Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

“Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman’s decision to make official their partnership with Erik Moggridge, the man in Aerial Ruin‘s one-man dark folk band, made sense. Moggridge’s guest vocals on Mirror Reaper conveyed grief and loss on a frequency that Bell Witch couldn’t have reached alone. Stygian Bough Volume I pries those mournful dimensions wide in a symbiotic give-and-take quite unlike anything either act has produced before.” Witch in flight.

Dismalimerence – Tome: I Review

Dismalimerence – Tome: I Review

“Naming a debut Tome: I is a ballsy move. Not only does it hew awfully close to a famously divisive metal work (Wintersun‘s Time I), but it’s a sign that a band considers this a “serious album,”TM requiring both patience and effort to understand and appreciate. Chicago’s Dismalimerence is nothing if not serious. Its name is an awkward portmanteau of “dismal” and “limerence,” indicating an ugly or depressing infatuation. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and repeating it in quick succession after a few drinks is challenging.” Wherever I may Tome.

Pessimist – Holdout Review

Pessimist – Holdout Review

Pessimist. How about that for a band name in the year of our demise that is 2020? While originally slated to cover some German power metal this week in the form of Goblins Blade, I handed that apostropheless, potential 4.0 off to Huck so I could cover some German thrash with a grouchy name.” Holdenout.

Pixie Ninja – Colours out of Space Review

Pixie Ninja – Colours out of Space Review

“Having spun Ultrasound a couple of times before hitting Colours, I have to say my interest was not piqued. There was nothing wrong with Pixie Ninja’s debut outing but, as a commenter remarked on a previous instrumental record I reviewed, “yeah, this is nice, I could work to this.” On pressing play on Colours, however, I was immediately struck by the shift in mood and intensity on the band’s latest offering.” Pixie Colour Space Attack.

Stygian Crown – Stygian Crown Review

Stygian Crown – Stygian Crown Review

“I love me some traditional doom and have since I was a wee metal laddie. I’m also a major fan of Bolt Thrower. Naturally then, when an unknown act described their style as “Candlethrower” and promised a union of Candlemass and Bolt Thrower, the brass knuckles and electro-whip came out and the Steel One made damn sure that promo ended up in his hairy clutches.” Back waxed.

Vspolokh – Помре Review

Vspolokh – Помре Review

““In mainstream literature, the anti-hero dies. In Ural literature, everyone dies.” This cheery adage is not only the plot of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, but also the philosophical basis for the music of Russian black metal group, Vspolokh. The band makes no bones about its admiration for its Ural heritage, playing a form of music it describes as “Ural Chthonic Black Metal.” Color me intrigued.” Blackness and death in a Russian winter.

Northern Crown – In a Pallid Shadow Review and Album Premiere

Northern Crown – In a Pallid Shadow Review and Album Premiere

“I first stumbled upon Northern Crown back in in 2016 when their sophomore platter The Others hit the promo sump as an unheralded self-release. Their odd mix of doom and epic power metal caught my attention, and who could forget those Ms. Pac Man keyboard effects? After we’d had the promo for their upcoming fourth album for a time, Northern Crown founder Zach Randall reached out and asked if we wanted to premiere it. Since this is a band that always pushes creative boundaries and I was enamored with the new material, I jumped at the chance.” Pallid shadows and deep mysteries.