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Musk Ox – Inheritance Review

Musk Ox – Inheritance Review

Musk Ox are three guys with acoustic string instruments playing folk music: not exactly a new idea. But their pedigree as composers and musicians is impeccable. Musk Ox‘s previous album, 2014’s Woodfall, was great. Cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne’s solo record Worlds Within was one of my favorites last year, while guitarist Nathanael Larochette and violinist Evan Runge play in The Night Watch and released the excellent An Embarrassment of Riches the year before. Fortunately, Inheritance fully lives up to all this promise.” Dichotomy and musk.

Polemicist – Return of the Sophist Review

Polemicist – Return of the Sophist Review

“Two years ago, due to the vulture-like voracity of my colleagues here towards the eternally decomposing corpse that is our promo bin, I discovered Zarathustrian Impressions, the debut album from Pennsylvanian blackened death scholars Polemicist solely on the fact that it was the last album not snatched up by my ravenous cohorts. It would be my colleagues’ loss, because despite being a back-heavy album with a questionable production, I was still impressed by what they had to offer musically, and even commented that they could very likely cast all eyes on them within a couple of albums.” The future is now, olde man!

Alustrium – A Monument to Silence Review

Alustrium – A Monument to Silence Review

“Philadelphia’s progressive tech death architects Alustrium smashed out an album for the ages with their 2015 opus A Tunnel to Eden. The sophomore LP presented a kaleidoscopic, grand in scale masterwork of progressive and technical death metal, featuring serious instrumental and compositional chops, while possessing tons of heart and style. Despite being a little too bloated and ambitious for its own good, the pros far outweighed the miniscule cons to deliver a knockout punch. Punctuated by 2020’s strong Insurmountable EP, it has been a long time between drinks on the full-length recording front. Curiously slipping under the radar, Alustrium‘s third album, A Monument to Silence is now upon us.” Unquiet monuments.

Diabolizer – Khalkedonian Death Review

Diabolizer – Khalkedonian Death Review

Khalkedonian Death may be Diabolizer‘s official full-length debut, but the Turkish band brings a strong death metal pedigree to the starting gate. Featuring members of Hyperdontia, Burial Invocation, and Engulfed, Diabolizer play a brutal, technical, yet groove-filled style of death metal formed from the blasphemous union of diabolical influences like Deicide, Nile, and Cannibal Corpse.” Death devil in the details.

Thy Catafalque – Vadak Review

Thy Catafalque – Vadak Review

“Few musicians have as long and varied a career as Tamás Kátai of Thy Catafalque. The one-man outfit may have attracted an entourage of impactful guests over the years, but the end product was always, is always him. The throughlines of his writing and personal touch continue to persist even now, a decade since he struck out on his own. However, his most recent outings, Geometria and Naiv, lacked that certain je ne sais qoui essential to his kaleidoscopic sound. Vadak marks Thy Catafalque‘s fifth entry in seven years, a common cause of too much lack and not enough luster. Of course, just as I was ready to pass on Vadak with the same half-shrug as 2020’s Naiv, Kátai starts dropping bombs.” Thy bomber.

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

“When Rimfrost disbanded after their magnificent Expedition: Darkness, I thought I’d never get to review something from them again. What’s this gotta do with Rimfrost? You’re about to find out. After Rimfrost parted ways, drummer Throllv and bassist Khratos joined forces to create new music under the moniker Son of Sam. But what is Son of Sam? Is it the next phase of Rimfrost‘s sound? Will they dig deeper than ever to top Expedition: Darkness? Or, is this something else?” The monster next door.

King Buffalo – The Burden of Restlessness Review

King Buffalo – The Burden of Restlessness Review

“As a web developer, short release cycles are second nature. We iterate over our code, and ideally, every cycle it comes out a little better, a little more complete. When it comes to albums, on the other hand, short release cycles make me wary. Genius takes time, as the idiom goes, and though there’s certainly been genius albums scratched out in a hurry and turds that baked for decades, it seems to hold up in a general sort of way. Now New York stoner trio King Buffalo has decided to release three albums in the span of a year, while immediate predecessor Dead Star is but a year old. The gorgeous album art for the first of the hat-trick only assuages my fears a small amount. Is The Burden of Restlessness rushed? Does it drag?” Whiiiiplaaaash.

Somnuri – Nefarious Wave Review

Somnuri – Nefarious Wave Review

“In 2017, NYC sludge band Somnuri released their eponymous debut to relatively little fanfare. No one around these parts seemed to catch it, but thanks to a personal connection to the band, I did. Somnuri was a solid mix of early Mastodon progressive sludge with Yob-ish doom tendencies. It was better than a self released debut has any right to be, with songs like “Kaizen,” “Inhabitant” and “Through the Dead” landing on several of my personal playlists. With the band on my radar, I’ve been hoping to see a follow up surface in our promo pit for some time. Lo and behold, Nefarious Wave comes to us courtesy of their new label Blues Funeral four long years after their debut. With such a gap between records, one would hope for, if not expect, a fair amount of evolution and refinement.” NYC tides bring strange gifts.

Boss Keloid – Family the Smiling Thrush Review

Boss Keloid – Family the Smiling Thrush Review

“There is no sneaking up on us from the bushes this time around; not after the critical success of Melted on the Inch. No, Wigan’s greatest export, Boss Keloid, are going to have to win us over by producing a pretty mean album with all eyes upon them. Their unique brand of hipster prog-stoner-doom was a clinic in quirky obfuscation several years ago, taking many of us by storm. Heck, Melted… was my Number Five album in 2018. Typically the novelty can wear thin between releases, but it seems as though the anticipation for Family the Smiling Thrush has been steadily growing. Can the lads deliver?” Thrush the Magic Dragon, why do you cry?

Silver Talon – Decadence and Decay Review

Silver Talon – Decadence and Decay Review

“It’s amazing to me the camps formed from a single band. And I’m not even talking about a popular arena band. I’m talking about Oregon’s laid-to-rest Spellcaster. First, there was Idle Hands—now known as Unto Others—a band that shocked many-o’ peep around these parts. A name that showed up on lists and haunted many a comment section. Where they’ll go from here, no one quite knows. But, I know we can expect big things. Another outfit that launched from the ashes of Spellcaster is Silver Talon.” Idle talons.