Global Music Podcast 08 – Best of 2020

Hosted by: Arelys Jimenez 0f Matianak

Setlist:

00:01:23 – Matianak – Black River Falls – https://www.facebook.com/MatianakOfficial/

Matianak is a black metal band from Chicago, IL that consist of pure imagery, visuals, and theatrical performances in capturing the audience to the minds of the psychotic and insane. Our songs are about real stories and pure insanity of the most psychotic people of the mentally unstable. Our music will possess you!


00:05:17 – And Oceans– Five Of Swords – https://www.facebook.com/andoceans

The year was 1995, the fumes of Scandinavian black metal was poisoning the air and the second wave of black metal had taken a new form. AND OCEANS emerged the scene with an exceptional and unique symphonic approach to the music. Still seeking the musical path to take, the Finns delivered a few demos before signing to Season of Mist 22 years ago.

At this point the band had already found its path to walk, shaping the music and lyrics away from the regular black metal outfits and topics with ambient parts and lyrics twisting the reality, using different languages and provoking and confusing both the media and fans.

1998 the debut album ‘The Dynamic Gallery of Thoughts’ received strong feedback in the media and the word got out in a fast pace, which lead to a split album ‘WAR’ with label mates BLOODTHORN; an album featuring new songs and covers. A new perplex album ‘The Symmetry of I, The Circle of O’ was already in the making and which in 1999 pushed the boundaries even further.

Entering the Abyss Studios with the Tägtgren brothers in 2000 changed the whole band once again. The album A.M.G.O.D. was musically very far from the early symphonic black metal delirium with its electronic post-modern approach.

After touring with MARDUK, MORTICIAN, VADER etc. the band re-entered the Abyss Studios to record a more of an elementary album featuring industrial and power electronics vibes. In 2002, when the last album ‘Cypher’ was released, the band had reached its full circle and decided to call it a day.

17 years later, and after many discussions and questioning, AND OCEANS decided to re-form for a couple of gigs with a few new members: Kauko Kuusisalo (AEGRUS, GLORIA MORTI, GOREPHILIA) on drums, Petri Seikkula (BAPTISM) and Antti Simonen (MORIAN, ALGHAZANTH) on keyboards. Seems like the era for AND OCEANS hadn’t come to an end after all. A new album is on the run, new performances are in the pipeline, a new deal with ‘already familiar’ Season of Mist has been signed – one could say they’re back.


00:10:29 – Earth Rot – Unravelling Vapour of Insanity – https://www.facebook.com/EarthRotband/

It’s not all prog that comes from the land down under! EARTH ROT; Australia’s blackened death metal machine, with an old-school undercurrent and a sense of grim relentless groove. It is hateful, harmful, sinister and melancholy noise, shaped by the world around you.

Since the inception in 2014, EARTH ROT have pulled no punches, recording, releasing and touring heavily across Australia, Asia and Europe with no intent of settling for anything less. Their debut album ‘Follow The Black Smoke’ was released in the same year, quickly followed by the ‘Chthonian Virtues’ EP (2016) and a second full length ‘Renascentia’ in 2017.

In the years after, the band embarked on heavy tours together with acts like FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, PSYCROPTIC, VADER and MARDUK, cultivating their sound in direct support of legends in the realms of black and death metal, around the world. The past five years has seen EARTH ROT quickly develop into a complex beast, dwelling in the deepest of pits. And this beast is ready to be released upon the masses.

With ‘Black Tides of Obscurity’, EARTH ROT portray the absurdity of life and reflects life’s journey which is often loaded with uncomfortable discoveries and unexplored drives & desires, contorting into spiraling madness. The new offering is letting you explore the reality of the new cosmic horror of human insignificance and the fragility of the mind…


00:15:47 – Carach Angren – Franckensteina Strataemontanus – https://www.carach-angren.nl/

The Dutch masters of horror are back with their most flamboyant album so far. On ‘Franckensteina Strataemontanus’, CARACH ANGREN resurrect the gruesome story of troubled soul ‘Conrad Dippel’; the inspiration of Mary Shelly’s novel ‘Frankenstein’.

CARACH ANGREN have extended all the sonic colours on their established palette to dazzling effect. Their trademark whipping guitars are weaving harsh melodies and sinister soundscapes, which are beautifully contrasted by opulent keyboards and majestic orchestrations. That Till Lindemann (RAMMSTEIN) and Peter Tägtgren (PAIN) have called upon the composition talent of Clemens “Ardek” Wijers is a telling sign of his outstanding mastery of the craft.

