Abysmal Lord presents their new album: "As such, while retaining their foundational elements, Abysmal Lord’s newest offering bears semblance to South America's most infernal names..."
December 2, 2022
Hells Headbangers is proud to present Abysmal Lord’s highly anticipated third album, ‘Bestiary of Immortal Hunger’, on CD and vinyl LP formats, the CD and tape versions will be released on December 30th while the vinyl version will follow next year.
Since their grand emergence in 2014 with the ‘Storms of Unholy Black Mass’ debut EP, New Orleans’ Abysmal Lord have vaulted to the forefront of the modern bestial metal scene. Red-eyed and rabid, their primeval surge swallows listeners whole with preternatural ease – or simply (black)grinds them down to dust. Under the auspices of Hells Headbangers, the band has gone from strength to strength with each new recording, each one a swift ‘n’ tactical strike on all that is holy and pure. Both 2015’s ‘Disciples of the Inferno’ and 2019’s ‘Exaltation of the Infernal Cabal’ have established Abysmal Lord as a none-more-formidable name in the metal underground, with their shock ‘n’ awe live prowess proving that such sonic bestiality is best witnessed in the flesh.
Since the release of 2020’s Cathedral EP, much has transpired in Abysmal Lord camp. A tumultuous period, drummer Barbaric Slayer exited the band to further pursue a spiritual journey deeper inward. Meanwhile, vocalist/guitarist Nocturnal Damnation and bassist/guitarist Guillotine committed themselves to continuing the path of no return. With no reasonable alternative, Abysmal Lord decided that, for their next full-length, Nocturnal Damnation will handle drumming duties (as was done on the aforementioned ‘Storms of Unholy Black Mass’). Maximum effort was expended to ensure that the brutality and chaos of Barbaric Slayer’s tradition was honored and continued.
And indeed it has, and then some, with the arrival of ‘Bestiary of Immortal Hunger’. On first glance, Abysmal Lord’s third album retains all the red-eyed and rabid elements of yore – OTT explosion and forward propulsion in the grand tradition of Blasphemy, Black Witchery, and Proclamation and then malforming it into morbid, miasmic shapes – but peer deeper into this gurgling pit of despair & darkness and one will find surprising twists to their core sound. Foremost, perhaps, is the unhinged drumming of Nocturnal Damnation; foregoing sustained blasting, instead he draws influence from the fucked-up ‘n’ feral drumming of DD Crazy (during his early Sarcofago days as well as Sextrash) and Hadez’ Tonyn Destructor, especially on that band’s Guerroros de la Muerte demo. Unorthodox but undeniably effective, these more angular and askew rhythms form a (feral/fucked-up) foundation for Abysmal Lord’s most CRAZED and chaotic songwriting to date.
As such, while retaining their foundational elements, Abysmal Lord’s newest offering bears semblance to South America’s most infernal names: the aforementioned early days of Hadez, Sarcofago, and especially Sextrash but also Holocausto, Parabellum, and Reencarnacion. With an even more unsettling style of evil and total darkness, not to mention a plethora of mind-melted solos, ‘Bestiary of Immortal Hunger’ also slots itself well alongside Mystifier’s pivotal first couple albums and early Beherit. Naturally, naysayers will still contend that this unholy racket is still “just” bestial metal or war metal or whatever – and for Abysmal Lord, that’s fine, as hailing and giving honor to a certain tradition in metal is part of the essence of this wider subculture. Those who know, know, and they will understand deeper, darker truths with this ‘Bestiary of Immortal Hunger’.
We described their previous full-length ‘Exaltation of the Infernal Cabal’ as: ““Exaltation of the Infernal Cabal” definitely conjures a storms worth of vicious hate and destruction that stands shoulder to shoulder with genre legends like Proclamation and Archgoat. “More info: Abysmal Lord; Hells Headbangers Records;
Memento Mori will release the new Rigor Sardonicous: "You don't "listen" to this album, and you most definitely don't "endure" it; its ominous corpulence is only experienced. Bleak? That's simply too fun."
December 1, 2022
In their endless quest to push and support current underground acts that deliver the goods unaware of trends and hypes, on January 23rd, 2023, Memento Mori is proud to present Rigor Sardonicous’ long-awaited seventh album, ‘Praeparet Bellum’.
True purveyors of aural torment, Rigor Sardonicous are one of the cultest bands of the American death metal underground. Formed in 1988, the long-standing duo of bassist Glenn Hampton and vocalist/guitarist Joseph Fogarazzo remain one of the darkest and creepiest bands calling “death metal” home. Aided by their ever-trustworthy drum-machine, Rigor Sardonicous are utterly lifeless and excruciatingly slow, almost daring the listener to find any “fun” in their all-devouring void of inertia. You could almost qualify their music(k) as Doom-Death, but not in the traditional sense; existing for as long as (and even longer) than aesthetic forebears like Unholy and Evoken, Rigor Sardonicous’ slo-mo sizzle equally bears a future-primitive texture not unlike earliest Godflesh or especially the cult Skin Chamber.
