Natalie Zed

Acolyte – Alta Review

Acolyte – Alta Review

Alta is the debut full-length released from progressive black metal band Acolyte. Their sound is slightly challenging to put a finger on; their primary influences are clearly extreme, blackened metal bands like Deathspell Omega, Enslaved, and even French black metal experimenters Blut Aus Nord, but the sound they produce has a groove-based, classic heavy metal simplicity that belies their more progressive interests.” Natalie gives a quick breakdown on the debut from progressive black metallers Acolyte and how their old sound matches their new style. On an unrelated note, that’s one ugly cover!

Centuries – Broken Hymns Review

Centuries – Broken Hymns Review

“Recently signed to Southern Lord, Florida-based hardcore act Centuries combine the frenzy of hardcore with emotive metalcore, hardcore punk ferocity and even some d-beat heaviness. After participating in SXSW, the band are currently holed up in Greensboro, North Carolina to record their next record (and full-length debut) for the venerable American label, Southern Lord. In advance of that all new release, indie label Halo of Flies is releasing Broken Hymns, a collection of all of their available work to date. The record includes material from their Creation/Extinction 7”, a split EP with Patsy O’Hara (from which the titular track of this record comes) and another split with Homestretch, as well as four original songs.” Natalie Zed is here to tell us about some hardcore punk, which we don’t normally deal with. Be diverse and read it!

Woe – Withdrawal Review

Woe – Withdrawal Review

“Founded in New Jersey but based for most of their existence in Philadelphia, Pennsylania, black metal band Woe have been peddling their particular brand of utter bleakness since 2007. Originally a solo project created by current vocalist and guitarist Chris Grigg, by the time their second record Quietly, Undramatically was released in 2010 Woe had established a full lineup — which has still undergone many shifts in the past few years. The version of Woe that has come together to create Withdrawal is very different from the incarnation that produced either of their last two records, and it shows.” If you don’t think Philadelphia is a logical birthing ground for nihilistic black metal, you haven’t been to Philly. Natalie Zed will now take you on a tour of Woe‘s soundscapes. Keep your arms in the bus at all times.

Warbeast – Destroy Review

Warbeast – Destroy Review

Destroy is the second full-length record for Arlington, Texas-based thrash metal warriors Warbeast. It follows 2010’s promising debut Krush the Enemy, and a split, also released in 2013, with Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals, entitled War of the Gargantuas.” Now they’re back with their second full length, and Natalie Zed is here to tell you whether it’s time to strap yourself into your skull tank or not!

Echtra – Sky Burial Review

Echtra – Sky Burial Review

Sky Burial is the third-full length album from atmospheric black metal/folk/drone group Echtra, who hail from Olympia, Washington. The record, which is composed of two twenty-three minute tracks entitles “Sky Burial I” and “Sky Burial II,” forms the first instalment of a conceived trilogy of albums entitled The Passage Cycle. Each of these three records will deal with “sloughing off the mortal coil” in some way, and the transition from one state of being to the next. Echtra is a solo project, all elements performed by the eponymous multi-instrumentalist, though Echtra is joined by guest musicians for rare live performances.” Can you ignore a one-man, folksy black metal project from the Great Northwest? You Echtra ass you can’t! Natalie Zed explains why this is worth your precious time.

Nails – Abandon All Life Review

Nails – Abandon All Life Review

“After whetting listener’s appetites with recent 7” Obscene Humanity, a palate cleaner of reconfigured and re-recorded material that was both tantalizing and ultimately unfulfilling, South California’s abrasive hardcore hatemongers have finally released Abandon All Life. An able follow-up to their breakthrough record, Unsilent Death, Abandon All Life displays depth, maturity and sophistication while losing none of the blistering rage and ferocious energy that first captured their audience’s attention.” Natalie Zed takes a gander at the crusty, bruising noise being churning out by these Entombed-influenced death rockers.

Von – Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves Review

Von – Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves Review

“A few short years ago, Von appeared to be one of those seminal back metal bands who were only recognized for their genius and influence post-mortem. Hailing from San Francisco, CA, Von were arguably the first American black metal band, and inarguably were hugely influential in establishing black metal’s second wave aesthetic. Formed in 1987, the band disbanded in 1992 after a releasing a pair of demos and recording, but not releasing, a third. Over the years, copies of their demos and live bootlegs were hunted by collectors, especially before the internet made sharing and copying as simple as it is now. For over twenty years, aside from the 2003 release of the Satanic Blood Angel demo compilation and live record, Von were silent and inactive, though their influence has touched bands from Dark Funeral and Enthroned to Taake and Watain.” Natalie Zed is here to tell you how that’s workin’ out for ’em in 2013.

Pombagira – Maleficia Lamiah Review

Pombagira – Maleficia Lamiah Review

“Images of powerful and positive female sexuality are quite frankly underrepresented in aggressive music, which is why the definition of British occult doom metal band Pombagira is so exciting. The Pomba Gira are entities, associated with several Brazillian religions, who are the embodiments of female desirability, sexuality and strength. Consorts of the corresponding male entity Exu, they represent both power and insatiability.” Natalie Zed gives you the run down on this British doom band, which evokes a side of our world that metal has deigned to touch previously.

Cnoc An Tursa – The Giants of Auld Review

Cnoc An Tursa – The Giants of Auld Review

When one thinks about black metal, the image that probably comes to mind is that of the pine barrens and frozen desolation of Norway, the extreme cold only briefly warmed by burning churches dotting the landscape. Scotland, on the other hand, is not usually the landscape that one imagines, but rather than the icy fjords of Scandinavia, Cnoc An Tursa hail from Falkirk.” Scottish metal just sounds tough, doesn’t it? Well, Cnoc An Tursa is obsessed with scottish poetry about battles and death, which is clerarly tough. Natalie Zed will tell you if they’re good as well as tough.

Skineater – Dermal Harvest Review

Skineater – Dermal Harvest Review

“Dermal Harvest is the horror-drenched debut from Swedish extreme metal outfit Skineater. Though the band was together as early as 2008, it wasn’t until 2011 that they began to seriously court label interest, play live and record demos. They often market themselves as a supergroup of the extreme metal underground, as their members include guitarist and founder Håkan Stuvemark (ex – Wombbath, ex – In Thy Dreams, ex – Vicious), guitarist Kari Kainulainan (ex-Mourning Sign, ex-Amaran), drummer Matte Modin (Raised Fist, ex – Dark Funeral), bassist and backing vocalist Stefan Westerberg (ex-Carnal Forge, ex – In Thy Dreams) and vocalist Jörgen Ström (The Mary Major).” Natalie Zed gives you the lowdown on this Swedish death “supergroup” and tells you if they have enough skin in the game.