Another signatory counterpoint is provided by Seregor’s fierce rasping and shrieking vocals. Adding to the impact, Namtar has become a relentless driving force with his hart hitting yet intricate drumming. Each track on this album is a highlight on its own, while combined ‘Franckensteina Strataemontanus ‘ simply shines.

CARACH ANGREN set out to tell ghost-stories with a set of paranormal cases recorded on the demo ‘The Chase Vault Tragedy’ (2004). This was soon followed by the official release of the ‘Ethereal Veiled Existence’ EP (2005) as a prelude to the haunting ‘Lammendam’ (2008). The Dutch had a clear vision of combining a dark baroque style of metal with horror based lyrical concepts. Their sophomore full-length ‘Death Came through a Phantom Ship’ (2010) witnessed the band setting sail to bring their eccentric and capturing live performances to audiences and festivals all over Europe.

In the wake of third album ‘Where the Corpses Sink Forever’ (2012), the haunting had reached the Americas and started to spread rapidly. This record added a serious side to the lyrics of CARACH ANGREN.

While firmly remaining in the horror genre, their tales revolve around the evils of war. This mature streak was taken a step further with the fourth full-length ‘This Is No Fairytale’, which is on the surface a darker variation of the “Hansel and Gretel” story from the Brothers Grimm collection, but also deals with the too real topic of child abuse in a dysfunctional family. With ‘Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten’ (2017), the band returned to pure story telling with episodes that are centred on a girl playing a little too long with her Ouija board.

Now, CARACH ANGREN return with the monster ‘Franckensteina Strataemontanus’, where the Dutch have pushed their unashamedly theatrical style to a new intense height. You do not believe us yet? Press play and have your soul transferred with this new elixir of life!


00:18:50 – Midnight – Rebirth By Blasphemy – https://www.facebook.com/midnightviolators/

“‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ is a rebirth,” states Midnight’s sole driving force, Athenar. “It’s a change in life and it’s a rebirth of doing whatever the fuck you want and seeing what happens after that.

It’s about saying yes, taking opportunities, taking a fucking chance.” These sentiments are backed up by the notorious – and prolific – underground band’s trademark blend of speed metal, black metal and punk rock, sounding both fuller and more raucous than ever before. “Overall, I would say the sound is pretty vicious, vicious but I keep things hooky, and that’s what I like it to be. I want to still keep it raw but at the same time I wanted this record to be a little more hi-fi, which was my only plan when I started making it.”

Dating back to the band’s inception in 2002, vocalist/guitarist/bassist/drummer Athenar has always known exactly what he wanted Midnight to be, and over the course of countless demos, EPs, compilations, splits and three full-lengths he has stayed true to his roots. Building up a strong reputation and a rabid following in the underground, Midnight’s most recent opus, 2017’s Sweet Death And Ecstasy, stood as their most accomplished work to date. “Looking back on that record I think it’s a fantastic piece of work, really.

It’s pretty varied, it has a nice bookend front and back song. I think the lyrics are thought provoking, and I think it’ll be a pretty important piece of work over time, up there with the Mona Lisa.” Making the jump to Metal Blade Records did not mean any change in the way Athenar went about making Midnight records. “I never really thought about writing a follow up to ‘Sweet Death’. If a song comes it comes and where it goes is wherever it goes, but nothing is ever really intended as ‘this song will be on the new album’.”

There is also no denying that, like its predecessors, Rebirth By Blasphemy is a ruthlessly catchy collection, every song, vicious as they are, wielding the kind of hooks that sink deep and don’t let go, and this too came naturally. “There’s no real intent. I think a rock song in general should be catchy, so if someone thinks it’s catchy that’s a good thing. If they don’t think it’s catchy then they probably don’t have ears.”

While the likes of opener “Fucking Speed And Darkness”, “Escape The Grave” and “Warning From The Reaper” are all d-beat-driven thrashers, they don’t lack when it comes to hooks, and “Rising Scum”, built on a titanic stomping beat, reins in the speed but is easily one of the standout tracks on the record, Athenar referring to it as being “quite 1979 Priest-like, just with its drum and vocal.”

When it came to penning lyrics for the record, Athenar’s perspective shifted over the course of the writing process. “I would say I started out in a very positive frame of mind. One of the first tunes written was ‘Escape The Grave’, and from there I went on the positive path – and then it turned negative by the end of the album. The title track is very negative lyrically, so I ended it again with complete and utter disgust for humans in general, but then you want that to come out of you.

