3 new releases from AHTOH SKALD


Russian vocalist Anton Gruzinski ( AHTOH SKALD ) released this summer a special gift for all his fans - Album, EP from his band "Age of Rage" and a compilation on VARG with all music from all his bands over the years.

Age of Rage – The Hundred (EP 2020)


1.The Hundred (Сотня) 05:39

2.The Wounds (Раны) 03:03

3.Alive (Смерти Вопреки. Жив здесь и сечас!) 03:12

4.Only Remembrances (Лишь Воспоминания) 04:38

5.Every Night (Каждую Ночь) 07:00

6.The Hundred (Orchestral Bonus Version) 05:39

7.The Hundred (Orchestra & Drums Version) 05:39

Age of Rage – Between the Hammer and the Anvil (2020)


01. Between the Hammer and the Anvil

02. Sons of Anarchy

03. Dance of Immortals

04. Die Tomorrow

05. Inhale This Night

06. Get Up

07. Age of Rage

08. The Game

09. We’ll Take It All

10. You

VA – Restless Skald Collection (2020)


01. AHTOH SKALD – Vigrid

02. Война Осколков – Марш Кхалима

03. Sensum – Rebel Riders

04. Restless Mind – Шторм

05. Age Of Rage – 30th November

06. Илиум – Докажи

07. Mad_X – With The Light Of Your Sin


09. Отголоски – Ответ

10. Age Of Rage – Твой мир

11. AHTOH SKALD – Eternal Winter

12. Sensum – Winner

13. Война Осколков – Завоевание

14. Restless Mind – К звёздам

15. Galaksyon – Pendulum of time feat. AHTOH SKALD

16. Mad_X – The Death

17. Отголоски – Сумерки

18. Soul Scroll – Носферату

19. Илиум – Маятник (Оргазм Нострадамуса Cover)

20. Война Осколков – Страж и Палач

21. Mad_X – Hate

22. Sensum – Revolution

23. Age Of Rage – My Vengeance

24. Restless Mind – Заложники себя

25. AHTOH SKALD – The Hope

Mister Kto released new single

On 11 September Russian project "Mister Kto" ("Mister Who" - russian) released their new single “Прохожий”. This is the single from the band upcoming album “Гештальт” that will be released in November 2020. The single was recorded at "Studio 114" and already available for streaming on all the major platforms.

Halixir released new single


Belarusian Gothic Metal band Halixir released their new single «I am Still Here».  The single was recorded at "Core of the Storm Records" and mixed/mastered by Dmitri Sukhov.

Album Review: Ascended Master - What Was ...And What Shall Be Again

Ascended Master are a new death metal band out of Ohio, USA. They’re a brilliant new passion project by Cody Knarr (ex-Faithxtractor, ex-Unkured), who is responsible for the vocals, guitars, bass, and the band logo. He’s worked alongside David Woest (tracks 1-3), and Luke Sackenheim (tracks 4-5), who both co-wrote the album. This is a review of their 2020 debut demo, What Was …And What Shall Be Again.

I had seen Cody perform multiple times with the death metal band Faithxtractor, and one of the highlights of those performances was always Cody’s melodic lead guitar playing. Thankfully, Ascended Master puts that guitar playing at forefront, giving the project its unique sound. Cody’s vocals remind of late-era Chuck Schuldiner, which immediately gives this demo a nostalgic feel. Some songs even have moments that could easily have made sense on The Sound of Perseverance, such as throughout the title track. That isn’t to say that this is merely Death homage, which wouldn’t be accurate at all, since aside from a few moments where it is easy to detect Death as an influence, the music overall doesn’t sound like Death. This release is heavy, thrashy, and sometimes avant-garde, but the two focal points are unmistakably the melodic riffs and the vocals. There are also plenty of other influences to note, as ‘To Behold Infinity’ begins with beautiful softer passage before going into a riff that wouldn’t be out of place on a NWOBHM album.

