Single Slam: MØL, Zeal & Ardor, Withered Land, Infern, Bokassa, Good Hustles, Gospelheim, Jinjer and Ward XVI

This week’s single slam features MØL, Zeal & Ardor, Withered Land, Infern, Bokassa, Good Hustles, Gospelheim, Jinjer and Ward XVI. You can read our thoughts about the latest singles from these bands below.

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MØL – Photophobic

On November 5th, blackgaze masters MØL are set to return with their eagerly awaited second studio album, Diorama, the group’s first for their new label Nuclear Blast Records.

MØL have since unveiled ‘Photophobic’, the first single taken from this upcoming album.

Vocalist Kim Song Sternkopf explains:

‘Photophobic’ is centred around denial and self-deception. Fear of exposure of one’s past”,. “The song encapsulates the dread of forcefully venturing through the painful but nonetheless important places of one self and your history.

Writing our debut Jord seemed like the culmination of our first two EPs. We had achieved a sound and an approach to creating music that is distinctly ours. Diorama is both refinement and exploration. I wanted to refine our sound, melodies, and compositions, but also push the boundaries of our music and explore new paths and things we haven’t done before. Our approach to music has never been restricted by any dogmas and we’re stalwart believers in eclecticism.

I feel as though I’ve been waiting for this for years and then I remember Jord came out in 2018 and the realisation is that it has been years! That album is still one of my all-time favourites and turned me into a super-fan of MØL so to say I’m excited about Photophobic is an understatement.

Happily, the blackgaze heavyweights don’t disappoint as this is the MØL we’ve all fallen in love with but some obvious developments and refinement. It’s beautifully melodic, darkly shoegaze and gruntingly heavy. A mid-point tempo shift with female vocals makes it sound even more accessible without losing what makes MØL such a delight to listen too.

Zeal & Ardor – Erase

The second new track debuted by the band recently, firebrand frontman Manuel Gagneux comments:

We would like to surprise you again with this one. Erase aims to confuse you in the most pleasant way possible. Hope you enjoy.

Always capable of surprising, Erase begins with soft melody and crooning vocals. A drumbeat comes in and transforms the track into a savage blast of metal that has a strong whiff of death metal about it. The chunky and devastating rhythm remains as the vocals flip between clean power and guttural savagery. Complex melodies, ferocious heaviness and that Zeal & Ardor touch makes this another spectacular from the group. Check it out here.

Withered Land – Over Distant Shores

Withered Land are an epic atmospheric black project with folk/dungeon synth vibes from Belarus. Their latest single is Over Distant Shores.

Epic atmospheric black metal is the correct way to describe this track. A track that drips in magnificence and opulence while being unashamedly black metal. The marrying is perfect, and one listen to this song will have you asking yourself why you’ve never listened to this band before?

As beautiful as it is harsh and cold.

Infern – Ecocide / Victim of the Doom

French death metal band, Infern have released two singles; Ecocide and Victim of the Doom.

Both are blasts of old-school death metal played with savage intentions. Bulldozing through the senses, the head-banging heaviness is the stuff extreme metal fan’s wet dreams are made of.

The aggression in both is startling but the darker tone and slightly slower tempo of the latter is a bit more appealing. Both tracks are beastly though and that’s no bad thing. Check out Ecocide here and Victim of the Doom here.

Bokassa – Burn it All (P.T.S.D.E.A.D.)

Following the announcement of their feisty new album Molotov Rocktail (out September 3rd) and sharing its first single ‘Careless (In The Age Of Altruism)’, boisterous Norwegian power trio Bokassa continue their stoner punk rampage, revealing their latest single, Burn It All (P.T.S.D.E.A.D.).


‘Burn It All’ is just a great song in our opinion. A perfect up-tempo Bokassa track. Everything from the stoney lead riff, the melodic verses and choruses to the metal riffage in the bridge makes this song pop. One of our favourites on the record. And it probably includes our coolest solo yet. The video was really fun to shoot as well, although we wouldn’t recommend dressing in corpse paint with fake blood when it’s 30 degrees and there are a hell of a lot of mosquitos around!

Bokassa’s first single (Careless (In The Age Of Altruism)) off this upcoming album was awesome but Burn it All (P.T.S.D.E.A.D.) is super-awesome!

