Thursday, April 28, 2022

Full Length Review: Trest "Ordalium/Chambre Ardente" (Sol Records, Amor Fati Productions" by Corban Skipwith

Band: Trest
Country: Germany
Format: Digital, CD
Label: Sol Records, Amor Fati Productions
Release date: January 28, 2022
What’s good everyone!
I’m excited to talk about this project we have here that came out not long ago, which is actually a compilation LP consisting of 2019’s ORDALIUM and the new EP CHAMBRE ARDENTE, so exciting stuff for sure.
Let’s get straight into it because I feel over the course of this seven track project we have this band (that’s from Germany) highlight the key aspects of how to do a ‘Black Metal’ project well, there’s so many things they do right here, let’s name a few.
-Raw Aesthetic
-Brutal Vocal Performances
-Amazing Instrumentation
When it comes to a sub-genre as gargantuan as ‘Black Metal’ is and arguably the sub-genre with the most ‘purist’ fans out there you have to be really careful sometimes not to fuck up the basics or stray too far away from the traditional aspect! I mean sure there has been some bands that have made incredible records from putting their own twist on things but for the most part I think it’s safe to say that mastering the basics is the best way to go and in my opinion that’s what we have here in spades!
When I listen to this record I can hear all those trademark elements being properly utilized and it makes my soul rejoice because of how much I love this sub-genre, the way the guitar rhythms shred through each track is brutal, those infectious drum patterns that graze every track with its nocturnal presence and as I mentioned above those vicious death growls that illuminate the album with fear and darkness is outstanding.
For a seven track EP these guys do a marvelous job at recreating the nostalgia while also putting their own unique twist on to make it their own, this is without a doubt a can’t miss for purists and metal heads alike! Corban Skipwith

Track list:
1. 1st Witch: Horne (Ordeal)
2. 2nd Witch: Debaraz (Ordeal)
3. 3rd Witch: Zdunk (Ordeal)
4. 4th Witch: Palles (Ordeal)
5. 5th Witch: Gesche (Ordeal)
6. Brinvilliers (Chambre Ardente)
7. Cour des poisons (Chambre Ardente)

Full Length Review: Misanthropik Torment "#KillYourLocalPedophile" (Misanthropik Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Misanthropik Torment
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Country: USA
Genre: Blackened death metal
Format: Digital album, CD, cassette
Label: Misanthropik Records
Release date: July 4, 2022
OK, here we go with the latest release from Misanthropik Torment, an outlaw blackened death metal band that self-releases all their material on their own label, likely because the subject matter is too uncomfortable to discuss openly. Members of the band actually left this time because the concept and theme of the album was too much for them to handle. See Erick Leviathan's interview from June 2021 or read the lyrics to “#KillYourLocalPedophile” at Bandcamp.
Since Erick Leviathan started the band around 2019, he has always touched on sensitive topics, and each release seems to become more extreme and controversial. Few bands, at least as far as I know, have addressed the issue of sex offenders, let alone had a point of view about how they should be punished. King Diamond brought this issue to light with "The Graveyard" in 1996. However, in all this time since, the topic of child molestation has remained unmentionable.
Due to Russia's invasion and armed conflict with Ukraine, MT's "Kill The Tyrant (Vladimir Putin)" single was met with mixed reviews and its share of controversy. I think Leviathan mentioned something about it being blacklisted on Facebook for violating community standards. The majority of his listeners take his side as Putin’s invasion is unanimously considered a crime against humanity. While Facebook considered this touchy, the ideas conveyed on an album yet to be released go much further.
Thanks to Jonathan Nesbitt, "#KillYourLocalPedophile" is one of Misanthropik Torment's most raw and "old school" recordings. If you are a fan of Pungent Stench, Brujeria, Carcass, Sarcofago, or Venom with some groove, you'll definitely appreciate the heavily distorted guitars and bass, stripped drums and gore-streaked vocals. Usually death growls, especially as delivered here, cause people to complain that they can't understand what's being sung. Leviathan, however, provides the lyrics for each track, so you can follow along.
On the subject of the lyrics, I can reveal the title track has a bit of a punk vibe, criticizing a judicial system that releases criminals and repeat offenders on technicalities and doesn't prosecute the guilty. I don't intend in any way to instigate a political rant here, but Leviathan's stance on vigilantism (and his personal experience as a vigilante) gives this album's advance streaming additional weight, both for the dose of reality he imparts as well as his deep dive into the issues addressed.
A sampled intro from David Fincher's 1995 film "Seven" now sounds more relevant than it did in 1995. The internet and people's increasing need for instant gratification make it increasingly difficult to hold people's attention long enough to provoke them to think. My point is not to get in people's faces, make them mad, or provoke them into arguing just for the sake of it. This is ultimately unproductive. I mean actually inspiring people to think.
Maybe Leviathan integrating extreme viewpoints with music can encourage genuine reflection. After all, extreme metal bands have been doing this since the mid-eighties. He does a good enough job at this, not only addressing sex offenders but also the same offenses committed within the Catholic Church and Hollywood. Further insight is gained into the "kill everyone" lyrical content of thrash and death metal. There is a good reason for the anger here, which most rational people would feel, and it's not a case of being mad at the world (or pretending to be to “fit in”) or at oneself.
This is just my interpretation of the album, and I do not intend to pass it off as the "right" one. You may perceive it slightly differently but the theme and concept generally speaks for itself. –Dave Wolff

Erik Leviathan: Vocals, lyrics
Jonathan Nesbitt: Music

Track list:
1. Kill Your Local Pedophile
2. Severed Penises
3. Condemned To Suffer
4. Separate the flesh
5. Hollywood Shall Burn
6. Grotesque Murderous Rampage
7. The Art Of Torture
8. Bleeding Orifice
9. Bodily Dismemberment
10. Impale The Priests