The sound quality on this is also great due to an excellent mixing job by Luke Sackenheim, who also mixed Faithxtractor’s 2018 release, Proverbial Lambs to the Ultimate Slaughter. The risk for more melodic bands like this is that they often opt for an over-polished, sterile mix. Thankfully, that isn’t the case here. Every instrument is clear, but also raw enough to not feel sterile. The drums in particular have some punch to them that gives this demo a more live feel. I’m also a sucker for audible bass, which is prominent throughout.

The album cover by Gillean Dublow has an old-school feel, with a layout that is frequently used nowadays, such as on the similarly excellent debut that came out this year from Spain’s Leprophiliac, however whereas Leprophiliac used a graphic photo, Gillean has used a hand-drawn art style depicting melting faces that reminds me of the original artwork for Deeds of Flesh’s Gradually Melted crossed with Morbid Angel’s Altars of Madness.

There isn’t much to the packaging for the CD version of Ascended Master’s demo, but what is included is crisp. There are no lyrics included, however a quote on the back of the cover insert from the title track indicates that the lyrics are thoughtful and avoid death metal clichés.

My highest praise about What Was… And What Shall Be Again is that in an era of metal that is oversaturated with bands focused on imitation, Ascended Master manages to sound refreshingly new, as they funnel a wide array of influences into a unique concoction that might wear its influences on its sleeve, but it doesn’t sound like them.  The longevity of these songs is dependent on the stellar songwriting instead of coasting on nostalgia. Cody’s unique and often beautiful guitarwork pairs so well with his Schuldiner-esque vocals, and I greatly look forward to hearing more from Ascended Master as a result. 

Check them out here:

Author: Kyle Messick

Edge Of Chaos released debut album


American Groove Metal band Edge Of Chaos released their debut album «A Man Called Martyr». The album was recorded at "Big Sexy Studios", and mixed/mastered by  Frank Birkner.

 Edge Of Chaos was formed in 2015 at Vineland, New Jersey by Frank Birkner (vocals/guitar), DJ Hill (bass) and Jon Blair (drums). In 2018 Greg Henderson (guitar) joined the band, and the lineup was completed.

Interview with United States based Black Metal band Sivad


Memphis, Tennessee based US black metal band Sivad dedicated to keeping the spirit of the black arts alive in their true form and unveiling them through uncompromising music. Raising the darkness since their inception, this quintets musical style is malevolent, evil black metal and embraces the blackened aesthetic and frozen Satanic evil of the style, while still acknowledging and weaponizing more misanthropic qualities. These guys flow onward and upwards in their endeavours, a solid effort brimming with darkness and the black arts. Embodies a dark descent into madness with The vocalist’s savage screams, pounding drums, growling bass and droning guitars but then the madness ensues with blast beats and ferocious riffing that does the material justice, allowing it to glow with a cold, infernal light, the music dips deep into the realm of the occult and otherworldly, fashioning hymns to blackened evil that firmly make their mark on the listener also unsettle and disturb with their dark ambiance and morbid atmospheres. Well, now straight diving to the interview session with Sivad.

1. Hello Guys, how are you doing today? Warm greetings from India

Sivad: Thank you for the chance to interview with you. We know you are a true supporter of underground music and are glad to speak with you.

2. Sivad was formed in 2013. So, can you give me a brief history of how the band formed? Had you been in any bands or musical apparition before Sivad?

Sivad: We all have years of experience performing in obscure bands, but Sivad is the first time each of us have felt like a "real band". The band started with Vocem and Wolf, who then met Manus, Principivm, and Simon around the same time. We found that we have a special chemistry, we work very well together, and that's why we have been able to stay together for seven years and going strong.

3. What bands inspired the direction that Sivad took and motivated you? Writers? Visual artists? Movies? Books?

Sivad: Bands that have inspired us, to name just a few, are Beherit, Bathory and VON. Influential artists: Alice Cooper, Arthur Brown, "visual" Dali. Movies Dario Argento and Jess Franco. Books: Joris-Karl Huysman.

4. There are two basic ways of looking at music. In the first, there is a mechanism for the arrangement of certain tones, musical style.in the second, a narration occurs where a story is told or a poetic function completed. In your view of compositions, which is more important? Where were you when you first thought the project had the long-term potential for you?


