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 final weekly cycle I’ve been listening to the extent of September’s releases for the second week in a row, catching up with a huge number of records and the inevitable latecomers. The Album of the Week for my own taste in terms of releases of the week is Tasmania, Australian-based heavy rock/doom metal metal band WOE‘s debut full-length ‘Czernobog‘, an ‘old school’ approach to hard rock and traditional doom metal that swings for it in the exact right sorta way, doing so with modern ears and plenty of energy built-in. If you’re not into ye olden doomed heavy rock and want something a bit more miserable In Grief‘s debut full-length ‘An Eternity of Misery‘ is a notable take on early 90’s romanticist death/doom metal with a bit of a gothic rock shake to it. Also, Spanish death metal abstractionists Altarage released a new album on vinyl only, no digital, no CD, no tape etc. so, take a chance on that one, eh? ‘Sol Corrupto‘.
- Ensanguinated – Eldritch Anatomy (Emanzipation Productions) pushed back to October 7th.
- Trial – Feed the Fire (Metal Blade)
- Asylum – Tyrannicide (Self-Released)
- Zeta – Binary Enigma (Self-Released)
- Diabolic Oath – Aischrolatreia (Sentient Ruin)
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.
AN EXAMINED 1UP
Paper Salamander Games have announced that their 2D action-platformer IN RETROSPECT will be launching on Steam and Itch.io this coming September 7th with some launch window sale prices in effect. In Retrospect is a colorful platformer which appears to tune your progress based on your choice of power-ups/collectibles sought as they’ve aligned each type as a choice, tasking the player with how they’d view their life in retrospect (Health, wealth, love, education, creativity, spirituality) but this also seems to effect the tone of the music as well, taking some inspiration from games like Crypt of the Necrodancer, Wandersong, the BIT.TRIP series and such. I mention it here because I’ve played a bit of it recently and it seems to have some decent replay factor and I’d particularly enjoyed the OST, “The Knives are Drawn” and “Skyline at Night” being the big ones available in preview, check the game out and listen to a bit of the music here:
NO N’ ROLL, EVER
After I’d had a long nostalgic trip down Entombed‘s discography reissues I’d ended up re-examining death n’ roll, wanting to see if there was a viable exploration to be had there in terms of the 1992-1998 development of the sort of niche sub-genre and fad. The next conclusion, and perhaps the final word on the idea was that “Death n’ Roll’s rare “wins” are generally all Finnish“. There is one acceptable alternative and still a very important one to be found in Furbowl‘s ‘These Shredded Dreams‘ a 1992 released record which tends to be upheld as a brief sidenote for the career of Johan Liiva who’d featured on some Carnage material before forming this band before leaving for Arch Enemy which he’d then left to start Hearse, which was essentially a spiritual sequel to . In retrospect it is more an expansion of the ideas found on ‘Clandestine‘ than ‘Wolverine Blues‘ was, and still a fantastic listen with a classic, sort of hairy production value in hand. The most profound statement I could make about the record? It has heavier, more impactful riffs than most wannabe chainsaw Swedish style records have been dying to replication for the last two decades.
Alright then, what about the Finnish shit? Well, if you don’t already own Xysma ‘Yeah‘ (1991) and Convulse ‘Reflections‘ (1994) you’ve missed out on two of the only legitimate examples of death n’ roll which deserve lasting praise. If you’re interested in how far it could be pushed into a truly original space Scum‘s ‘Purple Dreams and Magic Poems‘ (1995) is a glimpse at how the style might’ve continued to properly evolve underground. What is missing from all but ‘Yeah‘ in this regard is what death metal could bring to heavy rock, the point was made clear enough in terms of bringing heavy rock riffs to death metal’s oeuvre (at the time) rather straight forward ex-thrasher grindcore apparatus but from my point of view only one band ever made a proper case for “death metal as rock music” which they’d never quite managed to deliver unto an actual full-fledged release. That’d be Lubricant whose slippery essence is solely contained within their impressive ‘Nookleptia‘ mLP. Of course any semblance of rock music was funneled through speed metal beginnings, death-grind angularity, and the effect of the music is closer to peak Protected Illusion, Carbonized, and Ripped and as such isn’t necessarily considered proper canned and superficially generated Entombed inspired death n’ roll as folks tend to remember it (see: mid-90’s Gorefest.)
