Aug21

Wormwitch – Wolf Hex Review

Wormwitch – Wolf Hex Review

“Way back in the golden, halcyon days of 2019, Wormwitch‘s The Heaven That Dwells Within, with its wonderful mix of melody and brutality, became a consistent go-to album for a much younger, much less masked Felagund. Just two hellish years later, this Canadian quartet is back with Wolf Hex, their third full-length and another slab of melodic black metal. But does their latest measure up to my unfair expectations?” Of worm and wolf.

Headshrinker – Callous Indifference Review

Headshrinker – Callous Indifference Review

“Every now and then an unheralded act comes out of left field to whack you in the melon with a baseball bat forged of creativity and intensity. Colorado-based progressive death metal act Headshrinker just did that to me with their Callous Indifference debut. Combining rancid old school death with doom, suicidal-depressive black metal, and prog elements, this talented crew featuring members of Polyptych along with Havok‘s Pete Webber on drums, created a deep dive into the complex and painful issue of mental illness and the soul-killing isolation and anguish it inflicts on those suffering from it. Feel good music this is not as the listener is plunged into a musical simulation of mental affliction with all its disorientation and unease.” Insanity and genius.

Oxygen Destroyer – Sinister Monstrosities Spawned by the Unfathomable Ignorance of Humankind Review

Oxygen Destroyer – Sinister Monstrosities Spawned by the Unfathomable Ignorance of Humankind Review

Oxygen Destroyer is devoted to spreading the terrible gospel of the Kaiju — giant monsters who lay waste to cities, and often, each other — and their music matches that mission perfectly. Blending death metal and thrash metal in their many forms, the band paints with a varied influence palette, ranging from the deathened thrash of Morbid Saint, to the thrashened death of Morbid Angel, to the groovy violence of Demolition Hammer.” R U morbid?

Wormwood – Arkivet Review

Wormwood – Arkivet Review

“Sweden’s Wormwood received a lot of love after the release of their debut Ghostlands: Wounds from a Bleeding Earth. In my 2017 review, I described it as moving “with a ghostly smoothness that ebbs, flows, rises and falls with a mixture of beauty and malice that only impresses.” It is still in frequent rotation on the Akerblogger music machine. In 2019, the melodic folk-black wonders released Nattarvet. Hopes were high and the record didn’t hit quite as hard. It was solid but safe, less wild and fizzing and more restrained and balanced. It’s 2021 and Wormwood is back.” Wood fatigue.

Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell Review

Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell Review

“Finland’s Hooded Menace are lords of death-doom. Their back-catalog is a veritable boneyard of fatal furors that crawl at a corpse pace and exist on the edge of an undead pulse. Indeed, their last album, Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed, made a grave impression on many an end-of-year list, mine included. Now, sixth album The Tritonus Bell prepares to resound, and one thing is certain; Hooded Menace are masters of their craft. But this record’s new stylistic choice excludes heft in favor of history and the implication is almost unrecognizable.” Bells to the wall.

Hour of 13 – Black Magick Rites Review

Hour of 13 – Black Magick Rites Review

“In the dark year of our Lord 2021, reliable sources of trve dad doom are few and far between. Hour of 13 was always a reliable purveyor of such, locked into a sound that dared not stray past the early 80s. They’ve been largely moldering in a shallow grave since 2012s 333 opus, and the once gruesome twosome of Chad Davis and Phil Swanson is now down to a lonely onesome as Mr. Swanson skulked off to other pursuits (Briton Rites, Vestal Claret). With Mr. Davis now handling all instruments and vocals and on fourth full-length Black Magick Rites, the father figure is back in the doom rigors.” Back from the dad.

The Slow Death – Siege Review

The Slow Death – Siege Review

“Transcending Obscurity always makes a concerted effort to deliver quality releases throughout each year of operation. I’d think most labels, especially ones focused on metal music, share the same ethic. However, what sets Transcending Obscurity apart for me is the sheer variety of extreme metal artists they recruit. Sure, there’s plenty of brutality on board, not to mention about seven thousand active Rogga projects. But then you get things like The Slow Death, a funeral death doom outfit from Australia who stand poised to deliver their fourth LP, Siege.” Siege perilous.

Our Place of Worship Is Silence – Disavowed, and Left Hopeless Review

Our Place of Worship Is Silence – Disavowed, and Left Hopeless Review

“Don’t you hate it when people randomly come up to you and force you into happiness? You know, the types that just get in your face and tell you that “You’d be (prettier, handsomer, approachable, etc.) if you’d just smile more”? Because there are fewer things more unnerving and anger-inducing as toxic positivity, especially when we’re still a good couple of feet underwater when it comes to the pandemic, American politics, and the world continuously burning all around us. Californian duo Our Place of Worship Is Silence knows this, having thrown down just three years ago with With Inexorable Suffering, a promising album that combined the ugliness of sludge, the brutality of hardcore, and the murk of French black metal.” Worship the unsilent rage.

Comet Control – Inside the Sun Review

Comet Control – Inside the Sun Review

“Time flies. One day you wake up, grab the next album in the review queue, and think to yourself, “These guys seem familiar.” Then you do some digging and realize you really loved their last album – five years ago. Center of the Maze, Canadian psych-rock outfit Comet Control’s second album, was a glistening example of psychedelia, stoner, and alt rock all mashed together. Featuring members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Biblical (another band worth checking out), and the now-defunct Quest for Fire, Comet Control proved back in 2016 that they have the musical and songwriting chops to craft a memorable album. Will their third release, Inside the Sun, strike the same chord?” Stoned space oddities.