And so it goes with ‘Praeparet Bellum’, the band’s first full-length recording in over a decade. Immediately and ruinously recognizable as Rigor Sardonicous, ‘Praeparet Bellum’ thankfully features all the duo’s signature elements – crushing heaviness, beyond-guttural vocals, and the very slowest of songwriting movement – but devolves them to a frightening degree. Perhaps because of their eerie absence since 2012’s Memento Mori-released Ego Diligio Vos, Rigor Sardonicous sound more unique than ever on ‘Praeparet Bellum’: the subgenres of doom-death and funeral doom are definitely in full swing, but there’s little to nothing around as unremittingly EMPTY and HOPELESS as this. You don’t “listen” to this album, and you most definitely don’t “endure” it; its ominous corpulence is only experienced. Bleak? That’s simply too fun.
Here stands the End of all Ends. Be warned: you will NOT return from Rigor Sardonicous’ ‘Praeparet Bellum’!More info: Rigor Sardonicous; Memento Mori;
Second album of Schavot is ready: "For the lyrics, Floris draws inspiration from the rich Dutch history and folktales of otherworldly creatures."
November 30, 2022
‘Kronieken uit de nevel’ (chronicles from the fog) is the second full-length by Dutch Black Metal entity Schavot. The eight tracks of Melodic Black Metal are recorded by multi-instrumentalist Floris who’s wellspring contains a brew of second wave of Black Metal bands, like Emperor, Satyricon and Ulver. Schavot plays fast Black Metal with bruising drums, varied vocals and melodic guitars, obscured with a cloak of freezing synths.
Schavot (scaffold) is a Black Metal project from The Netherlands and part of “Zwotte Kring”, founded by Floris in 2021. This multi-instrumentalist has been active since the late 90’s in various Black Metal bands such as Sagenland, Meslamtaea and Asgrauw. The need arose to make the music from the Scandinavian 2nd wave, and inspired by bands like Emperor, Obtained Enslavement, Ancient and the first two Dimmu Borgir albums, ‘Galgenbrok’ was recorded in 2021. Floris took care of all the instruments and the vocals and did the production himself. After the debut album was well received, Floris continued to record new material and this led to the second album ‘Kronieken uit de nevel’. For the lyrics, Floris draws inspiration from the rich Dutch history and folktales of otherworldly creatures.More info: Schavot; Void Wanderer Productions; War Productions;
Nocturnal Departure announcing new album: "Our dormant slumber has ended, and we have returned with an igneous rage and inspiration!"
November 30, 2022
Hells Headbangers is proud to present Nocturnal Departure’s highly anticipated third album, ‘Clandestine Theurgy’, on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats.The CD and tape versions will be released on December 30th while the vinyl version will follow next year.
Nocturnal Departure were birthed from yellow moonlit darkness between Beltane and Lughnasadh of 2017 into a campaign of rejection and disgust for Christendom and the hypocritical norms of society. Nocturnal Departure redirect the psychomachia of the human condition through ritual and occultism, focusing it outwards as the moon gathers and reflects light from the sun, with raw and illuminating indifference. After releasing their debut album, Cathartic Black Rituals, and follow-up Worm Moon Sessions on cult underground imprints Death Kvlt Productions and Les Fleurs du Mal, founding members Funeror (guitar/vocals), Kryptys (drums), and Illartha (bass) are joined by new guitarist Necrogeist in grim occlusion with Hells Headbangers. The band’s first crime for the label (and third) overall, ‘Clandestine Theurgy’, features this bolstered lineup and brings forth the band’s most focused statement to date.
Almost literally a band out of time, Nocturnal Departure harken to the grim days of the ’90s Black Metal underground, particularly its most devout sectors in the United States. While once the object of mockery from the ignorant despite featuring some of the most original and unorthodox outliers, it’s USBM that has the last laugh, as the idiom has developed over the decades and still rings true in the darkest of hearts. Nocturnal Departure encapsulate this mood and era in its most perfect, poignant form on ‘Clandestine Theurgy’. Featuring gloriously macabre cover art created by Abomination Hammer, indeed, its title is something of a rallying cry for such hearts – “those who know, know,” as the adage goes – and its raw, desperate violence evinces elements of Judas Iscariot, Masochist, Black Funeral, Summon, and Blood Storm but undeniably with a personality all its own. TRADITIONAL Black Metal, then, no more but definitely no less: ‘Clandestine Theurgy’ is a throwback masterclass.
