Jim Konya/Sadist from Nunslaughter, 1971-2015


Much respected and befriended drummer Jim Konya, a/k/a “Sadist,” of Nunslaughter has died. He suffered a series of strokes beginning three weeks ago and was put on life support last week, with the machines deactivated on October 7.

Over the years, Nunslaughter with Konya at the helm has produced a series of speed metal/death metal hybrid records known for their unrelenting energy, gleeful anti-Christianity and creative riffs. His drum work propelled the work forward with a type of combat-like integrity.

We have dimmed the lights at the Dark Legions Archive in tribute to this legendary metalhead. As his obituary reminds us, “He was an avid sports fan, especially of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jim has many friends all over the world because of his musical tours and love of music. He will be missed by many.”


Supuration releases video for “Reveries of a Bloated Cadaver” from upcoming compilation Reveries

Grindcore/alternative-rock/deathmetal/progressive rock band Supuration released a track “Reveries of a Bloated Cadaver” from their upcoming re-envisioning of earlier material, Reveries. The band has taken its style of technical death metal and unconventional progressive rock and used it to re-imagine these older tracks in newer form, but has done so without losing the distinctive energy of the earlier material.

Troll rockers Black Pussy continue to push boundaries


Hard rock band Black Pussy, who have deliberately provoked the uptight and easily offended with their name, continue to disturb the sedentary and senile world of heavy rock with further provocations. Upon completing a set of successful live dates, the band was amused to see the following from an irate SJW:


As usual, heavy rock is arrayed between the realist rebels and the nanny establishment, with the former wanting to push boundaries further and the establishment wishing it would all go away so they can go back to selling lukewarm 1970s rock as if it were a new genre. SJWs and hipsters, who act as enablers to industry, do the best they can to enforce more boundaries so that heavy rock must be limited to a narrow range of material, making it easy to churn it out on an assembly line and reap the profits.

Infamous, Solitudo and Warnungstraum releasing Il Rifugio del Silenzio split


Melodic primal black metal band Infamous, along with cohorts Solitudo and Warnungstraum, will release a three-way split on Eremita Productions in December 2015. The bands — each in a variant of the traditional black metal style — have contributed a total of 50 minutes of material.

Limited to 200 hand-numbered copies, the 6-panel digipak will feature the nature-oriented and feral artwork which customarily adorns Infamous releases. For those who have enjoyed this band’s evolution into more Ildjarn-styled territory, with the warmer melodies familiar to Southern European black metal, should anticipate this release with joy.

Pestilence to release The Dysentery Penance compilation of demos


Legendary Dutch death metal band Pestilence is re-issuing its two demos from 1987 on a compilation entitled The Dysentery Penance, out in CD/digital on November 30, 2015 with the vinyl to follow in early 2016. The two demos, “The Penance” and “Dysentery,” show the formative years of the technical death metal style later to evolve from Pestilence.

To be released on Vic Records, this new release shows yet another death metal band reaching into the vaults so that new generations can experience the sense of possibility and discovery as these bands forged ahead in uncharted waters to create the new death metal style.

Brendon Small launches “crowd” campaign to continue Metalocalypse


Despite being a huge animation nerd, I was never able to develop much interest in Metalocalypse, but my support certainly wasn’t required for the companies involved to release four seasons, four Dethklok studio albums, and seriously concern Brett. A couple years of production may have fatigued its audience, though, as the show has essentially been canceled by Adult Swim. Show creator Brendon Small seeks to reverse this – enter the “Metalocalypse Now!” campaign, which at first glance is presumably intended to mobilize fans into a veritable army of demanding Adult Swim and/or Hulu provide the funding for a series finale. In isolation, this is at least a sign of the times – growing social media efforts and the theoretical possibility of crowdfunding continues to open up opportunities for content creators to promote and distribute their work.

On closer inspection, though, I began to question how relevant the efforts of fans would be in this campaign’s success or failure. The campaign has already attracted an enormous amount of corporate sponsorship, ranging from understandable fans like metal journalism/interest sites such as MetalSucks and MetalInjection, to record labels and surprisingly the computer peripheral company Razer. This leads me to believe that the result of this campaign is already predecided by the corporate sponsors. At best, anyone who participates in the social media end of this is a number they can pull up at the inevitable business presentation with Adult Swim’s executives. With some of the names involved, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a huge promotional blitz and a successful conclusion to this campaign, but our readership would likely be disappointed either way.

Mayhem – Live in Leipzig reissued for its 25th anniversary

I guess Peaceville really doesn’t know when to quit with the compilations and reissues (or that at least they’re a viable way to make more money off known famous works), since they’re also rereleasing Mayhem’s Live in Leipzig. This is specifically the 25th anniversary of the concert documented, as opposed to when it was first ‘officially’ pressed and sold to a mass audience some years afterwards. The CD version of this rerelease also contains a contemporary recording of the band in Zeitz, Germany. See Peaceville’s site for more details.

