Job for a Cowboy – Moon Healer Review

Job for a Cowboy – Moon Healer Review

“Arizona’s Job for a Cowboy garnered significant buzz and division within the metal realms when they dropped their 2005 debut EP, Doom. The brawny slab of deathcore impressed those inclined, before gradually transitioning into a modern death metal act with tech leanings, largely dispensing with the core influences. Fairly nonplussed by the band’s earlier material, Job for a Cowboy’s pivoting career trajectory blindsided me on fourth LP, Sun Eater, released nearly a decade ago. Signature technical proficiency, testosterone-charged aggression, and bludgeoning, slickly produced modern death remained, however, the unexpected integration of progressive structures and complex compositions, offering a hefty thump of aggression and brutality, largely impressed.” Cow tipping, gun slinging.

Dust Bolt – Sound & Fury Review

Dust Bolt – Sound & Fury Review

“As we’ve discussed countless times, the dreaded pandemic affected many bands and their music. In Dust Bolt’s case, the band decided to take that time away from record labels, concerts, and the noise of the business to rediscover themselves. The result is a reinvigoration, bringing back the excitement the band had when they first broke out on the scene. Brace yourselves.” Dust or bust.

Counting Hours – The Wishing Tomb Review

Counting Hours – The Wishing Tomb Review

“Tears freezing in the cutting winter winds. Life’s blood staining the freshly fallen snow. These are the things that bring Steel to the graveyard. Naturally, I love my sadboi doom as well, and the long-defunct Finnish act Rapture in particular. Their style of highly melancholic melodoom resonated deeply in my cold dead chest cavity, and though they’ve been gone since 2005 I still go back to those albums regularly. When the two guitarists of Rapture reunited to form Counting Hours and dropped the excellent debut The Will back in 2019, I was ecstatic. It was as close to getting new Rapture material as we were ever going to get and they hit all the same grim feelz as they fused the early days of Katatonia with Dawn of Solace into a cold grave of an album. Now a few years later we get the eagerly anticipated follow-up.” Counting hours and tears.

meth. – Shame Review

meth. – Shame Review

“A fundamental part of being human is our never-ending growth and education. When last I reviewed meth. I was bowled over by the barbed dissonance and big noisy riffs. Mother of Red Light was a filthy brick of misanthropic noisecore that got me on challenging textures and sheer violent rage moreso than on the particulars of their songwriting. Since then, I have grown and I have learned. I cut my disso-teeth on Teeth and survived a full spin of Pyrrhon somehow. I come back to meth. a stronger, wiser frog. But the five fellows from Chicago must have grown, too, and I imagine the last 4 years must have done little to dull the edge of their vitriol. Does it still show in the music?” Same drug, increased purity.

Infected Rain – TIME Review

Infected Rain – TIME Review

““Progressive” is one of the most flippantly applied adjectives we have for genres today. “Modern” is equally abused, so one can imagine the clanging of alarm bells when the promo sheet for Moldova’s Infected Rain described the band as “modern progressive metal.” But I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, even if said book devolves into the Buttgate of late January. Plus vocalist Elena Cataraga goes by the stage name Lena Scissorhands, which means I get to write the word scissorhands a lot in this review, a tiny joy I never thought I’d experience.” Touchy slicey.

Ember Belladonna – The Grove Review

Ember Belladonna – The Grove Review

“I was a clarinet player as a child, but I tried my absolute darndest to learn the flute for a time (5 minutes). I found the mouthpiece simply impossible to figure out, and I could only produce the sounds of pathetic, tinny flatulence. Moved on though I have, I’ve always loved the music of professional flute players. Thus was my interest piqued by Ember Belladonna, the moniker of one Emma Kramer-Rodger, a classically trained flutist from Saskatchewan, Canada.” Blowing in the wind.

Eternal Storm – A Giant Bound to Fall Review

Eternal Storm – A Giant Bound to Fall Review

“I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: unless you make funeral doom, you probably don’t have a great reason for making a 70+ minute metal album. Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, like the Spectral Lore/Mare Cognitum double album a few years back. That one worked because A) the material, against the odds, kicked ass throughout, and B) the concept was to write an album about the whole goddamn solar system. It was cosmic in scale, literally. But for every Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine, there are 10 more Esoctrilihum records that I will never listen to, at this point on principle. In completely unrelated news, Spanish melodeath-ers Eternal Storm grace us this week with their highly anticipated second album, A Giant Bound to Fall. Thankfully, they keep their album length to a reasonable (checks notes)…oh dear.” Giant-sized Storm front.

Praise the Plague – Suffocating in the Current of Time Review

Praise the Plague – Suffocating in the Current of Time Review

“Evolution can be a tricky thing for a band to get right. Change too much and risk alienating an existing fan base. Or don’t change enough and risk pigeon-holing oneself, or even boring the audience who want to see some growth. Ever since Praise the Plague stepped onto the scene in 2018, they’ve been subtly shaping their intriguing admixture of doom and black metal. Particularly after sophomore The Obsidian Gate saw them commit to wielding in equal measure the grandiosity of the former with the sinister savagery of the latter, the question of where their approach would go next, as they established themselves, was foremost.” Down with the…Plague.