Sivad: That's true and we believe that both are equally important. Music without a purpose or message is rather pointless, and if you have a message or story to tell through music, the musical composition and performance must also be interesting enough to support that. We all agree on this, and when the five of us first came together it was simply understood that we shared the same values. So we knew we had lasting power amongst ourselves, with or without commercial success, and with or without the approval of others.

5. According to you guys what is the significance of the name, “Sivad”?

Sivad: The band originally derived its name from a local cult television personality in Memphis named "Sivad", who hosted a show on cable which featured obscure horror films. However, the bands name is also an acronym for the members of the band: Simon, Incimit, Væcord, Angvis, Doebler.

6. If you could tour with other bands in metal, who would you pick if you were looking for bands similar to Sivad?

Sivad: We don't care much if bands we share the stage and the road with sound like us. What we care about is that they possess the same focus, ferocity, and the goal of making each show devastating and meaningful. If a band does that, we would be more likely to be interested in working with them. Any band can make noise that sounds like black metal, but that doesn't make it artful or truly dark by default. It must have a certain spiritual potency, and if it does, then we are interested.

7. Since starting year Sivad released one demo and one split till date, and shaped the style of music. How do you maintain this consistency yet keep developing with each release? How do you write your riffs, songs? What is the most difficult part about composing songs as you do?

Sivad: Our main composer is Vocem Incimit, as we start with riffs first, always. We have become somewhat more technical over the years, crafting songs with more compositional depth which demand more of us to perform technically, but we never have and never will stray from our initial vision, which was and is to create aggressive and haunting black metal. As long as we stay true to that focus – and we will – you will hear and ever-evolving but consistent Sivad with each release.

8. Do you have a preference for type of equipment? In your mind, how important is equipment to the production of music?

Sivad: We are a band that is accustomed to doing as much as possible with very limited resources, so gear/equipment is not important to us, as long as we have the bare essentials needed to do what we do.

9. In before you guys released 2 efforts which sounds extremely promising and rekindle my affection for black metal. When were these tracks written, and how does Sivad go about the writing process?

Sivad: We are glad to hear your inner flame was stoked by our music! As stated previously, Vocem Incimit is responsible for most of what becomes Sivad songs. Principivm Angvis writes some riffs and all members assist in producing the material to its finished state, and we work well in this way, so we will likely continue to do so. Those songs you are familiar with were written early in our existence, so you can expect the new material on our upcoming album to be an elevated version of that.

10. You guys are extremely potential. So, is there any good news regarding forthcoming studio effort? Can't wait to check out the first excerpt haha. My anticipation level getting high.

Sivad: You will be among the first to hear new material when it's properly recorded! But yes, much of our upcoming album is written and we hope others will be as eager for it as you! We are certainly ready to put out a full-length. The time is right.

11. I’ve categorized Sivad's significant genre. As well you have extends your talents far beyond mediocrity. So, how did you get into this style of music and explain about this music genre?

Sivad: We would all have to answer individually to explain where we come from, musically. We have many influences from within and outside of the genre we write in. While Sivad started as and is primarily a black metal band, we do write material that doesn't fit neatly within the confines of that genre. So, while we have a deep respect for black metal and what it means to us, we are not afraid to create art that steps outside of those boundaries. You can expect to hear a lot of material on the next album that defies the "black metal" definition, but is true to the heart of Sivad and dark, extreme underground music.

12. How would you describe the sound of Sivad to someone who hadn’t heard it, and what distinguishes your music from any other act in the same genre?

Sivad: We would describe our sound as intensely aggressive and dark, first and foremost. If those two aspects are absent, it is not Sivad. In addition to that, our priority is writing music that speaks to the dark heart of black metal, while not necessarily blindly adhering to the generally accepted technical prerequisites of black metal. Also, we have never been and will never be a band that implements any filler whatsoever or relies on bland, atmospheric elements. Sivad is hate, death, darkness, blasphemy, and conflict. This is our legacy and what is truly in our hearts, so our music is a reflection of that.

