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: email@example.com
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
The first week of May brought few truly potent releases but the ones that counted are worth talking about. Ah, but I’d gotten none of them for review… with the exception of Balmog‘s brilliant ‘Covenants of Salt‘ which is my highest recommendation of the week for the extreme metal fandom. So, otherwise we have the surprise release of the latest Krallice record ‘Porous Resonance Abyss‘, an instrumental record in four movements which focuses on their continued exploration of synthesizers of various flavor this one being a space-faring sort of adventure. Italian death metal trio Dead Chasm released their debut full-length ‘Sublimis Ignotum Omni‘ and of course any F.D.A. Records release is in the best ‘new old school’ tradition worth checking out. In terms of what I’ll be listening to most? Canadian retro psychedelic doom-rock quartet Blood Ceremony‘s return with ‘The Old Ways Remain‘, one of their strongest records to date in terms of a no-fuss production sound, excellent lyrics, and an overall mood that hit just right for the time being.
UNFORGETTABLE WAR CRIMES
Brazilian black metal cult UNCÖNQUERABLE got in touch about their debut mLP ‘Imperial Genocide‘ recently and I’ve been completely blown away by this release thus far. They’d released it digitally late last year but recently issued the CD version in late March. Fans of elite thrashing black/death metal with a strong melodic sense will instantly recognize the quality of this work. It is well worth following everything Black Hearts Records puts out in general, but for my taste this is standout more folks need to take notice of. I’ll see if I can fit in a full review at some point.
EXPERT LEVEL DUNGEONS
Slap your ear against the nearest birch tree and listen… This beautiful blend of dungeon synth and neofolk from Finnish project GOTHROG finally reaches full-length status and for my own taste it is a beyond worthy trip. I particularly love the troops gathering to assault the haunted dungeon on “Dark Throne Rising”, and the instrumentation used for “Compass of the Heart” as these elements give the album a presence which is beyond a lot of MIDI-focused dungeon synth related releases today.
Swedish dungeon/forest dark synth project ÖRNATORPET released their latest record today and once again bring a classic 90’s feeling without sounding detached from the present. There is quite a lot of narration set within the most quiet moments and this seemed to tell a story, though most of the Swedish words I know have to do with Satan, food, and darkness. The duo of “Midnattens Mara är över oss fallen” and the snowbound “Världsalltets stränder blinka” are purely enchanting.
Temple of Mystery Records have announced July 5th as the release date for Montreal, Quebec-based ‘old school’ influenced death metal quartet SERPENT CORPSE‘s debut album. ‘Blood Sabbath‘ will arrive on CD, vinyl LP and digitally. Consider their style a clarified, exemplar read on the best aspects of early 90’s death metal, the ragged doom influenced thunder and punkish throttle of it kicking around in a very readable but still classic sense. Check out the first preview track “Nemesis” over on their label’s Bandcamp:
German funeral death/doom metal band ADVERSVM have announced their third full-length album will release by way of Moribund Records this summer. ‘Vama Marga‘ looks to expand their ever-evolving repertoire and they’re doing so by including keyboardist Don Zaros (Evoken) as a full-fledged member of the band. No doubt this adds a regal, stargazing touch to their extreme touch. Fine album art, too. Look forward to this one releasing this coming June 23rd and check out the first preview track now:
Independent black metal stalwarts Stygian Black Hand have announced June 23rd as the release date for USBM trio BLACK EUCHARIST‘s debut LP. ‘Inn of the Vaticide‘ will release on vinyl LP, cassette tape and digitally. Formed between members of Demiser and Blood Ouroboros in the style of late 80’s/early 90’s United States black metal you can feel the blasphemic hurl of Profanatica, Demoncy, VON, et al. in their crawl. I’m on board for it, check out “Deflowering Jerusalem” and see if you dig:
Lexington, Kentucky-based death metal crew TOMBSTALKER have returned with a second guitarist, a new drummer and a new mLP. ‘Age of Darkness‘ will release on 12″ vinyl and cassette this coming May 29th by way of Boris Records and a CD version will arrive via Morbid Aggressor. You might recall I was a huge fan of their past work and it sounds like they’ve pushed for something bigger, better and generally tightened up in terms of their rhythms. This first single “Astral Combat” makes a hell of an impression to start:
Sentient Ruin have announced they will be releasing the debut full-length from Scottish dark doom/death metal group ORDER OF DECAY. ‘Mortification Rites‘ comes with a description of “blackened necrotic specter of omnipotent, atmospheric, slow-moving death.” and I’m definitely on board for all of that. They’ll release the record June 2nd this year on LP, CD, MC and digitally. Check out the first preview track over on Bandcamp:
Transcending Obscurity Records have announced ‘As the Ashes Settle‘ the latest full-length release from technical brutal death metal band ORPHALIS will release by their hand this coming August 25th on all essential formats. Consider this band a maximal feat a la Benighted, Aborted, and such as a general ballpark and if that piques your interest check out the three songs they’ve got up on Bandcamp:
Magnetic Eye Records have unveiled a new single from Chicago stoner/doom metal quartet HIGH PRIEST‘s upcoming LP. “Cosmic Key” is an excellent representation of the spaced and affected group’s sound. The album it comes from, ‘Invocation‘ is slated for release on June 23rd this year. The band comments on the song: “While we were on tour, we talked about the cinematic masterpiece ‘Masters of the Universe’, which inspired this song’s name: a musical instrument able to open portals. The song itself deals with technology, for example our fear of nuclear disasters, but also as a tool to elevate our species and to explore the galaxy and inner dimensions.” Pass me whatever they’re smoking, eh.
Cult German black metal label Purity Through Fire have set June 2nd as the release date for Brazilian black metal duo THE KRYPTIK‘s third album. ‘A Journey to the Darkest Kingdom‘ will arrive on CD format first with a vinyl version to follow later. The band’ve gone bit with this record, presenting a seven-track/70-minute opus in their ancient symphonic black metal style. Check out their 12-minute track first preview song “Unhallowed” now:
You might not notice what a great song “Sisyphus” is off the debut from Austin, Texas crew SUCKLING while you watch the video for it because you’ll at the very least be laughing at David Yow smashing an undetermined amount of cocaine in a fellows face after a bit of a hump fight at a kid’s birthday party. All the best people attend here, including the original line-up of Scratch Acid, the Grim Reaper, etc. Buy Suckling‘s record: Australian Cattle God Records and watch the video a few times:
Thrashing crust crew SYSTEMIK VIOLENCE have announced their second album, ‘Negative Mangel Attitude‘ will release by way of RSR Records on vinyl LP, Doomed Records/Ragingplanet will release the CD, and Regulator Records/Ring Leader will release the cassette tape. Fans of Warcollapse, Driller Killer and d-beaten hardcore punk in general should check it out. Watch the video for “Uncivil Disobedience” over on YouTube:
Following the announcement of their new album ‘Black Royal Spiritism – I.O Sino Da Igreja‘ being released this month on May 26th via Peaceville Records black metal act RUÏM have shared the album’s first single “The Triumph (Of Night & Fire)“. Blasphemer aka Rune Eriksen (ex-Mayhem, Vltimas) is the spearhead of the group and has this to say about the song: “The song represents some sorts of a nexus, a binding energy or a red line that runs through the album thematically. Not only from a lyrical point of view with its spiritual “battle cry” of sorts, but also from a musical standpoint. The cleaner, eerie passages mixed with the chaos-like elements, vivid time changes and brute power all serve as junctions to the dedication and passion that sums up this album as a whole.” a grand introduction for an album that seems to have a lot of serious fire behind the eyes.
Back in 1997, Long Island, New York-based brutal death metal band PYREXIA released the underrated yet influential ‘System of the Animal‘ and this year they’ve chosen to re-record the entirety of it for its 25th anniversary featuring the current line-up of the band. The latest preview of the new recording comes as a lyric video for the track “Purging the Nemesis”. Band co-founder and guitarist Chris Basile: “This track is probably the most ferocious on the album. Pure Brutal Death Metal Vintage 1997. Only this time you can hear the riffs and feel the drums. […] This album was ahead of its time in 1997. I don’t think a lot of people were ready for such a mix of Brutal Death Metal VS. Beatdown Hardcore. When people hear this material with the production we put together with Demigod Studio, combined with the fact that the music was written in the mid-90s. I think it puts Pyrexia in a whole new light for a lot of people. I think the songwriting is really going to stand out for listeners bored with bands that put out the same album over and over.” And there are also those of us who always saw the band for the innovators that they were. This new recording sounds great and I’m looking forward to it. The band are releasing it themselves as ‘System of the Animal 25‘ on June 6th per thier own imprint Gravitas Entertainment.
