Album Review

Fatalism – Mystery Of Death (Eternal Death, 2014)

fatalism - mystery of death album cover
FatalismIsabelle (Eternal Death)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Holy fuck this is some next level shit. Debut record from this duo featuring members of One Master and Morgirion playing some heavy dreamy gloom, mixing up elements of black metal, shoegaze, darkwave, and doom, giving it a (high) potential of sounding bland or generic but comes out sounding wholly unique and goddamn perfect. Just 4 songs, but each one fucking rocks, with echoing unintelligible vocals that blur into a hypnotic chant, this stuff is bleak, hard, and somehow still kinda catchy, ethereal buzzing guitars drifting through foggy cemeteries and then BAM a wall of blast beats to crush your soul, this burrows deep into your subconscious similar to that Charnel House’s Black Blood from last year, but this gets way more rowdy. Seriously, this is a killer fucking record. Hits all the right spots. Definitely keep an eye on this band.

Album Review

Grue – Casualty Of The Psychic Wars (Eternal Death, 2013)

grue - casualty of the psychic wars album cover
GrueCasualty Of The Psychic Wars (Eternal Death)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


There’s not a ton of black metal bands in the Boston area, lots of other metal/hardcore stuff, but for the most part it’s not black enough for my tastes, so when one comes my way, obviously I’m gonna rep em. Enter Grue, who as far as I know, have only put out one release, a split with Word Of Unmaking, prior to this debut full length. That split was good stuff but they fuckin bring it on Casualty Of The Psychic Wars, fast & furious wreckage that’s clean and surprisingly well produced for something that could have easily been another demo lost in the void. These dudes tear shit up, starting out non-fucking-stop, then scaling back to a slow doomed middle and bringing it back to full fledged chaos by the end, it’s cold, brutal, and bleak as hell. And yeah since they’re from Boston a little hardcore seeps in, and while I’m really not into that sorta thing, Grue truly make it work, the vocalist not taking the usual screechy demon/cookie monster route and instead just letting loose a beastly yell, lyrically diving into HP Lovecraft territory, and getting kinda weird instrument-wise, with maybe some synths or something, not sure, definitely not your run of the mill black metal, they manage to show off their inspirations & influences, taking cues from death metal, post black metal, and whatever else without sounding like a generic hodge-podge of watered down misanthropy, they fucking own it, and they’ve only got one full length under their belt. Just you wait.


hell - iii album cover contest

Hell’s epic trilogy has sadly come to an end, but holy motherfuck what an end it is. III is pretty much everything you’d want in a doom record, mournful guitars bookending both side long pieces of pure devastation, a bleak blackened fury, nightmarish and fucking massive.

The record got the usual luxe treatment from Pesanta Urfolk, nice thick black/blood red vinyl with a large fold-out poster and an insert. Only 472 copies made and already sold out from both the band and the label. The whole thing is streaming on Hell’s Bandcamp, so feel free to scope it out before entering the contest.

To enter, just send an email to by the end of Friday. If you win, you’ll be the gloomiest kid in town.


Black (Metal) Mixmas IV

black metal mixmas iv album cover

In a year where extreme metal sub-genres coalesced into a homogenized pile of badass, black metal stood its ground like a bleak beacon, giving us some of the truest & weirdest records the genre has seen in a while. This mix takes tracks from my favorite black metal records that came out this year (two, Mare & Dressed In Streams, compiled tracks from previous now-unavailable releases). Last year’s Volume III was a 3 parter, so it only made sense to make Volume IV a 4 parter, each the appropriate length of a mix to burn onto a CD if you so desire.

Each part has been vaguely divided into traditional raw (parts 1 & 2), post (part 3), and experimental (part 4). And I thought that since there’s a ton of songs here (54!) and that one of my favorite records didn’t make this mix because the tracks were too long, I’d give you an actual Top Black Metal list. I wrote about most, but not all of these records. I linked to the reviews when applicable.