Interview with Erick Leviathan of Misanthropik Torment by Dave Wolff (June 12, 2021)
Full Length Review: Misanthropik Torment "The Black Death" (Misanthropik Records) by Corban Skipwith (October 22, 2021)
Track Review: Misanthropik Torment "The Blueprint Façade" by Corban Skipwith (October 6, 2021)
Full Length Review: Misanthropik Torment "Murder Is My Remedy" (Misanthropik Records) by Dave Wolff (May 3, 2021)
Single Review: Chainsaw Disfigurement "Harvesting Organs" (Misanthropik Records) by Corban Skipwith (December 7, 2021)

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Full Length: Skyliner "Dark Rivers, White Thunder" (Alchemic Visions) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Skyliner
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Country: USA
Genre: Heavy/power/progressive metal
Format: Digital, CD
Release date: January 30, 2021
Welcome back everyone! We are back with another album review and this time we are taking a wild journey back to January of 2021 where the band Skyliner released their new album. And with eleven new and exciting tracks this thing is sure to make a cosmic level impact!
The first thing I noticed about this record was how ‘classic’ it feels without it even being out that long, and when I say ‘classic’ I’m referring to how nostalgic it feels, representing the sounds of the 80’s and early 90’s with a more ‘earthy’ twist.
What I find interesting is that this band incorporates some hints of ‘meditative’ sounds combined with some light ambient inspired aesthetics which gives this record that extra oomph to separate it from everything else on the market (instrumentally speaking).
At any given moment this record can switch between so many different sounds and inspirations such as
-Speed metal
-Melodic Metal
-Classic Heavy Metal
-Power Metal
-Groove Metal
-Math Rock
And all this is a testament to how talented the band members are here to be able to play so many different styles without even breaking a sweat, shout out to that band for that!
Let’s talk about what I feel is the ‘Dark Horse’ of the record and that’s the vocalist ‘Jake Starseeker’ (by the way if that’s his real last name, that is so badass) but anyway his vocals on this record are nothing short of unreal! He impresses me so much because he has that Dio, Rob Helford, Bruce Dickinson, Ian Gillan type power and energy behind him with those high pitch notes being hit so well and then surprisingly also able to solid growls and screams!! (talk about an all-rounder)
Point I’m trying to make here is, even though this isn’t a new album it’s a bloody good one! One with lots of passion, creativity, technicality and energy! You don’t want to miss out on this one! -Corban Skipwith

Jake Starseeker: Vocals, guitars, banjo
Stuart Brinkman: Bass
Benjamin Brenner: Drums, percussion (cajon, djembe, triangle, tambourine, shakers, rain stick)

Track list:
1. Break The Surface
2. Dark Rivers, White Thunder
3. The Ghost Messenger
4. God With No Heaven
5. Catch A Dream
6. One Solstice Night: The Singing Shaman (Fire Stomp)
7. One Solstice Night: Winter Witch Moon (Spell Of Ice)
8. We Of The Shadows
9. Bleed
10. Night Gypsies
11. I Walk Alone

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Full Length Review: Böllverk "Heading For The Crown" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Böllverk
Location: Aschaffenburg
Country: Germany
Genre: Heavy metal
Format: Digital, CD
Label: Independent
Release date: April 22, 2022
Before I start this, yes I know the band name is wrong but on my PC I can’t find the option to add the necessary symbols for the ‘O’ so forgive me on that one.
Now, let’s start this write up officially because boy do we have the record for you! This record only came out two days ago and features 9 new heart crushing, soul thumping, mood changing, doubt crashing tracks that will take you from 0-100 faster than you can say ‘motherfucker, this is a dope listen’ because that’s exactly what it is.
Man, this album has that classic ‘New British Wave Of Heavy Metal’ feel from the moment it kicks off, pure nostalgia hitting me harder than an angry Mike Tyson, this record reminds me of acts like
-Iron Maiden
-Judas Priests
-Deep Purple
The production has this amazing ‘warm’ feeling to it, as if you’re being wrapped in a heated blanket on a cold day and having your insides just light up in the happy satisfaction of quality and technical intricacies that would make any metal fan rejoice!
One thing I love on this record is the use of the dual singer partnership! Not talking one clean vocalist and one screamer, no. This time it’s two clean singers going back and forth throughout the songs and to me it helps bring out some terrific color and expression from these guys because it feels like we are getting two different perspectives of the same subject when sung by two different people and that’s a unique quality that I don’t think I’ve seen many bands share!
I also love the pacing of this record, it might be an odd thing to point out but from track to track it’s just so fluent and smooth from beginning to end! The whole time I was listening to this I never once was ‘snapped out’ so to speak of the trance this record puts you in, even though the album changes tempo from slow to fast and everything in between but because it’s done and handled with such care and precision it’s non effective in snapping you out of the experience.
Believe you me, if I have the opportunity in the future to talk with these guys I can guarantee they would tell me these songs were not just placed in order by random, I bet each song was structured according to the blueprint they had and I know this because I can hear it in the record! Believe it or not you can hear ‘messy’ or ‘randomness’ and this project was neither. Go check out this excellent record, it’s another can’t miss for metal heads! –Corban Skipwith

Svenja: Vocals
Zahn: Guitar, vocals
Raphi: Guitar
Tim: Bass
Angelo: Drums

Track list:
1. Ask The Angel, Listen To The Devil
2. Let`s Ride Till Dawn
3. Good Morning Rock`n`Roll
4. Heading For The Crown
5. The 7th No (IS A KO)
6. Master Of Thunder
7. Live Fast
8. Next Level Of Service
9. Someday We Will Die

