ENDTYMER | April 21st, 2023

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: grizzlybutts@hotmail.com


The third week of April brought quality over quantity depending on your taste. Apparently I had the wrong release date for Blodtår‘s debut album ‘Det förtegna förflutna‘ which releases today, it is a brilliant work of imaginative yet deeply melodic and lead-driven Swedish black metal. If you’re a fan of traditional heavy metal Smoulder‘s ‘Violent Creed of Vengeance‘ is the natural choice, a memorable and enthused return for the band. I’d say the same for Tanith‘s ‘Voyage‘ a folkish heavy rock which broadly showcases the genius of Russ Tippins. If you lean towards stoner rock/metal with its alt-metal origins then ‘Drifting in the Endless Void‘ is a surprising, triumphant return from Dozer, a world class group in general. Being such a fan of Belgium-based sci-fi prog/tech-death band Pestifer I was surprised to not have received word of their latest EP ‘Defeat of the Nemesis‘ but yes, it is an an excellent release with a very pronounced bass guitar presence. A “surprise” release of Bell Witch‘s first part of what is shaping up to be a ~4.5 hour opus in ‘Future’s Shadow Part I: The Clandestine Gate‘ is impressive upon first listen but, sure, that sort of record needs a few weeks and a lot of free time to properly valuate. That leaves us with two records which are superior to all else for obvious but very different reasons: Century‘s ‘The Conquest of Time‘ is frankly a perfect approximation of 80’s melodic heavy metal in the late NWOBHM age as bands refused to set their swords aside for arena rock and glam spew. Heretic Cult Redeemer‘s ‘Flagellum Universalis‘ is a surprising new peak in their spiritually driven elite black metal work, not only for its intensely skilled musicianship but the greater tunefulness of the record with perfects the direction their second LP had been headed in. Of course it comes down to the flip of a coin:

CENTURYThe Conquest of Time [Electric Assault/No Remorse]


As we gear up for cult Russian black metal act THANATOMASS‘ upcoming debut full-length, ‘Hades‘, we have access to a pro-shot, ~45 minute multi-cam live performance which showcases their capabilities extending beyond the recording studio as a completely solid, impressive trio of performers. Make sure to check out Living Temple Records‘ release of ‘Hades‘ on March 12th as it is one of the most intense black metal records of the year thus far.


Chilean black/thrash metal group Invocation Spells had this thrilling run of full-lengths between 2014-2018 and then went into a hiatus while new album from Dekapited and Sign of Evil took precedence, meaning it has been about five years of waiting for ‘Evil Subconscious Possession‘. The full listen is up on Spotify and YouTube Music since the 15th and while it isn’t as explosive a follow-up to their last record as I’d expected it to be no doubt these folks still have a knack for grotesque and chaotic thrashing riffs.

Chicago, Illinois-based chaotic black/death metal duo AVOWD blend the obsidian hue of semi-dissonant phrasing with their own occult black/death-scented sense of wriggling lilt on ‘Vol. 1‘ their first EP which is beyond promising in terms of their wrathful sound, they would fit in well on Sentient Ruin or perhaps Total Dissonance Worship.

Italian death metal quartet KAIVS released a three song EP titled ‘Horrend‘ back in early February and it’d flown under many radars back then per its independent release. Their approach is obsessed with the Swedish death metal sound but the songwriting is more modern in terms of being written with a more abrasive, up front guitar sound and catchier vocal cadence, not exactly Lik and not exactly Entombed either. This EP is a primer for a full-length they’re working on for this year ‘After the Flesh‘ which I’m interested to hear. They’ve got the title track up on Bandcamp but you’ll have to buy the CD to hear the whole thing as far as I can tell.


