Cirith Ungol’s 2015 reformation was one of the least-likely in underground metal history. The band broke up in 1992 so explosively and with so much internal despair that Rob Garven, the band’s drummer, famously announced that he would never again touch another kit, and vocalist Tim Baker would step back from singing seemingly forever. The band seemed as conclusively finished as could be, though guitarist Greg Lindstrom kept the fire alive via a post-Cirith Ungol band called Falcon that re-recorded a few old Cirith Ungol demo tunes to little greater success. To the world’s shock, the band’s current bassist Jarvis Leatherby (formerly known as Jeff Hershey) was able to convince the band that the world wanted them back after years of trying, and in 2015, after a long absence, they decided it was time to make a reunion happen.
Though Entierro have been around for some ten years now (some of it as Treebeard earlier on), I’d never heard of them until I was told about a cool new heavy metal short-length with Victor Arduini (Arduini/Balich, ex-Fates Warning) coming out in a few weeks. Almost everything Victor has done has been nothing short of gold, particularly with Fates Warning (which remains an all-time favorite band of mine, and is one of the finest heavy metal outfits to ever exist) and Arduini/Balich, so it stands to reason that Entierro’s new material would be cool too.
Formed originally in Chicago in 1997, Cardiac Arrest have been terrifying audiences since before half of the current wave of death metal bands were alive, always as stalwartly untrendy as they were fierce and uncompromising. Haven for the Insane in particular should appeal to fans of Autopsy, Funebrarum, Impetigo, and Master. Listen here: BANDCAMP Buy here: NGR Store
Many of the roots of Japanese death metal go back to one man: Takashi Tanaka. Instrumental both to the legendary Transgressor and involved with cult death/thrashers Necrophile, Takashi has been making extreme music since the tail end of the 1980s. With hours of music between his various bands since then, it’s clear that his love for the macabre has never stopped.
Few individuals are as important to the history of Greek black metal as Jim Mutilator and The Magus. Jim was on bass and lyrics duty for all Rotting Christ material through Triarchy of the Lost Lovers, and did bass, songwriting, and lyrics for Varathron through His Majesty at the Swamp. The Magus (George Zacharopoulos) has been just as important, and has done bass and vocals for Necromantia since the beginning and has done the same in Thou Art Lord from the start as well.
Formed at the onset of popularity of the retro thrash movement in 2005, Nekromantheon have largely outlasted and outperformed all of the bands that were their peers through the rise and fall of thrash revivalism. Targeting from the start the deeper underground and always avoiding the party-heavy themes and aesthetic that plagued their contemporaries, Nekromantheon built a cult following for their intense velocity, witching thrash mentality, and incredibly high quality over the years.
Death metal has changed quite a bit since the birth of the genre. Every aspect of sonic extremity that could be conceived has been pushed, be that the tempo, production, level of consonance (what’s usually called “harmony”), chromaticism, vocals, and everything in between. Formed in 1987 in California, Autopsy have seen all of that evolution from the very start and always chose during their formative years to be a part of the group pushing boundaries, ignoring at all times what might prove to be more marketable or trendy to pursue their own form of sonic barbarism and their own always-disgusting horror aesthetic.
There are few genres more inherently focused on the underground than the niche fusion of black/thrash metal. A special handful of bands have managed to get on and stay on big labels- particularly classic ones like Desaster, who have a new album coming later this year on Metal Blade- but for most of them, a significantly smaller label is the end of the line.
Most modern death metal isn’t scary, dangerous, or controversial—except perhaps in how much people think it sucks. Death metal is a genre that has largely found a comforting groove to settle into, and most bands are happiest when they find an approach that lets them dream of courting big labels, playing big festivals, and getting attention from whoever the latest hyped darling band is.
For the very first time, Cardiac Arrest’s Haven for the Insane is coming soon on vinyl! Pre-sale up today, release on 04/23. Very stoked to have this as Nameless Grave Records’ first vinyl release!
Formed originally in Chicago in 1997, Cardiac Arrest have been terrifying audiences since before half of the current wave of death metal bands were alive, always as stalwartly untrendy as they were fierce and uncompromising. Haven for the Insane in particular should appeal to fans of Autopsy, Funebrarum, Impetigo, and Master. I am a big fan of this record in particular, so I’m to be a part of the Cardiac Arrest legacy in even this very small way.