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Full Length Review: Qaalm "Resilience & Despair" (Hypaethral Records, Trepanation Recordings) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Qaalm
Location: Los Angeles, California
Country: USA
Genre: Atmospheric funeral doom metal
Full Length: Resilience & Despair
Format: Digital, double LP (Hypaethral Records), CD (Trepanation Recordings), cassette (Trepanation Recordings)
Label: Hypaethral Records, Trepanation Recordings
Release date: April 15, 2022
In the darkest corners of your life, the ‘no go’ zones as our minds have so successfully labeled them, have you ever entertained the idea of visit? The thought of getting an up close and personal ‘glimpse’ into the unbearable chaos and fear that dwells within each section of your mind?
I doubt it.
And if you have it was an involuntary response created by the fear of death, the panic of stress, the anxiety of life itself opening the ‘forbidden door’ in the worst times possible.
Resilience: Is there even a point anymore? Tell me visitor do you feel the urge? Are you flowing with Courage? Strength? Passion? Anything other than pure DESPAIR over the possibility of the Abyss. That ever so lingering abyss that is here to stay no matter how ‘successful’ you become or how ‘rich’ you decide to live your existence.
I’m telling you all this visitor as not only an important fable but as a warning. You are not safe, your soul has not been redeemed and your life is only one bad day away from hitting rock bottom, what ‘resolve’ will you find there? What meaningless optimism will you mumble to yourself in this time of anguish and crippling fear?
Because for all the selfish good deeds you perform, for all the joy and happiness you brought onto others just trying to scrub off one piece of your blackened heart at a time, in the end ‘reality’ always conquers all and in time you will see, feel, taste, hear and smell the unhindered truth that is “Resilience & Despair”. Corban Skipwith

Pete Majors: Lead vocals
Henry Derek Elis: Lead guitars, vocals
Brock Elmore: Rhythm guitars, vocals
David Huet: Bass
Dave Ferrara: Drums

Session Musicians:
Steve White: Drums & keys on all songs
Kakophonix: Cello on songs 3 & 4

Track list:
1. Reflections Doubt
2. Existence Asunder
3. Cosmic Descent
4. Lurking Death

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Full Length Review: Mara "Loka Mær" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Mara
Country: Sweden
Genre: Pagan black metal
Full Length: Loka Mær
Format: Digital album, jewel case CD, standard black vinyl/silkscreen on side B, opaque grey vinyl/silkscreen on side B, opaque grey/red splatter vinyl/silkscreen on side B
Label: Immortal Frost Productions (Belgium)
Release date: March 11, 2022
What a day to be alive, just finished a 7am-4pm shift at work, just came back from walking my dog Zeus and now I’m sitting here listening to the latest ‘Mara’ album, how badass of a day is that?
This is their fourth full length album (If I’m not mistaken) featuring six new tracks to feast your metal appetite with! Firstly let me say this, this album absolutely blew me away in structure, production and instrumentation. What makes this record so great is the fact that in six tracks they are able to generate that ‘big body feel’ sonically speaking at the same wave lengths as bands who are rocking these million dollar budgets and 10-12 track albums.
This band’s production is nicely polished (more sand papered down) since normally people use the term ‘polished’ as a negative context alongside words like ‘Stale, Sterile’ but my using of this term comes from the fact that they seem to have great knowledge in knowing how to make a record sound ‘larger than life’ and ‘powerful’ and that’s not a talent or skill that every band has (trust me on that) and that’s why it’s so fucking impressive.
Another thing I’m really impressed with is the instrumentation because holy shit do they sound badass! there’s so many spots on this record where they do these extended passages of music without vocals, but not in the cliché solo sense but just courses of music played to help ease the song either in or out but regardless it’s fucking beautiful and really helps the listener zone out and have the music take over your mind and soul.
The track ‘Wolf’ has a solid example of this with the first minute and thirty seconds there was this enchanting musical passage that just felt like a sunny days walk through a mystical forest, so engaging and satisfying! Then the music really began to pick up around the two minute mark but I mean for a band to think of adding stuff like that in before the song officially starts is absolutely genius!
The vocals are outstanding as well, with those rich, grovel like growls and screamed the way you’d hear in the trademark sub-genre of ‘Black Metal’ which is the genre this band Identifies as which I’d say was the nail hitting the spot!
I can’t say enough good things about this album honestly! It’s creative, hard hitting, brutal, technical and boundary pushing all at the same time and for only 6 tracks this record is an absolute BEAST and I can’t wait to hear more! Corban Skipwith

Vindsval: Vocals, guitars
J: Guitars
Garm: Bass
P: Drums

Track list:
1. Myrkriða
2. Mara
3. Loka Mær
4. Wolf
5. Thursaseiðr
6. Hel

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Single Review: DiGelsomina "Entombed By Choice" (Phoenix Rising) by Dave Wolff

Band: DiGelsomina
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Country: USA
Genre: Doom metal
Single: Entombed By Choice
Format: Digital, promotional video
Label: Phoenix Rising
Release date: April 17, 2020
DiGelsomina's driving force, Andy DiGelsomina, came from a musical family and studied the craft after his exposure to singer/pianist Elton John, composer Jerry Goldsmith, and metal pioneers Black Sabbath. It should come as no surprise, given his history and subsequent exposure to Richard Wagner and Ludwig van Beethoven, that the guitarist would compose both symphonies and metal operas with equal passion.
If you are first hearing of him, he has been involved in at least two major projects prior to forming his current band: Lyraka and his solo project (in which he incorporates art music, aleatoric music, electronic effects, avant-garde music, and Romantic themes). It is being announced that his doom metal band DiGelsomina will release their debut album “Sic Itur Ad Astra” with the advance single “Entombed By Choice”, said to blend elements of doom metal, thrash metal, death metal, and progressive and classic rock.
DiGelsomina will be joined by vocalist Robert Lowe (ex-Candlemass, ex-Solitude Aeturnus), rhythm guitarist Andre Maquera, bassist Thom Carvey and drummer Gary Spaulding on this new endeavor. Those familiar with doom metal (including myself) know that its deliberate, low-tuned slowness derives from Sabbath. Depending on the band and the stamp they place on it, it can be a positive or a negative; it can be as fresh and innovative as when Candlemass, Trouble, and St. Vitus defined it in the 80s, or it can be repetitive and boring.
This advance single by DiGelsomina aims to transcend expectations of doom metal. With a running time of just under seven minutes, “Entombed By Choice” does not overstay its welcome, the guitar solos are doubtless inspired by Tony Iommi but not overlong, and the Sabbath influence is evident with a production as polished as it is thick and weighty. Throughout the song, each succeeding section is a natural progression from the previous one. Listeners may find the vocals unusually melodic, comparable to Geoff Tate and the late great Ronnie James Dio, and the mood changes from somber and atmospheric to the sound of old Queensryche.
"Entombed By Choice" is an advance track that hints of good things to come when the album is released. –Dave Wolff

