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Archive: Columns

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Unearthing the Metal Underground: Delphian

A new prog death metal outfit by the name of Delphian has emerged from Los Angeles. Brothers Jason (guitars) and Matthew Williams (vocals) formed the project while they attended Musicians Institute in LA. While the act is essentially a duo, the recording of their debut album includes the talents of some seasoned metal musicians: bassist Martin Rygiel (Decapitated, Lux Occulta) and drummer extraordinaire Kevin Talley (Suffocation, Dying Fetus). The unit will be self-releasing its debut, “Somnambulant Foregoer,” on November 12. The release’s nine tracks clock in at around 47 minutes, and the energy is obviously dark, the music is clearly tech death, prog and groove-based. More...

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Unearthing the Metal Underground: Gold Spire

The metal maniacs of Sweden have historically had a tendency of striking gold with inventive, powerful metal. As such, newbies Gold Spire couldn’t have been any more appropriately named. While the Uppsala-based band was conceived in 2019, the band isn’t exactly made up of musicians who are new blood flowing through the veins of the body of heavy metal. The act was forged by brothers Erik and Påhl Sundström following the disbanding of Påhl's former band Usurpress. What’s more, the brothers enlisted none other than vocalist Heval Bozarslan, frontman of the legendary Swedish death metal band Sarcasm. Impressive death metal pedigree aside, what makes Gold Spire stand out is the boundless musical eclecticism at hand. More...

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Unearthing Morte Incandescente

“Depressive Suicidal Black Metal” is one of the most embarrassing styles of heavy metal, one that is essentially the personification of the stereotypical “emo kid” crying in the corner. In stark contrast to such fodder, some black metal bands have plumbed the depths of hateful, depressive madness, negative energy and suicidal themes. Germany’s Bethlehem comes to mind, of course. And Portugal’s long running black metal act Morte Incandescente is another. More...

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Unearthing the Metal Underground: Wharflurch

Two gentlemen who have worked together in the D-beat/death band Hot Graves formed Wharflurch just a couple of years ago, and they already have several demos, EPs and splits to their name. One “MC” handled the instrumentation, while “JM”—who had been a drummer in all of his previous bands—helmed the mic stand. Since its inception, the band has drafted in a live lineup, and the unit is gearing up to release it’s debut full-length. “Psychedelic Realms Ov Hell” will be released on September 3 via Personal Records (CD) and Gurgling Gore (cassette tape). As the album title might suggest, the Floridian band’s first long player is a psychedelic spin on tried and true death metal. More...

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Unearthing the Metal Underground: Bonehunter

Finland is no stranger to vile music. Whether we are talking about the hedonistic black metal deviants in Impaled Nazarene, the maniacal tech death entity Demilich or the filthy hardcore/crust of Bastards, the nation has unleashed a broad array of strong, heavy underground bands. Bonehunter, a blackened thrash band leaning just as heavily toward punk as it is metal, has been hacking away at the corpse for a decade now. With a slew of releases under their bullet belts thus far, the ensemble returns with full-length album number four: “Dark Blood Reincarnation System.” More...

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Unearthing the Metal Underground: Runespell

Australia has long been a hotbed of distinctive death, black and war metal that certainly stands apart from that which is created elsewhere. What’s more, the variety of the bands’ styles and sounds within the nation are quite pronounced, whether we are talking about the ugly death metal of Sadistik Exekution, the death-grinding ferocity of Damaged, the industrial death stomp of The Berzerker, or the relatively newer, unhinged explosiveness of Eskhaton. Runespell is a one-man black metal project helmed by an individual operating under the pseudonym Nightwolf, Runespell has been unleashing its mystical and transcendental artistry since its impressive 2017 “Aeons of Ancient Blood” demo. Iron Bonehead Productions will be releasing the prolific act’s fourth full-length, “Verses in Regicide,” in September. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Irae

