TRACK PREMIERE: ‘Bizarre Blood and Exhumations’ by PALACE OF WORMS


In 1998, Clive Barker published Cabal. This novel (later turned into a classic horror film) tells the story of Boone, a tortured soul haunted by the conviction that he has committed atrocious crimes. He travels to Midian, a necropolis in the wilds of Canada, to seek refuge and finds the last great creatures of the world – the shape-shifters known as the Nightbreed. Now, in 2023, longtime US black/death/doom/post eschatologists PALACE OF WORMS are about to unveil their long awaited fourth full-length album. Said album is also entitled Cabal, and it – intentionally or otherwise – presents a perfect audio depiction of the madness, wonder and terrifying beauty in which the monsters of its namesake novel reside.

Forged by Nicholas “Balan” Katich (ex-Botanist, ex-Ehecatl) as a ruinous black metal band and then intentionally striving far beyond those beginnings into the progressive mayhem of near avant-garde tendencies at times, Palace of Worms has always been an eccentric expression of complete creative freedom. Cabal is no different. Stepping further away from the more post-black evolutions of previous full-length The Ladder and plunging headlong into progressive death/doom with myriad delightfully idiosyncratic illuminations, Balan is joined by an accomplished cast of co-conspirators including Trevor Deschryver (Lycus, Silence in the Snow, Deafheaven), Sammy Fielding (Noctooa), Roberto Martinelli (Botanist), Dylan Neal (Thief), Shelby Lermo (Vastum, Ulthar), Hunter Burgan (AFI), Andy Way (Thoabath, Sutekh Hexen), Elizabeth Gladding (Lotus Thief, Forlesen), Meghan Wood (Crown of Asteria) and more to hurl all preconceived notions firmly to the wind and leave on a note befitting of the project’s storied history.

Wait, “leave”? Yes, you read that correctly. Sadly, Cabal is to be the very last Palace of Worms album – and we are proudly presenting the second streaming single from it today, entitled ‘Bizarre Blood and Exhumations’. Is it “black metal”? Well… as always, expect the unexpected.

Much like that Barker book of the same name, Cabal presents “kaleidoscopic visions of subterranean carnival netherworlds, pale winter skies dotted with ravens a flight, moonlit necropolises which play host to clandestine and diabolical rituals, and the metaphorical immolation of the ego from which the Phoenix of transcendence and ecstatic freedom will arise.” ‘Bizarre Blood and Exhumations’ is a killer introduction to this world via supreme riffs, creative composing and arrangements, and a heavy lean on the metal of death. Regarding the track (and referencing another fantastical literary work), Balan says:

“Named after the tacky and highly enjoyable book by S.D.S. Vandashutzki, this song is about not only about the practice of relic veneration by Catholics but also my experiences growing up in a strict Catholic family and having the ghosts of that faith’s complex, death-worshiping catechism haunt me well into adulthood. I will never forget the giant crucifix that hung directly over my childhood bed with its agonized Christ, his eyes rolling toward the sky and blood streaming out of his wounds.

“Musically the song strays into the D-Beat territory adopted by the punk worshiping Nordic Death Metal bands of the early ’90s, and eventually collapses into a Death/Doom trudge. This song also features a shredding guitar solo by Meghan Wood of Crown of Asteria. “

Don’t miss this chance to accompany Palace of Worms for their last great work, a journey through subterranean worlds of wondrous decay beyond your comprehension… join them, to dance in diabolical ecstasy one final time with the Cabal.

Cabal releases February 3rd via Acephale Winter Productions.


Pre-order Cabal on CD and digital from the Acephale Winter Bandcamp HERE.



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