13. Who came up with the predecessor released cover artwork? I personally cherish every released artwork because those are truly indelible, remarkable, appreciable and meaningful too.

Sivad: The artist responsible for our previous artworks goes by the name of Worthless Endeavors. He will likely not be involved with Sivad moving forward, but he has created some excellent art for us in the past. We are in talks with other artists for future releases, and you can trust that the  standard we have set for our artwork will be met. In fact, the bar will be raised.

14. Let's talk about your early memories. What's the first gig you ever went to? Have you been to any killer live shows lately?

Sivad: We don't get out much. We support bands that we believe in and are associated with, but most of them are in other countries or other states, so we haven't been to any noteworthy shows lately other than ones we performed at. We could go on about the many great experiences we've had performing live, but perhaps it would be best if you and your readers come and see us yourself! As for the first shows we ever attended, that would of course be a different answer for each of us, but to put it simply, we have roots in trash, death, and black metal collectively, so you can imagine what kind of shows we would attend.

15. In before you guys had performed a lot of gigs so, which show was the most memorable to you so far? Do you get a good crowd response? Did you get offers to play in other countries or anything like that?

Sivad: Every show this band has ever done has had a more than great crowd response. Sivad is a very good live band, both sound and visually. We've been fortunate in our still short span to play with great bands from around the world, But if I were to choose specifically I'd say our recent San Antonio show with Morbosidad was outstanding, because we were not able to prepare as much as we normally would, and we had guts to open with a new song we had not honestly played enough, and we were co headliners to boot. But all went extremely well.

16. Do you study other bands music to come up with ideas? There are satanic imagery with your lyrics, theme, Sigil. Is this just an image or something you believe in?

Sivad: Sure, we listen to other bands and there is some influence or inspiration taken from artists we enjoy, consciously or otherwise. But actually, we take more influence from seeing bands doing things we disapprove of. We learn from others mistakes and missteps, and try to do better. As for the Satanic/religious imagery and themes of our music and artwork, we certainly do believe in everything we present. We each have our own spiritual path and they intertwine with one another in vital ways, but as a matter of principle, it is important that we are all our own persons and have beliefs that are specific and personal to each of us. Basically, to answer your question, not only do we believe in what we write about, but what you see and hear in Sivad is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our devotion to the devil and to darkness. Even music, as powerful as it is, cannot capture all of what that means to us.

17. How do you prepare yourself before the studio or especially for live performances? Did any band, in particular, inspire you in the shrieking department?

 Sivad: We prepare for any performance, live or in studio, with certain personal rituals. We can not reveal too much in that regard because it is very personal by nature. To speak of that would devalue it. However, we do appreciate you inquiring about it, because it means you understand how important that kind of thing can be.

18. You guys are from United States. So, how much have you discovered about the extreme metal scene and how much of it were you aware of before the band started?

Sivad: We have always been very fond and fervent supporters of the U.S. black and death metal scenes (for the most part...). Many legendary bands, past and present, hail from our country – Von, Masochist, & Grand Belial's Key to name a few. We have always been aware of it and continue to proudly wave the banner of USBM.

19. What do you do as individual band members to relax, when not working on music? Do you have jobs or business?

Sivad: We each have jobs, but they are only a means to an end, and the end is SIVAD. We have lives outside of the band, but everything we do is in favor and support of the band. It may never bring us commercial or financial success, but we are so devoted to our goals and vision that it really does not matter in the least.

20. What albums are you listening to lately or just the bands and albums, in general, you're really digging right now and tell me about your anticipated album of this year?

