Never judge a book by its cover, kids. It’s a good lesson. Listen to your mother more often, you’ll learn something. I only bring up this time-worn adage because I was too quick and judged Schammasch‘s latest Hearts of No Light (Prosthetic Records) based on the merits of album title and art. What? I saw it and therefore immediately assumed it was another self-important Black Metal release that would ultimately sound like it was recorded in an old washing machine filled with loose gravel, nails and an uncomfortable badger. Continue reading
Not sure what seems to be reverberating in the extreme music world, but it seems like the hills are alive with the sound pf atmospheric Black Metal these days. Just speaking out of personal experience this is my third week of being charged with reviewing an artsy and multi-dimensional take of the tried and tested subgenre. This time around it’s Falls of Rauros with their new album Patterns in Mythology (Gilead Media). Continue reading
Just as their geographical namesake suggests, Latitudes are an expansively-minded post-everything band with their view set far beyond the immediate horizon. Part Island (Debemur Morti), the band’s fourth album, isn’t just broad in its musical palate – which takes cues from the likes of Neurosis and Alcest – it also uses its sparse rural setting to tackle themes of desperation and emptiness in an always engaging way.
Blackened Hardcore is beginning to have its day in the sun. This is, relatively speaking, of course, as the amalgamative subgenre still firmly lives and breathes in the underground, but the likes of Svalbard and KEN Mode have been making serious waves with their critically acclaimed latest releases.
Exhaling from the ashes of acrimony, Totaled formed in 2017 and bring us their debut album, Lament (Profound Lore) and their take on Blackened Hardcore. Continue reading
Electronic music comes in many waves. From new, to old to 80’s electro-rock, not many succeed in creating a memorable electronic record. For the French trio, The Sacrifice, it’s a point to revive the genre with nostalgic moments as they debut with their self-titled (Season Of Mist) on their own terms. They have taken synth-wave and incorporated classic 80’s pop and metal to produce this modern electro groove. The 11-track album is an experiment that involved a dozen of vintage synthesizers and drum machines, according to the band. But what listeners will gather here is a record that balances sonic synths full of color and life. The Sacrifice is here to make you dance. Continue reading
I guess Deathkings really missed us since the release of 2016’s All That is Beautiful and decided to do something really nice about it. Being the sweethearts that they are this Los Angeles collective have gifted us a little something in the form a new EP, Ex Nihilo (self-released). And while it’s only two tracks on the shorter end of the spectrum (compared to the usual Sludge/Doom fare) it’s a potent and deadly reminder of what Deathkings is capable of. Continue reading
Sad news today as Carsten Otterbach, a founding member of Morgoth has died after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. He was 48. The guitarist also owned his own management company, Direct Management. Otterbach, played on Morgoth’s first five releases: Resurrection Absurd (1989) and The Eternal Fall (1990), Cursed (1991), Odium (1993) and Feel Sorry For The Fanatic (1996). Century Media Records co-founder Robert Kampf, released the following statement via his Facebook page: “With a very heavy heart, I learned that a close friend of 28 years, Carsten Otterbach, has passed. Carsten had a decade long battle with MS (multiple sclerosis). While he was a trooper and battled it hard for a long time, it was one of those battles that eventually take you down. I will always remember Carsten as a very sharp-minded, well-read, business-savvy and, at the same time, very fun-loving, tolerant and simply great guy. He will always live in my heart. Carsten fought very hard for his artists and was honorable as it gets. Legendary are the fights between my late partner Oliver Withöft and Carsten. The two of them fighting was scary if you were in the room, but always a fun story afterwards. Both were good friends and, unfortunately, did not make it to age 50. “Farewell, Carsten. You will not be forgotten and [will be] held in very high acclaim by your friends and by several generations of metal artist.”
We send our condolences out to Carsten’s family, friends, and fans at this time.