Just like you take a poop and you take a pee, you want the rotten shit to come out of your body, because if you keep the rotten shit in your body, it’ll rot you internally.” Handling every instrument himself and being quite unfussy when it comes to production typically means that the recording process is a straightforward one for Midnight, and this time was no different.

Staying in his home town of Cleveland he opted to record at Mercenary Studios with the assistance of Noah Buchanan, laying the drums down in a day, the guitars in a little more than that, bass in a few hours and then tracking the vocals to two or three songs a day, depending on how his voice was holding up.

“I think there’s really no production value on the album, it’s really just get in there, press record and see what happens. Maybe you can tell that the sessions went pretty quickly when you listen to it. There are so called mistakes, of course, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” He also wouldn’t have it any other way when it comes to touring this latest collection hard, with a lot of dates with a variety of bands already locked down. “It’s the rebirth, it’s saying fuck it and getting out there and doing what you’re supposed to do, and we’re supposed to play music. If people want to damage their ears by listening to it that’s welcomed.”


00:21:57 – Warbringer – The Black Hand Reaches Out – https://www.facebook.com/Warbringermusic

Weapons of Tomorrow is poised to be a new-age metal standard, thundering forward with modern influences while staying true to the unmistakable sound of WARBRINGER! The sixth studio album by the Californian thrash metal overlords will stir up the heavy metal scene with an impressive the ultimate headbanger anthem. Weapons of Tomorrow is thrash metal in a class of its own!balancing act between power, heavy and the finest thrash metal.

With insanely fast and brutal riffs, as soon as the dynamic, energetic opening track “Firepower Kills” begins, the listener is given a perfect impression as to where this beast of an album will lead them — crushing ears and minds from start to end! With John Kevill’s powerful voice and the furious riffage and grooves of his band, WARBRINGER embarks on a new level of metal while never losing their old school-inspired roots. One thing is for sure, tracks such as “The Black Hand Reaches Out” will become the ultimate headbanger anthem. Weapons of Tomorrow is thrash metal in a class of its own!


00:26:01 – Matianak – Voodoo Possession


00:31:52 – Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – The Renegade Son – https://www.facebook.com/rlhtband

France’s REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER rose from the shadows in 2013 with a massive self-titled album released through Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions. The band instantly imprinted its vision on the metal community: an epic blend of atmospheric black metal, sludge and death metal spreading out a dark universe inspired by the sacred scriptures.

In 2015, the second full length ‘Exile’ came out and intensified the quintet’s music, bringing in more extreme influences and developing a dramatic sense of narration through cunningly balanced songs.

REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER earned the respect from metal fans with intense and ritualistic live shows and the band’s mystic aura thrilled audiences at Hellfest, Roadburn Festival and Dour Festival. Performances at multiple clubs across Europe followed alongside DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT, YOB, ENSLAVED and AMENRA.

In 2020, the French band will return with the closing chapter of their trilogy, called ‘Ascension’. Continuing the narration after ‘Exile’, the record marks an end and a new beginning. Joining forces with Season of Mist for the release of this album, REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER herald a new era and a new order with their own fuse of black metal.

REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER deliver a unique creation about the most remarkable protagonists from the holy writings. All trapped by fate, the inevitable way to toward loss and defeat. All starts and all ends with a fall.


00:39:56 – Helfró – Avöxtur Af Rotnu Tré – https://www.facebook.com/HelfroIce/

Slithering in the cauldron that is the Icelandic black metal scene, HELFRÓ emerges with fury and competence rarely seen.

Written by Ragnar and arranged by Símon, a debut album has been recorded with unforgiving precision and profound musicianship. It is meant to channel the hopeless and empty feelings that have been concentrated from the frozen wastelands from which the band emerges.

Shrilling guitarwork and unforgiving blast beats weave together a soundscape that rarely leaves room for thought. It is an aural attack, seducing the listener to the barren and desolate black sands where the realization of futility and loneliness sets in heavier than anywhere else.

The band members, veterans in extreme music, have created this project as an audio representation of the endless arctic darkness, and with pride present the self titled first offering: „Helfró“.