I guess the major reason to bring it up today is that going back to a deep underground release like this reminds me of an era where death metal came from musicians who’d channel their heavy metal fanaticism into music meant only to please their interests. It is the difference between insight gained from celebrating exposure to many strange and new ideas rather than just, I dunno being weird for the sake of it, or just celebrating ineptitude. These were songs from musicians jamming away at their craft together for just a handful of years and the result is perhaps timeless in my mind for the sake of how deeply cut it is from an out of control psychic connection. Plenty of riffs, too.
This is more of a public service announcement than anything else as I think most of the folks who know about Chilean death metal band INANNA wouldn’t have missed the news and the release itself. The big deal is that the progressive apex of their sort of ten year milestone, the hard-fought and challenging ‘Transfiguration in a Thousand Delusions‘ (2012) has finally gotten a re-release, this one by way of Awakening Records this past August 26th. If you aren’t familiar with ’em this particular juncture for the band received a lot of comparisons to The Chasm and StarGazer for its elaborate yet still old school progressive death metal approach, more a circumstance of their inherent talent and the atmosphere they were working on rather than an intended sub-genre specific release. Anyhow, it is an underrated gem and one that I’ve been recommending since 2012.
Announced last week just hitting me earlier this week we’ve got the big, big news that Melbourne, Australia-based death metal trio FACELESS BURIAL will release their third full-length album, ‘At The Foothills Of Deliration‘ this coming October 7th. Dark Descent Records will release the album on CD and tape formats, Me Saco Un Ojo Records will release the vinyl. One of the most anticipated follow-ups on my list and actually way sooner than expected, this is definitely one of those groups I’d always felt needed more recognition beyond their underrated first album and thankfully folks definitely paid attention beyond that point. They’d only gotten better on the previous record and so far I’m impressed with how this new song “A Mire of Penitence” sounds, the guitar sound is nuclear and the bass tone is perfectly gorged, sickly beautiful and brutal stuff. Check it out over on Bandcamp:
Sacramento, California-based melodic modern doom metal act CHROME GHOST and their incredible second full-length ‘The Diving Bell’ weren’t a fluke in the water, as it turns out. One spin through the first single for their latest album “The Furnace” should have you on board with their big n’ buxom tones and ear-kissing tunefulness. Consider their sound a push beyond early Pallbearer‘s overdriven sensitivity, reaching for vocal harmonies which are simple yet instantly connective. Their third full length, ‘House of Falling Ash‘ is hugely anticipated on my part and releases on Seeing Red Records this coming October 28th.
Chaos Records have announced October 14th as the release date for an expanded reissue of ‘Granular Transformation‘ from APPARITION on CD. The EP was originally vinyl only and this new version includes the previously digital only ‘Subarachnoid Space‘ to round out the compilation. Conjoining the recordings makes sense and makes for a good primer for their more recently released debut LP. Listen to the whole thing right now:
Texas blackened death metal legends IMPRECATION have announced the release of their third full-length album, ‘In Nomine Diaboli‘ will land on October 14th. This one marks the final recorded performance of founding member, drummer and keyboardist Ruben “Vomit” Elizondo (R.I.P.). Dark Descent Records will release the album on CD, tape, digital, and gatefold vinyl formats. The album art rules and “Bringer of Sickness” (click for music video) is the first single:
Pennsylvania-based proto-metal group SPELLBOOK have released a music video for “The Witch of Ridley Creek,” the latest single from their forthcoming second full-length album, ‘Deadly Charms‘ which will be released September 30th on CD and digital formats via Cruz Del Sur Music. The vinyl LP version will be released on October 7th. The subject matter here is infinitely interesting as this record seems to be all about northeastern US weirding folk histories, supernatural places and well, inevitably turns towards unfair persecution. “The trial involving the alleged “witch” of Ridley Creek, Margaret Mattson, took place in the late XVII century almost a decade before Salem’s infamous witch hunt. Margaret was accused by her neighbors of practicing witchcraft, casting a curse over their animals and drying their land. The truth was that Margaret occupied first the best part of the land, which was much more fertile. At the end of the trial no evidence was found of Margaret practicing witchery and she was condemned to a light sentence.” The eventual conclusion when we look at the history of witch trials across the globe, they were most often for the sake of taking power away from influential or well-off women, or, sure even worse intentions were had if we look to England and beyond. Anyhow, great song:
