A new Year

It's a bit difficult to believe that 2015 has come to a close. It was sure a crazy year for myself and just in general out there in the world. To all friends, family and readers out there (yes I know you're out there somewhere) I hope 2016 is a year full of joy, prosperity and good health. Here's to 2016!


Shaving the Werewolf


Shaving the Werewolf is an experimental-metal/noise-rock of five from Oslo, Norway.  I like to think of it as experimental hardcore.  The group has released two prior EPs: Your Head is a Toilet from 2012 and You Say Tomato, I Say Fuck Off from 2015. But now all bets are off with the latest outing,The Pissing Link, which is set for release on December 5th via Negative Vibe Records.  Featuring four new songs, the new EP, in keeping with the artwork and name, is off-putting, vile, and highly confrontational.

Clearly, every element of the release, and really the band in general, is coldly calculated to disturb those of the more vanilla parts of society.  Just hop over to their Facebook...it's nightmare fuel.  And yes, your eyes do not deceive you, that is a Yeti, urine, and a gored man clutching his severed penis all rendered in vivid, psychedelic coloring.  The lyrics won't be of any more comfort. I don't have them in writing yet, but just a few seconds at any given moment is filled with foul and unpleasant language.

As far as how this bile is delivered to your earholes, it's not dissimilar to Great American Ghost’s release, Everyone Leaves.  It’s the same abrasive hardcore, just with the extremity and bizarreness turned up several notches.  GAG shoves their words in your face...StW makes you choke on them.  And this vocal violence is matched with chugging, squealing guitars, sharp as a razor snare hits, and a general penchant for noise.  But despite the volume and occasional avantgarde piece (“Do Mind if I Don't”), the physical response is fire.  The underlying catchiness grows on you quickly.
I will say that The Pissing Link is not quite as out there as StW’s previous releases, but that should provide little solace.  Just know that it’s not completely inaccessible, nor is it exactly top 40 material.  If you want something on the stranger side, their previous works are also available on bandcamp at the price of your choosing.  Check back for a full stream tomorrow.



Hi folks, just a small annoucement. I've started to upload random videos on Dailymotion and Youtube so if you're interested in checking them out, you can find them here



Throat Singing

I've always enjoyed distinct and cultural specific music. While much may sound unusual or even weird to the Western ear, I find much of it to be very unique and in many ways absolutely stunning. There are quite a few variations of throat singing out there: from the Inuit in many parts of Canada, to the Tuvan in Mongolia there was something that just captivated my attention right from the get go.



Vile Insignia

Vile Insignia Bestial Invocation

The skies are dreary and winter shows it’s cold face. The season calls for some black metal. The dark chilly nights demand satanic, infernal black metal tunes and Vile Insignia delivers just this in their debut full length, titled ‘Bestial Invocation’. Hailing from Canada, this band share a few similarities with the likes of Blasphemy and Proclamation. Their overall sound however is quite different from the war metal bands. Firmly rooted in traditional black metal, they incorporate elements of death metal into the song writing to create a vicious and barbaric sound which contains some very solid riffs.

Vile Insignia write tracks that are generally over 5 minutes and take the black metal approach of building up with tremolos and a dark atmosphere. The first half of the album shows little to no death metal influence. The tracks are rife with blast beats, tremolo sections and sinister melodies. Tracks like ‘Enslaved Possession’ can be considered pure black metal tracks and they are well written.

Where the band truly shines however, is on tracks like ‘Desecration Through Blasphemy’. Here they take ideas from death metal, especially of the technical kind, and use them to write a black metal track. The result of this is that the riffs are part sinister, part technical and sound absolutely enthralling. These ideas are concentrated more on the second half of the album on tracks like ‘Incarnation of Torment’, ‘Ritualistic Inquisition’ and the title track itself.

