Belzebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods (Century Media, 2019)

When I first saw the animated music video for “Blackened Call” I was not aware of Finnish artist J.P. Ahonen or his popular web comic Belzebubs.  As such, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of a cartoon black metal band romping about the woods, “Call of the Wintermoon” style.  I’m more than a bit ashamed to admit that my first thought was “Oh great, a corpse-painted version of Gorillaz,” yet there was something about the combination of quirky comic book visuals and frostbitten yet catchy and melodic black metal that made me want to see/hear more.

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What happens if Horna plays?

Last week Finnish black metal band Horna had several shows on their upcoming US tour cancelled due to an article posted by the online metal tabloid/shithole known as Metalsucks. MS did their usual stellar job of regurgitating widely known information (they’ve finally figured out how to use Metal Archives, apparently) and then patting themselves on the back for their hard-hitting journalism.

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Clicks, Lies and Black Metal

On November 16th, 2016, the online metal tabloid known as Metalsucks published their “manifesto” in which they very publicly announced “We will not tolerate racism, misogyny or any form of bigotry or hate speech” (because apparently it took them ten years of running a website, not to mention a good chunk of their adult lives to figure out these things are shitty).

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Gorepot – Asian Stoned Effect (Brutal Mind, 2018)

Slam is one of the most over-the-top subgenres of metal and they don’t come any more absurdly OTT than Taipei City, Taiwan’s Gorepot.  The brainchild of ubiquitous slam god Larry Wang (Facelift Deformation, Fatuous Rump, Guttural Corpora Cavernosa, Maggot Colony, Umbilical Asphyxia, Coprocephalic, Fat Tub of Lard Records), Asian Stoned Effect is the band’s seventh album and it’s also one of the most ri-goddamn-diculous slamming death metal albums you’re ever going to hear.

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Butcher ABC – North of Hell (Selfmadegod, 2018) and Butchery Workshop 2002 – 2009 (Bizarre Leprous Production, 2018)

North of Hell has been a long time coming for Japanese goregrinders Butcher ABC.  Formed in 1994 and leaving a bloody trail of demos, EPs and splits in their wake, it took the band over twenty years to finally release a full length.  But was it worth the wait?  Thankfully, it only takes a few listens to North of Hell to determine that the answer is a resounding “yes.”

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Madball – For the Cause (Nuclear Blast, 2018)

I recently had the opportunity to check out The Godfathers of Hardcore, a documentary about NYHC legends Agnostic Front focusing on the lives of vocalist Roger Miret and guitarist Vinnie Stigma.  Of course, you can’t talk about Agnostic Front without also talking about Madball, the band fronted by Miret’s younger half-brother Freddie Cricien, which began back in 1988 with a then twelve-year-old Cricien being backed by the members of Agnostic Front.

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Fetor / Crepitation – Onset of Horrendosity (Deformeathing Production, 2019)

Split releases can be difficult to review due to the competitive vibe they give off.  Although it’s likely not the intention, it always feels like a battle between the bands involved.  Indeed, Onset of Horrendosity is a slamming brutal death metal death match between two up-and-coming acts, Fetor and Crepitation, and both are young, hungry contenders.  Which band will put the slam smackdown on the other and come out on top?

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