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Thoughtcrimes – Altered Pasts Review

Thoughtcrimes – Altered Pasts Review

Thoughtcrimes is just cool. The product of an act assembled by former The Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Billy Rymer, Altered Pasts isn’t your typical Converge-core “three minutes of incomprehensible shrieking and feedback” aesthetic. While it has its fair share of blasting rhythms and jagged tempo shifts reminiscent of mathcore’s toddler approach to keeping time, the band has infused it with dynamics. In recognizing that extreme music is just an endless din if it’s not given the room to breathe in crescendos and diminuendos of solid songwriting, Thoughtcrimes have constructed their sophomore effort carefully.” Altered math.

The Bearer – Chained to a Tree Review

The Bearer – Chained to a Tree Review

The Bearer reflects the turmoil in its hometown of Austin, Texas, lyrics protesting the affluent takeover of their city. The trio losing its practice spaces to Tesla showrooms and offices fuels its humanistic message, a reminder to value the people before they are trampled in the onslaught of capitalistic progress. Dabbling in mathcore, beatdown, and technical elements, Chained to a Tree is aflame with hardcore punk counterculture pulsing through its veins.” Bear markets.

Come to Grief – When the World Dies Review

Come to Grief – When the World Dies Review

“Back in the early 90s, Louisiana wasn’t the only locale with conditions ripe for the development of sludge metal. Congealing in 1991, Boston, Massachusetts’ Grief were similarly influential in forging a template for how sludge, especially sludge doom, would develop in the subsequent decades. original Grief members Chuck Conlon (drums) and Terry Savastano (guitar) kept a candle burning for their former band until 2017 saw them resurrect the project, this time as Come to Grief. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect considering world events since then, and 2022 sees the full-length debut of their current iteration, the aptly named When the World Dies.” Come to silver, come to sludge.

Mares of Thrace – The Exile Review

Mares of Thrace – The Exile Review

“Well, this came as a surprise. Shame on me for not paying closer attention to social media, but local duo Mares of Thrace have suddenly returned after a ten year hiatus with their third album, aptly titled The Exile. 2012’s The Pilgrimage was one of the first extreme metal albums I bought and liked, and then Thérèse Lanz and Stef MacKichan disappeared. Turns out they simply moved on with real life, but Lanz is back, accompanied this time around by Casey Rogers on drums and bass. For those unfamiliar with the band, they play a unique brand of metal that borrows from doom, sludge, prog, noise, and a bit more, and for two people they pack a massive punch.” Return of the Mares.

Heavy Meta – Mana Regmata Review

Heavy Meta – Mana Regmata Review

“Don’t get your hopes up, ye of heavy metal’s golden years. Heavy Meta is nearly everything you hate about today’s extreme music. Mathcore, black metal, noise rock, and prog all have a hand in this monstrosity, and if there is an inkling of distaste for any of these styles, Mana Regmata might need to come with a side of aspirin. Featuring a tongue-in-cheek moniker that you could proudly proclaim at any party, it’s a group that only jokingly defines itself as “blackened progressive cowboy nintendocore.”” Meta health.

Orphan Donor – Unraveled Review

Orphan Donor – Unraveled Review

“Sometimes, the promo sump can be an overwhelming place. A bit like an oversized car trunk sale, there’s a huge amount of scary junk that you know you don’t want (but recognize you’ll end up leaving with at least some of) and a few frustratingly well hidden gems. The trick is how to spot those gems. Sometimes though, one simply does not have the time and you have to trust your luck and grab the first thing that catches your eye. One such visit led me to the sophomore outing by Allentown, Pennsylvania-based two piece Orphan Donor, which spoke to me because of the combination of a grindcore tag and the unexpected accompanying note that it would appeal to fans of Isis.” Garage flail.

The Armed – Ultrapop Review

The Armed – Ultrapop Review

Only Love was The Armed’s Vexovoid. For the sliver of readers who have heard both, that probably makes as much sense as it does to those who have heard neither. Vexovoid (the Portal album) was a push. Portal were driving their sound even further into clotted murk, draining that last drop of pus from the wound not with a syringe but with a vise. Vexovoid was crushed and suffocated by the band’s own attempt to solidify its sound, with the musicians resting their weight on an extremely thick and compressed production. In retrospect, that wasn’t a great idea; the record loses a lot of impact on repeated plays because the production is so dense. It becomes a massive pile of sound that obscures the band’s most interesting ideas. Now, maybe a sliver listeners get it. With Only Love, The Armed slammed their eclectic hardcore into synth-driven pop and told Kurt Ballou to make it sound like an absolute nightmare. He did. There you go. Blown-out ambitions, blown-out production: Vexovoid. Fresh popcore for all.