“We are gratuitous in this moment,” state the band, “sharing a glimpse into what we have all worked so passionately on as a group over the last couple of years. Our dormant slumber has ended, and we have returned with an igneous rage and inspiration! We are honored to be working with Hells Headbangers, and for all that this unholy pact yields for us together. Prepare for ‘Clandestine Theurgy’ under demonic winter moons, 2022/2023.”
We’ve reviewed the debut full-length of Nocturnal Departure and described it as: “Even though the caliber of musicianship is high, Nocturnal Departure does not lose the raw, brutality that Black Metal fans are looking for. I highly recommended this album to all fans of Black Metal.”More info: Nocturnal Departure; Hells Headbangers Records;
Satanic Warmaster ready to release 'Aamongandr': "In fact, with the album wasting no time in kicking into high gear, Satanic Warmaster sounds more urgent than ever"
November 29, 2022
Werewolf Records is proud to present Satanic Warmaster’s long-awaited sixth album, ‘Aamongandr’, on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats. The CD and tape versions will be released on December 30th while the vinyl version will follow next year.
Satanic Warmaster needs no introduction. Since the band’s formation in 1998, founder Werwolf has prolifically – and provocatively – stoked fires that refuse to be quenched. A totally independent artist in all aspects, Satanic Warmaster has sold hundreds of thousands of albums internationally and played stages all across the world, from north to south and east to west. The band’s black metal is devoutly traditional but eternally fruitful, standing as an immovable monument to the purest and proudest foundations of the artform. As such, Satanic Warmaster is hated and loved with equally strong passion, with those naysayers only feeding that fire with falsehoods and gross misconceptions. There is no middle ground: no apologies, and no surrender.
And so the battle continues with ‘Aamongandr’, Satanic Warmaster’s first studio full-length since 2014’s acclaimed ‘Fimbulwinter’. Indeed, where that album evinced a diversity of songcraft and, more so, a concertedly polished aspect that majestically made that obsidian gleam, ‘Aamongandr’ explores that duality with equally compelling results. In fact, with the album wasting no time in kicking into high gear, Satanic Warmaster sounds more urgent than ever – and yet, here is where the band’s epic side is also revealed in full. Cryogenic and caressing is its melodicism, in the glare of burning churches, and deftly dusted with subtle synths that heighten the mysticism at the heart of the SW sound, ‘Aamongandr”s six songs charge forth with the grim grandiosity of mighty steeds; not for nothing is one of the album’s highlights titled “Duke’s Ride (Ride of the Spectral Hooves).” All told, this sixth long-form statement of intent is immediately recognizable as Satanic Warmaster but irrevocably proves that its creator’s imagination continues to flow as infinitely as the Atlantean depths.
We described the previous single of Satanic Warmaster; ‘Bafomet’, which is also included on ‘Aamongandr’, as: “The title track is quite an extension of the already mentioned ‘Fimbulwinter’, the tempo is quite high and in the well written song there is enough room for melody. When a comparison should be drawn, then again classic Satyricon is the closest. Anyone who is eagerly waiting for a new ‘Carelian Satanist Madness’ or for crude rocking ‘Black Metal Kommando’-like tracks should have more patience and see whether that work will ever be continued.”More info: Satanic Warmaster; Werewolf Records;
Worm's 'Gloomlord' re-release by 20 Buck Spin: "With those added aspects lead progenitor Phantom Slaughter considers this the definitive version of 'Gloomlord'"
November 28, 2022
Worm’s second album, the early 2020 release ‘Gloomlord’, was a precursor to the massive impact that would make the world tremble on 2021’s ‘Foreverglade’. Itself a large stylistic leap forward from Worm’s debut album, ‘Gloomlord’ brought the band to wider attention and the Floridian Funeral Doom contained within has since amassed a cult-like following of its own.
Until now ‘Gloomlord’ has been a somewhat difficult score in the States and often unavailable. As such, with the band now firmly at home on 20 Buck Spin and looking to make its first live appearances in 2023 it was time to sate the increasing demand and make ‘Gloomlord’ easily available to the masses.
As an added bonus the album has been completely re-mastered by Greg Chandler of the funereal legends Esoteric at Priory Recording Studios in the UK. And like the ‘Foreverglade’ and ‘Bluenothing’ vinyl releases, the reissued “Gloomlord” now comes with a huge poster insert. With those added aspects lead progenitor Phantom Slaughter considers this the definitive version of ‘Gloomlord’.