00:44:23 – Tombs – Barren – https://www.tombscult.com/

There’s a line from Mike Hill’s audiobook/tour diary of ANODYNE’s 2004 European tour in which the gravel-throated frontman affirms, “I will always outwork you.” In that case, Hill was referring to an incident in Germany early on during a six-week long overseas jaunt with his previous band. In actuality, however, he could have been talking about any instance between when he first picked up a guitar as a teen and the present.

Whether it’s his history dating back to previous bands OTIS, ANODYNE, KING GENERATOR or VERSOMA, his ongoing solo work in VASILEK, the more recent SCORPION THRONE project or his thirteen year reign as the driving force and nerve center of post-black metal institution TOMBS, hard work is second nature and nothing will keep the guitarist/vocalist from creative endeavor and expression.

And it’s not just music in which his propulsive work ethic has gleaned results: Hill also is the CEO and roast master at Savage Gold Coffee (a labelling nod to TOMBS’ 2014 album of the same name), the host/producer/creator of the Everything Went Black podcast, host and producer of Gimme Radio’s Metal Matters flagship podcast, the creator and co-host of horror podcast Necromaniacs as well as a stalwart in the print and online journalism world covering music and MMA fighting.

His is, has been and always will be a life steeped in dedication and with unassailable drive in the cross hairs. And despite the world being put on pause, Hill refuses to curtail his innate determination and ongoing tenacity with the result being TOMBS emerging with the next chapter in its impressive catalog and growing legacy: the band’s fifth full-length, ‘Under Sullen Skies’.

“The week VERSOMA broke up in 2007, I started TOMBS,” he says, recalling how, characteristically, the band started before any dust was permitted to settle. “The initial rehearsals ended up being the bulk of material that showed up on the first [self-titled] EP. The intent from the beginning was to get back to playing music I wanted to hear and to not be so concerned with genre or satisfying anyone else’s desires. It was to do music on a personal level and be a reflection of the darkness I’ve felt throughout my life.”

Formed in the gritty corners of pre-gentrified Brooklyn, NY, TOMBS’ early mandate was steeped in the harshness and atonality of black metal but dosed with trace amounts of the varied influences and inspirations ingrained in Hill’s musical muscle memory by previous bands. “The canon of music TOMBS has created has spanned several different genres, but I’ve always had it my intent for there to always be a certain amount of violence and hardness lurking the background.”

Those early years delivered splits and singles, the highly revered ‘Winter Hours’ debut in 2009 and Decibel’s 2011 Album of the Year, ‘Path of Totality’. Never one to sit still, ‘Path of Totality’ was followed by appreciable and impressive amounts of touring in accordance with the lauding afforded by critics and fans and the braying of foes, which only served as fuel for Hill’s perseverance.

Savage Gold came three years later after which a restless Hill began nudging TOMBS’ black metal base into territories populated by gothic and death rock artists like FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM and SISTERS OF MERCY as well as avant-garde purveyors Caspar Brotzmann and Live Skull while never forgetting – or being able to – scrape the grime of NYC from under his fingernails. The addition of a second guitar and live keyboards/samples brought a fuller sound and allowed noise sequences and soundscapes to be brought to the live show.

It was around the time of 2016 ‘All Empires Fall’ EP that TOMBS punctuated its iconoclastic spirit and thought process. Despite then-being part of the Relapse Records family, the band struck out with the intent of self-releasing the EP in order to retain as much independence as contractual obligations would allow – retaining the digital and publishing rights while eventually licensing the record back to Relapse.

A one album stint in 2017 under the Metal Blade banner birthed ‘The Grand Annihilation’ into the world where TOMBS took broader and more daring steps into buffering black metal with morose melody, sullen death rock and classic METALLICA chugging. Following a parting from Metal Blade, the band – now completed by drummer Justin Spaeth, guitarist Matt Medeiros and bassist Drew Murphy, who are also 3/4ths of New Jersey death metal crew KALOPSIA – quickly found a home on Season of Mist and issued the ‘Monarchy of Shadows’ EP literally a week before the world went into Coronavirus lockdown.

“The original strategy assumed we would be on the road for most of 2020,” says Hill with a lamenting laugh. “We had a sick tour with Napalm Death planned right after the EP’s release. We were going to record the new full-length before the tour and have it come out in the fall. There was all kinds of tour talk and plans and 2020 would have been a tour-de-force of TOMBS activity in the United States and Europe. Obviously, none of that is happening, but we’re still going ahead with the record.”