Portugal’s Irae has been forwarding its raw, bizarre black metal for nearly 20 years. There isn’t much by way of originality considering the individual pieces of the puzzle at hand, whether it’s the stripped-down production, the tremolo picking, or the coarse vocals that sometimes devolve into deranged laughing, cackling and moaning. And the percussive work is noticeably elementary. But with all of that said, the manner in which the band assembles the disparate parts into a cohesive whole is quite unique, passionate and completely insane. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Cross Vault

German extreme metal label Iron Bonehead Productions is poised to release the latest release from the dynamic, inspiring and atypical entity known as Cross Vault, a German outfit that’s been forwarding an impassioned, melancholy-fueled doom metal energy since its inception in 2013. The Teutonic doom act’s third full-length album is overflowing with seven tear-inducing tracks that are certain to make an impact upon fans of bands along the lines of Trouble and Solitude Aeturnus. “As Strangers We Depart” is chock-full of instantly evocative doom metal that’s sure to move even the most seasoned of doom-heads. The release proves itself salient because of Cross Vault’s boldness to be vulnerable and melodic in a manner that’s not far removed with what we might hear from pop rock bands. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Eradicator

Germany has been a hotbed of thrash metal for years, whether we are talking about bands like Kreator, Destruction, Coroner or Tankard. The gentleman behind Eradicator have been thrashing like maniacs since 2004, and their approach encompasses the cutthroat aggression of their native land’s thrash metal roots in addition to that reminiscent of the San Francisco Bay Area style along the lines of Exodus and Death Angel. The Teutonic thrashers now return with their fifth album, “Influence Denied,” that’s set for release on July 23, 2021, via Metalville. The 10-song album is overflowing with well-written, intricately composed tracks that are just as catchy as they are aggressive. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Armnatt

There’s something to be said for the concept of "less is more," and when that no-frills approach works in any sphere of life, the results can be impressive. Portugal’s black metal entity Armnatt adheres to that practice, and it keeps it simple for the better. The ensemble has forwarded its old guard-friendly black metal since 2013, around the time of its split cassette release with Bosnian act Tmärrdhë. Signal Rex is now poised to release Armnatt’s third full-length album, “Eternal Flame,” on May 28. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Nattverd

It goes without saying that Norway is and has been a hotbed of black metal, whether we are discussing the Norwegian black metal scene’s insane and infamous extracurricular activities, shall we say, that involved church burning, murder and suicide, or what matters most, the incredible, pioneering second wave black metal music that continues to influence extreme metal bands across the world. They may not be a well-known name along the lines of acts like Emperor or Darkthrone, but Nattverd has been vomiting blistering and melodic black metal since 2017. Considering that they formed in 2010, it’s clear that they didn’t hit the ground running in terms of recorded output. But since their debut, “Vi vet gud er en logner,” they’ve made up for lost time on that end, also having released a follow-up EP and full-length album. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Malgoth

A quick glance at the band’s history may suggest that the folks involved in Malgoth aren’t serious about their belligerent war metal. Their vocalist, one “ZS” has been a member of such bands as Chamber of Farts and The One-eyed Muskrats, however the proof is in the pudding, and Malgoth’s music speaks for itself. The Toronto, Ontario, Canada-base act has been in existence for a year, and its “Primordial Dawn” EP that was initially released independently at the end of 2020 digitally has been picked up by the stalwart, tried-and-true war metal-friendly label Iron Bonehead Productions. With “Primordial Dawn,” Malgoth showcases a savage two-vocal attack that leads the charge of the kind of war metal that has a great deal in common with raw grindcore.

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Disembodiment

The French Canadian province Quebec has long been a hotbed of metal, whether we are talking about the mesmerizing prog thrashers Voivod or the brutal technical death metal juggernaut Cryptopsy, or countless impressive bands in between. Disembodiment has emerged from the Sherbrooke and Montreal area with a distinctly nineties style of death metal that owes a great deal to the likes of Incantation. While that band has inspired countless forgettable acts obsessed with the currently popular “cavernous” death metal crew, Disembodiment succeeds because they aren’t laser-focused upon sound and style as much as they are with tapping into the spirit and essence of the old guard. What’s more, they are clearly concerned with the value of songwriting, as evidenced by their debut six-song release “Mutated Chaos.”