Progressive death metal quartet LAMENTATIONS have announced they will release their sophomore full-length album ‘Passion Of Depression‘ on CD, double-vinyl LP, and digital formats this coming November 11th via Willowtip Records. This second album is described as “is “a cinematic concept album that portrays the pain, pleasure, joy and sorrow that encompass one’s life journey.” And I appreciate that there is some focus on an emotionally connected existential thread at face value. You can hear their Cynic influenced rhythms within moments of the first single but of course these folks have much more to show on this grand album opener “Prodigal”:
“The End of Absence” is the second single to be taken from ‘Devotional‘, the new collaborative album from THE LORD & PETRA HADEN which releases this coming October 21st. The preview track here on offer is the closer of the album, giving us a more direct hint of the ethereal side of the vocally driven yet still heavy experimental record which features stunning work from Haden, whom you might recall previously worked with Anderson on SUNN O)))’s album ‘ØØ Void’. ‘Devotional’ has several layers to peel back, as it turns out to be themed in awe of the power of religious commune, good and bad, taking the Rajneesh community as intriguing example. Google it, kids, since it has been a while. The album releases October 21st by way of Southern Lord.
WIPES is a Pennsylvania-based noise rock/sludge rock alt-rocking kinda band acting as a surrogate continuation of well known group Tile. Catchy off-topic stuff which now amounts to their debut full length, ‘Making Friends‘ which releases November 4th via Hex Records. Expect a 4AD influenced kinda ‘Nevermind‘ rub from ’em, slabbed up, shouty post-hardcore braced movement with dreaming, ‘gazing tones serving stare-at-the-wall worthy grooves. Get all of the right ideas about their sound from this second single “Always”:
Hellenic progressive black metal quartet AENAON have released a music video & new single titled “Hysteria” to further promote their impressive album ‘Mnemosyne‘ which releases October 7th via Agonia Records. The band explain “As always, we have been silent but creatively restless, aiming to a timeless creation. Mnemosyne is an album of noir aesthetics and emotional extremity. The title derives from the Greek goddess of remembrance and the river of memory.” Of course this second single is one of my favorite songs heard this week, the synth work here is soul-scraping magick. Listen to “Hysteria” and watch the video:
German melodic black metal band TIMOR ET TREMOR have returned after six years with a new album titled ‘Realm Of Ashes‘ which is planned for release this coming October 28th through Trollzorn. The first single “Of Wolf And Sun” gives a strong enough first impression which should appeal to melodeath lifers, a sombre song to say the least:
October 28th has been announced as the release date for the latest album from German melodic black metal band THEOTOXIN. ‘Fragment : Totenruhe‘ is the exceptional band’s fourth album and it will see release on CD and vinyl LP formats through AOP Records. They haven’t said much about its themes and such but it seems to be a continuation of ‘Fragment: Erhabenheit‘ (2020) which was quite good. This first single “World, Burn For Us” smokes in a pure Dissection-esque way, brilliant first impression and I love the continuity of the cover art for their last two records, good show:
Signal Rex is proud to present irreverent black metal ritualists FUNERAL HARVEST‘s highly anticipated debut album ‘Redemptio‘ on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette. These folks are quartet featuring members from Norway and Italy, an impressive formation thus far based on their EP releases and such, so I am all in on this one. The album art is brilliant, too. The first single “Fire Sermon” has a music video available as well:
Nuclear Winter Records have announced November 11th as the release date for ENCRYPTMENT‘s debut album, ‘Dödens födsel‘, on CD and cassette tape formats. These folks set out to write music chucking the barriers upheld between death metal, black metal, and extreme styles of punk so, that is the spinned-up way of saying they deliver monstrous death musick at a grinding, relentless clip. Energizing and damning work based on what I’ve heard thus far:
Gore metal group EXHUMED have a new record on the way title ‘To The Dead‘ and it’ll be out October 21st by way of the fine folks at Relapse Records. Of course they’ve got a video for the first single, “Drained Of Color”. Frontman Matt Harvey comments “Like a lingering infection, we’ve returned to excruciate your eardrums and splatter your senses! The lads and I are very stoked to excrete our latest audio abortion onto the collective face of the underground. We’ve dialed up the ‘gross-o-meter’ to 666, so if gore-soaked blastbeats, disgusting vocals, and meat-cleaving riffs are your idea of a good time, you’re in for a fucken treat!” Great, yeah, actually this shit is pants-shitting brutal and the video is well entertaining. Must see:
Memento Mori have announced October 24th as the release date for the debut album from French death metal act FALL OF SERAPHS titled ‘From Dust to Creation‘. The Bordeaux area band formed back in 2014 between various speed, black and thrash metal veterans and that experience shows here on the first single “The Eradication Dogma”:
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions have announced the official reissue of DEEDS OF FLESH‘s classic and long-out-of-print debut album ‘Trading Pieces‘, very good news. This essential artifact of USDM and brutal death in general will release October 7th on CD format. Originally released mid-1996 via Repulse Records this was only the start for the band but already showed a hungry, well-practiced band who’d go on to become innovators in the brutal-tech headspace.
