Will I ever stop titling these posts "plague edition"? Man, I hope so. But not yet. Hope everyone has had a tolerable+ week and here comes some STRAIGHT METAL FIYA!

Sorry about that.

As always, check out our various interview projects and other cool shit. And if you'd like to keep abreast of the latest, most pressing developments follow us wherever we may roam (TwitterFacebookInstagramSpotify and now also a tape-per-day series on TIK TOK!), and listen to our shitty podcast (YouTubeSpotifyApple), and to check out our amazing compilation albumsYou can support our unholy work here (Patreon), if you feel like it. Early access to our bigger projects, weekly exclusive recommendations and playlists, and that wonderful feeling that you're encouraging a life-consuming band musical habit. Be well!


1. Vauruvã – "Jequitibá​-​eté," from Manso Queimor Dacordado (Black Metal – Independent). I'm not a man of may rules, but I do have one: If Caio Lemos touches a musical instrument then I'm going to be a fan. The man behind brilliant projects such as Kaatayra and Brii can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned and that's just that. Having said that in approaching this new collaborative project Vauruvã there was an element of trepidation, because it's not Lemos' singing featured here but that of Bruno Augusto Ribeiro. And at first I was like "Hey, that's not those harsh vocals I like!" mostly because Lemos' growl is so unique, so human. As his throat is breaking down each time he bellows into the mic. I love that. And Ribeiro's vocals are much more "together," more direct and cohesive. But then I kind of sat back and let the whole thing wash over me, and what I felt was that there was no other way this album could have sounded. That the combination between Ribeiro's harsh directness with Lemos' artistic curvatures was the stuff of absolute magic. And this without even addressing the beautiful tamer parts like the stunning "Baféu Vara Fronteiras" that put that much-needed vulnerability back on the table. This is magic, and not only is it that it might already be my favorite Lemos project since the Kaatayra debut, which is saying way more than I should. FFO: Kaatayra, Dawn, Krallice.

2. Knowledge Through Suffering – "Of Flesh," from Concealment (Death Metal – Brucia Records). The good people at Brucia keep on keepin' on, with time with a short but very sweet release from Italian one-man (!?) death-doom project K.T.S. A veritable cascade of fucking riffs in that HM-2 sawing style and a whole lot of pleasant twists and turns including some very tasteful doom interludes and atmospheres. Did not go into this expecting some of the best death-doom I've heard in a while but here we are. FFO: Paradise Lost, Kever, Entombed.

3. Lys – "Silent Woods," from Silent Woods (Atmospheric Black Metal – Avantgarde Music). The massive brain+heart combo that is responsible for the breathtaking Enisum is back with a new project. Which in itself is pretty great news. But the greater news (I have no idea if this makes grammatical sense) is that it's fucking awesome. Emotive, piercing, all-encompassing, all-devouring black metal. As ethereal and beautiful as it is fucking nasty. How great is that? FFO: Grima, Fen, Arx Atrata.

4. Serpent of the Abyss – "Sword of Hate and Glory," from Wrapped in Darkness (Raw Black Metal – Independent). How would you feel like if someone, a very talented someone, took that chaptic, lo-fi black metal sound that's been making the proverbial rounds these days and vomited it into the equally chaotic yet completely different realm of avant-garde, shape-shifting, manic black metal a-la Krallice or Serpent Column? You'd feel good about that, right? OK. Just asking. FFO: Summoning the devil with calculus.  

5. Sijjin – "Darkness on Saqqara," from Sumerian Promises (Death Metal – Sepulchral Voice Records). Sijjin's demo/EP was a great breath of nasty air back in 2019. A very Morbid Angel-esque death metal attack, weaved together with a bit of Near Eastern lore and nice production and tight performances. Well, it looks like the debut full-length from these talented Germans is continuing down that path, with an even stronger MA feeling, especially with the fullness of the production. There is something, however, to be said about choosing your influences well and executing some tight death metal so I'm pretty happy. FFO: Well, you know.

6. LLNN – "Division," from Unmaker (Hardcore/Post-Metal – Pelagic Records). Scions of the Converge-meets-ISIS school of insufferably heavy riffs these nice Danish lads are back with what seems like the attempt to be as heavy as humanly possible. And insufferable it would indeed be had it not been for their uncanny ability to know exactly when to let a "song" breathe a little. It's all a bit much, really, the noise, the volume, the emotion, on the verge of being excessive. But when a song is that good you just surrender, even if you wished they'd leave an inch of breathing room here and there. FFO: Converge, Amenra, NUR.

7. The Temple – "Hell Incarcerate," from The Temple (Black/Death Metal – Profound Lore Records). I'm feeling like waxing poetical for a moment, but I feel like doing something right is slowly becoming a kind of lost art. Maybe that's the way it has always been, that extremes drawn people in (I know they draw me in), and that there's a magic in being quirky or strange. I get that. But what about just, I don't know, writing a good song, performing it well, producing it in a way that allows it to breathe while enhancing it? Is that not cool anymore? Because I have a feeling this debut from NZ project The Temple is not going to get the kind of traction some other releases and that's a damn shame. Because it's done just right. I can inhale this shit all day. FFO: Vastum, Feather and Bone, Teitanblood.

8. Papangu – "São Francisco," from Holoceno (Avant-Garde Metal – Independent). There was some buzz (or the underground version of that, which means seeing it twice on social media or something) about this album a while back and I remember going to try it and feeling kind of weird and unimpressed. Well, that dude in the past is a fucking idiot, let me tell you as the dude in the future. It's fantastic. Wild, creative, so expertly written and done and what a great recording too. I hope they don't lose that organic, weird sound by the time they'll play Roadburn 2024. And they will. FFO: Oranssi Pazuzu, Deafkids, Rage Against the Machine.

9. Aristarchos – "Ascension II – He, I, & We Who Hath Traveled and Doth Avow," from Aristarchos (Black Metal – Vendetta Records). Listen. I mean. What. Come on. What is cosmic black metal, right? What is it? Is it black metal recorded in space? Is it black metal with a spaceship or collapsing star on its cover? Is it black metal by former cosmonauts? I don't know. I just know that this right here, this debut from who knows who is the dictionary fucking definition of whatever that shit is DONE RIGHT. Where is my new Void Omnia album? I don't know. But this will most certainly do for now. Holy damn hell, this is some of the best black metal all year. FFO: Void Omnia, Mare Cogitum, Vukari


ONE: Imperial Triumphant is apparently recording some new stuff. They're also releasing a new live album, pre orders here.

TWO: One of the cosmos' greatest bands, Plebeian Grandstand, is releasing a new album in November via Debemur Morti. Which is just fucking wild. Unreal. If you don't know, it's catch-up time

THREE: Drune, an incredible doom/stoner project from Colorado, of whose debut EP I have written enthusiastically here, are releasing a debut full-length and you can check out the first single here.

FOUR: I'm so stressed about work and doing shit on the site and family that my eye is bursting out in flames. Well, really just a little infection but fuck that shit. 

FIVE: Apparently there was a band a while back called Inside the Beehive that released one album back in 2011. I happened upon that album this week and it's one of the best modern mathcore things I've heard in a long time. Someone reissue this. A must for fans of anything from Botch to Fawn Limbs.

ONE LAST THING, PROMISE: The legends Borknagar are reissuing their masterful 1996 debut, and you need to get that shit