The album is brought to an end with the 10 minute long epic, ‘Morbid Tales of Bloodshed’. Easily the best track from the album, this track takes the listener on a ride with impressive riff work and melodic undertones. The production is fine and the ominous atmosphere adds a sinister touch to the riffs. The blastbeats sound a tad bit compressed in the mix though. The vocal work which comprises of snarls and deep growls are as venomous as the riffs.
A well written and well executed black / death album is the perfect way to welcome the season. Vile Insignia have provided with just that with their debut full length.



Bölzer - Aura 

I will be the first to admit that I have been a complete stranger to metal over these past couple years. It's as if I were living under a rock in a far away land. Bölzer are just one of the many fine examples of great bands that I had been missing out on in my what you would call "vacation" from all things music.

Bölzer are not an unknown name by any stretch nor are they quite yet a household name  I believe they're on the verge of of creating something special and are certainly on their way to making themselves a well established band in the Extreme Metal Scene. Their music sums up the attitude and tone of their vibe of their music. It certainly is is smashing and packs a punch much like a Bulldozer so brace yourself.

The thing that immediately struck a chord with me and caught my attention was that rich, and thick guitar tone. It carries so much weight, and with the repetitive and memorable riffs you can't help but bob your head a little as if you were in a hypnotic state. After listening to both of their EPs I now see why this band was so hyped up. In it's very essence it is powerful, brutish and ominous and much much more. I can hardly wait to see and find out what this heavy-hitting Swiss duo will grace us with next. 



Beithíoch is a black/death/doom metal band from Ireland. The name means (Irish) ‘Beast' Reportedly beginning with an "ambient black metal" sound on Aisling Dhorcha, it has develoed into into something described as being more powerful, and a tad folky. "Conquest draws on historical stories of massacre, battle and rebellion - combining the muscle of early Amorphis with the compositional sensibilities of Burzum in an album exploring the savagery inherent to human nature." Wicked. I'm in.

As I hit play, I am immediately clubbed with a combination of Portal and Abyssal meets Viking
metal. Racing tremolos lead us to battle with "The Fury of the Sea." The unique melodies are quite intriguing at times. The layering of reverb and hooks in the distance creates a sound full, much like a battleground filled with the immediate clashing of swords and more distant cries of agony. And when things get fast, the enemy is pulverized.

But you'll remember doom was mentioned here as well. As with the fluctuations of Behold! The Monolith, other songs have a strong doom element as with "Smashing the Shrines." The mixture of funeral and more classic Sabbath sounds with black and atmospheric death continues to walk the path of keeping things fresh. There's even a small dose of ambient on a few tracks.
But whether it's this sludgy slowness or the raging blastbeats of "Conquerers," save room for a helping of big chunky distortion. Some similarities to Dalkhu, but with a bit more early Amon Amarth in its veins. "The Ruins of a Forgotten People" instrumental would have fit nicely on the last Portal album as well. But no matter the comparisons, Conquest is the sound of warriors riding each other down in limbo, forever reenacting battles long since over. Yes, some very Dante-esque Viking metal. Time speeds up and slows down for the kills, but this is less The 300 and more Valhalla Rising. The album even ends similar to how it started, beginning the cycle once more.
So if that sounds like your sort of thing, definitely check this out. It's a different take on on genre fusions that kept me going. You can stream and buy below, as usual.



Selvans is a black symphonic folk metal band from Italy. On their latest full length release through the excellent Avantgarde Music, a label I have come to trust for quality underground metal releases, Selvans definitely bring their A game. Lupercalia is the name of an ancient ritual that was meant to purify and drive out evil spirits from the city. I dunno, it sure feels like we're welcoming them in.
The real treat here is all of the great, folky instrumentation: flutes, mandolin, strings all partake in addition to the more traditional Emperor-style symphonics. These all make some great statements in their careful placement within the larger composition. "Hirpi Sorani," in particular, comes to mind with its perfect flute flourishes and mandolin layering that reminded me of the main title track for Silent Hill 3.

