Posted Under 'Recommended Music'

Features lesser-known or up-and-coming bands that Musical Warfare thinks you should hear.

25 Black Metal Bands You Should Care About

March 13th, 2011 in Recommended Music1 Comment

So Metal Injection recently posted a list of 10 New Black Metal Bands You Should Care About. If you read this site frequently you can probably guess how I feel about Krallice, and most of the other bands were US bands whose work I’ve been largely unimpressed with. The only pick I really agree with is Altar Of Plagues, who fucking rule.

I do agree with the spirit of such a list, however. Here’s a list of 25 new bands I think you should care about, in no particular order:

Woods of Desolation (Australia) – This Australian group shares members with the similarly depressive Austere, cranking out incredibly bleak, emotional black metal that also includes some catchier, Alcest-like parts.

Borgia (France) – Another gem from the rich French black metal scene, Borgia plays a visceral style of black / death metal with a strong medieval feel.

Waning (Sweden) – Waning has a very modern, sterile sound but manages to fill their songs with powerful riffs, and conceptually these Swedes are much more interesting than most of their peers as well.

Fen (UK) – Melancholic, folk-influenced black metal in the vein of Agalloch, although Fen’s use of keyboards lends a certain fluidity to their music that makes it extremely addictive, especially on their newest release Epoch which came out earlier this year.

Winterfylleth (UK) – Having started with a rather basic Viking-type sound, Winterfylleth’s sound has matured rapidly, and their latest album’s mixture of driving, warlike riffing and tasteful acoustics has elevated them to the top of the genre.

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Musical Warfare’s Favorites Of 2010

February 17th, 2011 in Recommended Music2 Comments

I figured I should post my favorites from 2010 before we get too far into 2011. It’s kind of amusing looking back at my original list of 2010 albums I was looking forward to and seeing how few actually made the list.

Here are my absolute favorites from the year:

The BodyAll The Waters Of The Earth Turned To Blood
At A Loss Records

Frostscald Records

Orphaned LandThe Neverending Way of ORwarriOR
Century Media

LocrianThe Crystal World

Byelobog Productions

Imperium DekadenzProcella Vadens
Season Of Mist

Other albums I really enjoyed:

TodgelichterAngst [Review]
Blood Of KinguSun In The House Of The Scorpion [Review]
Deathspell OmegaParacletus
Various Artists: Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer
WhirlingFaceless Phenomena
AgallochMarrow Of The Spirit
IntronautValley Of Smoke
Manuscripts Don’t BurnThe Breathing House [Review]
October FallsA Collapse Of Faith [Review]
October TideA Thin Shell [Review]
WatainLawless Darkness [Review]
WinterfyllethThe Mercian Sphere [Review]
SorgeldomInner Receivings [Review]

Antimatter / Ion New Releases

January 29th, 2011 in Album Reviews, Recommended Music0 Comments

Antimatter have finally released their long-anticipated two-disc retrospective collection Alternative Matter. With tracks from all phases of the band’s career, Alternative Matter features numerous live tracks, alternative versions of several songs, and some highly sought-after recordings. The first track, ‘Black Sun’ from the Lotus Eaters Dead Can Dance tribute album, is easily one of Antimatter’s better songs and is a great reason for die-hard fans to pick up this release. Several songs from the bands debut Savior are present in various forms, and Lights Out and Planetary Confinement are both also represented reasonably well, while Leaving Eden is mostly ignored.

One shortcoming of Alternative Matter for me personally is the lack of tracks with lead female vocals – I’ve never really been sold on Moss’s voice and always have preferred the band’s earlier songs like ‘Mr White,’ and ‘Line Of Fire’ which featured their assorted female singers. So if you’re like me then that’s something to consider. For any fan of the band though, the wealth of material here should be hard to pass up, since probably most of your favorite Antimatter tracks are present on this release in some shape or form. Sometimes when you’ve listened to a band so much that your enjoyment of their songs has faded, it’s nice to have slightly different versions to help rekindle your enthusiasm.

Check out some samples from Alternative Matter:

Former member Duncan Patterson’s new project Ion also recently released their second album Immaculada last May, and fans of Antimatter’s older material that haven’t checked these guys out might want to give Immaculada a listen. It’s more ethereal and folk-based than Antimatter’s material, and while Ion features some talented female vocalists, I found myself enjoying the instrumental offerings on the album a bit more. It’s nowhere near as melancholic as Antimatter’s compositions, but texturally the two projects are not that far apart.

Check out samples from Immaculada:

Benighted In Sodom: Hardest Working Band of 2010?

December 20th, 2010 in Recommended Music0 Comments

Here’s another act I found recently while looking up this year’s releases. Benighted in Sodom, a US black metal band from Florida has been around for several years and had somehow escaped my attention up until now. What makes them special? Well, this duo has somehow managed to release SIX FULL LENGTH ALBUMS THIS YEAR. And that’s not even everything, they’ve also cranked out five EPs, and already have another full-length and a best-of album queued up for 2011.