Robert Lowe: Vocals
Andy DiGelsomina: Lead guitar
Andre Maquera: Rhythm guitar
Thom Carvey: Bass
Gary Spaulding: Drums

Monday, April 18, 2022

Single Review: Matricide "Walk Into the Flames" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Matricide
Country: Israel
Genre: Metalcore
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: April 14, 2022
Currently it’s 6:30pm, I had just woken up from a small nap after work. After I woke up in a ‘Land Of Confusion’ I got myself some water, my dog a blanket and off to the review I went’.
When you derive your band name from the Latin meaning ‘mother murder’ you know we’re gonna have a good time and I must say when it comes to this new single I’m glad to say I was 100% correct with my assumptions!
What we have here is 5 minutes and 17 seconds of creative and technical sonic expression that is centered in rich production, heavy instrumentation and badass vocal performances for a rather enjoyable 3 in 1 delight.
For this single I’m getting a strong ‘Groove Metal’ combined with some elements of ‘Nu Metal’ and ‘Hardcore’ all tied up but done in a way where each inspiration isn’t too overbearing on the sounds following/before it in this 5 minute span which is quite unique to have so many variables come together so neatly and arranged so carefully within one song! It’s really a testament to the bands skill and instrumentation prowess to pull this kind of thing off!
The vocal performances throughout the whole song are well organized and layered out in great timing and distribution alongside that gorgeous instrumentation playing ever so angelic like in the background with its many inspirations coming and going so seamlessly past each other to form that ‘technical brilliance’ I was trying to describe above, but the way the vocals work alongside that production is absolutely brilliant.
All in All, for a first time listen, this was great. Hit the nail in the coffin of what a good band is supposed to sound like and I can’t wait to hear more! Corban Skipwith

Ran Eliahou: Vocals
Auria Sapir: Guitars
Shachar Guy: Bass
Shaked Furman: Drums

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Single: Dust Prophet "Hourglass" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Dust Prophet
Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Country: USA
Genre: Psychedelic doom/stoner rock
Single: Hourglass
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: December 31, 2021
The magic in the air is beaming with bright lights and enchanting rhythms, will you be the one to answer the call of destiny?
Today is that day, the gates have finally been open and the (Hourglass) is empty, unable to turn itself over it waits for nature to take its course. The song of triumph and redemption plays far and wide over the land like the individual swansong of mankind, interlude to struggle but overture to death and despair (Will you hear the sound?).
7 minutes and 41 seconds of determination rocking the foundation of mortality itself, seizing the moment of vulnerability, accepting grace with open arms only to unknowingly breath in for the last time, the final opportunity to make amends, the final batch of strength leaving the vessel you call ‘the body’ the final expressions of anything more than lifelessness gone (lost) to the ‘Sands of Time’ well tell me, did you achieve all you desired?
7 minutes of sorrow, each minute more agonizing then the next, tears no longer able to fall, the human construct (dried) nothing left but 41 seconds of painful reminisce, you can feel every one of those seconds can’t you? When time itself has turned against you, the very fabric of humanity ripped away by the same mechanism that granted you the very things that kept you truly (alive).
In your last 7 minutes and 41 seconds as the final tune plays ever so harrowingly around your heart and soul as the (PROPHETS) of new and old turn to (DUST) I want you to tell me, Is it even worth, turning back the (HOURGLASS?) Corban Skipwith

Otto Kinzel: Guitars, vocals
Sarah Wappler: Bass, keyboards
Tyler MacPherson: Drums, percussion
Ella Vose: Backing vocals
Jason Stealth: Editing, mixing and mastering

Friday, April 15, 2022

Full Length Review: Death Embrace "Unholy Trinity II" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Death Embrace
Location: England
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Black metal
Full Length: Unholy Trinity II
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: March 25, 2022
When dabbling into the world of ‘Necromancy’ and ‘Vampirism’ there this almost an unspoken rule in music of how your meant to be portray such sounds and themes and the fans know it, as a man who fell in love with this style of music more than a decade ago now I judge pretty harshly the bands that attempt it and I’m happy to report back to you all that this band nails the coffin shut on any doubt lingering, they do this justice.
From the very opening instrumental track the mood is set and the aesthetic is understood as far as what direction this band is planning to go, you can hear the cunning use of ‘darkness’ and ‘despair’ the lingering scent of ‘death, evil and chaos’ all working in unison to complete this record. On one side of the spectrum you have the devastatingly brutal production which sounds straight off the pioneering ‘Norwegian Black metal Era’ where the music sounded as raw and as twisted as music could possibly sound, this is the same vibe I get listening to this record (and believe you me, that’s an incredible compliment).
There’s this black aura of ambience and nocturnal sounds in the air with this record that I can’t shake, they add it in so subtle sometimes at the very start of songs and sometimes towards the very end but it’s utilized none the less, that ever so quant notes that play in the background to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up (and this is before the song even starts) there’s also cases where I can hear wailing? Like in the song ‘House Of The Unholy’ which is creepy as fuck but adds a nice level of ‘fear’ to the track.
The vocal performances in this record are equally as demented and twisted as the instrumentation and production! We are talking early ‘Mayhem, Gorogorth (Hat era), Carpathian Forest I mean such guttural growls and straining screams and notes sounding like a man possessed and dying! It’s truly insane, I haven’t heard vocals as twisted as these since literally the late 80’s early 90’s era of Black Metal, it’s definitely something you’ll have to hear to believe, it’s wild.
For an album that packs only six tracks, they don’t hold back anything to make you feel as fucked up as you possibly can. It’s a cohesively deranged album that takes the art of ‘Black Metal’ to a whole new level, for real for all you fans of traditional style ‘Black Metal’ these guys have just pushed the bar two tiers up.
I don’t even know how a band can sound more extreme then this? Does the next band have to kill and torture someone while recording in order to surpass the efforts done today? It’s one dark record but one I can respect for its boundary pushing attempt.
If you think you have the balls to survive it, give it a shot down below! Corban Skipwith