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DIY UPDATE: What You Need To Know Promoting A Show

Live music is coming back! We’re all very excited. However, there are always things that I think we can bear to think about when it comes to promoting shows. I’ve been promoting shows in one capacity or another since I was a teenager, so I wanted to break down the rules that I’ve followed for it to grow.

First and foremost I think it’s important to realize you are the only person who is going to push the show hard, furthermore I think it’s important to make the details about the event painfully clear. If you do that, and then attack on multiple angles for the promotion, you will be much more likely to have a successful show. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Lunar Mantra

Lunar Mantra is an apropos moniker for this week’s featured Unearthing The Metal Underground band. The name itself conjures images of occult-obsessed freaks howling at the moon and uttering magical words, and the Scottish band's new release is a fitting soundtrack to accompany this mental image. Their previous recorded output has been limited thus far, having only released an EP and a single in their half decade existence. But they’ve returned with another EP—“Psychosomatika,” set for release on May 7 via Invictus Productions—that oozes and flows with a transcendental and spiritual quality that’s more likely to spur listeners to “trance out” rather than rock out. More...

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How To Reach Out In The Industry

So something I’ve seen coming up quite a bit lately is people who don’t really understand how to reach out to others. It’s definitely tricky especially if you are new to the world of networking so I wanted to break this down a bit.

What we’re going to do in this article is talk about what not to do then look into some of the core things that build relationships and after that talk about how we can transform those concepts into meaningful relationships within the music industry. It’s kind of a tricky one – but once you learn to network things will fall into place. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Neorhythm

A considerable void in the realm of heavy, nineties-rooted aggressive groove metal has remained for years now, aside from a few longtime heavy hitters. Russia’s Neorhythm is rekindling that fire and pouring gasoline atop with flammable elements in the form of death metal, thrash, prog and math. One Mag performs all instruments and writes the music, while Telkw provides the vocals and lyrics. The dynamic duo tackles lofty subject matter, to say the least—uttered in English, Russian, Latin, Volapuk and Ancient Greek—involving the history of the world and the nature of mankind and civilization. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Sulphurous

Born from the heavy metal hallowed ground that gave us Mercyful Fate and King Diamond, Sulphurous also grew from the soil of Copenhagen, Denmark. The dank death metal band has been toiling away in the underground since 2008. They’ve primarily offered demo material more than anything else, aside from an EP and a well-received LP in 2018 entitled “Dolorous Death Knell.” The duo now returns with a brief but banging two-song EP by the name of “Encircling Darkness,” set for release on 7” vinyl and digitally via Me Saco Un Ojo Records. More...

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DIY UPDATE: What Labels DON'T Care About

There are a lot of things that bands seem to think labels cate about that I can personally guarantee you they don’t care about or they care about only minimally. Ultimately, labels really just care about 2 things: Is this a fit for the label? And: Will this make money? I wanted to dispel three big notions that bands seem to have about what labels care about.

I’ll break these down further, but I think it’s important to understand the following. Labels don’t care about whatever staff you had on a record (Most of the time), they also don’t care about any of the promotional team you hired (usually), finally, barring extreme cases, most labels are not going to be incredibly swayed by one off opening slots. Let’s deconstruct. More...

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DIY Update: 3 Livestream Ideas You Can Use Today

I talk a lot of the time with people about they need to do more live streams and the concept seems to be generally very intimidating to them. I totally get it. Performance live streams are hard. Getting the audio right, the visuals, all that jazz is not easy stuff. So what if there were other variations on live streams you could do that maybe weren’t as labor intensive?

Well it turns out there are! I wanted to break down three of my favorite types of streams that don’t require complex rigs. These include conversations with other bands, behind the scenes run downs and of course video game streams. Some of these ideas might be corny to you, but maybe one of them will inspire you to do more! More...

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