So here’s my favorite 2013 black metal records and a 4 hour 22 minute mix of the raddest heaviness you’ll hear this year. It should keep you company during this overly joyful season. I’ll see you next year.


Top 15 Black Metal Records Of 2013
15. Aosoth – IV: Arrow In Heart (Agonia)
14. Mord’A'Stigmata – Ansia (Pagan Records)
13. Gris – À L’Âme Enflammée, L’Äme Constellée (Sepulchral Productions)
12. Leucosis – Leucosis (self released)
11. Ruin Lust – Ruin Lust (Psychic Violence)
10. Loss Of Self – Twelve Minutes (The Flenser)
9. Mare – Spheres Like Death / Throne Of The Thirteenth Witch (Terratur Possessions)
8. Fell Voices – Regnum Saturni (Gilead Media)
7. Charnel House – Black Blood (Sygil)
6. Spektr – Cypher (Agonia)
5. Hope Drone – Hope Drone (OSCL)
4. Surachai – Embraced (self released)
3. Rorcal – Világvége (Cal Of Ror / SickManGettingSick / Lost Pilgrims / Wolves & Vibrancy)
2. Cultes Des Ghoules – Henbane (Hells Headbangers)
1. Paysage D’Hiver – Das Tor (Kunsthall)


Download Black (Metal) Mixmas IV

Part 1
Blut Der Nacht – No Hope To See The Light Of A New Day (from Sargnagel)
Sun Worship – Castle High (from Surpass Eclipse)
Wulkanaz – Paraskaiwe Paúrpurôn (from Paúrpura Fræovíbôkôs)
Galdr – Oath Of Blood (from Ancient Light Of The Stars)
Ruin Lust – Primal Vision (from Ruin Lust)
Arckanum – Spell (from Fenris Kindir)
Wild’s Reprisal – The Broken Circle (from Defiance Enthroned)
Black Cilice – Astral Cipher (from Summoning The Night)
Tukaaria – Chasms In Creation (from Raw To The Rapine)
Nightrite – Black Moon Rituals (from Black Moon Rituals)
Atvm – 8,000,000,000 Years And Counting (from Natura Naturata)
Frozen Ocean – Vanviddsang II (from Vanviddsanger)
Mord’A'Stigmata – Praefatio Pro Defunctis (from Ansia)

Part 2
Hexer – I:III (from Hexer)
Stilla – Tidlösa Vindar (from Till Stilla Falla)
Cara Neir – Closing Doors (from Portals To A Better, Dead World)
Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult – The Eviscerator (from Necrovision)
Mare – Nachmahrwalzer – Invocation Of The Succubus (from Spheres Like Death / Throne Of The Thirteenth Witch)
Shadows Of The Fallen – Monotheist (from Monotheist)
Aosoth – Temple Of Knowledge (from IV: Arrow In Heart)
Lonesummer – The Destruction Of Words (from Planning For Burial / Lonesummer Split)
Smorg – Moonlight Eternity (from A Morbid Chapter)
Nuclear Corpse – Infernal Legions (from Infernal Legions)
Naaghan – Bloodlust (from Demo)
Manii – Liv-Øydar (from Kollaps)
Leucosis – Aponea (from Leucosis)

Part 3
Hope Drone – Advent (from Hope Drone)
Dressed In Streams – Deep Saffron (from Dressed In Streams)
Redwood Hill – September (from Descender)
Misery – II (from Melancolie)
Clouds Collide – Deathless (from Until The Wind Stops Blowing…)
So Hideous – Rhapsody (from Last Poem/First Light)
Loss Of Self – Paradise Overgrown (from Twelve Minutes)
Panopticon – Eulogy (from Vestiges / Panopticon Split)
L’Homme Éléphant – Mist (from L’Homme Éléphant II)
Ov Hollowness – Grey (from The World Ends)
Súl Ad Astral (The Clenching Void (from Súl Ad Astral)
Life Has No Meaning – Faced With My Own Demise (from Demo)
Ragana – Curved Grass (from Unbecoming)
Cosmic Church – Näkyjä Indigolähteeltä (from Ylistys)