D.M: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. ... Further From The Light
2. The Eternal Silence
3. House Of The Unholy
4. Rituale Necromanticum
5. The Blood Is The Life Eternal (sângele este viața)
6. The Gates Of Death Open

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Full Length Review: Dark Funeral "We Are the Apocalypse" (Century Media Records) by Dave Wolff

Location: Stockholm
Country: Sweden
Genre: Black metal
Full Length: We Are the Apocalypse
Format: Vinyl, limited edition digipack CD, digital
Label: Century Media Records
Release date: March 18th, 2022
From my first viewing of their "Secrets of the Black Arts" promo to their first performance in Manhattan or anywhere else in the US, Dark Funeral remains one of my most listened to black metal bands. I still remember that show at the Bat Cave, I still remember those tense moments before they launched into the first song, I still remember the suffocating air of malevolence. The darkness they seemed to embody that night remained indelibly linked to them one way or another.
With fellow Swedes Marduk, Dark Funeral brought the black metal genre to unspeakable heights, and became practically unforgettable for the sheer hellish chaos and fury they bring to the stage and capture in the studio. In recent years they’ve assumed equally convincing heights of maturity and it wasn’t necessary for them to completely change to do so. On “We Are the Apocalypse” they’ve not dropped their essentials; it's what the band excels at, enough said there.
While new incarnations of black metal have appeared in the last decade, Dark Funeral have remained relevant and on top of what's going on in a genre that continues to evolve. Lineup changes and working with different producers, as well as growing organically and occasionally experimenting, led them to work more closely together as musicians and reestablish their standing as innovators. Since then, they have flourished and persisted in their vitality.
I should point out that their 2016 album "Where Shadows Forever Reign" could be considered their most progressive, combining more melodic guitar riffs and extended lyrics with caustic vocals, sharp production, and frantic blast beats. Artistically, it was similar to Immortal's "At the Heart of Winter". In my opinion, if Dark Funeral hadn't taken the direction they did on that release, we wouldn't have "We Are the Apocalypse" as it emerged from the studio.
From the sound of things, the band possibly wanted to create an album that would come across as more abrasive and sharp. Something like "Attera Totus Sanctus" and "Angelus Exuro pro Eternus", only with more track to track variety regarding speed. Listening to their previous album was like trying to find your way through Dracula's castle or the labyrinth in “Hellraiser 2”. The band conveys the same impressions here, only rawer and with less atmosphere. There are no preliminaries or elaborate introductions; they just get right down to business without any mercy.
First impressions might suggest that Dark Funeral isn't breaking any new ground, but listening more closely reveals the differences between this and the older recordings. From Venom and Bathory to Marduk and 1349, their presence and musicianship are well-rounded representations of black metal. Before heading into the studio, the band members seemed to have improved their precision and rigor a lot, pushing themselves to top form. Janne "Jalomaah" Jaloma in particular is almost inhuman in his speed, going beyond most metal drummers.
Dark Funeral's wall of sound is tempered by more tempo changes within tracks and tighter transitions between each, creating a sort of musical storytelling that fits well with the lyrics. They've come a long way since penning the lyrics for "Secrets of the Black Arts" and "Vobiscum Satanas". Those albums had well-written hymns to darkness, whereas the lyrics here immerse you in tales comparable to those of Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith at their darkest. This is only apparent if you look beneath the surface of the album and do a "deep dive." If you make the slightest effort you may find a horrifically entertaining experience beyond what you expected. –Dave Wolff

Heljarmadr: Vocals, lyrics
Lord Ahriman: Guitars, songwriting
Chaq Mol: Guitars
Adra-Melek: Bass
Jalomaah: Drums

Track list:
1. Nightfall
2. Let the Devil In
3. When Our Vengeance Is Done
4. Nosferatu
5. When I'm Gone
6. Beyond the Grave
7. A Beast to Praise
8. Leviathan
9. We Are the Apocalypse

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Full Length Review: Goo Fish "The French Navy" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

and: Goo Fish
Location: Louisiana
Country: USA
Genre: Independent bottom-feeding loser rock
Full Length: The French Navy
Format: CD, digital
Label: Independent
Release date: December 1, 2021
Oh wow.
Talk about an album that makes you feel like you just snorted the whitest bag of cocaine you’ve ever seen and are now on a ride you can’t come down from, this record is absolutely insane (for better or for worse, that’s up to you).
I’ll start off by saying this, this record has some fine-tuned, exciting production. Every song on here is a pleasure to the ears for the instrumentation, structure and grand feel that comes with it all, the kind of tunes you could just sit back after a long day’s work and close your eyes and just imagine the groove.
Also, every song has its own unique sonic texture and flavor. Some songs will be mellow and acoustic, others intense, high powered velocity and then literally everything in between so you never know what you’ll be expected to get and I think that’s half the fun to be honest.
When you get a diverse mixed bag as batshit as this then it becomes a thing of wonder to attempt to assemble any kind of ‘guessing’ or ‘prediction’ because there’s never a clear indicator of what could possibly come next, no real Segway or conscious continuation that you’ve come to expect in albums over the years.
Now, I’ve tried to say the best things I could about the instrumentation and production because when it comes to the vocal performances I’m just not a fan and I hate to say that because I try to stay clear of negative reviews but I took exception with this one because I did mean what I said about the first half! The instrumentation is fun and creative so it’s worth a listen just for that aspect alone!
But yes, the vocal performances for me are just bad. Obviously when you listen to the lyrics they are just ‘tongue and cheek’ and ‘parody’ style stories and absurd humor that would find in acts like
-Steel Panther
-Tenacious D
-The BloodHound Gang
Actually I’d say they resemble (vocal wise) ‘The BloodHound Gang’ in that it’s just off for me, the performances feel awkward and not in sync with the music, and I can already tell this was done on purpose due to the nature of being ‘experimental’ like how a group like ‘Death Grips’ would shout and mutter their sentences but unfortunately MC Ride has a uniquely savage/angry voice that makes his words stand out but I can’t say that here.
Despite my criticisms these are only MY OPINIONS! I can’t speak for you and others, I’m sure some might judge me for my harsh words and that’s fine! Music is about discussion and different thoughts and ideas, that’s what I welcome but regardless this record has some of the most interesting, creative and technical production and instrumentation I’ve heard all year, it will without a doubt get you pumped! Corban Skipwith

