Kommand, Death Age (20 Buck Spin 2023)

Catastrophic death metal is what you’ll hear on the new Kommand album, Death Age.

Los Angeles death metal band Kommand has been kicking around since 2015. After a couple of early demos, their first long-player was Terrorscape in 2020. Now they are back with a new album that is about a “vision of a dystopian hellscape, cities permanently scarred by heavy weaponry, and those unfortunates who survived the onslaught…”. The band is Ian Logan (guitar), Jesse Sanes (vocals), Tim Shriver (bass), Sam Bosson (drums), and Sam Shriver (guitar).

“Final Virus” sounds like a massive doomscape when it opens. The pummeling percussion and growling vocals go along with the rising guitars to form undeniable death metal. “Chimera Soldiers” is rugged from the jump, blasting drums and unrelenting guitars. After a space is made, the tempo settles into a different regime, and rules from there on out. “Global Death” is the revelation of a master plan in a movie with an unconquerable villain. Determined and deliberate, this metal assault stops for on one.

The flip side gives us “Polar Holdout,” a growling monster wreaking havoc from the edge of the known world. The heavy, thick vocals sell the tale as the sharp lead guitar drives it home. “Fleeing Western Territories” does conjure feelings of flight, and of desperate peril. The tension is present throughout the song, and it has a cumulative effect, turning you ever faster. The last track is “Collapse Metropolis.” From the title I could not help but visualize the old movie, the really old silent film and how this devastating ravagement could play over the action of the catastrophe. It would be perfect. These six songs form an excellent set. I can’t wait to hear even more. Recommended.

Death Age sees the light of day on Friday, March 31st through 20 Buck Spin on CD, digital, vinyl, and cassette. Poke around at the links below.

Band photo by Kris Kirk.


Kommand website, https://www.kommand.band/

Bandcamp, https://listen.20buckspin.com/album/death-age

20 Buck Spin, https://www.20buckspin.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Kommand, Death Age (20 Buck Spin 2023)

Ashen Horde, Antimony (Transcending Obscurity 2023)

Progressive blackened death metal band Ashen Horde summon essences from the beyond for their fourth long-player, Antimony.

Initially, Ashen Horde was a one-man band, but since its beginning the line-up has expanded to Trevor Portz (guitar, clean vocals), Stevie Boiser (harsh vocals), Robin Stone (drums), and Igor Panasewicz (bass). With at least seven EPs and three previous long-players in their catalogue, the band has a lot to offer. The new record expands and deepens the musicians’ legacy, moving them closer to the vanguard of contemporary metal.

After a short intro, “The Throes of Agony” is the ice breaker. At the beginning, the music feels like a battering from a rock hammer – on the pointy end. The weight of the metal accelerated by the swing assists in the deep penetration of the probing end. The lead guitar break is surprisingly lyrical, and the riffs have an underhanded hookiness to them. The vocals are half-hissed. When the elements are brought together this way, the blast beats enter easily and the gruff vocals, when they arrive, are perfectly in place. Excellent. “The Consort” brings its own introduction, which distracts from the cliff you are walking toward. The music reminds me of a dark carnival in many places. But then in the second half, there is a long guitar break that brings on nostalgia for metal from the past. The dueted vocals are a surprise.

Not counting the intro bit and the short “bonus” track at the end, there are eight longish songs on the album. Each is a combination of different genre lanes, assembled carefully for impact and consistency. Listening to the entire album is an unusual experience because, despite the angular differences in the pieces – both within and between – it all fits and flows so nicely together. “The Barrister” is an excellent example of this by itself. There is not much dissonance, although you will find it in places, like on “The Neophyte.” Overall, this is a great metal album that will have a broader appeal than I at first imagined. Recommended.

Antimony is out on Friday, January 27th through Transcending Obscurity Records. Tons of great merch and format variants are available for this release through the links below.


Bandcamp, https://ashenhordeband.bandcamp.com/album/antimony-black-death-metal

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AshenHorde

Transcending Obscurity Records, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Ashen Horde, Antimony (Transcending Obscurity 2023)

Black Math Horseman, Black Math Horseman (Profound Lore 2022)

Regathering after more than a decade, Black Math Horseman release a new album.

