I’ve been following Santa Cruz’s Fiends at Feast ever since they self-released the excellent Shadows of Extinction EP back in 2011. In that time, they’ve signed to up-and-coming metal label Horror Pain Gore Death Productions and released an impressive debut full-length in the form of Towards the Baphomet’s Throne, an album that saw the band building upon their already considerable strengths, sharpening their songwriting and upping the musicianship factor. Continuing to capitalize on the momentum they’ve built for themselves over the past three years, the Fiends are back with what might be their most compelling set of songs yet on Purgatory Rites, a split with Madison, Wisconsin’s previously unknown (to me) Tragic Death.
If there is one thing metal critics hate, it’s consistency. Satan forbid a band should find a sound that works for them (not to mention their fans) and stick with it, dooming their albums to forever be referred to in print as “more of the same” “a rehash” “nothing you haven’t heard before” etc, etc. Luckily, I’m not a critic, and I love it when bands I enjoy give me exactly what I want. Such is the case with Austrian black/death heavyweights Belphegor, who’ve returned from an uncharacteristic three year silence with Conjuring the Dead. To say that it’s everything you’d expect from a Belphegor record would probably be the understatement of the decade, but predictability isn’t much of a factor when what you’re predicted to do is kick ass.
One of my favorite things about digging into the metal underground is when one great band leads me to another great band. That’s exactly what happened when Lord Time mastermind Andorkappen (aka Sandor GF) turned me on to Harassor, the LA black metal trio he plays drums for. They’ve just released their fourth full length, Into Unknown Depths, via Dais Records and it’s a damn fine slab of bulldozing USBM if ever there was one.
After much trial and tribulation, I am excited to announce that the Summer 2014 issue of Backlit zine is alive.
I first encountered Santa Cruz’s Gloam a while back thanks to the band sharing a guitarist with Fiends at Feast, another Santa Cruz-based outfit I’ve been shouting about for quite some time. But in spite of this connection, Gloam is assuredly a very different animal. The quartet’s debut demo was a rather stunning piece of atmospheric black metal, but with Vanquished they have surely surpassed it, pushing their sound forward while at the same time adhering to black metal’s time-honored traditions.
I still have a ton of good shirts left for sale. Most are like new and some have hardly ever been worn. All shirts are $8.00 each unless otherwise marked. Don’t like the prices? Make me an offer and we’ll work something out. I ship all packages with tracking numbers via well-packed flat rate USPS mailers. USA customers only, please. If you’d like to see pictures of any of the shirts, please e-mail me and I will be happy to send them.
If interested, e-mail me at email@example.com. Full list of shirts after the jump.
PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE SHIPPING – Unfortunately I was getting killed on shipping last time around, but I promise won’t charge you an arm and a leg.
Brooklyn, New York’s Spü is a multi-headed beast; part molten sludge, part scuzzy black metal and part even scuzzier noise rock. The trio recently self-released Deluge, a genre-blending maelstrom of filth that’s one of the most intriguing debut albums I’ve heard in 2014. It’s rare that a young band emerges with their sound fully formed, but Spü appear to have done just that with this killer tape.