Chris Spann: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. The French Navy
2. Call Me A Bitch
3. Denny Squinn
4. Pills
5. All The Things You Wanted
6. Rent-A-Center
7. My Girlfriend's Husband
8. Uncle Buckskin
9. The Jammy Song
10. Wayne Town Connection
11. Living the Dream (Sketch Town Style)
12. Momma Shotgun

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Full Length Review: King Satan "Occult Spiritual Anarchy" (Electric Spark) by Corban Skipwith

Band: King Satan
Location: Tampere
Country: Finland
Genre: Occult industrial metal
Format: CD, LP, digital
Label: Electric Spark
Promoted by: Metal Message
Release date: April 8, 2022
Well, talk about a band I wouldn’t want my mum knowing I reviewed. Today we will be talking about the brand new album by Metal band King Satan featuring 11 new badass tracks ready to melt your face right off!
First of all, let’s talk style/genre because I think this record has a real tight combination of ‘Black Metal/Symphonic Metal’ that makes 50 parts brutal and other 50 elegant and mesmerizing like your listening to some demented form of musical or orchestral performance (It’s pretty sweet).
I also love the fact that no two styles ever collide in a messy way, meaning each note, each chord progression is done with the utmost care and sensibility which I really love, because that just proves how careful and technical they are not to make this record sound all over the place or jumbled when it doesn’t need to be.
The production on this thing is also ridiculously smooth and polished (but not in an Imagine Dragons sterile kind of way) no I mean it sounds ‘larger than life’ it almost gives me early ‘Cradle Of Filth’ vibes with how fine-tuned it is, how cruel yet how masterful the performances are it’s truly a breath of cold, chilling fresh air to breath in to hear a band take such amazing lengths and care into their music, I absolutely love it.
Let’s obviously not forget the actual performances themselves because they go hard, you’ve got that luscious sounding instrumentation always lingering around each track and for me personally the technique of the drums are what sticks out most to me, they sound relentless (you know that’s a big thumbs up for me).
The vocals are outstanding as well with each verse, each note hitting like a ton of devilish bricks falling on top of you and snatching your breath away, whether it’s deep death growls or higher pitched notes he knows how to hit them and more importantly when! His timing is flawless and alongside this professional assemble of instrumentation its recipe for greatness.
Overall, this is a fantastic effort by the band and I’m very happy this was my first listen to them, if you’re a metalhead then this should be an album you can’t afford to miss! Corban Skipwith

King Aleister Satan: Vocals
EF-13: Guitar
Hekate 'Kate' Boss: Synths, keys, vocals
Jerry Rock’n’Roll: Bass
Pete Hellraiser: Drums

Track list:
1. Left Hand Path Symphony
2. The Faces Of The Devil
3. The Pagan Satan
4. Devs Ex Satanas
5. Human Sacrifice
6. This Is Where The Magick Happens
7. Beyond God
8. Demon Made Flesh
9. The Devil’s Opera
10. Spiritual Anarchy ’22
11. Outro (Clowning Is Serious Business)

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Full Length Review: Meshuggah "Immutable" (Atomic Fire Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Meshuggah
Country: Sweden
Genre: Groove/thrash metal, djent
Full Length: Immutable
Format: Digital album
Label: Atomic Fire Records
Release date: April 1, 2022
Since Meshuggah began, they've never stepped back from their heaviness nor compromised when it came to challenging standards of songwriting, showing that you don't have to be an elitist to soften up. Since they developed their own standards instead of attempting to fit in with others, the rewards they’ve received should inspire musicians everywhere.
"Immutable" is the band's first album not released through Nuclear Blast Records and it's been about six years since they released new material. This period of inactivity may have contributed to the change in the band's sound, adding some minimalist drone to the downtuned dissonance that has been their trademark from their debut album onward.
It depends on your own musical preferences whether the greater emphasis on unvaried pitch makes "Immutable" more striking or more tedious. As someone who is basically unbiased towards underground music, Meshuggah's approach to this album gives it a heavier, overall more primeval ambience in which they’re redefining their technique. It reminds me in some ways of Sepultura modifying their sound on “Chaos A.D.” and “Roots”. It takes some getting accustomed to but eventually hooks you in.
That's not to say that they've abandoned jazz fusion and off time rhythms. The enhanced primal feel of "Immutable" allows for greater climate profundity and more contrast in themes. In this regard, it is the nine-minute instrumental "They Move Below" that stands out as a musical saga in and of itself. This is a clear example of the band growing and reinventing themselves all over again. After more than thirty years they can do things with their instruments that leave you wondering how they achieved such tricks.
In addition to Sepultura earlier in this review, there were moments in "Immutable" that made me think of Tool and Napalm Death, and as the album progressed it became more heavy, atmospheric, and jazzy. It was as if the energy Meshuggah collected for the album was gaining momentum, building so much engulfing intensity that it would ultimately turn your brain cells to powder.
The turning point was reached with "Kaleidoscope," which sounded recorded with more distortion than the previous tracks. As much as it was disturbing, it was energizing. The following two-minute instrumental “Black Cathedral” sounded closer to Swedish black metal than anything Meshuggah had done until now, but the guitar sound was consistent with the preceding songs.
In addition to the guitar solos and especially the lead vocals, this recording has more of that contrast I mentioned earlier. The former seems to operate within unorthodox, complex scales to give the songs an uncanny, mystical inclination; the latter pretty much remains consistent in its raspy aggression from the first track to the final track. This can work or not depending on the vocalist’s presence and the backing music. It works here because everything fits together like an impenetrable wall of sound.
“Past Tense” is the album’s third instrumental and final track, ending “Immutable” on a somber note. The lone guitars are a counterpoint to the mounting energy that built and culminated with “Armies Of The Preposterous”. It was like the still after the storm, the destruction witnessed in the wake of a devastatingly violent conflict. Altogether, "Immutable" may or may not equal what you’re used to from Meshuggah, but give it a chance and you may get something out of it. –Dave Wolff