Part 4
Earthenwomb – Miser’s Blade (from Ninjas For Hire / Earthenwomb Split)
Peste Noire – La Blonde (from Peste Noire)
Botanist – Arboreal Gallows (Mandragora I) (from IV: Mandragora)
Gris – Dil (from À L’Âme Enflammée, L’Äme Constellée)
Spektr – Antimatter (from Cypher)
Charnel House – Once Upon A Dream (from Black Blood)
Servile Sect – Evoke (from Glowing)
Cultes Des Ghoules – Festival Of Devotion (from Henbane)
Ihsahn – Tacit 2 (from Das Seelenbrechen)
Oranssi Pazuzu – Tyhjä Temppeli (from Valonielu)
Rorcal – II (from Vilagvege)
Trist – Květy Snových Dálek (from Večerní Samoty)
Sutekh Hexen – …Of Emanation (from Monument Of Decay)
Surachai – Surrender (from Embraced)


Dark Cloud Rising

I couldn’t just do a Halloween special on AGB Radio (tonight from 7-9 EST on!), I had to make a creep filled mix especially for you guys. However you party, this will be the perfect score for your Halloween.
Dark Cloud Rising
1. Mississippi Fred McDowell – Dark Cloud Rising
2. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
3. Wilt – She Walks The Night
4. The Sensational Whirlwinds – (Make Old) Satan Leave Me Alone
5. Have A Nice Life – The Parhelic Circle
6. Wreck & Reference – Abhorrence
7. Angelo Badalamenti & David Lynch – Owl Cave
8. Florida-Alabama Progressive Seven-Shape-Note Singing Convention – God’s Gonna Set The World On Fire
9. Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – Maximum Black
10. The Angelic Process – Welcome To Oblivion
11. John Carpenter – The Fog
12. Lonnie Johnson – Lonesome Ghost Blues
13. Jasper TX – Black Sleep Part IV
14. Robert Johnson – Hellhound On My Trail
15. Avgrunden – The Gate Of A Hundred Sorrows
16. Rev. I. B. Ware – I Wouldn’t Mind Dying
17. Empire Auriga – Waiting For The Fall
18. The Pod – Collecting Dust

CONTEST: Win Rorcal’s Világvége On Vinyl

rorcal - vilagvege contest
Rorcal’s Világvége is so fucking amazing, I need to make sure at least one of you guys has a copy. So I’m gonna give one away.

WIN IT: Show me your best bunny. Cute ones, disapproving ones, big ones, tiny ones, floppy ones, sassy ones… draw it, find a picture, take a picture, I don’t care, just give me bunnies. Comment on this post with a link to the bunny image of your choosing before Sunday, 4/14, at midnight/11:59 pm, and you might win a copy of the best metal record this year.

RULES: Multiple submissions are welcome & encouraged but probably won’t increase your chances of winning. Who knows, though.

Gifs are great, videos are not.

If you find a great bunny online, you get extra points if I haven’t seen it before (heads up, I’ve seen a lot of bunnies in my internetting).

No real-life sad bunnies. Fake sad bunnies (like this guy) are totally ok.

Make sure when commenting you use an email I can contact you at if you win. Don’t worry, it won’t be published with your comment.
And just fyi, Világvége‘s jacket & sleeve have a slight crease in one of the corners (it arrived that way). It could probably get flattened out over time, though. Just some minor cosmetic stuff that I felt you should know about.

Show me some good bunnies yall.