Blood Harvest Records has announced October 28th as the release date for Texas-based death metal solo act UNIVERSALLY ESTRANGED‘s second album, ‘Dimension of Deviant Clusters‘ on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette. Abstract science fiction themed death metal worth iterating on for sure, of course the album art is incredible once more and the first preview song is equally wild:
Edged Circle Productions have announced their signing of the Netherlands’ BODYFARM alongside the announcement of the band’s fifth album, ‘Ultimate Abomination‘, which will see international release on February 24th, 2023 on all formats. Follow the band on Facebook to keep up with the news/tours in the meantime:
Florida-based black/doom metal project WORM have announced their latest release as the ‘Bluenothing‘ EP which consists of an A-side which features two tracks from the Foreverglade sessions and a B-side which reveals a different side of the band. Based on what I’ve heard on the 30 second teaser clip provided and in following the interests of the artist it seems pretty well telegraphed at this point that their interest in the aesthetics of mid-90’s black metal theatrics, the cosmic satanic id of stuff like Odium and Limbonic Art, will proceed in full beyond this release and hopefully in very personally styled way as they’d done prior. A lot of care has gone into the presentation of this one, many artists and assisting musicians, so it seems to promise both satisfying spectacle and an addendum to the blackened funereal death/doom of the previous album. I’m interested to see how much synth will factor into the starry-eyed nightside of the band henceforth. 20 Buck Spin will release ‘Bluenothing‘ on LP, CD, cassette, and digital platforms on October 28th.
Me Saco Un Ojo and Dark Descent Records are teaming up to present the debut album from London-based death metal quartet VACUOUS titled ‘Dreams of Dysphoria‘. MSuO will handle the vinyl version and Dark Descent will handle the CD version. The first single from the album “Body of Punishment” didn’t grip me right away but it seems they’re quite good at the doomed, slower-edge side of things. Frantic and heavy death metal pummeling otherwise.
Los Angeles, California-based weird-grinding duo COSMIC HEARSE will issue their debut demo ‘Exalted Terror‘ on limited digipak CD this coming September 30th by way of Mythic Ironworks. Vocal effects, sci-fi synth, and brutally thumping deathgrind is what they seem to be up to with a few Impetigo-ish moments. Didn’t hit me too hard but see if they’re your kind of thing:
Bent Window Records have announced they’ll release a limited edition cassette tape version of VILE EXECUTION‘s latest EP ‘Waste & Rot‘ this coming September 16th in an edition of 80 tapes. The Victoria B.C. group feature a clod heavy modern death metal sound that goes for the throat punch right away. Brutal punched-out stuff, check out the first preview track “False Pedestal”:
Sludge/death metal duo COFFIN TORTURE readying up for their latest album ‘Blennoid‘ which will release through Sludgelord Records this coming October 7th. Supernatural events, brain eating worms, carnivorous rivers of slime… Alright, well, I was already in since I liked the last one but that sounds good too.
Signal Rex have announced they will release the debut album from Czechia-based black metal artist BRAN titled ‘Odcházení‘ on CD and vinyl LP formats. The CD version shall be released on October 31st while the vinyl version will follow later.
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