Of course they are. Throw a hurdle in front of Mike Hill and he’ll never shy at rolling up his sleeves and taking on the challenge. Even with the world in shutdown mode, Hill is still brimming with enthusiasm about the input and work ethic of the current TOMBS lineup and how Spaeth, Mederios and Murphy stepped up to the plate in the creation of ‘Under Sullen Skies’.

“Everyone contributes on this record and the door has always been open for others to do so. There has always been this misconception that I’m some sort of tyrant always telling people what to do and play. The fact of the matter is that most of the time I outwork people; that’s just the way I am. No one is ever going to outwork me on any level in any area of my life and I was always coming up with material.

Now, I have these maniacs in the band who are equally motivated and there’s a whole new life injected into TOMBS. That’s awesome and I love it. These days we’ll try anything and we actually write stuff and throw it out because it’s not perfect. It’s more like a writing committee, which I really appreciate. It’s not just me writing everything. It’s a big difference from ‘The Grand Annihilation’ which was basically a solo record.”

‘Under Sullen Skies’ is this lineup’s second kick at twisting black metal’s DNA around dank emotional corners, psychological turmoil and the urban underbelly all of which is unavoidably coloured and touched by the present-day status of life on this here Earth.

“The album’s title came during all this and the sort of post-apocalyptic world we’re living in,” Hill explains. “It encapsulates an overall feeling of gloom and depression which is pretty much how we’ve been living for most of this year. The title was the last piece to fall into place. I remember standing on the roof of the building I was living in at the time on a grey day and it was raining – actually, it wasn’t even raining; it was a half-assed attempt at rain! – and depressing and I just thought, ‘What a sullen sky’ and it just stuck with me.”

The album starts with “Bone Collector,” a furious blast of melodic black metal that shifts gears towards an anthemic fist-pumping slog through the goth rock-thrash metal VENN DIAGRAM. “Void Constellation” takes as many cues from Peaceville Three gloom and doom as it does the death metal stomp of OBITUARY and INCANTATION. “Descensum” mines the various well-worn parts of Ride the Lightning for influence before blasting the doors open with some startlingly spacious chromatic single-note atonality.

As the album progresses, further textures and moods are employed via acoustic instrumentation and keyboards as well as sampled soundscapes all butting heads with furious second wave black metal and sly to nods to death rock heroes SISTERS OF MERCY and FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM, all of the band’s motivations and interests being dropped into the chameleonic pair of tracks closing the album, “Sombre Ruin” and the appropriately titled “Plague Years.”

“‘Barren’ stands out as the song that’s most collaborative,” notes Hill. “Justin wrote the bulk of the riffs on that one, that sort of NWOBHM/SCORPIONS ending part is something I came up with, Matt added a bunch of guitar harmonies over it and Drew’s bass is laid thick underneath. That one is one of the biggest group efforts and one of the strongest songs on the record.

“I explore a lot of the archetypes that are used in folklore on this record, like werewolves and vampires which I’ve always been interested in, and on a song like ‘Secrets of the Black Sun’ I talk about the finite nature of our time on this planet, that nothing is really permanent and being aware of that whether as an individual or as a civilization, which I guess fits in with the pandemic and the changes that are going on. There are all kinds of other people, civilizations and creatures that have come and gone long before us and if you think about it over a long enough time span, everyone’s life expectancy goes down to zero.”

The new album not only sees Hill expanding his creative and collaborative comfort zone by wholly embracing the offerings of his band mates, but he’s also let down the drawbridge to allow folks from beyond the immediate TOMBS family to include what he describes as “mad guest spots.”

“There’s Cat Cabral, who does the spoken word piece on ‘Angel of Darkness.’ She’s not a musician per se; she’s more from the occult and witchcraft world. I’ve been friends with her for a really long time and she’s a great resource for esoteric knowledge. She’s also an actress who has done plays and commercials and been in films, so I figured she’d be the perfect person to deliver dialogue in an emotionally deep way, and be good at taking direction.

Ray Suhy from SIX FEET UNDER rips the guitar solo in ‘Barren’ and that solo is its own masterpiece, in my opinion. BLACK CROWN INITIATE and former TOMBS live guitarist Andy Thomas contributed a guitar solo in ‘Void Constellation.’ Todd Stern from PSYCROPTIC plays the solo in ‘Mortem.’ Sera Timms from IDES OF GEMINI and BLACK MATH HORSEMAN does guest vocals on ‘Secrets of the Black Sun.’

