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Shores of Null – Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying) Review

Shores of Null – Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying) Review

“Just a few weeks ago, I was wondering whatever happened to Italian doomsters Shores of Null, as it’s been a hot minute since I’ve heard a single note from these gents. Their 2014 debut Quiescence blew me away with their creative take on doom metal, especially the incredible vocals of Davide Straccione. Their 2017 follow-up, Black Drapes for Tomorrow, felt like a bit of a let-down in comparison. So imagine my surprise when resident promo-gifter Madam X put me in for their third album, Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying), out of the clear blue!” Null is not void.

Omnivortex – Diagrams of Consciousness Review

Omnivortex – Diagrams of Consciousness Review

“Whenever life becomes too bullshit to mention, I can always turn to Finnish death metal. It looms large from the grave, wraps me in arms of bone and bile and makes everything better. That cold kiss, that horrendous hug is what I’ve come to expect from the scene. However, Omnivortex arrived with absolutely no warning.” Diagrams of dementia and density.

Dark Buddha Rising – Mathreyata Review

Dark Buddha Rising – Mathreyata Review

Dark Buddha Rising is a Finnish band, formed in 2007 and packing six full-lengths and an EP under its belt. For a collective that channels drone, doom, and sludge (you’d be safe to throw some stoner doom in there too), their megalithic songwriting is surprisingly restrained, relying on simple bass riffs, distant vocals, and other instruments to communicate their psychedelic soundscape as it reaches a drone climax.” Buddha don’t play.

Mr Bungle – The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo Review

Mr Bungle – The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo Review

“In a year of surprises, mostly of the nasty variety, a new album from Californian experimental legends Mr Bungle seemed an unlikely scenario. Yet here we are, but not as many would have expected. As has been well publicized, rather than pen an album of fresh tunes, the band has continued their streak for delivering the unexpected, revisiting their earliest teenage musical roots, and 1986 cult demo, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny.” Bunny or die.

Hell:on – Scythian Stamm Review

Hell:on – Scythian Stamm Review

“I was initially unimpressed by the band’s name — specifically that tricksy colon — and subsequently passed over the promo during my perusal of the bin. But when I saw this simultaneously exciting and terrifying art while scoping out the competition at another blog, my interest was renewed. After conducting some research, I learned that Hell:on is a stylized — and search engine optimized — version of “Hellion,” and that Hell:on have been peddling their wares since 2005. Their base sound has always been a heavily thrash-infused style of death metal, but over time they’ve incorporated more and more traditional folk instruments, ritualistic textures, and symphonic arrangements to evolve into what feels like a different beast entirely.” Hell: on Earth.

October Falls – Syys Review

October Falls – Syys Review

“If you haven’t gone back to the band’s humble beginnings, you’re missing a hell of a lot. And, not in the sense of the classic black metal of old. No, no. You’ve missed one LP (Marras) and two EPs (Tuoni and Sarastus) of acoustic beauty. There’re more acoustic guitars, pianos, and strings in that handful of songs than all the liquidated Guitar Centers combined. That said, don’t expect grandiosity and orchestral pretentiousness. October Falls‘s acoustic discs sound like a couple of guys with guitars sitting around a campfire. A couple of musicians playing simple music for the moon, for the woods, for themselves.” Moon music.

Wytch Hazel – Wytch Hazel III: Pentecost Review

Wytch Hazel – Wytch Hazel III: Pentecost Review

Steel prophecies are to be heeded! Back in the Year of Our Lord 2018 I covered the sophomore release by U.K. retro rockers Wytch Hazel and verily did I proclaim that II: Sojourn sounded like the album that drops right before a band uncorks their truly killer magnum opus. Well kiddies, that .44 magnum is here with Wytch Hazel III: Pentecost.” The third judgment.

Scardust – Strangers Review

Scardust – Strangers Review

“I have a strange relationship with progressive metal. On one hand, I feel like the vast majority of prog is made up of decent song ideas separated from one another by fancy time signatures, self-indulgent experimentation, and other forms of needless wankery. But on the other hand, I proudly claim progressive titans Symphony X and Nevermore as my two favorite bands of all time. Those bands had a way of making their immensely complex compositions seem deceptively simple — a hallmark of a good prog band in my book. To me, progressiveness is really just the amplification of — or an embellishment upon — what a band already does well. Thus, my view that much of today’s “prog” music is really just embellished nothingness. On that cheerful note, enter Israeli progressive metal band Scardust.” Prog for dummies.