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 fourth weekly cycle I’ve been listening to mostly video game music in my free time but hey, the Album of the Week for my own taste is Polish progressive thrash metal trio SPECIES‘ debut full-length ‘To Find Deliverance‘, an ‘old school’ approach from modern eyes which manages classicist authenticity and restraint without sacrificing the personal, thoughtful aspect of early progressive thrash/speed metal. It is just one of six releases from Awakening Records releasing this Friday, all of which are fantastic from a key Innana reissue to newer death metal upstarts Cultic and Cathartic all of it is worth checking out. If you’re not into death and thrash, I’ve been enjoying the latest Desolation Angels record otherwise, proper stuff from the classic late-era NWOBHM group.
- DESOLATION ANGELS – Burning Black (Skol Records, Aug. 26th) LP
- GRA – Flame of Haephestus (Avantgarde Music, Aug. 26th) Single
- SIGH – Shiki (Peaceville Records, Aug. 26th) LP
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.
As I continue to build a list of demos, albums, post-humous releases, and brush up on my Cold War history for a larger feature I’ve been working on for the better part of a year I recently caught wind of a new album from one of the first thrash bands under the Iron Curtain, and apparently the first to sing in English for a full release: SHAH. These folks have a history in rock music dating back to the early 80’s but their thrash/speed metal signature materialized around 1985 and their first demo tape hit in 1988. Ah, well we know that first demo became a re-recorded album in 1994 so, was there anything else we’d never heard before that? In fact there was an albums worth of demo recordings, extra songs, and such from the process of developing that first demo (which was album-worthy itself) all of which were preserved between the two main members Miguel Zhemchuzny and Anton Garcia whom are today split between Russia and Spain.
‘Fire and Brimstone Collection‘ re-records a large chunk of their (entirely unreleased in any form) songs from 1985-1987 while including three new songs from 2021. This is pretty exciting stuff if you’re heavy into the deep cuts of underground thrash metal as Shah have always stood out as very much in the spirit of true speed metal while having their own sense of melody, aggression and a unique style of riffing. Think of them as something like, Russia’s Coroner for lack of a better comparison. So, anyhow, the reason I am mentioning this record today is because it feels like the band never left as they take a tastefully recorded and damned ripping thrash metal record here which basically takes a hot dump on the struggle-bus of modern thrash metal. I hate to be that guy but, this is the perfect sort of time capsule to remind folks where thrash went beyond the usual suspects. Too fucking cool from my point of view and a record I’ve been stuck on all week, especially the 1987 written tracks which are particularly morbid and fast.
Invictus Productions and Dark Descent Records have announced October 21st as the release date for a split LP between undefeated fuckin’ riff warrior Germans OMEGAVORTEX and Texas bestial thrash death metal crew PIOUS LEVUS. The former are hands down among the best around today but I don’t know Pious Levus as well since I’d missed their debut back in 2018, the preview song they’ve got up for this release sits well next to the apex predatorial gnashing of Omegavortex. Go listen yourself over on Bandcamp, one track each:
Swiss-Brazilian brutal technical death metal band OMOPHAGIA have announced their fourth full-length ‘Rebirth In Black‘ will be released September 16th by way of Unique Leader Records. Think of their sound as something along the lines of Abysmal Dawn and Vitriol, if you’re not familiar already, the first single “Redemption in Self Destruction” gives the right vibe heavier and straight forward to start but eventually wheels into an interesting prog-death rhythm later on. Looking forward to this one:
Amor Fati Productions and Ván Records have announced September 19th as the release date for ‘Neredean Seismic End‘ the debut full-length from German black metal duo HADOPELAGYAL. Amor Fati will handle the cassette tape version while Ván will handle the CD and vinyl versions. Check out the first preview track “Blades Drawn from the Iron Marrow of the Sunken Dead”:
Los Angeles, California-based dark psychedelic prog rock group VITSKÄR SÜDEN have signed to Ripple Music and announced their new album ‘The Faceless King‘ alongside its first single “The Broken Crown”. These folks might have an oddly Scandinavian name but their brand of progressive and heavy psychedelic rock with a light shade of gothic folk certainly isn’t meant to be so region specific. ‘The Faceless King‘ releases on November 4th. About the single: “‘The Broken Crown’ was one of the first tracks we developed for the album and it guided us toward the understanding that we had a dark fantasy concept album on our hands. The album tells the story of the rise, fall and return of a vile king, and I was drawn to the idea of crafting a record around the mythological beginnings of a true antihero — subverting the classic ‘hero’s journey’.” the song is a trip, anyhow:
