FOR THE SICK: The lineup for 2009's Filth City Fest has been announced. Set to take place on August 14 at the Nowarehouse and August 15 and 16 at The Talking Head in Baltimore, MD. The fest will feature some of the best and nastiest black, thrash, grind, and otherwise extreme metal bands slugging it out on the East Coast. Get down there early and make sure to catch Bastard Sapling, the best band you've never heard.

TOUR DATES: Fresh from a triumphant performance (their first in nearly eight years!) at this year's CMJ Music Festival, mythological black metallers ABSU have finally announced the dates for their insanely-anticipated summer tour. Joined by labelmates and like-minded souls Glorior Belli, Sothis, and Philly-based Relapse thrashers Rumpelstiltskin Grinder (who were recently added to the tour after Averse Sefira dropped off), Absu will be hitting North America fast and hard come June 2009. Their newest album, 'Absu,' which is being hailed by fans and critics alike as an underground masterpiece, was released by Candlelight Records, and is already well into its third pressing.

ON THE HORIZON: Chicago-based atmospheric black/doom metallers Velnias are currently writing the followup to their achingly good and quite well-received debut album, 'Sovereign Nocturnal' (God is Myth). According to bassist CKP, "We'll probably have the new song playable by the time we're on this next tour, and we'll also have new shirts, alongside a repress of 'Sovereign Nocturnal' with new packaging." After a short tour across the Northwest, Velnias will be appearing at the inaugural edition of the Machitew Assembly alongside Marblebog and Bone Awl, then taking the stage at the annual Gathering of the Shadows fest with Krieg, Teratism, and Nightbringer.