British progressive death metal band RANNOCH have announced their latest full-length ‘Conflagrations‘ will release this coming July 21st by way of Willowtip Records. The record will release on CD, vinyl, and digital and comes with pretty stellar album art. I hadn’t caught their previous releases so this’ll be by intro to their sound:
20 Buck Spin have announced they will release ‘Primeval Onslaught‘ the third full-length album from Portland, Oregon-based death metal crew TORTURE RACK. Featuring members of some of the best the Pacific Northwest death metal scenery has to offer and a burly, brutal sound these folks play straight forward early-to-mid 90’s style craft at the highest standard of attack. The album will release on LP, CD, CS, and digital formats on June 9th and features an insane cover art selection from Rok. I was a huge fan of their last one so, this one sounds just as promising thus far.
Shadow Records have announced June 30th as the release date for Swedish black metal band GRAFVITNIR‘s ninth full-length album. ‘Into the Outer Wilderness‘ will release on CD, vinyl LP and digitally. I’ve written about this band several times over the years and I’m glad to get to dig back into their work again as a huge fan of Swedish black metal in general. The first track revealed is “Through the Witchcraft Door”:
Soulseller Records have announced July 7th as the release date for the third full-length album from Norwegian black metal band ETERNITY, ‘Mundicide‘. You’ll recall I’d loved ‘To Become the Great Beast‘ back in 2019 and this one is impressing me as an evolution beyond that point. They’ve made US pre-orders/orders available and a preview track, “Journey Towards the Darkside”, is up over on YouTube:
British hard rock act, WYTCH HAZEL have announced their latest album ‘IV: Sacrament‘ will release on June 2nd via Bad Omen Records. Recorded with longtime producer Ed Turner, and tracked in a converted Baptist chapel in rural Wales the pious Christian energy coming off the messaging for this fourth record is likely to be somewhat off-putting to some but these folks are well proven as songwriters. Based on previews this one is even more engaging than the last.
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 generalized notes.
The Top 20 Albums of April | 2023
ASCENDED DEAD – Evenfall of the Apocalypse (2023) | REVIEW
BALMOG – Covenants of Salt (2023) | REVIEW
VERILUOLA – Cascades of Crimson Cruor (2023) | REVIEW
SANCTUARIUM – Into the Mephitic Abyss (2023) | REVIEW
HEIMLAND – Forfedrenes Taarer (2023) | REVIEW
ORTHANK – Orthank (2023) | REVIEW
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. These choices are subject to change as the final drafts evolve and other releases might potentially take priority:
LONGFORM REVIEWS + VIDEO:
CATTLE DECAPITATION – Terrasite [May 12th, Metal Blade Records]
SPORAE AUTEM YUGGOTH – However It Still Moves [May 19th, Personal Records]
BOTANIST – VIII: Selenotrope [May 19th, Prophecy Productions]
SHADOWS – Out For Blood [May 19th, Sentient Ruin]
PROFECI – Ubóstwo [May 12th, Godz ov War]
ARA SOLIS – Ashvattha [May 19th, Iron Bonehead/Zazen Sounds]
HÄSTSPARK – Ostiarius Inferni [August 25th, Ozium Records]
SHORT REVIEWS + VIDEO:
GRAANDE – Gråande [May 19th, Nordvis Produktion]
VOMITHEIST – NekroFvneral [May 19th, Transcending Obscurity Records]
MAGICK TOUCH – Cakes & Coffins [May 19th, Edged Circle]
RADIEN – Unissa Palaneet [May 19th, Svart Records]
TANKZILLA – Tankzilla [May 19th, Heavy Psych Sounds]
NEXORUM – Tongue of Thorns [May 19th, Non Serviam Records]
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