But the keyboards pull plenty of weight for themselves. There is a great expanse conveyed through the resulting atmosphere. Each sustained, angelic note inspires a plethora of emotive responses. It's no wonder choices were made at times to pull back all other instrumentation and allow these passages to stand alone. The resulting dynamics can be quite breathtaking.
So what about the metal? I've spent the bulk of my time here highlighting all of the hybrid elements from classical and folk tradition, so where do things get heavy? Be still, my little acolyte, there is still plenty grimness to be found. Vocals are harsh and throaty throughout. I can hear the resulting larynx damage true to black metal tradition. Taake may be the closest comparison. Lyrics are often in what I assume to be Italian, but they are vile enough to make this difficult to surmise. Things really escalate by the time "N.A.F.H." comes to a close.

Meanwhile the guitars and drums definitely do their part to make this an engaging piece of work. Nothing out of the ordinary: varying degrees of tremolo, minor chord picking, blastbeats, d-beat, double bass. What is important in this genre tends to be how it all comes together. In Selvan's case, it does soe quite well. Compositions, despite being quite long, feel conside and well-structured. Melodies are catchy and the rhythms will get you moving.
If you are ready to check this thing out for yourself, it just came out today (10/19/15) and is ready for your consumption below. Digital copies are pretty cheap for purchase as well. I definitely recommend it.



      One of my fellow scribes summarized his distaste for atmospheric black metal as follows: “Whenever someone mentions atmospheric black metal, I automatically know that there is going to be a lot of standing around and doing nothing”. While this is applicable to most of today’s bands that overdo the repetition part, not all bands can be generalized like this. Done right, this form of music can result in something grim and beautiful. Case in point is the new record from Raventale, titled ‘Dark Substance of Dharma’. The seventh full length from this Ukranian one man project takes a thematic shift towards Indian and Tibetan philosophy, and the music showcases a fine balance of atmosphere, synth melody and guitar riffs.

Raventale Dark Substance of Dharma

Starting with familiar sounds of nature in ‘Intra-Mantra’, the whisphered words add a mystic flavour and sets the mood for the rest of the record. The guitar tones slowly and steadily emanate to the ritualistic beat of the drums, creating an occult atmosphere. The subtle synth work provides the melody and imparts a soothing character to the music, which though contrasting, works well with the harsh guitar work.

Many of bands playing this style of music, produce music that is quite one dimensional, focusing on the atmosphere alone. Raventale on the other hand, takes cues from the likes of early Burzum and Drudkh and the music has a harsh side to it. The repetitive guitar riffs and melodies find measured usage which proves very effective. On tracks like ‘Destroying the Seeds of Karma’, the guitars tend to take a softer approach, contributing to the atmosphere, while the title track sees the riffs taking the centre stage. The band’s vicious side is revealed on the track ‘Kali’s Hunger’, where the black metal chaos is unleashed in short span of 3 minutes. This variation is what sets Raventale apart from the monotonous herd.

Black metal is known for it’s repetitive riffs, the whole point of which is to nail the idea deep into the listener’s head. But when not done in the proper way, it can be very annoying. In Raventale’s case, the repetitiveness doesn’t feel cumbersome at all. The atmosphere, coupled with acrid vocal work and the mystic tone of the music makes even the longer tracks enjoyable. There are a couple of instances, however, where a wild breakdown appears (‘Last Moon Fermata’ and ‘Dark Substance of Dharma’) and these little bits feel very out of place. Then again, these are very small bits and are nowhere near enough to disrupt the experience of the album as a whole.
The album has a rich, layered sound which aids the atmosphere really well. The subtle synth and the abrasive guitars are just perfect in the mix. The duality of the soft atmosphere and the harsh guitars is showcased very well in the music. This combination makes the music sound vile and beautiful at the same time. It’s hard to come across a band that balances soothing, beautiful atmosphere with vicious guitar work as effectively as Raventale. 

The band seems to be going strong with seven full lengths to their credit, each maintaining a level of consistency. ‘Dark Substance of Dharma’ is a solid addition to the Raventale catalogue and is a good jump in point as any other record in their discography.
Rating: 80%



Hi everyone, this post is much different than probably anything else I've ever posted on this blog. It's not about the trivial Youtube videos I enjoy, or the newest and coolest obscure album I've listened to but instead: It's for a great  and important initiative. It's concerning the lives of many on the basis of Fundamental Humanitarian grounds.