Black Math Horseman is a band from LA comprised of the musicians Sera Timms (bass, vocals), Ian Barry (guitar), Bryan Tulao (guitar), and Sasha Popovic (drums). They originally got together in 2007 and released a demo. More importantly, their debut album, Wyllt, came out in 2009 and cast an entirely different light on the heavy music scene with the way it created hypnotic expressions in such a chaotic space. A few years later, they parted.

In 2020 the group came back together. Sera Timms says about the re-meeting, “At first, the conversation was about how we were all in different places now, and could we even go back to being that band that we were? … Maybe we’d write completely different music now—and we were all open to that.” Instead, “When we started jamming again, we didn’t sound any different. We discovered that the music that comes from us four together is something that we have no control over. It just happens. It’s a recipe that’s beyond us.”

Fans know what to expect from this new album. It is composed as a single musical piece. Although it is split into four parts, it is meant to be heard all at once. It does work best that way. “The essence of the album is overcoming a great enemy, a great adversarial force, and reaching a place of harmony that has never been found before,” Timms says. “You go to a dark place and destroy relationships that you love, all based on ego. Eventually, you have nothing. And when you have nothing, you have to find a new way of doing things. That’s where we’re at now as a band and family, and that’s also the theme of the record.”

The four movements are “Black Math Horseman,” “Boar Domane,” “The Bough,” and “Cypher.” As described by Timms, this is indeed a journey. The music is trance-inducing post-rock, and it has a clear ritual feel to it at times. I hear elements of black metal come through, especially in the lead guitar passages, while the vocals are beautifully lyrical. The coexistence of these near-opposites is an important aspect of the music and its achievements.

The entire cycle runs about twenty-five minutes, and while the separate movements do have their own feel and structure, you are missing something if you do not listen to it all straight through from the beginning. Let the music envelope you and get lost in the story and emotion. Recommended.

Black Math Horsman is out on Friday, October 21st through Profound Lore Records.

Band photo by Travis Shinn.


Bandcamp, https://blackmathhorseman.bandcamp.com/album/black-math-horseman

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063492333782

Profound Lore Records, http://profoundlorerecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Black Math Horseman, Black Math Horseman (Profound Lore 2022)

Terror, Sink To The Hell (War Records 2020)

Four songs is all it takes to make this Terror EP a must-have for 2020.

Terror is a hardcore metal band from Los Angeles who enjoy well-deserved stature in that music scene. Fast, loud, and off center, their music always gets a rise out of fans. Sink To The Hell collects songs that have been released individually this year as singles so you can have them all in one place.

This music comes from excavating material that had been recorded in the past but never released to the public. Here are the details from the press release: “‘Sink To The Hell’ and ‘The New Beginning’ were resurrected from the Live By The Code sessions, ‘Don’t Need Your Time’ is from the Keepers Of The Faith demo sessions – with new vocals recorded in 2020 to complete the track and featuring Jesse Barnett of Stick To Your Guns – and ‘You Lost All Respect’ is also from the Keepers Of The Faith demo sessions with updated drums, additional guitars, and vocals.” So it is not just a couple of songs scraped from the bottom of the can. These four were curated and finished to the same level as the rest of the band’s music.

All the songs rip, but my favorite is “A New Beginning” – I just love the opening riff and the cunning vocals. Each piece is in the two minute range so they crack then get the fuck out. I can’t believe these almost didn’t see the light of day. If it hadn’t been for what’s been this year, these might have remained where they were. Something good came out of 2020 after all. Recommended.

Sink To The Hell is available right now at Bandcamp and all the regular places. Check out the War Records website for all sorts of variants, additional music, and merch.

Band photo by Becca Lader.


Terror, https://www.sticktight.la

Terror Bandcamp, https://terror.bandcamp.com/

Terror Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/terrorhardcore

War Records, http://www.war-rec.com

War Records Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/WARRECORDS.HC

Terror, Sink To The Hell (War Records 2020)