Sivad: For this one, we will answer individually, as we all have our own taste which comes into play regarding what influences us in life and in music:

DOEBLER: Unholy Vampiric Slaughter Sect, Aries Kingdom, Goatpsalm

ANGVIS: Incubus - "Beyond the Unknown", Diabolic - "Vengeance Ascending", and Hexekration Rites - "Demo MMXVIII"

VÆCORD: Thy Darkened Shade - "Liber Lucifer", Satyricon - "Volcano", Opeth - "Ghost Reveries"

INCIMIT: Thy Darkened Shade, Magoth, Morgal

SIMON: Mortem - "Deinos Nekromantis", Vomitor - "The Escalation", Incantation - "Blasphemy in Brazil"

21. Last one question, what are your future band goals & tell us something about an upcoming tour. Lastly, lots of teenagers aim to be full-time musicians. Many of them might be without any proper guidance, any words of wisdom for them?

Sivad: Future plans are to keep writing and making music our way, and we will continue to never waiver or apologize for what we do. Tour plans are always open to the right offers.

22. That's all I've got right now. Best of luck for the future. Looking forward. Thanks a lot for enduring this torture haha. Any final thoughts, comments for the readers? Always welcome to India. We are keen to see you play in live. If I forgot anything, please insert it in here.

Sivad: We would certainly accept an invitation to India some day! Thank you for your support and for asking excellent questions.

Interviewer: Souvik Basu. Published on 19/08/2020.

Split Album Review :~ Black Altar and Kirkebrann - Deus Inversus

Playing darkened, occult, ritualistic, Satanic and furious black metal without displaying any hints of mercy in the demonic version is always appreciable. Nowadays a lot of excellent black metal albums are releasing. In my opinion, the previous year was remarkable for black metal. Already a lot of good black metal album released on this year and looking forward till the end of this year. In this extreme metal music genre first wave black metal and second-wave black metal bands are full of reverence. The experimentation isn’t the only part of the music that’s carefully measured and blended into the mix. Some moments are triumphantly filled with expansive and engrossing melodies, others upbeat and many are just plain weird.  Polish infernal black metal group Black Altar and Norwegian black metallers Kirkebrann they both have seamlessly adopted a nuanced sound that almost straddles borders with power violence and hardcore at many junctures. Everything on here is pretty damn interesting, yet it’s clear that Black Altar and Kirkebrann values quality over novelty because the dazzling split is never overbearingly experimental. When it comes to notoriety in terms of black metal bands Black Altar and Kirkebrann is usually not the first place that comes to mind to a vast majority of people. While some clueless, fully underground band attempting to sell their flavor of the month band to potential listeners, some bands simply exist and create milestone. "Deus Inversus" a phenomenal addition to the Black metal archive.

A new mammoth orthodox black metal undertaking in the form of a split album "Deus Inversus" released on 30th of June by two of the most important and talented acts in the black metal scene Black Altar and Kirkebrann. "Deus Inversus" consists of 7 tracks and unleashed via Odium Records with 31:28 minutes of shadowy artistry. After so long in existence, they have gathered a wealth of experience and dark talents, which they liberally pour into their music. New Split exploding with righteous resolve, a miasma-inducing maelstrom of classic coldness. Black Altar and Kirkebrann they both have always been a guarantor of occult sound art of a special kind and always succeeding in developing music. They have always executed with the utmost confidence but never with overt creativity that made them truly rise above their black metal compatriots.

When I first heard this Split I was stunned. It was immediate and I was overwhelmed. Black metal coming from a deep, non-physical place. When I listened to this I didn’t feel that instant calling from the frost-covered lands of death which black metal so often provokes. It’s dark but the rest is abstract, it’s open to the interpretation and feeling each one gets from the listen. Aforementioned both bands deliver a distinctly experimental, atmospherically evil form of black metal with a little bit of the atmospheric leanings. Both bands every musician did a fantastic job on this Split in a radiant way. This whole studio effort reflects the grand diversity of sound brought together on this new release. Their signature sounds and disparate styles all combined in one bold, enlightened display of unbound creativity Despite the often fast, furious, cacophonous black metal assaults with a lot of segments of slower tempo too where Black Altar & Kirkebrann combines Frozen guitars output, creepy atmospheric passages, noisy, mid-paced black metal arpeggios with cavernous drum thrashes, devilish riffs and those effective, croaking Vocals. The big kicker here is all the choir voices. Indeed, Black Altar and Kirkebrann both bands could have the soundtrack to where you continually get killed by horrific, strange beasts. Controller throwing is optional so, I warn you before entering this journey.