Jens Kidman: Vocals
Fredrik Thordendal: Guitars
Mårten Hagström: Guitars, songwriting, lyrics
Dick Lövgren: Bass, songwriting
Tomas Haake: Drums, songwriting, lyrics

Track list:
1. Broken Cog
2. The Abysmal Eye
3. Light the Shortening Fuse
4. Phantoms
5. Ligature Marks
6. God He Sees in Mirrors
7. They Move Below
8. Kaleidoscope
9. Black Cathedral
10. I Am That Thirst
11. The Faultless
12. Armies of the Preposterous
13. Past Tense

Full Length Review: Coventry Carols "Coventry Carols" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Coventry Carols
Location: Long Island, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Alternative, indie
Full Length: Coventry Carols
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: March 18, 2022
Welcome back everyone, today I’m excited to share this new record with you all because it’s not only refreshing to hear something new but it’s also a very unique and exciting sound that I would want all of you to hear.
So this seems like the debut album released 18 March 2022 featuring 8 tracks. This would be the first time I’ve heard of this band and after today it won’t be my last because as I said above they have that interesting ‘IT’ factor, let me explain.
This record very much grounds itself in that ‘Indie Rock/Alternative’ sonic palette with those beautiful instrumentation choices with that smooth guitar, percussion, bass and those almost ambient like drum patterns that linger in the back of your head even after the album is done. What I love about this record is they dabble in the realm of ‘slight experimentation’ without losing sight of what makes this record special and for me that is it’s ‘simplicity’ and using the ‘less is more’ mentality to create an engaging and free flowing album without it sounding ‘boring’ or ‘uneventful’ it’s the perfect balance.
As I was listening to this album I had a few possible inspirations in mind that this band may have followed (or at least how they sound to me) and the same handful of artists came to my head such as
-Sufjan Stevens
-Mount Eerie
-Car Seat Headrest
To me the emotional and gripping vocal performances by singer ‘Jon Soda James’ the Triple J’ himself reminds me a lot of both Vile Valo from the band ‘HIM’ and also parts Will Toledo from ‘Car Seat Head Rest’ and to combine the styles of both on top of a nicely polished yet appropriately raw and organic where it needs to be really reminds me of the production styles of acts like ‘Sufjan Stevens’ and ‘Mount Eerie’ (or maybe more specifically The Microphones) but either way similar to both.
The whole time I was listening to this I just felt so relaxed, so in depth with my own thoughts and sometimes even my own mortality. It’s the kind of record you would put on to reflect on life, indulge in ones emotions, mental state and wellbeing, I can already see myself listening to this thing will playing a game on my phone just chilling out or doing a word search puzzle (I love word searches) while playing this off a Bluetooth speaker, it’s truly the perfect background album which isn’t a knock on it by any means as sometimes the right album isn’t one that has the most energy or brutality but the one that makes you see yourself for who you are.
All in all a fantastic record, for 8 tracks they don’t waste a second of it and it all fits the way it should, can’t wait to hear more from these guys in the coming future! Corban Skipwith

Jon Soda James: Vocals, guitars, percussion, piano
Clifford Catropa: Bass
Terry Taylor: Drums, percussion

Track list:
1. Grace
2. The Well
3. Out Of Body Experience
4. Medication Is Expensive
5. This Serenade
6. Far, Farthest
7. Anxiety Flowers
8. Days

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Article: "Christians are scientifically illiterate and that’s why they don’t know anything…." by Damien Lee Thorr

Christians are scientifically illiterate and that’s why they don’t know anything….
Article by Damien Lee Thorr

I was talking with a Christian recently who thinks that atheists are dumb for not believing in god.

She went on to say that she “knows the truth in her heart”…

The problem is that personal testimony is subjective and not evidence.

She stated that there’s proof of Jesus because “his tomb is empty” and also pointed to our calendar of BC and AD.

When she said that, I experienced another one of those moments of face palming … why? Because it is very clear that Christians only believe because they have been lied to.

For a start, let’s address the calendar issue:

Practical use of A.D., on papers like charters or church documents, began to catch on in eighth and ninth century England, and from there expanded to France and Italy by the late ninth century.

But, even as it grew, people continued to use other systems like the Roman calendar. This change was enforced with violence throughout the world.

So what about "B.C."?

Starting with the alleged birth of Christ as a single defining moment—rather than using a succession of rulers one after another, or trying to count from the very beginning of creation…leads inevitably to the fact that lots of stuff happened before. But, B.C. was much harder to implement. Terms referring to this “before” varied all the way through the 18th century.

Secondly, no tomb for Jesus has EVER been identified or confirmed! That’s just one of many falsehoods preachers inflict upon their followers, and they do it loudly, to intimidate, with the false premise that might is right.

I constantly hear preachers and Christian followers proclaim that the “tomb is empty” but there is no truth to it and zero data to validate it.

This person was also unaware that the numerical system we all use across the entire planet is of Arabic origin.

She then went on to suggest that there was a miracle with a stomach condition of hers that was inexplicably healed when, according to her, doctors couldn’t heal. For one thing, sometimes doctors diagnose conditions incorrectly and of course, she somehow cannot provide any evidence such as doctor’s notes, test results and charts to demonstrate as evidence. And rather than accept the logic that there may have been a misdiagnosis, they choose to embrace the false sense of comfort of “god did it”… yet, many babies die in hospitals minutes or hours after they’re born in spite of desperate prayers.

What I am noticing here is that religious people are conned into believing in god by means of falsehoods and misrepresentations of facts.

It is easy to realize that religious leaders are able to fool the poorly educated, which reminds me of that primitive tribe in the South Pacific where they know nothing of biology and allow their young boys to be sodomized by the tribe’s chief because they believe that it’s how boys will produce sperm when they grow to be men.

