ENDTYMER is the inevitable weekly “music news 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
The first half-week of March is a strange one, I mean of course there are some obvious highlights with Majesties‘ command of classic melodic death metal’s peaking appeal being a very glorious thing, and the mainstream familiarists are off gooning over the sixteenth entry to Enslaved‘s long-running canon. I am a bit more focused on At the Altar of the Horned God‘s brilliant concoction for his second full-length and the ‘coming into their own’ moment that Nemesis Sopor have had on ‘Firmament’ at the moment but no doubt ‘Vast Reaches Unclaimed‘ is the surefire hit this week. Otherwise yes, there is a new Carcariass album out and it is, honestly a bit tame and uninteresting but perhaps worth checking out if you are a longtime fan of the French group as I am.
SWELLING RUINOUS TIDES
Sydney, Australia based death metal band SARCOPHAGUM recently released a single which serves as a preview of where they’re headed with the debut full-length which is currently in the works. This ~8 minute standalone song feels just as substantial and eerie as their first two pieces, and it seems their good work on their debut EP wasn’t a fluke. Go grab the song, throw money at ’em and leave some feedback definitely need more work of this quality around and these folks have the knack for it.
RING DAMNATION’S BELL 35 TIMES
Peaceville Records have announced their 35th Anniversary 3XLP remaster of CANDLEMASS classic ‘Nightfall‘ will release on March 10th. Just as they’ve implied this is not only a genre-defining record from 1987 which but a general classic of heavy metal, no extra qualifiers needed. This is a limited edition vinyl set, colored vinyl which features a new remaster from Patrick Engel (Temple of Disharmony). Just passing along the news since this is one of my personal favorite albums, not to downplay the equal value of each of their first four albums as essential classics. If you aren’t a Candlemass fan, fuck off already.
A FEW RANDOM FREAKS
Here are a few stragglers releasing this week who’ve been interesting in preview. All independent folks with interesting takes on black and death metal from the milling fires of the underground grunthood. First we’ve got a guttural war metallic bestial black metal demo from Seattle, Washington’s ENTHRONEMENT. Nothing amazing just yet but I’d appreciated the sort of blown out Archgoat feeling of the listen:
Second we have a hit of exceptional avant-garde aggression from a band you might remember from last year, PROFANE DESECRATION sound unhinged, bestial yet Thantaxifath-esque in their scrawling attack on this short EP/demo. This Massachusetts based trio have made a very strong case for themselves within these four pieces and I can’t wait to hear what they do next in this bestial, surreal black/death space.
Finally we have Argentinian death metal duo CEMETERY DWELL who play something a shade more traditional in spirit, a sound akin to a certain transitional era of Hypocrisy at times. They’ve not quite nailed their own rhythms here, or some of the pacing feels slightly off but I appreciated the galloping mid-paced melodic death metal side of the band. Riffs could use some work but overall their intent is worthy.
DRONESPELL & THE OMEGA CHORD is a project from members of Orthodox, Pylar and Doce Fuegos which focuses on improvisation in the context of extreme metal and their debut release came out today digitally with the physical edition to release mid-April. If you are familiar with these folks and their fine work in other groups you can expect fluid yet patient drive into increasingly dark landscapes. The press release suggests “Inspired by ’73-75 King Crimson, the dissonant extreme metal currently in vogue, and free improvisation, the trio builds open forms that mutate spontaneously, dynamically, but always dark and heavy.” You can go check it out right now and I’d highly recommend it.
Finno-Canadian epic heavy metal band SMOULDER have announced their second full-length album will arrive this coming April 21st on CD, vinyl, and digitally once again by way of Cruz Del Sur Music. Hard to believe it has been four years since their debut LP release but I’m glad they’ve taken their time. They’ve suggested that the album is the next logical progression after ‘Times of Obscene Evil‘ once again reflecting the unwell state of the realm by way of high fantasy heavy metal. Vocalist Sarah Ann suggests “I used to loathe when bands used the word ‘mature,’ the same goes for when bands say ‘This is our best album,’ but…. this album is mature and better than the debut.” You can listen to the commanding first single “The Talisman and the Blade” right now:
After three years honing their multi-scythed attack SPIRIT POSSESSION are ready with a second full-length album ‘Of The Sign…‘ which they’ve set up for a March 31st release by way of the good folks at Profound Lore Records. They’ve suggested the album will have an epic, esoteric yet still primitive approach and I think from my point of view this translates to this second preview track, “Orthodox Weapons” sounding a bit m ore in the haunted, ranting realm of bands like Funereal Presence. Check it out and see if you agree:
Bay-area death-doom metal band LARVAE have announced they will be releasing their new album, ‘Entitled To Death‘ this coming April 7th by way of the always impressive Fucking Kill Records. The press release suggests ““Entitled To Death” pursues a human experience, traversing the middle realm seen thru the eyes of a defected warrior. Bound to a reality of misanthrope, power, and trauma the protagonist seeks balance until the final collapse in a land filled with ruin and loss.” They go on to suggest the band is inspired by Runemagick, Paradise Lost, Immolation… and yep, I’m sold already. Check out the first preview track and see if you’re into it:
20 Buck Spin have announced they will release the second full-length album from Los Angeles, California-based death metal quintet KOMMAND. ‘Death Age‘ seems to be bent on one-upping the already brutal ‘Terrorscape‘ and that’ll have to be the major note given up front. I discovered that first album like a year after it released so I’m not that invested yet but I liked this first preview song as an ante-up. ‘Death Age‘ will release March 31st on LP, CD, CS, and digitally.
