Desolate Shrine

Convocation – Ashes Coalesce Review

Convocation – Ashes Coalesce Review

“Yes, I still write here. In fact, nothing can draw me out of seclusion quite like the promise of some quality Finnish extremity. In 2018, I had the good fortune to cover Convocation, a newly established entity of funereal death-doom. Desolate Shrine mastermind L.L joined forces with Dark Buddha Rising vocalist M. Neuman to pour all of their grief into one bereft body of work, and the results were profound. Now, the universal wailing wall stands ready to receive yet another cascade of condemnation.” Ash kicking.

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

“Having been raised in church, I found my religious experience carried over into my vast expeditions into metal’s colorful multiverse: I find myself reaching more and more for the stuff that incorporates a unique tone of reverence, a sound of standing beneath the colossal or infinite. For bands like Batushka, Ancient Moon, and Behemoth, this liturgical and hieratic atmosphere is proposed through its ritualistic songwriting and uses of common religious musical elements (Gregorian chants, choirs, etc.) contrasting with blasphemy’s twisted dagger in an aural representation of madness. Sonne Adam‘s death/doom solo LP Transformation did this for me.” Worship music.

Calligram – The Eye Is The First Circle Review

Calligram – The Eye Is The First Circle Review

“How can music communicate the feeling of dread? While all styles are able, metal’s inherent darkness fits like a glove. While it’s easy to provide aural bludgeoning or emphasize excess, the discipline of restraint takes time and effort. From the post-metal dirges of Neurosis, the avant-garde buildups of Eryn Non Dae., the spiraling doom of Swallowed, the blackened payoffs of Cultes des Ghoules, and the death metal environs of Desolate Shrine, it revels in darkness, plays with menace, but most notably, waits patiently.” Waiting in the darkness.

Casket Huffer – Filth Ouroboros Review

Casket Huffer – Filth Ouroboros Review

Casket Huffer. There’s a name that begs the question “because why the fuck not?” Given their moniker, I originally expected this Wyoming quartet to produce noxious fumes of the bestial blackened death metal variety. And while there’s always room in the house of Z. for the Conquerors and Caveman Cults of the world, what Huffer have produced on their second album Filth Ouroboros is actually quite a bit different.” Smell the casket.

Convocation – Scars Across [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Convocation – Scars Across [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“In November of 2017, Finland’s Desolate Shrine released Deliverance From the Godless Void, an album so full of death and depth it would have been my AotY had it not released so late. While this year has furnished us with a selection of stirring doom albums, it still falls to Desolate Shrine mastermind L.L to concoct the most immersive and crushing of them all. Convocation is a project that balances L.L’s multi-instrumental talents with the vocals of M. Neuman of fellow Finns Dark Buddha Rising. The resulting debut, Scars Across, is a remorseless trek through tortured terrain that never departs from its impending pace.” Doom to the world.

Abstracter – Cinereous Incarnate Review

Abstracter – Cinereous Incarnate Review

“I was once pretty optimistic about the future, but in recent years my outlook has grown progressively more dismal. Humanity has continued to ravage the planet while conveniently ignoring the fact that perpetual growth is impossible, and the result will be a future more nightmarish than a thousand blackened sludge bands could ever conjure. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from trying, and few succeed at evoking these apocalyptic images as well as Abstracter.” Dismal cool.

Record(s) o’ the Month – November 2017

Record(s) o’ the Month – November 2017

“In a dramatic departure from the established AMG norm, the Record(s) o’ the Month for November arrives rather late. With all the shopping, tree trimming, eggnog funneling and Happy Metal Guy mauling, there was scant time in which to hold the dreaded staff meetings/mud pit brawls that are part and parcel of our selection process. Yes, the silly season infects even those on the mighty mountain of AMG Conglomerated Blog Emporium.” The gifts you don’t deserve have arrived.