Album Review

Rorcal – Világvége (Cal Of Ror / SickManGettingSick / Lost Pilgrims / Wolves & Vibrancy, 2013)

rorcal - vilagvege album cover
RorcalV (Cal Of Ror / SickManGettingSick / Lost Pilgrims / Wolves & Vibrancy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This has been playing non-stop ever since I found it a couple months ago. Totally fucking relentless black metal with heavy doses of doom, death metal, post-hardcore, and whatever other heavy as fuck metal you want to throw in there, Rorcal are raining devastation through the whole record. The only times they let up on this are the atmospheric intro and two short & dramatic operatic interludes, other than that, this is a total fucking onslaught similar to Portal’s black/death brutality. And motherfuck this is as heavy as it gets, black as hell, yeah, but every time they change time signatures they rupture another organ, every blast beat followed by a sludgy lurch gives you another concussion, and the vocals are like a black metal Scott Kelly, screaming like his vocal chords are getting torn out of his throat, the dense guitars almost going post black metal but lacking the beauty, instead just giving you a grisly impenetrable wall of apocalyptic loud as fuck that honestly feels like the best fucking thing I’ve ever heard. As awesome as it gets. Hands down one of my favorite metal records. Super super limited, only 333 copies pressed (and some tapes too but I don’t know how many) with a jacket that has the title die cut out. So sexy.

Concert Review

Raspberry Bulbs, Alberich, Salvation, Pharmakon at Castlebar

Presented by Ride The Snake Records and Existence Establishment.
More photos on Flickr.




Raspberry Bulbs


Black (Metal) Mixmas III

This is the third installment of Black (Metal) Mixmas. The “Metal” is in parentheses because I hoped to make the Black Mixmas/Black Christmas pun a tad more obvious and because this isn’t entirely black metal. There’s some black doom, black noise, black ambient, etc. But it’s primarily black metal so don’t lose your shit if you’re a purist.

Speaking of which, this here’s a three parter, and each part has its own aesthetic. Part I starts off with your more straightforward black metal. It’s still raw and brootal and super awesome, just not too many bells & whistles. Part II gets a bit more melodic and moves towards some of that shoegazey post-etc stuff. Part III (my personal favorite) gets totally fucked up and brings in the twisted shit, extra raw, extra noisy, extra extraordinary. Each part stands on its own as a killer mix but back to back to back they make the biggest most badass black metal adventure you’ve ever been on.

As with everything else on this site, I tend to give priority to the under-represented and pass over the more high profile bands. That means as amazing as Ash Borer and Panopticon are, they don’t need to be here. But tons of awesome blackened shit came out this year that wasn’t on Profound Lore and in fact is available for free/name your price downloads on Bandcamp. I linked to all the ones I knew about but dig around and you might find some more. Also, everything on this mix (except Esequiem’s track) came out in 2012, so consider this the unofficial AGB Best Of Black Metal list.

I’m taking an AGB vacation for the holidays starting now. If I’m not back before the new year, I’ll be back after the new year. These 3+ hours of depravity should keep you sane until then.

Download Black (Metal) Mixmas III

Part I
1. Aven – The Last Thought Of Judas
2. Kaevum – La Mitt Rike Komme
3. WORT – plumplestiltskib (download)
4. Mgła – With Hearts Toward None V
5. Pendulum – Le Verre
6. Klor – Helmet Overgrown With Weeds
7. Alkerdeel – Horsesaw
8. Larvae – Cold Dead Face (download)
9. Jute Gyte – The Cry Essaying The Waters (download)
10. Lucifugum – Щелочь антинатализма
11. Obolus – Desolation (download)
12. Permafrost – Ende
13. Esequiem – An Old Castle In The Fog

Part II
1. Vattnet Viskar – Weakness
2. Aegrotum – Thy Perdition Manifest
3. El-Ahrairah – Drown Alone
4. Loss Of Self – The Mind; It’s Form And Function (download)
5. FIN – Insignia (download)
6. Aisuragua – A Mirror Reflecting The Silence
7. Ragana – Burning Structures (download)
8. Rhinocervs – Untitled (track 1 from RH-12)
9. Hordes – The Darkest Conjuration (download)
10. Infinitas – Immerwährende Nächte
11. Daughters Of Sophia – III: Black Sun Enlightment
12. Seirom – Strands Of Golden Light