Christians reject the scientific discoveries that prove biological evolution, a spherical planet, a much older Earth, and so many other science facts that the church used to execute people for stating as facts.
The fact remains that everyone who argues against evolution is not properly educated in the matter and definitely lacks the credentials to even formulate a valid argument.

It is absolutely mind boggling how arrogant and ignorant they are, pretending they know more than biologists, scientists and university professors with doctorate degrees and peer reviewed papers that confirm their findings as facts.

For sure, science does not know everything but it can provide evidence for everything it knows… whereas religion knows nothing.

Damien Lee Thorr, 3-29-2022

Damien Lee Thorr is the composer and lead guitarist for the popular, classically influenced and openly atheist/political activist metal band Predator, has authored many essays and editorials for Asphyxium Zine and written he horror-erotica novel “The Vampire Journals”. Check out Predator’s 2011 full length "Born in Blood" at Youtube and visit their official site at

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

EP Review: Murder By Love "The Night Affair" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Murder By Love
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Country: USA
Genre: New wave, synth pop
EP: The Night Affair
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: January 10, 2022
Dude, who invited the pop boys to the metal party? Because whoever did YOU ARE A CERTIFIED GENIUS.
Oh boy what a unique and interesting EP we have! This collection of tracks:
1-Closer To Paradise
2-Lost Boys
3-Naked Eyes
4-Paint The Town
By the way, my keyboard isn’t having random spasms, they seem to prefer their information in capital letters so I’m choosing to respect their ideals. Doesn’t really matter because this thing is wild, loose, entertaining and mesmerizing all in the same breath.
Let me explain to you what’s going on here, you have the basic elements of Metal in the background and with the instrumentation but as prominent as those things are what overtakes the tracks is this ‘Pop, Synth, Party’ type vibe coursing through the record like an open flame in the forest, it just takes over!
I feel one of the clearest examples is the lead singer Andrew ‘Gambit’ Speedy West (which by the way is the best name ever) on the microphone because his smooth, clean, passionate performances really lighten up the EP giving it a ‘warm’. ‘optimistic’ sensation that you wouldn’t normally get (or expect) in Metal which isn’t saying obviously that Metal isn’t a great type of music it’s just I normally go into a Metal album for its aggression and speed but to go in and hear this ‘Pop’ centric sound really through me for a shock and I loved it.
The other big reason for this EP sounding so amazing is the production because the singing is one thing but without the colorful, vibrant, engaging sonic aesthetic that the production provides then it wouldn’t be half as good as it became. The best way I can describe this EP sound is if you imagine ‘Tears For Fears married ‘Talking Heads’ but in the course of that marriage had an affair on the side with ‘Justin Timberlake’ and then had a one night stand with ‘Daft Punk’ that mass collection of musical style events combining is how you would get here.
Look, I’ll be as blunt as I can, this is only one of two EP’s I’ve heard all year that really impressed me and stood out. This and Matt Springfield’s EP and I don’t take rankings lightly, so please do yourself a favor and check out this EP ASAP. Corban Skipwith

Andrew “Gambit” Speedy West: Lead vocals, guitars
Stephen Farnham: Bass guitars
Arjavh Aleson: Keyboards, synthesizers
Mike Finucane: Drums, vocals, sequencers

Track list:
1. Closer To Paradise
2. Lost Boys
3. Naked Eyes
4. Paint The Town

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Full Length Review: Celtic Hills "Huldufólk" (Elevate Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Celtic Hills
Location: Udine
Country: Italy
Genre: Power metal
Full Length: Huldufólk
Format: Digital album, compact disc
Label: Elevate Records
Release date: April 1, 2022
Every year, every month (hell every week) there will be a new release somewhere in world. Music never sleeps and neither do the artists eager to release said products so today we have a very special album review with 11 new tracks (and a remix) under their belt and I think it’s time to talk about it.
So, this is my first experience with this group but the vibe they give off is a strong ‘Speed Metal/Prog Metal’ combination with some fantastic theatrical themes and elements mixed in for a more ‘grand’ feel and polished production one would come to expect in these types of sub genres.
I love the instrumentation of this album a lot. Each song represents something unique and interesting on the record that helps support the other 11 tracks on the record, I know I use this analogy a lot but the sonic image of a flowing river where each stream leads to the ocean in perfect harmony and sync is what comes to mind when I think of an album such as this that does a fantastic job at making each piece not only relevant to the conceptual story told but also the instrumentation and production value are all up to pair with the next (no odd song out) so to speak in that aspect.
I also love the faint ‘Viking/Folk’ inspirations shown on this project kind of like the intro to the 7th track ‘Living Out Of The Egg’ with 20 seconds of absolutely lush Folk instrumentation which ultimately leads to that trademark ‘Speed Metal’ sound. It’s cool that they find a way to add so many subtle sounds and inspiration within the 2 main dominating sub genres in the driver’s seat (so to speak).
The vocals on this thing are great too! With that awesome powerful harmonies delivered by Johnathan! reminds me of some old school ‘Dio’ or ‘Iron Maiden’ back in the golden era which is really hard to find artists who do that in today’s day and age so that’s super cool to hear in 2022. Another great aspect is the guitar riffs, they add the perfect energy and technical prowess for the other instruments to work so well, can’t forget those killer instinct drums that just hammer the roof off the building!
What else can I say? This is one badass album. It’s literally got everything a Metal head could want:
-Powerful vocals
-Savage instrumentation
It’s literally got it all and tons more, go check it out today! Corban Skipwith

Jonathan Vanderbilt: Vocals, guitars
Jacopo Novello: Bass
Simone 'Zigo' Cescutti: Drums

Track list:
1. The Secret Of The Grail
2. Metal Message
3. After The Earthquake
4. Hidden Folk
5. Green Forest
6. Gate Of Hollow Earth
7. Living Out Of The Egg
8. The Sound Of Earth
9. The Hammer Of Thor
10. Villacher Kirktag
11. Living Out of The Egg (Feat. Simone Cescutti)
12. Words In Out (Remix 2021)