30 Nov 2016

Ancst: "The Humane Condition"

Exceptionally well-crafted but for a few missteps
Ancst are exceptionally productive, having produced several releases every year since their creation in 2012. More often than not this is an indicator of the shallowness of a group's efforts, where quantity weighs heavier than quality, and productivity holds a seat above creativity and originality. A shame it is that this goes especially for black metal bands.

28 Nov 2016

AK-11: "Legendary, Demonic & Invincible"

Northern blasts of black metal warfare
Black is traditionally stripped down to the bare necessities of extremity, but this goes especially for AK-11, a self-proclaimed "triumphant black war metal" band from 2011. The project, fronted by - at the time - sole member Valak, never lets a breath go to waste with no effort spilled on fancy solos, lofty orchestrations or overly complex compositions.

25 Nov 2016

Charles Bradley: "Changes"

Deepfelt vibrations from the soul of a man
Though Black Sabbath's Ozzy-fronted version of Changes will in all likelihood always remain my favourite rendition of the original Black Sabbath track, Charles Bradley and company have in every way breathed new life into the old classic with their own soulful tropes. Bradley's rough vocalisation - courtesy of his dry voice - is not without power, and definitely not without soul and heaps of personality. But Changes, as his 2016 album is called, is much more than just a Black Sabbath cover song. It is a soul album that aspires to be much more than just that, but he never betrays his roots as a fan and impersonator of James Brown.

23 Nov 2016

In Silent: "Potepienie"

Polish genre-veterans that do their job, but sometimes only with unambitious adequacy
Having formed in 1996, 2016 celebrates the 20th anniversary of Polish death mongers In Silent. Most original members are long gone from In Silent's lineup, and over the course of two decades the band had, until 2013, only a few demos to show for their long engagement in the genre.

21 Nov 2016

Sguaguarahchristis: "Der Nacht"

High class black metal
One can hardly blame a band with a name like Italian black metalheads Sguaguarahchristis for coming up with a shorter abbreviation for convenience - So SG666 it is. Der Nacht forms the second act of their dark, anti human performance, with a few smaller offerings closing the gap between the 2012 debut and their 2014 sophomore album.

18 Nov 2016

Stalker: "Satanic Panic"

Wild speed metal flagellations
It is not often - unless you specifically seek it out - that you hear about new bands from New Zealand. And when you do, it is even rarer for that band to be one of those exciting new names that randomly pops up every so often. Bands like Ranger from Finland and Encyrcle from Denmark both fit the bill, and Stalker from Wellington are most definitely one of those new names to look out for!

16 Nov 2016

Subscale: "The Last Submission

Depthless heaviness made for the masses
Subscale - Birthed in 2012 - represents just about every cliche and trend from the last 15 years of mainstream heavy metal. With computerised nu-metal-core, each member of the band's plentiful staff proudly lays down their heavy groove-laden offerings.

14 Nov 2016

Despot: "Satan in the Death Row"

Despot tries its own thing but feels the pressure
With bands like Sarcófago, Vulcano, Sepultura or Mystifier, Brazil should ring a bell with any fan of extreme metal. Attempting to pick up the heavy mantle, B.A.V. created Despot in 2008, a militant and crude black metal project with three demos behind it before the release of the full length Satan in the Death Row in 2013.

11 Nov 2016

Fetid Zombie: "Grotesque Creation"

Grave concerns for the future of one of death metal's most prominent artists
Mark Riddick is by most considered a stable in black and death metal artwork, having made logos and artwork for more bands that you could count. His visual output is iconic and appalling in its stark white-on-black style, and while his main musical project Fetid Zombie has had a steady output since its inception - much like his drawings - the quality of which has shown to be of a quality more varying than his other endeavours.

10 Nov 2016

TONEwood TAPES Announcement

TONEwood presents...

We are thrilled to announce that as the visitor's counter has ticked over the first 10.000 unique visits, TONEwood Music will be releasing its first release under TONEwood Tapes.

9 Nov 2016

Wall of the Eyeless: "Wimfolsfestta"

Consistent but effortless
Crossing country borders, Simon from Sweden and SL from Russia created their collaboration Wall of the Eyeless in 2011. That same year their debut demo Through Emptiness garnered a few positive reviews, to be followed in 2013 by the Wimfolsfestta demo.

7 Nov 2016

Legionary: "Path of Tyranny"

The textbook example of the smaller influences of line-up changes
Like so many other bands, Legionary from the US have been plagued by near-constant line-up changes. Just from the release of their debut album, Arcane Divisions in 2012, to their next offering, 2013's Path of Tyranny EP, all but drummer and main songwriter Frank D'Erasmo and bassist Mike Carra had been replaced.

4 Nov 2016

Black Mountain: "IV"

The prominent Canadian band continues to experiment, but seem to have written their master thesis
With a few albums behind them, Black Mountain have never shyed away from blurring the already undefinable lines between drugged out indie rock and finicky stoner rock. Their latest effort, the fourth album IV, again shows that the group are constantly experimenting with their sound, while the half-psychedelic ramblings which is the core of their style remains largely the same.

2 Nov 2016

Trou Noir: "Echoes in Black Holes"

Uninspired voyage into deep space
With members from Russia and France, Trou Noir is a project made possible by the great invention of the internet. In mid 2011 the international collaboration released their debut, the demo tape Echoes in Black Holes through Eerie Torture. Between them, the three members have released dozens of demos, EPs, splits and albums through different outlets, so in that regard these fellows are seasoned in the dark arts of black metal.