It wouldn’t be quite so surprising if Benighted in Sodom flat out sucked or if their music didn’t display much in the way of talent, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The few samples I’ve heard so far actually sound pretty good – kind of a dreamy, melodic and depressive style that reminds me a little bit of Forgotten Tomb‘s older stuff, although certainly quite a bit different. And hey, if he’s releasing that many albums someone’s gotta be digging it, right?

So if you haven’t heard these guys before, definitely give them a listen. The Benighted In Sodom MySpace page contains a bunch of samples that should give you a decent idea of what they sound like. You can also check out their stuff on YouTube:
» I Believe You
» Rust

Frontman Matron Thorn aka Reuben Jordan also has a blog called The Light That Veils It Grey that’s worth a read. Apparently he doesn’t like being called DSBM.

Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit Wants to Sell You Preserved Animals

December 19th, 2010 in Merchandise, Recommended Music0 Comments

It’s that time of year when everyone starts posting their year-end album lists, and I start frantically looking around for albums I might’ve missed out on over the course of year.

One band I’ve come across as a result is Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit (The fetish of the undeterred impetus), whose first full-length Psychohygiene came out earlier this year on Chinese label Temple of Torturous. It’s already pretty clear that these guys are weird from the lengthy description of the band’s concept, and their music is suitably freakish and disturbed as well.

Psychohygiene comes as a DVD-sized digibook and includes an interesting poster as well as a lengthy booklet providing even more conceptual explanation of the band’s music, in both German and English. But by far the coolest thing about this band is that the first 100 copies of the album come with a jar of rat preparation, which is just a fancy way of saying dead rats in a jar. Fucking Awesome!

Ominous Domain, which is rapidly becoming my favorite go-to US distro for weird/obscure black metal albums, should be getting some copies of Psychogenie in stock pretty soon.

You can check out a sample track from Psychogenie at ToT’s MySpace page. Their other acts are worth checking out as well.

Local Act Spotlight – Somnae & Westering

November 13th, 2010 in Recommended Music1 Comment

Though I don’t often post about local acts, lately I’ve come across a couple of Seattle-based bands that deserve some attention and seem to be doing quite well for themselves, so I thought I’d help spread the word.


A friend turned me onto progressive death metal band Somnae, whose debut EP Forever More came out earlier this year. Somnae’s basic sound features well-crafted harmonics and melodic dual-guitar riffing accompanied by powerful guttural vocal delivery. One of the things you notice right away is how great the EP’s sound is, particularly for a debut. Probably a lot of the credit for that goes to the mastering job done by the legendary Dan Swanö, but it’s also clear that the members of Somnae know what they’re doing. The band will soon begin playing shows in the Seattle area, and we can probably look forward to some new material soon as well.

» Somnae @ MySpace


One-man black metal project Westering also released their first length Help A Body this year, and when your first album gets released by Paradigms Recordings you know you’re doing something right. Westering plays depressive, ambient black metal that’s vaguely reminiscent of bands like Velvet Cacoon or Germany’s Trist. There’s a bit of shoegaze influence as well, but it’s kept mostly in the background unlike a lot of the “black-gaze” bands out there these days. I kind of doubt that Westering will be touring any time soon, but it’s certainly nice to have an obscure ambient black metal band as part of the local scene.

» Westering @ MySpace

Soriah West Coast Tour and Workshops

November 4th, 2010 in Live Warfare, Recommended Music0 Comments

Portland’s Soriah is currently touring the West Coast, playing shows at various odd venues and also holding a few very exclusive workshops. I managed to catch Soriah this past week in Seattle as part of a Dia de los Muertos ceremony, and his performance was certainly one of the most amazing and mind-altering that I’ve experienced, so needless to say this tour is highly recommended. If you’re at all interested in throat singing and similar vocal techniques, you should definitely inquire about the workshops as well, since you’ll have the chance to learn from one of the art’s masters.

For those who aren’t familiar with him, Soriah is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist whose music and performances draw influence from many different global musical traditions such as raga, shamanism, butoh, and especially Tuvan throat singing. Soriah has established himself as one of the world’s masters of this style of singing, having received several international awards including “Best Foreigner” in the 2008 Ustuu-Khooree World Music Festival in Tuva. Soriah combines these various influences into a musical experience that is deeply moving and spiritual, while demonstrating his unparalleled vocal abilities. Nothing else out there comes close to sounding like this.