Whether Live in Leipzig is at all worth your time depends, perhaps, on how you value the various ‘eras’ of Mayhem. It is likely the easiest way to experience the band’s ‘classic’ lineup, featuring both tracks that would eventually make it onto De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas as well as somewhat revamped older tracks from the band’s early, proto-death metal days. As a listener, I find the most value in the polished studio work of Mayhem’s formal debut (because I value Atilla Csihar’s contributions), but the looser intrepretations here are worth at least a few spins.

Grave previews new track from upcoming album

Out Of Respect For The Dead is in my review queue by virtue of its artist being at least semi-famous. While Grave’s reputation on DMU is something less than stellar, the fame they achieved as part of the early (Stockholm) Swedish makes their latest work worth looking at, at least in terms of comparison to their past and other bands’ present output. “Plain Pine Box” is admittedly not a particularly interesting song, being an extremely simple and basic track reminiscent of what would happen if you simplified Celtic Frost and added extra distortion. A previously released track from this upcoming album (“Mass Grave Mass”) resembles more the band’s stereotypical sound; overall, I expect competence from future Grave if not necessarily must-have or even particularly inspiring albums.

Out Of Respect For The Dead will be available on October 16th, 2015.

Denner/Shermann – Satan’s Tomb (2015)

Denner/Shermann - Satan's Tomb (2015)

When I first became aware of this recording, I figured the obvious points of comparison would be Mercyful Fate for spawning the eponymous duo of this act, and Satan because that word was in this album’s title. Those comparisons have turned out to be less appropriate than initially expected – Satan’s Tomb draws more from recent mainstream heavy/power metal than either of those two. It’s not enough to separate them entirely from this comparison, but those expecting the second coming of Don’t Break The Oath are going to walk away disappointed for more reasons than they might expect.

What we have here is an arguably “darker” recording. There are a few overtures towards Denner and Shermann’s past in Mercyful Fate, like the harmonized guitar leads at the beginning of the title track, but musically, the members pull more on techniques popularized after the early ’80s, creating guitar sounds from a more dissonant, chromatic, abrasive source, as if the band had occasionally listened to more extreme works and allowed a tinge of their riffing style to seep in at crucial moments. The vocals also adopt a different style – Sean Peck relies on strained screams with little in the way of falsetto to make his presence known. Oddly enough given this approach, his vocals are not the prime attraction – I would go as far as to say he is subordinate to the guitarists despite his attempts to sing over them. Regardless of style, Satan’s Tomb does fairly well on the instrumental front, showing better technique and a good use of microvariation and riff diversity within its style.

The main flaw of this album is that its songwriting is particularly haphazard. One thing Denner/Shermann consistently draws from its musicians’ past is an emphasis on complicated song structures. The band members try to recapture some of this, but songs here consistently suffer from organizational problems, including one particularly ill-planned coda at the end of “War Witch”. Without anything to properly glue together more obvious transitions, songs here listen like a heap of unrelated samples, which is amusingly similar in effect to the band’s promotional trailer. More conventionally structured songs like the title track don’t suffer to this degree, but the album wouldn’t necessarily be better if it were more simply shaped. Ultimately, we’re left with a somewhat ambitious, but flawed effort – while the rest of the album is otherwise acceptable or better, structural weaknesses are, as a rule, simply too great to ignore.

Hipsters attack black metal with pale imitations


Since the early 1970s, the music industry and the social scene behind it — comprised of those who use external appearance to signal social success — has been trying to find some way to counter the authenticity of metal. While rock and blues stars appeared to be rebels, the truth emerged over time that most were very conventional in their outlook except for hedonism.

Heavy metal on the other hand rejected the founding myths of our society since the intellectual shift so-called “The Enlightenment,” in which people decided that social pressure to enable the individual to be “equal” whether right or wrong, good or bad, was more important than social standards. Heavy metal pointed out that our perceived enemies are scapegoats, and the real problem is that the enemy is us, and that people are delusional and happy hippie flower power is another variety of the bourgeois deliberate ignorance of reality that promotes social decay.

In recent years, the same people who were hippies back in the 1960s — the conformity of appearance non-conformist and then going to work at a bank and retiring as a fat Baby Boomer — have returned as “social justice workers,” or SJWs. These people, together with an industry that realizes it can sell more re-branded indie rock than it can discover compelling metal bands, have created a new style that culturally appropriates the appearance of black metal while injecting it with the same messages of self-indulgence, self-pity, victimhood and pacifism that the hippies bleated about back in the day.

As the UK’s leading cheerleader paper reports, the herd is claiming this new false black metal is in fact an “innovation,” despite it resembling music from thirty years ago that black metal bands detested.

Enter “blackgaze”, the buzz term for a new school of bands taking black metal out of the shadows and melding its blast beats, dungeon wailing and razorwire guitars with the more reflective melodies of post-rock, shoegaze and post-hardcore. It’s a geographically loose scene and its bands have been embraced by the indie media, which means you’re now as likely to hear black metal at ATP as in the Carpathian mountains.

Alert readers may note the “post-rock, shoegaze and post-hardcore” attribution, which Death Metal Underground has long identified as being the origins of this material. In other words, it is not black metal, but indie rock playing “dress up” as black metal. The quest of the industry for a safe rebellion goes on.