Part III
1. Sutekh Hexen – Lead Us In Warfare
2. Mhönos – Ex Nihilo… Ad Nihilum…
3. Funeral Depression – Visions Of Broken Life
4. Misery – Sous L’égide Des Martyrs (download)
5. Gates – Forest Passageway, Hallway to the Void
6. OEDE – 8063 (download)
7. Затухание – зора утихает (download)
8. Dead Times & TRTRKMMR – An Appendectomy
9. Trepaneringsritualen – All Hail The Black Flame
10. Cloak Of Altering – Ancient Paths Through Timeless Voids
11. Immaculate Paragon Of Insanity – Invaders From Darkness
12. Venowl – Hung Alive By The Ribs To A Gallows

Technical Note: Затухание’s whole album is way loud, like, louder than anything else on this mix. I tried to tone it down in Audacity but I’m not totally sure how that worked out. So just beware. When that track comes on, you might shit yourself.

Album Review

Venowl – Gnawed Gristle And Bone (Ominous Silence, 2012)

Venowl – Gnawed Gristle And Bone (Ominous Silence)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

These dudes already put out one of the most visceral black metal/doom records this year, Patterns Of Failure (sold out quick and already in its second run), and they’ve decided to drop another brutal bomb as this Gnawed Gristle And Bone EP. A single 20+ minute track of pure fucking hell, these guys conjure Khanate and The Body but add up to something uniquely bleak, coming from the depths of demon’s dungeons, tortured howling, vocals that can only be screeched with a throat full of blood, monstrous drums keeping the perfect bangability, atonal lurch, scratched grit guitars, prolonged buzzing feedback, and bass that will rupture your skull and tear your house down, this is the blackest doom you can imagine, disgusting & depraved, disastrous & devastating, a true horror. If this doesn’t fill your nightmare niche, you’ve got some problems dude.

Album Review

Ragana – All’s Lost (self released, 2012)

RaganaB.N.F. (self released)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Two ladies from Washington that bring some serious fucking heaviness. Not sure if there’s a scene over there where this type of insanity is the norm and I just haven’t heard it yet, but All’s Lost is impossible to peg. They’re doing something totally original and it’s the fucking best. Some sort of black sludgy screamo garage that just melts my heart. Sweet hooks & melodies run through a fuzz filter, blistering screams, massive riffs next to atmospheric tremolo, blast beats forgone for everything but, depressing lyrics and a permeating darkness to knock it out of the park. Not really weird on a song by song basis but put together this is a wholly twisted beast. Best of all it’s cheap as shit. Digital is PWYW, tapes or CDs a mere $5, and they have some killer shirts for the same amount. I fuckin love these guys. Now just gimme some vinyl.

Album Review

Blood Folke – Blood Folke (Small Doses, 2011)

Blood FolkeWinter’s Summer (Small Doses)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Their name’s a bit misleading. No folke here. No black folk either. Nothing folky at all. Maybe some blood if that’s your thing. These guys are a trio from Minnesota playing a strange and totally fucking awesome blend of doom & black metal, with some post rock climaxes thrown in for extra epic points. Instead of the usual guitar/bass/drums setup, though, they’ve ditched the bass for a viola, so, wow. It’s the best. It adds to the heaviness in its own way, giving me a neo-classical noir vibe, except when those strings are crying out like some DSBM howls, which is weird as fuck and 100% welcomed. The vocalist doubles up with bear-like growls and throaty mumbles while shredding his axe, teaming with the viola creating melodic crescendo blasts and discordant blackboard screeching, and the drummer is destroying his kit when things get locked down, a massive doom groove that just doesn’t let up. The whole thing is dark and supremely fucking heavy, blacking out the sky and reigning its twisted doom over your wretched soul. Truly great stuff here and for $8 it’s a goddamn steal.