Louisiana-based black/death metal trio FAUSTIAN have signed with Swedish metal label Black Lion Records and released the single “Birth of Apparitions” to promote their self-titled debut EP, ‘Faustian‘ which releases on October 7th. It is a cool enough song which seems to merge the pensive side of modern sludge into a blackened death metal paradigm, more notable for its pace changes than riffs at a glance but nonetheless a great introduction to their gig and something a bit different than the usual shit:
Dying Victims Productions have announced the sophomore full-length from Kristinehamn, Sweden-based heavy metal trio WITCH BLADE. ‘Månsken‘ will release on CD and vinyl LP this coming October 21st. The artwork was compelling enough to pull me in for a listen and I found a solid sort of proto-metallic heavy rock meets NWOBHM sort of take on heavy metal. Check it out for yourself:
Odium Records have announced their signing Swedish vikingr thrash metal quartet HILD. The band comes from the mind of former Marduk drummer Lars Broddesson who’d tasked himself with quick and primitive slashes of thrash metal, aiming to showcase skill and decisiveness with a sort of rushed and precise method. They’ve announced the debut LP from the band ‘ValFreiya‘ with a few photographs and whatnot, no songs just yet. It will be released on October 7th with twelve songs in a style described as “violent Thrash metal with Black and Crust influences.” No preview song, etc. so, I guess just imagine the viking thrash idea for now.
We’ve got more hype to hit you with in terms of the upcoming EP from Canadian death metal band DEFORMATORY. Get to know a bit more about ‘Harbinger‘ with this video they’ve released, it has a few anecdotes as to where the record came from in terms of emotional gravitas and performance standards alongside some insight as to why they chose to work with Topon Das (Fuck The Facts) / Apartment 2 Recording who provides some insight into the process. Yeah I mean it watches like an ad for the most part but once you hear the record you’ll have to agree with ’em, they’ve really pushed the limits on the EP and the results are stunning:
This October 14th Altare Productions will release black metal act ADAGA‘s debut album, ‘Nas Ruínas do Ser‘ on vinyl LP format. Adaga “reimagines black metal in its most skeletal form” and yes, that means this one is thoroughly interesting in preview. But… you’ll have to take my word for it that this record is exceptionally bleak, no preview tracks just yet and their webstore won’t be back for a little while.
Well, I don’t know if a reissue would be big news for most folks but I really like RESTLESS SPIRIT and what they’d done with their second full-length ‘Blood of the Old Gods‘ so they’ve hooked up with Magnetic Eye Records to reissue their fine record on October 28, 2022. These Long Island, New York-based fellowes deserve some notice if you’re into sludge-heavy rock, fantastic songwriters in general. Anyhow, they’ve got a new music video for “Judgement and Exile” to spice up the news:
On October 14th Personal Records will release Mexican death-crust/metallic hardcore group CIMMERIAN POSSESSION‘s debut EP ‘Sadistic Storm‘ on CD and cassette tape. Cimmerian Possession kinda have that death metal/crust punk thing going on but without the full-bore death metal gack up front, they’re just heavy. Check their sound out yourself:
On September 2nd VELDUNE will release their self-titled debut album on CD and digitally. Veldune is a collaboration between vocalist Jamie Myers (Hammers of Misfortune) and guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Vaura) somewhat in the spirit of what they’d done together in Sabbath Assembly. The first single from the album “Chasing Down the Sun” arrives with a music video:
Norwegian black metal band KAMPFAR have released a new single entitled “Flammen fra Nord” alongside pre-orders for their upcoming full-length album ‘Til klovers takt‘, which will be released on Indie Recordings this coming November 11th. This is the fourth single from the album, all of which comprise two thirds of the full-length in a direct line, so, get a very clear read on it yourself over on Bandcamp:
Norwegian melodic progressive thrash metal band VORBID explore existentialism on their latest single “Derealization” on which the band comments: “In Derealization the track’s character finds himself stuck on repeat. He’s lived through these events before. Is this a form of catatonic sleep or self-inflicted psychosis? In his anguished desperation, the character tries to put together the pieces of the puzzle that is his own reality.” It serves to promote the band’s sophomore album ‘A Swan by the Edge of Mandala‘ which releases October 14th through Indie Recordings. Unfortunately I don’t have a preview to share just yet, the single won’t release until August 31st, so, wishlist the album on Bandcamp or follow them on Facebook to get the news when it drops. Haven’t heard the album yet but I have been enjoying the singles thus far.
