If you like to take it to the extreme then Chronicles of Eternal Darkness is for you. Paul Castles presents a monthly round-up from the wrong side of the tracks embracing death metal, doom, black metal and any other kind of warped wonders that he happens to stumble upon.
Welcome to my first Chronicles of Eternal Darkness column and where better to start than with the savage skullcrushers Craniotomy. Prepare those neck muscles for some serious punishment. These Slovakian grinders have posted an entire full album stream of latest release ‘Supply of Flesh Came Just in Time’. This eight-track monster of bleak brutality is their fourth full-length release and is through Amputated Vein Records.
Further-afield, the knucklecrunching Japanese crew at Amputated Vein look like having another winner on their hands having just signed up Greek prog and tech death crushers Cerebrum. This may not ring too many bells until you hear that these boys feature George Kollias of the mighty Nile among their ranks. Cerebrum’s second full length album “Cosmic Enigma” has just been released.
Anything from the Sevared Records stable is always worthy of close inspection. Few will be disappointed by what they hear from Blood Red Throne whose seventh album (self-titled) is just out. The Norwegians are streaming the video for ‘Primitive Killing Machine’ from the album so check these seriously brutal guys out if you’ve not hit upon them before.
Necrogrinder would be welcome guests at any party and if you dare doubt me then just check out ‘Compostmortem’ from their new EP ‘The Bunty Man’. Released on UKEM Records, Necrogrinder are not so much Sheffield steel as Sheffield death metal. They are flying the White Rose for Yorkshire and doing it proud with releases such as this.
Orphaned Land arrive in the UK from their native Israel in November and fortunately the Midlands is among their destinations. These symphonic slickers play the Robin2 in Bilston on November 12. New album ‘All Is One’ is released by Century Media at the end of the month. They’ve got an atmospheric touch of the orient about them and they were the subject of a campaign to scoop the Nobel Peace Prize on their strength of their work uniting communities across the middle east and beyond through the music. Watch their video of their new single ‘Brother’.
Gyze, melodic death metallers from Japan, have hooked up with Coroner Records for the release of their new album ‘Fascinating Violence’. Check out the opening number Desire. The album is out this week and they could be the next big thing from the land of the rising sun after Wormrot.
Dragged Into Sunlight were on tour with Bossk recently but Midlands metal fans will have to wait until August 31 to see them rip things to pieces when they play the Asylum2 in Birmingham. These boys are seriously brutal so check out their tantalizing tour trailer video.
New album Widowmaker is a mammoth and live they are something to behold as you can see from this clip at the Maryland Death Fest.
Crushing death metal mercenaries Panzerchrist have their seventh album – suitably entitled ‘7th offensive’ – released on July 15 by Listenable. It’s been recorded across three studios and the word is that the latest offering from the great Danes has a slightly more melodic sound but retains its bleak outer layer and pure death metal vocals. Listen to the track Dogger Dead.
Italian death metal stallions Hour of Penance hit Europe this year for an explosive treble tops tour with Aussie tech-death performers Psycroptic and UK death diggers Dyscarnate. Hour of Penance gained plenty of admirers when on the Cannibal Corpse/Devildriver/Black Dahlia tour in February. Unfortunately they have no Midland date planned for this triple header although they have managed to squeeze in a date at that renowned metal mecca… Margate!
Anyone fancy going Dutch this Christmas? Well the Eindhoven Metal Meeting may be for you with such luminaries as Napalm Death, Carpathian Forest, Gothminister, Aborym, and the Monolith Deathcult recently added to three day bill (Dec 12-14). The future is bright; the future is orange.
Poland’s greatest Black Metal exports Behemoth have descended back into their murky lair to work on a tenth album. ‘The Satanist’ is out later in the year and enigmatic frontman Nergal declared: “It took us over two decades to come up with a title that… says it all. While our new songs artistically take surprisingly adventurous directions, our message stands steadfast—Proud and Radical.”
The mighty Baroness are heading to the Black Country. The Americans’ visit to the UK coincides with a four-track EP digital release taken from their 2012 BBC Session titled Live at Maida Vale. It displays the quartet’s live prowess and gives the material a fresh lease of life. Pre-orders are available via Relapse. Be sure to catch Baroness at the Slade Rooms on October 19.
Unkind, the Finnish hardcore headcases, have released the title track from their forthcoming album Pelon Juuret. It boasts some serious throat-shredding vocals and an apocalyptic sound. A video trailer to Pelon Juuret is available below while exclusive pre-order packages are available via Relapse.
Revocation’s fourth full length album is due out on August 6. The self-titled release is the band’s first featuring new bassist Brett Bamberger. Much of the recording process was captured on film and a mini series of in-studio trailers is available to view. Revocation will soon be packing the bus for the Summer Slaughter Tour across the United States alongside such stormtroopers Dillinger Escape Plan and Cattle Decapitation.
Witherscape, are one of the latest atmospheric acts to roll off Sweden’s never-ending dark metal production line and should get the thumbs up (make that devil’s horns) from followers of Katatonia and Amorphis. Formed by Swedish singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Dan Swanö, together with fellow Swedish multi-instrumentalist Ragnar Widerberg, the duo’s debut album ‘The Inheritance’ is out on July 29, via Century Media. To get a first taste of Witherscape check out the artwork-clip for the album song ‘Astrid Falls’ below. Singer Swanö said: “Astrid falls’ is one of my many favourite songs on the album. It’s showcasing the clean and growling vocal interplay and the overall “vibe” of my and Ragnar’s playing as well as the dynamics of our songwriting.”
Soulfly are planning a Euro return following their recent switch to Nuclear Blast. Frontman Max Cavalera warned: “Super fired up to bring Soulfly and Maximum Cavalera to Europe! We will be playing a new song off the upcoming Soulfly CD, which will be titled ‘Savages’. See you in the moshpit!” Whether that will be in the UK we’ll have to wait and see – no UK dates confirmed for the Brazilian kings when writing.
Ephel Duath are close to completing their new album at Mana Recording Studios in Florida where they’ve been holed up with producer Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Goathwhore). We’ve been told to expect ‘a multi-layered hybrid of death metal, jazz and post rock’. Vocalist Davide Tiso said. “Songs are coming out effortlessly and quicker the older I get, and I believe that with this new album I reached the highest level of intensity of my entire musical career. Lyrically the new songs dig deep in higher self-subject matters, combining brutally visual imagery with a painfully honest soul searching quest.”
Skamold are heading for the Black Country. The Icelandic metal maniacs are to hit the road in support of new album ‘Börn Loka’. In a statement the Scatty Scandos warned: “Europe, we are coming – Prepare for an Invasion from the North!” Skamold will be performing alongside Finntroll and Týr at the Robin2 in Bilston on October 4.
Ever wondered what a black/jazz combo may sound like it. Well you can now find out thanks to Norwegian rebels Shining whose new album ‘One One One’ is just out on Prosthetic Records. Mixed and co-produced by Sean Beaven (NIN, Slayer), the album — which has been hailed by PopMatters as a “work of brilliance by an exciting band at the top of its game” — serves as the conclusion to the group’s “Blackjazz” trilogy. Frontman Jørgen Munkeby has uploaded a video voiceover to the whole album for a live stream, so take a look and make your own mind up.
Anyone looking to explore some more Swedish black metal can stop looking now thanks to Pest. ‘The Crowning Horror’ is their first release in around five years and Poland’s Agonia Records are kindly streaming the opening track ‘Volcanic Eyes’. The band commented: “After years of silence, a new wave of black death will finally strike the world. The plague is upon us. Bring the darkness!” Sounds good to me!