We’ve got INTEGRITY’s Dwid Hellion singing the chorus on ‘The Hunger’ and BLACK ANVIL’s Paul Delaney also doing a couple of verses on ‘Angel of Darkness.’ So, yeah, there are a bunch of people on there and it’s like a community effort which I enjoy. I like involving people I respect and having them be a part of the whole thing.”

After spending his entire adult life navigating the pitfalls and pratfalls of the industry for expressive and creative opportunity, Hill has amassed an impressive legacy, one that ‘Under Sullen Skies’ contributes to admirably and irreverently. Like most, the extreme music underground lifer and veteran is probably justified in approaching the future with very muted optimism, but while the world works at screwing its head back on straight, Hill is going to do what he wants to do as well as he possibly can.

Uncertainty may reign at the moment, but Hill and TOMBS are still going to do their thing and will be content to please themselves in the process. If anyone else happens to be along for the ride, then welcome aboard.

“’Under Sullen Skies’ is a dark and introspective album,” he asserts. “It’s not a happy record that anyone is going to use to get pumped up on a Friday night. We wanted to pull out the stops, go full-on and make a nice body of work. I could care less if anyone likes the band or not because I’ve been through so many ups and downs with this thing that I don’t give a fuck if people enjoy the music.

I know I like it, I know the guys in the band like it and we’re just rocking and rolling. This record and the EP came out about as close as I could imagine to what I have in my brain about how this band should sound. The whole trajectory of the band has had each record never quite hitting, but ‘Monarchy of Shadows’ and ‘Under Sullen Skies’ have both really come out how I envisioned the songs to be.”


00:49:58 – Audn – ljóstyra – https://www.facebook.com/audnofficial

As the country’s vibrant black metal scene has proven, Iceland can be a beautiful and sinister place where furious elements rage teaching fear but also inspiring human creativity. Emphasizing melodies rather than dissonance and approaching their music from a dramatic, classical black metal angle, AUÐN deliver another mesmerizing piece of art with ‘Vökudraumsins fangi’.

Hailing from the village of Hveragerði in the south of Iceland, AUÐN deliver haunting melodies and beautifully frozen atmospheres – as opposed to the jarring and caustic blunt force trauma that has brought this remote place in the Northern Atlantic to the black metal forefront.

Founded in 2010, AUÐN’s talent was quick to be recognized. After the release of the self-titled debut, the band got invited to Iceland’s main metal event, the Eistnaflug Festival. They participated and won the local Wacken Metal Battle contest in 2016, while making it to the top three during the infamous Wacken Open Air festival itself. Shows at the prestigious Inferno and Roadburn festivals followed in 2017.

The second full-length, ‘Farvegir Fyrndar’ was released in November 2017, continuing the band’s fast ascent. Highly praised by the international metal press, the sophomore record reached back to a more classic second-generation black metal approach combined with a sense of elegance and melancholy that one can feel while dwelling among the bleak, extraordinary landscapes of the island.

The Icelanders embarked on European tours with label mates GAAHL’S WYRD in 2017 and THE GREAT OLD ONES (2017 and 2018) and captivated festival audiences at the biggest European fests, such as Copenhell, Summer Breeze Open Air, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Roskilde, Eindhoven Metal Meeting and more.

Returning with ‘Vökudraumsins fangi’, AUÐN explore new soundscapes and push their music to new heights, thereby setting themselves further apart from their Icelandic contemporaries. The six piece draws inspirations from their natural surroundings, but also chart the territory of the mind. The album title literally translates to ‘prisoner of the daydream’, but rather refers to a perpetual state of delusion of a life that never took place.

Join AUÐN while traversing the blurred lines between reality and the supernatural and the otherworldly sceneries of their native Iceland.


00:55:56 – Carnation – Sepulchre Of Alteration – https://www.carnationband.com/

Embrace the new death metal overlords and their second full length ‘Where Death Lies’! CARNATION equals blistering and crushing death metal madness and, with this new chapter, return with relentless destruction and greater punishment than ever before.

Early 2013, guitar player Jonathan Verstrepen created the band to show his appreciation for the old school death metal legends from the ‘80s & early ‘90s. Vocalist Simon Duson, bass player Yarne Heylen, guitar player Bert Vervoort, and drummer Vincent Verstrepen were summoned to complete the band, and it didn’t take long until the chemistry between this quintet hit critical mass.

