Decidedly different, unabashedly metal, and now available worldwide on Svarga Music, Totentanz from Ukrainian Industrial Folk Black/Death Metal (yes, all of those things) act has been wowing critics left, right, and center. The sophomore effort sees the band going in a more experimental direction, combining the classical styles of Death and Black Metal with electronic music, folklore, epic and symphonic elements. The lyrics are written in Ukrainian, Russian and German and explore problems of mankind’s relation to the past, ideas of greatness and boundless possibilities of the human spirit, and the strength of will and character.

One of Poland’s top contemporary traditional metal acts, Crystal Viper, are prepared to release Crimen Excepta on April 24th via AFM Records, their fourth full-length album to date. The follow-up to 2010’s acclaimed Legends full-length, Crimen Excepta is a concept album about holy inquisition, black magic and witches, where fiction mixes with historical facts. Recorded with producer Bart Gabriel (Jack Starr’s Burning Starr, Sacred Steel, Mortician), Crimen Excepta is inarguably the band’s darkest and most aggressive material to date. Check out the song “Witch’s Mark” now.

Hung are back this week with a brand new track from their forthcoming self-titled debut. Check out “Progeny” below now. Hung violinist Lyris Hung had this to say about the song: “The song ‘Progeny’ is one of Hung’s most sonically diverse pieces, and one that shows off some of our most lyrical material. It’s one of my personal favorites because it travels through many different musical landscapes… My approach to the violin lines are more traditional in a violinistic way, allowing the instrument to take a lot of sweeping parts above the rest of the band and even the rhythm violin parts tend to be integrated with melody.”

It was a Tuesday night in downtown Toronto, and I met up with the guys from Toronto via Calgary-based band Inner City Elegance at a Tim Hortons to conduct my first interview. We thought that the Timmies would be too loud to host the interview, so we relocated into their tour van. I was a little nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but the guys were super-nice and hilarious. I was excited to learn about who Inner City Elegance really is and what they’re all about.