Bay Area death/doom metal project STATIC ABYSS have announce their second full-length album ‘Aborted Reality‘ will release by way of Peaceville Records this coming June 30th. A collaboration between the wizened and wizard-haired duo of Greg Wilkinson and Chris Reifert, this group realized in a sporadic and fashion during the pandemic as recording options dwindled for a time but that’d only seemed to give their debut ‘Labyrinth of Veins‘ even more weirding character. Since then we’ve gotten new records from Autopsy and Deathgrave but apparently they’ve got this one in the chamber, too. The first single from the record, “Wormskinned” promises death, doom and creeped-out crust:

Chilean heavy metal band SHADOWS have announced their debut full-length release, ‘Out for Blood‘ will release on LP, CD, MC and digitally this coming May 19th by way of Sentient Ruin. This is a dark traditional heavy metal group in the spirit of Mercyful Fate and comes from John Shades aka the main songwriter for old school thrash legends Apostasy. Half hour record, early 80’s style, don’t just take my word for it since they’ve premiered five songs from the record thus far:

Seattle, Washington-based funeral doom metal duo BELL WITCH have simultaneously announced and (digitally) released a new album this week. ‘Future’s Shadow Part 1: The Clandestine Gate‘ is a ~93 minute song which is available to stream everywhere today but I believe the physical formats are all coming on June 9th by way of Profound Lore Records. This is the first of three albums as bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond explains: “Eventually, the end of the last album will be looped around to the first to make a circle. It can be continuously looped, like a day cycle. This would be dawn. The next one would be noon. The following one would be sundown, with dawn and sundown both having something of night.” Not only this, but the band will also be performing the album in full today as an exclusive, one-off performance on the main stage of Dutch festival Roadburn in Tilburg, Netherlands. Upon first listen I was absorbed but I’ll see if a review makes sense next week.

San Diego, California-based death metal cult ASCENDED DEAD return with a second full-length album beyond their first in 2017 and this one aims to depict the dawn of the end. ‘Evenfall Of The Apocalypse‘ will be released on LP, CD, CS, and digitally in just a few weeks on May 12th by way of 20 Buck Spin. They announced this like a month ago, but I’d just gotten the news this week including the second preview song “Inverted Ascension”.

Brutal/technical death metal project DEAD AND DRIPPING have readied a third full-length album titled ‘Blackened Cerebral Rifts‘ and they’re working with Transcending Obscurity Records for the CD and digital versions which release this coming July 10th. This is a project from musician Evan Daniele who pulls influence from the weirding, most extreme side of tech death a la Wormed, Defeated Sanity, and earlier Wicked Innocence. Definitely check this one out:

The organizers of Prophecy Fest have announced that U.S. dark/folk post-black metal legends AGALLOCH have agreed to a reunion show featuring the original line-up at the festivals incredible Cave of Balve location this summer. Agalloch‘s Don Anderson comments: “After nearly eight years since the band broke up, Agalloch are reforming with the intent of playing limited shows. The line-up remains the original three: vocalist and guitarist John Haughm, guitarist Don Anderson, and bassist Jason Walton. We will be aided by Hunter Ginn (Canvas Solaris, Sculptured, Radical Research Podcast) on drums. We will re-emerge, perhaps fittingly, from the Balver Höhle, which is a cave used by humans since the stone age, at this year’s Prophecy Fest. We’ve been fans of Prophecy Productions’ roster of bands since their inception and are pleased to make this fest our debut after being gone for so long.” Prophecy Productions founder/head Martin Koller adds: “As long time admirers of Agalloch, literally everybody at Prophecy is stoked about welcoming this exciting and important band back on stage in Balve for an exclusive European show! The American metal pioneers are the perfect fit for the billing, the cave, and the festival.” The three day event will begin on Thursday, September 7th and it will conclude with a final concert starting before midnight of Saturday, September 9th. Confirmed acts thus far include Agalloch, Amenra, Darkspace, Dornenreich, Disillusion, Laster, Novembers Doom, Vemod and more to be announced.