    I've been a huge proponent of the advocation of Human Rights for many years now but it hasn't been until now that I have decided to follow upon my desire in a meaningful way by being an active participant. What might this organization be you might ask? What I'm referring to is Hanvoice.

Hanvoice is an Advocacy/NGO group established to assist North Korean's in Canada as well as in North Korea. One of the main objectives is striving to bring both grassroots and political  awareness of North Korea on a larger scale (much beyond the scope of what many have learned from pop-culture). In doing so, we hope to enligthen the people of North Korea on a gradual basis. Any bit of support, or sharing of this is greatly appreciated; so please take a couple moments out of your day and check out their website. Cheers


Oldd Wvrms

NØT cover art

It's been just little over two months since i reviewed Oldd Wvrms First Release 
and it didn't take much time at all for me to review their second. It of course helps a bit when the band themseles come forward by giving me such an opportunity to share my experience and of course discover them (though I'm surprised anyone knows about my blog ahah). 

Leaving off where they did with their first release, the opening track Corrosive continues off in the same vain with powerful, piercing vocals and killer riffs. This I think right here is the theme and the driving force that gives the album it's character and oomph. The EP is not super-fancy with ultra complex sturctures or any bits of charm but it's just straight, in your face Doomy Sludge. Straight to buisness, full of attitude and ferocious just how I like it. If you like this approach to your Doom/Sludge then I think you will thoroughly enjoy this release and won't be disappointed. Here'sto hoping that Oldd Wvrms wastes no time and gets back into music writing mode.


Metal Gallows

It seems Satan Spawn, the man behind Metal Gallows has put his talents towards a new venture.  He will be hosting shows on Metal Devestation Radio. If you want hear more from him, and keep up with his show listings check his Facebook page Metal Gallows



A Forest of Stars


A Forest of Stars have been what I would say one of my favourite bands. That by no means is an easy feat to say.. Ask me what my second would be and I coulnd't tell you. Oh well.. While their latest release may not be my favourite output of theirs, there is still much charm and positive to be taken from it. To be honest, I disliked it at first. Though knowing how difficult A Forest of Stars was originally to get into, I gave it another couple go's as an inital listen was much too premature to give a fair opinion. As always, they push the boundaries with their psychdelic approach and great depth and layering. In many aspects, their experimental elements have left a positive imprint on the avant-garde/experimental Black Metal scene which should only make them a household name. Anything less would be criminal. Be patient, attentive and enjoy to the fullest with all your senses. 




I introduced Kritical's work earlier in the week. I don't really feel that a lengthy introduction is need. So, watch and enjoy ladies and gents.


Wyatt E.

Lately, I've been listening to a healthy dose of Doom, no it's not because I'm a dreary individual but rather enjoy the strong, emotions that it evokes. So, I think it's only fitting that I continue on with another Doom entry and one from Belgium at that.

Wyatt E. are a down-tempo/Ambient Doom trio from Liege in Belgium. Like many, their work goes unnoticed so I think it my duty to give them credit where is due. Gathering musicians from other doom acts such as Deuil, Leaf House and The K;Wyatt E is a grand collaboration putting the collective minds of fellow Doom musicans together to create a great end product. With their first full release Mount Sinai/Aswan, containing 2 tracks and clocking in just at over 26 minutes we see just how much potential this group has. Some of the vibes I get are if Pelican were to play more down-tempo post-metal. While the description may not do it justice, the sound sure will. You can expect all sorts of elements molded within the constant Doomy vibes. The most notable absence is the lack of vocals. I don't think this harms the quality of the tracks in any way, as i think the guitars drive the songs forward and do a fine job at capturing every nuance. From post-rock to experimental and even middle eastern/tribal like elements these 2 tracks have it all.This is music that will surely captivate you with it's many qualities and is best enjoyed with minimal distractions. I very much look forward to see what Wyatt E. Will come up with next.