French death metal band ATHANATHEOS will return this April 14th with a new album titled ‘Cross. Deny. Glorify.‘ by way of Lavadome Productions. A concept album which seems to have been deeply considered, we get some insight from the band up front: “The concept of the album follows the paths of three generations of Roman men (a soldier, merchand and philosopher) as they watch their empire decay from within in the wake of Emperor Constantine’s adoption of Christanity as its official religion, every song on “Cross. Deny. Glorify.” is unique in its character while holding true to a core musical vision that binds the entire record.” The first track they’ve released thus far, “The Silent Oblivion”, blew me away as a first impression:
Unpredictable black metal band KOSTNATĚNÍ have signed with Willowtip Records for their second full-length album. ‘Úpal‘ will be out on CD, gatefold vinyl and digitally this coming May 26th. Úpal means “heatstroke” and was chosen as a title for a concept album which narrates a story of the human condition as a function of heat. “The rise of consciousness in warm-blooded creatures has given rise to impossibly dense, illogical webs of thought that can completely divorce our lived experience from the physical world around us.” which is of course an expectedly ingenious thought from this unique artist.
Memento Mori have announced they will release the fifth full-length album from Italian death metal band VALGRIND this coming April 24th. ‘Millennium of Night Bliss‘ looks to continue the unique thread of the band which I’d personally invested most into starting with their 2018 record ‘Blackest Horizon‘. This first single “Teshub” suggests a more fluid leaning to the riffcraft, almost a semi-melodic conductor for these sophisticated yet old school constructs. Hugely anticipated record on my part, can’t wait:
Werewolf Records have announced March 31st as the release date for the second full-length album from Finnish black metal band GRIEVE. ‘Wolves of the Northern Moon‘ will release on CD format with the vinyl LP version following later this year. They split, they’re back, and this album sounds great. In terms of style think ’92-’94 Norwegian black metal, raw and even punkish at times. Check one of the singles “Deep in the Ice-Cold Mountains” over on YouTube:
Chaos Records have announced April 28th as the release date for Swedish thrash metal duo SENTINEL SIRENS‘ debut full-length album ‘Orbithon Wave‘ on CD format. Formed in early 2020 this duo features Andreas Engman on all instruments and Heval Bozarslan of Sarcasm on vocals. They’ve put together an impressive ~45 minute thrash metal record with a classic affect and a theme centered around 1950s sci-fi films. Wasn’t sure what to expect but they both clearly not only love classic thrash but bring a strong creative touch to the style and melodic aspect on this first single “Monstrum Pandemum”, kind of reminds me of No Mercy a bit.
Birmingham, England-based doom rock group MARGARITA WITCH CULT have released a music video for “Diabolical Influence” the latest single from their self-titled debut album which will be released on April 21st via Heavy Psych Sounds. The band comments on song itself: “Diabolical Influence is a doom-laden tale of demonic possession and satanic-panic mass hysteria set to crushing heavy 1970s downer rock groove.” Great, I am always on board for all of that. Check it out here:
Windhand vocalist DORTHIA COTTRELL has announced her upcoming solo record ‘Death Folk Country‘ will arrive April 21st through Relapse Records. The artist suggests themes of place, where one comes from and what they carry within themselves. “This album to me is about painting a picture of a place where my heart lives, the title Death Folk Country is partly me describing a genre that fits the sound – but it’s also meant to be taken as a Naming, a coronation of the world inside me. Death Folk Country is the music and also the land where the music takes place, and the two have always been inextricable from each other.” The first single “Family Annihilator” is brilliant, can’t wait for the full album:
Brilliant Emperor Records have announced they will release doom metal band MAMMON’S THRONE‘s self-titled second album this coming April 1st on vinyl and digital download. The band comment on the album’s opening song and leading single “Return us to The Stars”: “We wrote “Return us to The Stars” to tell the tale of a ritual being performed. We set it amidst the backdrop of a desolate desert, largely devoid of life and water, where the only seas are the endless sands that lay before weary emissaries of ancient, forgotten gods. Every song on the album is about some sort of ending. Be it the end of a life, a kingdom, humanity, or an entire world, and “Return us to the Stars” is a last ditch and terrible ritual to ancient gods in the hope to ascend to the stars and leave a dying world.” Check out the song over on Bandcamp:
Vancouver-based progressive heavy rock band DEAD QUIET have announced their upcoming album ‘IV’ will be released this coming June 9th via Artoffact Records. These guys have changed a bit over time, coming into their own on their last two or so records so I’ve been looking forward to this one. The first single “High Roads” intends to be a classic moment based on vocalist/guitarist Kevin Keegan‘s comments: “I think High Roads might be the most rock n’ roll song we’ve written. There’s a lot of soul in this song and it’s a ton of fun to play. The keyboard solo is one of our funnest moments yet.” Check it out here:
Vancouver, British Colombia-based epic melodic metal band GATEKEEPER have geared up with RZ Cinema on a music video for “From Western Shores”, the title track from their upcoming record. The band comments: “All scenes were filmed at Jones Lake, BC. We almost died while filming this. Halfway through the band performance shots we got caught in a literal blizzard and were forced to continue filming while the snow fell upon us, covering our instruments and equipment. Our bassist went through a patch of ice on the beach and lost one of his boots in the mud and we almost had to take him to the hospital—thankfully we were able to warm him up in time. The drive home from the mountain was terrifying: an icy, muddy logging road where we couldn’t see more than four feet in front of our eyes.” The most noticeable element of change here for the longtime fan is of course the change of vocalist to the more power metal leaning Tyler “Tex” Anderson as well as a clear upgrade in production values, moving away from the gritter side of the band for this piece, which suggests something more along the lines of Visigoth. Strong first impression for this album on my part. ‘From Western Shores‘ will be released through Cruz Del Sur Music on March 24, 2023.
Swiss death metal band VOMITHEIST will release their upcoming album, ‘NekroFvneral‘ this coming May 19th by way of Transcending Obscurity Records. A fairly straightforward mix of Swedish death metal standards and the obvious Autopsy influence in that early style, these folks leave a filthy, ‘old school’ aftertaste. While I am not a big fan of the HM-2 driven sound lately, this song was worth mentioning:
THIS WEEK’S VIDEOS / REVIEWS
Catch up with the latest YouTube video review/features and written reviews here. New videos post Thursday/Friday of each week for the most part. You can click on the link provided to read the review, each review has the related video embedded in the original post as well. Videos are fairly casual and meant to accompany the written review with some extra context and a few quick notes.
The Top 20 Albums of February | 2023 [Video early next week]
CARMA – Ossadas (2023) | REVIEW
MINENWERFER – Feuerwalze (2023) | REVIEW [Video next Thursday]
YAAROTH – The Man in the Wood (2023) | REVIEW
BASTARD GRAVE – Vortex of Disgust (2023) | REVIEW
AT THE ALTAR OF THE HORNED GOD – Heart of Silence (2023) | REVIEW
NEMESIS SOPOR – Firmament (2023) | REVIEW
MAJESTIES – Vast Reaches Unclaimed (2023) | REVIEW
Short Reviews | March 2nd, 2023
COMING UP NEXT WEEK:
Here is a tentative list of what is coming up next week in terms of reviews. The following records have been listened to extensively, a preliminary review has been drafted (or completed), and I’ve locked them in for coverage. In terms of the “Short Written Reviews + Video” column, these are more tentative, some of them may be cut if I do not have enough time to get around to everything.
LONGFORM WRITTEN REVIEWS / VIDEO REVIEWS:
FANGE – Privation [March 13th, Throatruiner]
DÉCRYPTAL – Sabazios Culte [March 15th, Me Saco Un Ojo/Rotted Life]
CONTRARIAN – Sage of Shekhinah [March 17th, Willowtip Records]
SEPULCRUM – Lamentation of Immolated Souls [March 17th, Chaos Records, Canometal, Burning Coffin Records]
ÚLFÚÐ – Of Existential Distortion [March 17th, Dark Descent Records]
ENTROPIA – Total [March 17th, Agonia Records]
SHORT WRITTEN REVIEWS + VIDEO:
ISOLE – Anesidora [March 10th, Hammerheart Records]
FAGUS – Inter [March 10th, Silent Future Recordings]
IGNOMINY – Imminent Collapse [March 10th, Transcending Obscurity Records]
BLOODJOB – Metastasis [March 10th, Lethal Scissor Records]
DEPRAVED MURDER – Unethical Terrestrial Collapse [March 10th, Comatose Music]
ODINFIST – Remade in Steel [March 10th, Self-Released]
EXELERATE – Exelerate [March 10th, From the Vaults]
HÅNDGEMENG – Ultraritual [March 10th, Ripple Music]
ASPHAGOR – Pyrogenesis [March 10th, MDD Records]
KOLDVOID – Wilderness Retreat [March 10th, Sun and Moon Records]
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