Avante-Garde Metal

Sunless – Urraca Review

Sunless – Urraca Review

“They say it’s important to remain challenged, to help stave off boredom and keep the motivation and creative fires burning. Life certainly throws up plenty of challenges without invitation in our fast-paced and volatile modern world. But with music, and extreme metal, in particular, we have a unique outlet and greater control to challenge ourselves. Unfortunately, it’s easy to rest on our laurels and stay firmly entrenched in our comfort zones.” Into the riff maelstrom.

Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis Review

Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis Review

“God is dead, but what can be done once the corpse is buried? Just to the left of nihilism, HP Lovecraft staked out a territory where divinity was absent and mankind insignificant, battered by forces beyond time and comprehension. Anti-christian, nihilistic, and cosmicist themes have all long been staples of metal, both lyrically and musically – but after decades the fear is gone; the well dry and the water stagnant. To reach ever greater extremes, these tropes must be transcended. Ulcerate did so.” Look busy, the abyss is watching.

Concert Review: Plebeian Grandstand, Pyrrhon, and Air Raid at the Livewire Lounge, Chicago, Illinois – August 3rd, 2016

Concert Review: Plebeian Grandstand, Pyrrhon, and Air Raid at the Livewire Lounge, Chicago, Illinois – August 3rd, 2016

“The always well-attended Summer Slaughter tour came to Chicago one cloudy Wednesday night, with a packed lineup of death metal giants. Nile, Suffocation, Revocation, and headliners Cannibal Corpse played to a packed and pickled pit until the wee hours of the morning, and few prevailed without injury. Truly, it was a night to be remembered. At least, I assume that happened. I elected to skip the megatour (and probably the best pit Chicago will see all year) and head just a few miles further up Milwaukee avenue to see the most Kronos-approved bill that will ever come to be; the tour to end all tours. Plebeain Grandstand. Pyrrhon. The trvest of the trve had gathered.” The night Chicago was trve.

Pogavranjen – Jedva čekam da nikad ne umrem Review

Pogavranjen – Jedva čekam da nikad ne umrem Review

“I don’t often get a chance to write about Croatian metal bands or, to be exact, I don’t often feel like writing about Croatian metal bands. There’s barely anything to call a “metal scene” in my homeland, with most acts birthed alone and lonely into a generic and photocopied existence, only to disappear in a flash of insignificance. Suffice to say that during the last 25 odd years since the country’s declaration of independence, there were only a few bands worth mentioning in the same breath with their international stylistic brethren (Ashes You Leave, Umor, Death of Folk, Infernal Tenebra). Imagine my elation, then, when something as good as Pogavranjen’s third LP, Jedva čekam da nikad ne umrem,[1. Looking Forward to Never Dying] came along. Curiously composed and competently played avant-garde black metal that is not merely the fruit of derivative rehashing? Yes, please!” We’ll take a double of that, with fries.

Pyrrhon – Growth Without End Review

Pyrrhon – Growth Without End Review

“After naming The Mother of Virtues 2014’s best album, it can be unambiguously inferred that I have quite the soft spot for New York’s strangest and most horrific four-piece, Pyrrhon. After Relapse dropped them from their roster earlier this year, citing, of all things, a “lack of commercial success,” the group was quickly snatched up by underground micro-label Handshake Inc., who are doing the world a service by releasing the new EP, Growth Without End.” The Walrus of Approval has been given.

Sigh – Graveward Review

Sigh – Graveward Review

Sigh are on their tenth trip around the turntable and still spin at 45, since there isn’t a faster option. Graveward is their attempt to penetrate the monolithic shadow cast by In Somniphobia, an album so fantastically strange that it was a sidestep even by the standards of a band that defines the term “avant-garde”.” Sigh is a breath of fresh air.