This is a killer track that has all the right groovy, head-banging, high-energy and fun stoner rock vibes we’ve come to love about this band. However, that freaking chorus… if that doesn’t put a smile on your face… check your pulse. Disgustingly catchy, hilariously fun and most importantly, so damn well written.

Bokassa are on fire and based off the two tracks we’ve heard so far, this new album is becoming unmissable.

Good Hustles – Heart Attack

Good Hustles are an alternative rock/pop punk outfit from Nottingham, England. They have a new track out on today called “I Think I’m Having A Heart Attack”.

The band has been voted Best Nottingham Band 2 years in a row by The Mic Magazine, and have supported Conversing With Oceans, PKEW PKEW PKEW and JW Francis at shows in 2019. They also have an upcoming EP due out, produced by Callum Benson (YMA6, While She Sleeps, Deaf Havana).

With throbbing bass and drums, animated riffs and bouncy pop-punk vocals, Good Hustles show off their catchy credentials on this banger. A chorus that makes you want to dance, a constant singalong and just a touch of melodrama, Heart Attack is a great song. Check it out here.

Gospelheim – Into Smithereens

Into Smithereens is the new single (and music video) by Manchester UK based blackened occult rock newcomers Gospelheim.

The mysterious outfit lurk on the fringes of gothic rock, classic heavy metal and black metal, fusing powerful melancholic chords, chilling synths and even blastbeats and tremolo riffs to keep the listener in suspense.

The newly formed band consist of seasoned musicians who have performed with the likes of Impavidus, Frozen In Shadows, Agvirre and more.

Into Smithereens is the first single and music video taken from Gospelheim’s forthcoming debut album ahead of their first show supporting Dawn Ray’d in Manchester this September.

An intriguing combination of sounds, Gospelheim make one hell of splash with this first single. A track that features black metal grandiosity and power but also gets down and dirty with classic heavy metal noise too. The haunting clean singing is a great ‘opposite’ to the chunky and passionate instrumentation even though they fit so well together.

The twinge of melancholy, the pounding drums and the frenzied black metal riffing is what will keep you coming back. Roll on the full album release if this is what we have to look forward too! Check it out here.

Jinjer – Mediate

Metal giants Jinjer have released a brand new single / video ‘Mediator’, the second single taken from their long-awaited new studio album, Wallflowers, out on 27th August via Napalm Records.

Jinjer state:

With years getting older, we often realise that the world around us is far from what we expected it to be. Through the eyes of a kid everything seemed way more colourful, better and optimistic, didn’t it? When did it all turn wrong? When did it all turn so gray? Is this really the world’s fault? Or it is only about us chasing the wrong goals… the wrong careers, ambitions and achievements, rather than embracing one important truth… Rephrasing John Lennon, if one chases something else other than happiness, then they didn’t understand life at all …

Stop!… Go! With those guttural words spoken, Jinjer unleash a frenetic blast of technicality that buzz saws through the brain matter in an instant. This is Jinjer at their sharpest and with a undeniable thirst for savagery even if vocally it leans towards clean singing for the majority. No complaints though as the guttural eruptions sound even harsher when you’ve just been serenaded.

Ward XVI – Burn the Witch

Progressive rock story tellers Ward XVI have released a brand-new single called Burn the Witch. The track follows Psychoberrie as she deals with the consequences of her situation- both psychologically and physically, and focuses on regret, anger, compassion and sorrow.

Pushing themselves to a new level of progressive epic-ness, Ward XVI are preparing for their Bloodstock 2021 appearance in some style. Burn the Witch is a slow ‘burn’ of a track. Haunting melodies that have a middle-eastern flavour, Psychoberrie sounds particularly haunting here. At around the half-way point, the group rock it up and you can feel the heat as the fire begins to properly take hold. Check it out here.

MØL, Zeal & Ardor, Withered Land, Infern, Bokassa, Good Hustles, Gospelheim, Jinjer and Ward XVI
  • MØL – Photophobic - 9/10
  • Zeal & Ardor – Erase - 9/10
  • Withered Land – Over Distant Shores - 10/10
  • Infern – Ecocide - 7/10
  • Infern – Victim of the Doom - 8.5/10
  • Bokassa – Burn it All (P.T.S.D.E.A.D.) - 10/10
  • Good Hustles – Heart Attack - 9/10
  • Gospelheim – Into Smithereens - 9/10
  • Jinjer – Mediate - 8/10
  • Ward XVI – Burn the Witch - 9/10