We described ‘Gloomlord’ as “Worm has carved out a section of the musical scene most recently occupied by Spectral Voice, yet also reminding me of the likes of Mizmor with their deep mournfulness. “Gloomlord” is an emotional album that doesn’t sacrifice the venom; hitting you with both the pain inside your head and inside your body.”More info: Worm; 20 Buck Spin;
Helter Skelter Records re-releases Ragnarok's 'In Nomine Satanas', 'Blackdoor Miracle' and 'Collectors of the King'
November 27, 2022
Helter Skelter Productions (distributed & marketed by Regain Records) announces December 30th as the international release date for three reissues of Norway’s Ragnarok – 2002’s ‘In Nomine Satanas’, 2004’s Blackdoor Miracle, and 2010’s ‘Collectors of the King’ – on digipack CD format. The vinyl editions of all three are expected on March 30th, 2023.
One of the longest-running active Norwegian Black Metal bands left, Ragnarok formed in 1994 and released two demos in as many years. However, it was the band’s debut album, ‘Nattferd’, where they began to make their mark. Back then, the Ragnarok sound was a more measured and mystical one, which they continued with the 1997 follow-up ‘Arising Realm’; both albums are prized as cult pillars of “medieval Black Metal.” By 1999’s ‘Diabolical Age’, Ragnarok quickened their attack and never looked back.
Indeed, it looked like the new millennium was Ragnarok’s for the taking. Released in 2002, In ‘Nomine Satanas’ saw the band bridging freezing melody with burning aggression – “fire and ice,” as it were – and they arguably perfected it on the colder ‘n’ more violent ‘Blackdoor Miracle’ two years later. Both albums were recorded at the esteemed Abyss Studio – back then, the de rigueur studio for Swedish Black Metal and Death alike – and Ragnarok commendably kept apace with that era-authentic sound and style. Lineup problems would arise thereafter, and it would be another six years before a new Ragnarok full-length was released. Nevertheless, 2010’s ‘Collectors of the King’ proved that Ragnarok had plenty of fuel left in the tank. Recorded at the also-esteemed Endarker Studios, the album showed a moodier side to the band while, elsewhere, their characteristic violence was nastier than ever. Since then, the band have released three more albums during the next decade and are going stronger than ever.
At long last, all three aforementioned albums are back in print on CD, and ‘Collectors of the King’ will be released on vinyl for the first time ever.More info: Ragnarok; Helter Skelter Productions;
Tenebro releasing a new digital only EP with Impetigo cover
November 24, 2022
Italian Horror Death Metal band Tenebro, have just release a free listening & download 2-song EP titled “Carne Humana”, available on the Youtube, Bandcamp & Spotify sites of Xtreem Music. The EP included the title-track and the Impetigo cover “Trap Them and Kill Them”. The links can be found on the VM-Underground pages of both Tenebro and Xtreem Music.More info: Tenebro; Xtreem Music;
Revolting signs with Xtreem Music; "a great album of heavy, powerful and catchy Death Metal full of excellent melodies"
November 24, 2022
Swedish Deathmetallers Revolting have just inked a deal with Xtreem Music for the release of their 8th album entitled “Born to Be Dead” and is scheduled to be launched on November 29th on CD and Digital formats.
Revolting is one of multiple bands fronted by Rogga Johansson, formed in 2007. The band has released 7 albums to date, two on Razorback Rec.: “Dreadful Pleasures” (2009) and “The Terror Threshold” (2010), four on FDA Rec.: “In Grisly Rapture” (2011), “Hymns of Ghastly Horror” (2012), “Visages of the Unspeakable” (2015) and “Monolith of Madness” (2018) and one on Transcending Obscitury Rec.: “Shadow at the Worlds End” (2020) . Now it’s Xtreem Music’s turn to release their 8th album “Born to Be Dead” which is a great album of heavy, powerful and catchy Death Metal full of excellent melodies.More info: Revolting; Xtreem Music;
VM-Underground website upgrade, adjustments and new features...
November 24, 2022
…Or a 2.0 version if you will…
After a couple of years using the old version, we got a bit caught with the restrictions of the site since we are increasing the updates on a daily basis. Also, we received lots of ideas, complaints etc. from visitors (or even my own crew, the bastards!), all with good intentions to increase the quality of the zine itself or to browse throughout the archive we have. So we started to tweak a bit, to add some features etc.
We do this on the fly, so we aren’t going “under construction” for a month or something like that, because in this day and age…when you’re offline for a week, you’re almost offline for good for the browsing community. So this month you will see features pop up, we are adding new tags to reviews etc. Still, in the, let’s call it “minimalistic” way, you are familiar with when visiting VM-Underground. But it could be possible something new isn’t working 100% immediately. Keep in mind, it will soon.
Some of the new things you can expect are a news-section, an author tag (so you can browse through the author’s articles), links to the band’s or label’s homepage, Bandcamp, Youtube channel, webshop etc., a better search engine…just to name a few.
Thanks for all the support throughout the years, hope you will keep on supporting us.