SF Workshop Info:

An Introduction to Khoomei
The Ancient Art of Tuvan Throat Singing
with Enrique Ugalde

Friday, November 5th from 2pm – 5pm
at 1543 Mission Street, 3rd Floor,
San Francisco, CA 94103

This workshop will offer:
An introduction to Tuvan Culture.
Instruction in the three main Tuvan throat singing styles Khoomei,
Sygyt and Kargyraa, their history and application to traditional folk songs.
Unconventional but effective ways to utilize and activate your instrument properly.

3 hours of group and one on one instruction

$60 sliding scale donation for 3 hours of instruction. Limit of 13 people.
To register, contact oshan anand:

Remaining Tour Dates:

Friday November 5th
San Francisco, CA

Saturday November 6th
Oakland, CA
The Metro

Tuesday November 9th
Santa Fe

Wednesday November 10th
Sedona, AZ

Thursday November 11th
Tucson, AZ
Solar Culture Gallery

Friday November 12th
San Diego
Tin Can Alehouse

Saturday November 13th
Hollywood, CA
Bar Sinister

Head over to for more details.

Neurosis Reissuing 1993 Classic “Enemy of the Sun”

September 12th, 2010 in Recommended Music, Upcoming Albums0 Comments

Unlike seemingly every other metal fan out there, I never really got into Neurosis. However, I am certainly familiar with many of today’s artists in the genre that Neurosis helped spawn: heavyweights like Intronaut, Mouth of the Architect, Isis, Pelican, The Ocean, and Mastodon all share some debt to Neurosis’s pioneering blend of hardcore and crushing doom. I finally got a taste of Oakland’s forefathers of post-metal with the re-release of 1993’s Enemy of the Sun, and I’ve gotta say that even today, most bands out there pale in comparison.

Neurosis’s own label Neurot Recordings is celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary with another reissue of their classic Enemy of the Sun, which was also reissued in 1999. Enemy of the Sun is really where Neurosis’s potent post-hardcore sound came into its own, and even among today’s slew of heavy post-metal and sludge acts, this album remains one of the most brutal and uncompromising slabs of music ever released. In a genre where new bands seem to be intent on one-upping each other in heaviness and extremity of sound, it’s a testament to Neurosis’s talent and vision that their early albums such as Enemy of the Sun still stick out as some of the most pummeling and difficult to listen to in the genre. Many of today’s bands have mastered the soft-loud-soft pattern of mixing sludgy downtuned riffing with moody acoustics, but back in ’93 there was none of that. Enemy of the Sun doesn’t let the listener go for a second of its cataclysmic length, and Neurosis’s use of dense, tribal percussion patterns only added to the primal onslaught.

The tracklist of Enemy of the Sun 2010 is the same as the previous reissue, with the only perceivable difference being that this edition bears a completely redesigned booklet courtesy of Neurosis’s visual mastermind (and ex-Red Sparowes guitarist) Josh Graham. So if you already have the album, I’m not sure this new edition has much to offer, but if you’re like me and haven’t checked out Neurosis yet, you probably won’t find a much better place to start.

» Buy the Enemy of the Sun reissue and t-shirt from Neurot Recordings

Free Music: Self-Inflicted Violence Unreleased Tracks

July 11th, 2010 in Free Shit, Recommended Music0 Comments

The UK’s Self-Inflicted Violence had managed to fly under my radar until recently, despite having put out an excellent album in last year’s A Perception Of Matter And Energy on Eerie Art Records. They sound kind of like a better version of Svarti Loghin, without all the weird alt-country elements. If you haven’t heard them, check out the songs on their MySpace page and prepare to be blown away.

The band has also decided to make a few unreleased tracks available for free download. The sound quality isn’t the greatest, but at least it’s something. See this blog post from the band’s MySpace page, or just click the download link below.

» Download unreleased Self-Inflicted Violence tracks from Mediafire

The band is currently in the studio working on their next full-length, which will be titled The Blue Sphere Floating In Black Seas. The new album should come out later this year.

(Almost) Free Music: Woe – “A Spell For The Death Of Man”

May 12th, 2010 in Free Shit, Recommended Music0 Comments

US black metal band Woe haven’t gotten much press or exposure compared to bands like Krallice, Nachtmystium or Leviathan, but judging by their debut full-length A Spell For The Death Of Man, these guys are easily one of the better USBM bands to surface in the last few years. Woe plays a fairly typical, slightly depressive and atmospheric style of black metal, with a good sense of melody and excellent musicianship, and are highly worth checking out.

Woe isn’t quite giving away their album for free, but they are offering digital copies through Communitas’s Pay What You Want service, so you can get it for next to nothing if you so choose. You’ll get a high-quality, DRM-free 320kbps MP3 version of the album that also includes all album artwork.

» Download A Spell For The Death Of Man from CommunitasMedia

You can also buy a physical copy of the album from Stronghold Records.

Woe is currently working on their second album, which will be titled Quietly, Undramatically and should come out later this year.