The Grindhouse | Stages Of Decomposition, Devolver, Last In Time & More New Loudness

Here’s something I’ve noticed over the decades: There aren’t a ton of metal Christmas songs — as least not in comparison to other genres (especially country). I guess it makes sense — holiday music isn’t exactly heavy as a rule — but it still seems kind of odd, especially when you consider Santa and Satan have the same letters. Anyway, while you ponder that, check out the latest loudness from here and there:


Stages Of Decomposition | Skid Row Slasher

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The relentless purveyors of brutal L.A. death grind are back with a gritty, slamming single titled Skid Row Slasher. This track, along with the video, is the first look at their gruesome third album Raptures of Psychopathy, due in February. Skid Row Slasher delves into the haunting tale of the murderers who terrorized the homeless community in the infamous L.A. neighborhood. The band explain: “This song is about the infamous Skid Row Slasher and the Skid Row Stabber, both murderers who roamed the streets for victims. We wanted to make this song our first single to represent our theme of serial killers but also represent our city of Los Angeles in a twisted way of how psychotic L.A. can be.”

Devolver | New Blood

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alberta’s Devolver unveil their new track New Blood, which will be featured on their forthcoming sophomore album produced with Mark Lewis (Black Dahlia Murder, Deicide, Devildriver, Whitechapel). For this video, the band wanted to do something fun and pay homage to one of the greatest musical video games: Guitar Hero. “We had someone make the Guitar Hero charts for New Blood and Jewels Of The Maw, so if you play Clone Hero on PC you can download and play our songs!” they say. “About the song, it’s an amalgamation of riffs written in a single sitting whilst Devin was sitting on a staircase bullshitting with Bevin. It was quickly developed into a skeleton structure at which point Bevin wrote drums for the song. After a tweak to the chorus, the song was finished until lyrics were added and a solo was added after the first chorus per Mark Lewis’ suggestion. This song doesn’t sit down at all and goes right until it ends. With chugging riffs, interesting melodies, ripping solos, and a catchy yet memorable chorus, we feel New Blood is putting our best foot forward.”

Last In Time | Moonlight Dreamers

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Set to release their debut album Too Late in January, Italy’s Last In Time invite fans to experience a journey through various musical influences. It’s a rock album that combines the melody of AOR, the power of hard rock and metal, with a nod to ’90s progressive rock. Today, they present their second single Moonlight Dreamers, featuring guest vocals from Caterina Minguzzi. The song is about two people who meet in a bar. Lost in their thoughts, they get to know each other. They spend the night together, and in the end, when they wake up, they wonder if something more than a mere flirtation will develop.”

Vitriol | Weaponized Loss

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Weaponized Loss is another relentless offering that frames the fruits of trauma as a circumstantial strength when one is still at the mercy of an oppressive environment. Death metal battalion Vitriol’s latest track is taken from their upcoming sophomore full-length, Suffer & Become,  due on Jan. 26. Singer-guitarist Kyle Rasmussen comments, “Weaponized Loss is similar in spirit to The Flowers of Sadism in that it frames the fruits of trauma as a circumstantial strength when one is still at the mercy of an oppressive environment. Becoming well acquainted with death and loss at an early age can better equip you to walk away from situations and relationships that are harming you. Cultivating a willingness to experience painful loss voluntarily, while being dangerous, can be a very valuable tool in the pursuit of survival.”

While She Sleeps | Down

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:While She Sleeps bring the curtain down on 2023 and line up an even bigger 2024 as they share the new single Down, which features Alex Taylor of fellow Sheffield band Malevolence. The track is accompanied by an exceptional video, which the band made DIY-style as a labour of love project. While Down is informed by the band’s desire to bring a whirlwind of fresh sonic influences to the fore, it nonetheless maintains the fierce aggression that typified the band’s roots. The track opens with an ominous blare of an MS-20 synth, before grinding heavyweight riffs, industrial-tinged beats and a soaring melodic hook heighten its intensity. Completed by a ferocious verse from Taylor, Down is indicative of where While She Sleeps are going in 2024: A maximalist, anything-goes attitude powered by swagger and self-belief.”

