4.5

High Command – Eclipse of the Dual Moons Review

High Command – Eclipse of the Dual Moons Review

“For me, 2022 has been chock-full of highly anticipated albums from returning favorites, so it’s only fitting that my last review of the year should be more of the same. Three years ago, I told you not to miss Beyond the Wall of Desolation, the debut full-length from Massachusetts band High Command and late addition to my year-end list. When I first heard that record, I immediately fell in love with the band’s epic, fantasy-themed crossover thrash and was impressed by the way they were able to take a bunch of old-school, typically aggro styles and mash them together into something oozing with grandeur.” Command to highly overrate.

The Offering – Seeing the Elephant Review

The Offering – Seeing the Elephant Review

“Three years ago, I covered Home, the debut full-length from Boston-based multi-genre masters The Offering. I loved Home at the time, but the intervening period has seen the record’s shadow grow even larger over me; it’s simply one of the most unique and mind-blowing albums I’ve ever heard. The album made my Top 5 of 2019 (and probably would move up at least one spot were I making that list today), so its follow-up comes with the highest of expectations.” You can’t go Home again.

The Otolith – Folium Limina Review

The Otolith – Folium Limina Review

“‘I miss SubRosa, and I don’t understand why there’s no other band out there like them,’ lamented a poor, tortured soul beneath a recent review of mine. Well, ask and ye shall receive, as the saying goes. Here I am to present for your entertainment, enjoyment(!), and critical assessment, The Otolith, a band that has risen from the ashes and sports four members of symphonic doom quintet SubRosa.” SunRoses to the faithful.

Bong-Ra – Meditations Review

Bong-Ra – Meditations Review

“As some of you might have guessed from my unsubtly Nietzschean moniker, I like philosophy. That’s why upon spotting Bong-Ra’s Meditations in the swirling chaos of the promo sump, I had to have it. The album is a tribute to the posthumously-titled Stoic writings of Marcus Aurelius, each of the four tracks named after the Stoic virtues “Courage,” “Wisdom,” “Justice,” and “Temperance.” Naturally, I took this as an opportunity to immerse myself not only in new music, but in Stoic philosophy.” Here today, Bong tomorrow.

Altars – Ascetic Reflection Review

Altars – Ascetic Reflection Review

“Beyond its cover’s deceptively pastoral mountain scene, Altars offers something lurking underneath. On paper, the trio deals in a collision of dissonant death metal name-drops we’ve come to expect, and it would be easy to stop there. But we won’t, because there’s something else. Ascetic Reflection’s unique take settles in the negative spaces between lurching and punishing with clarity and nimbleness, allowing its meditative lurch to burrow into listeners’ skin. Holding mirrors of the self and the divine and the futility therein, the aptly named Ascetic Reflection deals in shredding pain.” Altars of radness.

Imperial Circus Dead Decadence – 殯――死へ耽る想いは戮辱すら喰らい、彼方の生を愛する為に命を讃える――。 Review

Imperial Circus Dead Decadence – 殯――死へ耽る想いは戮辱すら喰らい、彼方の生を愛する為に命を讃える――。 Review

“I have irregularly listened to Imperial Circus Dead Decadence for a decade, and while I can instantly identify their sound, it’s not one I can concisely describe. Think of the blackened melodeath hybrid of Chthonic spliced with Fleshgod Apocalypse’s brutal symphonics and Cradle of Filth’s gothic drama, and you have a ballpark estimate. That is, at least, before tossing in a heaping helping of neoclassical power metal in the vein of Versailles.” The Circus is in town, and it is crazy!