll be out November 11th by way of Prophecy Productions. The artist explains: “The first single ‘Printemps’, is a song about birth and rebirth […] This is quite fitting as it also represents the first notes that you are hearing from me after a long silence. This track will give you a fair idea of what my new album is about as it stands for everything that this musical project means to me. There are movements at the break of dawn in it, and the song is also a musical portrait of spring, when life is blooming lush and recklessly.”
Coldwave (read: gothic rock/new wave) group BLACKLIST have announced their latest album ‘Afterworld‘ this coming October 28th by way of the fine folks at Profound Lore Records. The stunning first single “Pathfinder” should be enough to pull most folks into their stirring, frothy gloom-toned sound, which manages something a bit modern yet still sincerely cold:
German doom death act CAVERNOUS GATE, a solo-project of Helrunar co-founder and multi-instrumentalist Sebastian Körkemeier, have releasing the first single from their forthcoming debut full-length ‘Voices from a Fathomless Realm‘, which will release on October 14th through Prophecy Productions. “Old Graves Stir” might be my favorite song of the week, a true journey of a piece which made me truly excited to hear the full album.
Texas death metal quintet TRIBAL GAZE have announced their debut LP, ‘The Nine Choirs‘ through Maggot Stomp this coming September 16th on CD, cassette, and digital. The vinyl version will follow in early 2023. Looking forward to this one since I’d kinda missed out on their debut EP and so far I’m impressed with this first song and that chef’s kiss cover art:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based black-thrashers DAEVA are finally ready to give us a debut full-length and whoa now, the Karmazid painted cover art for this thing is nuts, incredible first impression. ‘Through Sheer Will And Black Magic…‘ will release through 20 Buck Spin this October 14th on LP, CD, cassette, and digital. “Arena At Dis” is the first single:
Toronto, Ontario-based death metal trio HUSSAR‘s debut full-length ‘All-Consuming Hunger‘ is among four new albums announced by I, Voidhanger Records this week and I am especially impressed with it. The first single/title track features guest vocals from Phil Tougas (Chthe’ilist, VoidCeremony, Funebrarum) and does a great job of showcasing the inventive yet brutal movement they bring to the table, erratic and exciting stuff which seems more progressive death than death/doom this time around. Check out the first song:
Invictus Productions has another one up their sleeve this week as they announced September 30th as the release date for the debut album from Italian death metal trio THULSA DOOM. ‘A Fate Worse Than Death‘ will release on CD and vinyl LP formats and so far seems like my kind of deal. The first preview song “Cursed Domains Beyond” does a great job of showcasing the madness of pure death metal, wherein all of their thrashing about manages an ‘old school’ groove that is anything but fucking braindead. Already stoked to high hell for this one.
San Jose, California-based death metal band MORTUOUS are finally ready with their second full-length album ‘Upon Desolation‘ which releases September 16th by way of Carbonized Records and Extremely Rotten Productions in Europe. The first single and album closer “Graveyard Rain” is brutal, chaotic, balls heavy kinda stuff and I’d appreciated that the vocalist has this kind of Drawn and Quartered gravel to his roar. Check it out:
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