The Belgian’s first EP offering, entitled ‘Cemetery of the Insane’, was released upon the masses in 2015 . Tracks such as “Explosive Cadavers” or “The Rituals of Flesh” take you back in time to the better days of shredding riffs, neck-breaking drums, and skull-crushing guttural vocals.

The live rituals that followed were executed with stone cold merciless aggression. CARNATION delivered their bloodbath at select festivals across Europe during 2015 and 2016. Their next journey led them to distant Asia for their first tour across mainland Japan. This resulted in the infamous ‘Live at Asakusa Deathfest’ album, which saw the light in (2017).

These releases, combined with their reputation as a notoriously impressive live act, drew the attention of fans worldwide and provided CARNATION with the opportunity to perform at several European festivals and saw the band touring alongside PESTILENCE during their special Brazilian tour in April 2018. After signing with Season of Mist in 2018, CARNATION welcomed new and loyal audiences to death’s domain and invited them to witness them rise to their throne!

CARNATION rage on in 2019 with more spectacular live shows at 70.000 Tons of Metal, Alcatraz (BE) and Damnation Festival (UK), as part of their touring rampage throughout Japan and Europe (with PUNGENT STENCH and DESERTED FEAR), before entering the studio for the recordings of a brand new album. The mastering for the new offering was done by the mighty Jens Bogren (SEPULTURA, ENSLAVED, ARCH ENEMY) at the Fascination Street Studios in Örebro (SE).

With ‘Where Death Lies’ a new chapter of abhorrence now begins and opens up a hellish path to resurrection, reincarnation, and immortality. You wanted death? CARNATION is here with a superior appearance performing new rituals in service of ancient deities. All hail the new death metal overlords!


01:00:25 – Mörk Gryning – A Glimpse Of The Sky – https://www.facebook.com/morkgryningband/

MÖRK GRYNING was founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 1993 by Goth Gorgon and Draakh Kimera. The debut album “Tusen År Har Gått” (1995), was recorded at Unisound Studios, produced by Dan Swanö and released by No Fashion.

The group returned to action in November 1996, working at Sunlight Studios together with Tomas Skogsberg and DISMEMBER’s Fred Estby to craft the “Return Fire” record. This album would include their interpretation of SLAYER’s “Necrophiliac”.

Returning in 2000 along with guitarist Avathar, a scene veteran, the band wrote “Maelstrom Chaos” at the legendary Grieghallen Studios Bergen, Norway. In January of 2004, MÖRK GRYNING cut their rendition of “Neverwhere” for an AT THE GATES tribute album “Slaughterous Souls – A Tribute To At The Gates” released through Drowned Scream Records.

Ever since the debut album, “Tusen år har gått…”, MÖRK GRYNING have refused to follow in the footsteps of others and have walked their own paths – something which is made very clear on the 2003 release “Pieces of Primal Expressionism”, an experimental and heavy progressive release recorded at Dug out, produced by Daniel Bergstrand. After a couple of years of touring and festival performances, the band was put on-hold.

Returning to the scene again in 2017, the band performed an exclusive live show in Stockholm playing all the songs from the debut album and some other songs from the back catalogue. This ended in releasing the 4-song live record called “Live at Kraken”.


01:03:24 – Gaerea – Null – https://www.facebook.com/gaerea/

Something rises in the bleak and blackened skies of society as we know it. Vortex community GAEREA are about to bestow their Undying Sigil to the masses, with their brand-new full length ‘Limbo’!

GAEREA is a black metal quintet from Portugal. Emerging in the beginning of 2016, the band released their first (self-titled) EP on November 11, 2016 through Everlasting Spew Records. The EP received many praises from the worldwide press, and it was not long before the first full length “Unsettling Whispers” (2018) was presented.

With that, GAEREA had the pleasure to perform and tour festivals in Europe and China, including performances with Jupiterian in April 2019 and a headlining Chinese tour in May 2019. The band already performed at festivals like SWR Barroselas Metalfest (PT), De Mortem et Diabolum (DE), Throne Fest (BE), Frantic Fest (IT), Eresia Metal Fest (IT), Amplifest (PT) and many more. During the fall of 2019, the band did an extensive tour with label mates NUMENOREAN under the Doomstar Bookings wing throughout Europe.

Are you finally ready for the tale of the Fallen Society and the journey to the vast Void, the only good in Life? Let us begin then. In the first hopeless circle, on too great and Undeniable Nothingness. WE ARE GAEREA.

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