Shrapnel | In Gravity (ft. Scott Kennedy)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “U.K. thrash metallers Shrapnel have released their blazing new single, In Gravity, which features Scott Kennedy (Bleed From Within). “In Gravity marks the launch of a new chapter for Shrapnel. We’ve channelled every bit of suffering, devastation, and emotion that we’ve experienced in recent years, and created the most hard-hitting and urgent song we’ve ever written. Never have we been so confident about our own material. With Jens Bogren producing and Scott Kennedy from Bleed From Within on guest vocals, it’s been hard to keep our excitement under wraps. They’ve helped us raise the bar higher than ever and made In Gravity a definitive statement that we are only looking forward.”

Mindrazer | Crusader

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Combining the anthemic melodies of traditional and power metal, the precise, aggressive attack of thrash, and twists of dark intensity borrowed from second-wave black metal, Jersey’s Mindrazer play a style as familiar as it is fresh. Their debut album, A Thing of Nightmares was released in October, and today they offer a new lyric video for their battle-ready track Crusader. It’s a frenetic epic with an infectious riff along with constant twists and turns that paint the picture of riding into battle to fight on a blood-covered, snowy battlefield in medieval Finland. Nick DeFuria (vocals, guitar) and Brian Weissman (drums, vocals) recorded an actual sword fight live in the studio for the song. They brought in swords they got at a Renaissance fair and spent an hour screaming and bashing them together to make layers and layers of a battle sounds. “Crusader is the epic orgasm of the album,” they say. “Telling the seldom-told tale of the Crusade of Finland, this song is a whirlwind of technical riffs, melodies, and epic proportions. Blazing guitar harmonies, machine gun lyrics, and a drum solo bring this album to its peak … This brings the record to its conclusion with a bang.”

Slower | Blood Red

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Doom metal supergroup Slower — the all-Slayer cover project — release a second track from their upcoming self-titled album, due out Jan. 2. The lineup features guitarist Bob Balch of Fu Manchu, drummer Esben Willems of Monolord, bassist Peder Bergstrand of Lowrider, bassist Scott Reeder of Fireball Ministry (also ex-Kyuss), vocalist Laura Pleasants of Kylesa and vocalist Amy Barrysmith of Year Of The Cobra. This unique recording will catch metal fans off guard, delivering five reinvented Slayer classics with heavier-than-thou atmospheres and compelling ethereal vocals. Balch says: “When I started this project I kind of had a feeling Blood Red would find its way onto the chopping block. The groove is undeniably heavy at any speed and the arrangement is pretty straightforward. I sent Esben some scratch tracks to jam to and he killed it as usual. Then I tracked my guitars with actual amps. We sent all of that to Amy to lay down vocals. She absolutely nailed it!! After that, I used a single coil Reverend with a whammy bar for the solos. Peder’s bass was the last piece of the puzzle. He made it so much heavier! It didn’t think that was possible.”

Caligula’s Horse | The World Breathes With Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australian progressive metal outfit Caligula’s Horse release their second strike The World Breathes With Me, off their upcoming album Charcoal Grace. The single is the album’s 10-minute opening track and takes the listener through the emotions and vibe of the new album. “The World Breathes With Me is a powerful musical journey that sets the stage for Charcoal Grace as a whole,” they say. “It pulls right back to a bird’s-eye view of what we saw and experienced during the years of the pandemic. While we did lose our faith in humanity, we ultimately reconnected in the understanding that we are all forever connected to one another through breath and to the world through each other.”

Judicator | I Am The Void / The Curse Of Feanor

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Strap on your bullet belts and gird up your loins as American power metal stalwarts, Judicator, blaze a trail with their latest offering, the thunderous EP I Am The Void. After eleven years of unwavering dedication, numerous time zones, and resilient camaraderie, Judicator emerge once again, wielding a sonic sword that pierces the very fabric of the human experience. The band comment: “I Am The Void will scratch the itch of two different kinds of Judicator fans. Those who like the new direction of Judicator will enjoy the title track, while those who prefer our older Cordisco-era catalog will like The Curse of Feanor. There’s something in this EP for everyone.”

Previous articleAlbums Of The Week: Tijuana Bibles | Free Milk
Next articleCanadian Beacon | Comeback Kid, Sam Jr. & More New Homegrown Sounds