Helter Skelter Productions / Regain Records have announced October 14th as the release date for MAJESTIC MASS‘ second album ‘Destroys Minds and Rapes Souls‘, on CD and cassette tape with the vinyl LP version coming January 17th, 2023. I think they’ve got two singles out for the record at this point, an interesting Danish project with a ton of subversive/clever personality.
Underground all-star death/doom metal band INNUMERABLE FORMS have announced their second full-length album ‘Philosophical Collapse‘ will release on September 16th by way of the good folks over at Profound Lore Records. Their sound rubs ye olde school Finnish death metal scrimmage with early ‘90s death/doom metal romanticism a la Anathema and Paradise Lost, moreso on this album from what I can recall about the previous. The second single “Thrall” does a fine job of showing this sharpened melodic side of the band, now an integral part of their sound. Couldn’t be more hyped now that I’ve sat down with the full listen today:
Signal Rex in collaboration with Bestial Burst have announced September 23rd as the release date for HAIL CONJURER‘s sixth album, ‘Earth Penetration‘. Signal Rex will release the tape version while Bestial Burst will put out the CD version. Hail Conjurer comes from the mind of current Hooded Menace vocalist Harri Kuokkanen whom you’ll know better from his work in Ride For Revenge and Horse Latitudes. The first preview track is “Come Alive”, which had me sold on taking a closer look/listen as soon as the guitars hit:
“taking inspiration from all eras of The Elder Scrolls universe and all 5 main games in the series. The Self Titled debut album aims to take listeners on a vastly broad, sonic journey into deep, lore driven fantasy.” DAEDRIC ARMOUR is “the only true Elder Scrolls worship in the form of savagely fast and raw black metal.” Alright… sold. On the theme at least, I’ve only had about twenty minutes with their self-titled debut, which releases on CD and digitally this coming November 9th but it was definitely some solid black metal. I mean it doesn’t sound like Jeremy Soule if that’s what you were thinking. Anyhow, check it out:
Temple of Mystery Records have announced October 24th as the release date for the fourth album from Canadian heavy metal group METALIAN. ‘Beyond the Wall‘ will arrive on CD and vinyl LP and eh, even if I’m not into that album artwork the record sounds golden thus far. I like the idea that this record was written in secret at night, during government lockdown “Written during the pandemic, when meetings and reunions were forbidden, the album was rehearsed and written mostly by night at the band’s secret rehearsal room, during curfews.” I dunno, there is a great secret agent metal band music video theme in there somewhere. Hit up Bandcamp for a look and listen:
Modern grind group CLOUD RAT have revealed a third new single, “Kaleidoscope” from their upcoming album ‘Threshold‘ which releases October 7th via Artoffact Records. Drummer Brandon Hill via Decibel: “We debated naming the album after that song, as the idea and visuals of a kaleidoscope were very much something we thought about and felt with the sheer amount of ideas and textures and changes in the album… I think the name and vibe of the track perfectly encompass what the record is all about.” hit up Decibel’s site for the track, swing over to Bandcamp to hear the other singles:
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