German avant-garde extreme metal group FJOERGYN have returned to Trollzorn Records for their latest full-length ‘Judasmesse‘. Their sixth LP will be released on June 2nd. The major note they give for this album is that this is less of an orchestrally dominated experience as the band opens their experience to experimental sounds with a “retro” touch. See what that means on the first single/video “Kain”:

British heavy metal/hard rock die-hards TYGERS OF PAN TANG have released a third single their upcoming album, ‘Bloodlines‘. “Back For Good” is a very straight forward heavy metal song and to me reads like classic Tygers of Pan Tang, maybe even a bit more 80’s than I’d expected in a good way. The album will will be released on vinyl, CD and digitally by way of Mighty Music on May 5th. The lyrics are workday inspiration but, to the tune of hard work as they were inspired by a mining town in England. Great to see the band in action:

Suffolk, England-based traditional heavy metal quartet HEATHEN KINGS have announced the upcoming release of their debut full-length, ‘Fealty To None‘, on May 26th. The album has a classic British heavy metal feeling with some power metal influences by way of Visigoth, Blind Guardian and such. I’d given this album a preview earlier today and it is generally a thumbs up on my end in terms of quality and a strong vocalist. Check out the title track over on Bandcamp:

Finnish black metal aggressors of dark combat Werewolf Records have recently released a maxi-single from Finnish cult VARGRAV in readying the band for their forthcoming third LP. ‘Encircle the Spectral Dimension‘ will be available on CD and digital formats. The lineup of the band that brought us the enchanting infinity of ‘Netherstorm‘ has expanded to includes the vocal stylings of Graf Werwolf von Armageddon and the long in the works record is more than hinted at in style on the title track (“Encircle the Spectral Dimension”).The single also includes ‘The Glory of Eternal Night‘ EP, a limited bonus 7″ from their first album’s release and they’re also throwing in a cover of Emperor’s “Ancient Queen”, all of these bonuses are limited to the CD version.


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 generalized notes.

An Early Stream of DECIPHER ‘Arcane Paths to Resurrection’ LP (2023) | PREMIERE

ATHANATHEOS – Cross. Deny. Glorify. (2023) | REVIEW

SMOULDER – Violent Creed of Vengeance (2023) | REVIEW

HERETIC CULT REDEEMER – Flagellum Universalis (2023) | REVIEW

ASTRAL SLEEP – We Are Already Living in the End of Times (2023) | REVIEW

MAVORIM – Ab Amitia Pulsae (2023) | REVIEW

VALGRIND – Millennium of Night Bliss (2023) | REVIEW

DOZER – Drifting in the Endless Void (2023) | REVIEW

Short Reviews | April 20th, 2023

WO LONG: Fallen Dynasty (2023) | REVIEW [Video Game]


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. These choices are subject to change as the final drafts evolve and other releases might potentially take priority:


SENTINEL SIRENSOrbithon Wave [April 28th, Chaos Records]
KAAL AKUMATuriya [April 28th, Nuclear Winter]
LUNAR CHAMBERShambhallic Vibrations [April 28th, 20 Buck Spin]
BALMOG Covenants of Salt [May 1st, War Anthem Records]
HAUNTGolden Arm [May 5th, Iron Grip Records]
HEIMLANDForfedrenes Taarer [May 5th, Edged Circle Productions]
SPINEBREAKERCavern of Inoculated Cognition [May 5th, Creator-Destructor Records]


FAUNS – Surcease [May 5th, Self-Released]
IMPENDING TRIUMPH – Impending Triumph [May 5th, Jawbreaker Records]
BLOODGUTTER – Death Mountain [May 5th, Trollzorn Records]
TYGERS OF PAN TANG – Bloodlines [May 5th, Mighty Music]
VARGRAV – Encircle the Spectral Dimension [April 16th, Werewolf]
KRE^U – Kre^u [May 9th, Self-Released]
KANAAN – Downpour [May 5th, Jansen Records]
HEROD – Iconoclast [May 5th, Pelagic Records]
NIGHTMARER – Deformity Adrift [May 5th, Total Dissonance Worship]
THE HIP PRIESTS – Roden House Blues [May 5th, The Sign Records]

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