Album Review

Dead Times / TRTRKMMR Split (Aum War, 2011)

Dead Times & TRTRKMMRAn Appendectomy (Aum War)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Holy fuck. How has this been out for almost a year and had barely any press? This is insane. Both of these dudes are going to be on everyone’s radar pretty soon. Dead Times is currently Steven Vallot’s solo thing, he also runs Aum War, did some vocals on The Body’s All The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood and occasionally played with them live. Lee Buford (drummer for The Body) used to be involved until The Body relocated South. TRTRKMMR is a solo thing for Brad Dumville, who was the vocalist for the tragically disbanded Otesanek). So, wow, lots of awesome already bundled up in this split and they’re unbelievably perfect to share some vinyl space together.

But it’s something bigger than the sum of its parts. This split is unholy, pure black and twisted as fuck. A potently caustic black noise with a lots of doom & gloom, industrial & power electronics, and even some melodic synthy organ & bell sounds, like a funereal black pop à la The Mausoleums except way less golden. Tons of samples that talk about redemption & homicide & shit making this creepy as hell. Absolute chaos with plodding crumbling drums, decrepit guitars, blown out electronics, demonic vocals shrieking & creaking up from beyond the grave (with Sewer Goddess joining in on Dead Times’ “Pain Arrives”) everything falling apart in a gloriously fucked up way that could only mean the end of the world. They even do two collaborations, one on each side, and they’re totally fucking killer.

This is truly some of the best of the genre, and all the better that both of these guys are just getting started with these new aliases. Both have new material in the works, TRTRKMMR has an upcoming debut full length on Iron Lung, and Dead Times’ work will likely show up on Aum War again. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled because this is not something you want to miss out on. I’d probably be putting this on some year end list if it didn’t come out last year. All the same, it’s still available and I wouldn’t hold off on picking up this beast.

Album Review

Sun Splitter – III (BloodLust!, 2012)

Sun SplitterEye Of Jupiter (BloodLust!)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

How these Chicago dudes aren’t as well known as Locrian is beyond me. Sun Splitter have just as must genre blending as Locrian, just a different blend. They’ve got this incredible black industrial psych doom thing with some dark ambient noise/drone and even a little HANL style gloomgaze tossed in. I think III is their first vinyl (limited to 500, white, sexy, etc) and it’s monolithic & pure fucking evil. Seriously, this is just monstrous in every way. The riffs are skull crushing, a wall of reverb and distortion sounding like napalm melting your core, drum machines hitting harder than any human could, explosive blasts that level cities, with an abusive assault of rapid-fire fury for the second half of “The Serpent’s Golden Death” where the individual hits coalesce into a waterfall of insanity, static vocals that roar their way to the surface, guitars that chug & rattle, at home only in Hell’s scorched valley, crusted under the black sun. These guys get in a groove and don’t let up until they’ve reached total devastation, the drum machine locked in a loop, sealing their fate as endless riff demons. If you need some fucking heavy in your life, this is where you should be looking. This is the fucking best and most original metal. And with killer artwork by band member Anthony A. Dunn, you would be doing yourself a major disservice by passing this up.

Album Review

Gates – Eintraum (Land Of Decay, 2012)

GatesForest Passageway, Hallway To The Void (Land Of Decay)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I can’t even handle this one, you guys. It’s too much. Absolutely brutal, the best black noise I’ve heard in a long time. Harsh wall of sound that’s dark as fuck, a solid mass of devil drone, furious feedback & blown out riffage that’s caustic and pulverizing. Three tracks, each one with a slightly different vibe. The first is a frenzy, pure Skullflowery chaos, like the black noise version of Love Is A Stream, and buried way down is a Mick Barr style shredding and the occasional blast beat. Then there’s an atmospheric black metal track that takes the most destructive riffs and cranks everything way up, distortion and effects turned into a badass nightmare. The final track is some Sunn O))) blackened doom drone worship, pure fucking evil and depressive beyond belief, massive slabs of static rising up from the depths, apocalyptic feedback crumbling in on itself. This whole thing has an end of days feel to it and it’s the fucking best. Eintraum is definitely one of my favorites this year by a long shot. There’s not enough black/drone right now but Gates are sitting right on top and fucking delivered.