Well, their latest opus opened by Black Altar with a slow burn of long term fright where Black Altar opts for more straightforward occultism, instead of communicating all fear purely in unbridled aggression. They create a standard cold, tremolo-picked chords, raspy screams and raw drums blast beaten away with a snare that clunks. The guitars are very fast, harsh and distorted yet they never sound like an under-produced wall of worthless noise, managing to play raw traditional black metal riffs with grooves, melody, and aggression. Their whole composition and musical style are impeccable also borrow great.  Black Altar and Kirkebrann’s heavy black metal is uncompromising, recalling the early No Fashion releases through a lens of expressionist fury. This new Split's whole compositions are an extremely filthy and unsettling piece of sinister euphoria and unearthly ambiance. Everything they strove to accomplish with this new album was unequivocally achieved, and the extra dose of heaviness fleshed out by a punishingly passionate performance keeps this first excerpt fresh even after multiple play-through. After a multiple listen this incantation just blew me away with their ethereal abyss, multi-dimensional, the multi-layered, ominous musical style. Vocals from start to end with no glaringly weak moments found anywhere on this hike through the lightless catacombs of Satan's abode. Their every bit as effective in their Satanic devotion. It'll scramble your trusty scythe to cut through it.

 This Split album is filled with a slew of cadence, apocalyptic, ominous, hellish, powerful riffs work. As well bass line up is whopping, intense, strong, rumbling, slithering. Drumming, the percussion line up is bleak, frantic, solid, clattering and powerful. In each track morbidly delicious, macabre, soaring, dark eerie riffs, bass lineups matched in a good manner. The most striking thing you’ll notice about the sound of Black Altar and Kirkebrann is the air of aggression,occult, ritualistic and blasphemous that quite literally drips from the noise they create. This whole materials sound deliver raw emotion and pure energy. “Deus Inversus” endures beauty of black metal and rinse purity of black flame. This Split indulges strong songwriting and brilliant musicianship. vocals occupy the other spot on the podium and even though it isn’t too grating. Vocals decently large voice that does well for their band. Vocals drag on in concordance with the slower parts of the compositions, sometimes recurring to subtle effects that exacerbate the threat in his words that look like they come from the most unbridled facet present in all of us. Vocals howling scream, menacing, immense, deep rasps, a hoarse voice emerged on this Split in a good manner and intertwined perfectly with their anticlimactic, utterly spellbinding, obtuse, bizarrely arrogant, mysterious, fully blistering, aggressive black metal, a distant musical style with lots of evil atmospheric, occult, ritualization accompaniment and embedded perfectly. Overall you will get sinister, gloomy, mysterious ambient from this whole Split. This is another of those monumental releases which have taken me a spell to ponder. I worship this band. They have masterfully trodden the fine line between antiquated grandeur and hollow, cobweb-coated emptiness.

Each song has energy, fluency and draws a savage landscape. Stand out tracks are all of them. Album artwork is macabre, gorgeously hideous, pretty neat, atrocious, grisly. Overall “Deus Inversus" whole split is spectacular, engrossing, significant, rich, spirituality full of evil, Scary shaking of dark vibration. This split sounds so authentic and a truly remarkable sonic journey from beginning to end. The production is impeccable, capable of handling both the massive misanthropic and gargantuan heft.  Indeed this Split is such a true hidden gem of this year. The Polish and Norwegian bruisers still possess all the necessary skills and hard-won experience to put younger, newcomer challengers in their place. Both bands (Black Altar and Kirkebrann) has welded the styles together and has created something greater than the sum of its influences. The black metal production makes the riffs come to the mind in-distinctively but perceptible to the anima, simultaneously becoming a memorable experience though never repetitive. It’s always possible to detect secondary melodies that weren’t there the last time and won’t be there the next. 

My Rating:  

Reviewer: Souvik Basu. Published on 05/07/2020

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