Drone Metal

Neptunian Maximalism – Solar Drone Ceremony Review

Neptunian Maximalism – Solar Drone Ceremony Review

Neptunian Maximalism took the metal world by storm last year. Éons was an absolute monument of an album, fusing drone, jazz, and psychedelia into one of the most evocative listens in recent memory. It spoke to something primal, something ancient that lived at the bottom of a listener’s subconscious, and snuck its way into my year-end list at number 2. Conjuring the likes of Sunn O))), Sun Ra, Swans, and Miles Davis, it was a concept album regarding the fate of Earth and its inhabitants, resulting in mass extinction and planetary destruction. Only nine months later, we’re treated with a new offering; can Solar Drone Ceremony continue where its predecessor left off?” Maximal effort.

Wolvennest – Temple Review

Wolvennest – Temple Review

“Belgium is a weird place. Maybe it’s the chocolate or waffles, but any country that offers groups like Neptunian Maximalism, Emptiness, or Amenra & Co. needs to have its cholesterol checked. Spewing out bizarre organic atmosphere with haunting repetition, artists like these have strangely minimalist tendencies that end up feeling bigger than the individual parts suggest. While spanning a broad range of metallic subgenres, it comes across as otherworldly, surreal, and fiercely dark. To add their two cents to these Belgian shenanigans is Wolvennest.” Temple of Weird.

Dark Buddha Rising – Mathreyata Review

Dark Buddha Rising – Mathreyata Review

Dark Buddha Rising is a Finnish band, formed in 2007 and packing six full-lengths and an EP under its belt. For a collective that channels drone, doom, and sludge (you’d be safe to throw some stoner doom in there too), their megalithic songwriting is surprisingly restrained, relying on simple bass riffs, distant vocals, and other instruments to communicate their psychedelic soundscape as it reaches a drone climax.” Buddha don’t play.

False Gods – No Symmetry… Only Disillusion Review

False Gods – No Symmetry… Only Disillusion Review

“I’m the biggest Eyehategod fan I know, and sludge gets a bad rap. I get it: much like drone, if you just amp up the distortion to an 11/10 and know how to abuse the blues scale, you’ve got it made. Of course, there’s more nuance, like the need for facial hair, flannel, intoxicating substances, a shotgun, and some dark woods in the Deep South, but that’s just pedantic. My point is, you wouldn’t expect Crowbar-esque sludge from some dudes in New York, New York.” Empire expanding.

Duma – Duma Review

Duma – Duma Review

“The self-titled debut by Kenyan duo Duma (meaning “darkness” in Kikuyu) is a most peculiar rara avis, carrying the sort of art difficult to distill into words, let alone narrow down to a single genre indicator. So while “grindcore” might be easiest to associate with the often rhythmically driven and dark work of Martin Khanja (aka Lord Spike Heart) and Sam Karugu, any expectations or points of reference go out the window within the first ten seconds of Duma’s opening track.” World metal.

Golden Ashes – In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night Review

Golden Ashes – In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night Review

“Black metal is great at it, as its entire purpose is to conjure blasphemous and decrepit images of icy forests and iconoclastic rituals, but there are twists to your snow-crusted Norwegian fjords and the sounds of Hail Satans: Austere‘s desolate Australian deserts, Blut Aus Nord‘s hellish industrial landscapes, and Saor‘s Scottish highlands, to name a few. While images painted are up for grabs, the general consensus is one of darkness, bleakness, and spiritual desolation. But what happens when the black metal is, ya know, not that?” Bright darkness.

Saltas – Mors Salis: Opus I Review

Saltas – Mors Salis: Opus I Review

“In spite of listening to this stuff for the better part of my life now, I still realize how much I don’t know about so many sub-sub-subgenres, such as doom’s vast array. While I delved into the melodic death flavors of Saturnus, Swallow the Sun, and Novembers Doom, I let the cavernous stuff pass me by. It all comes full circle, when Swedish duo Saltas punishes me with a lethal dose of suffocatingly dense doom to whom comparisons are sparse.” Saltas the earth.

Den – Iron Desert Review

Den – Iron Desert Review

“Think about running a marathon. Through the desert. On one leg. With gastroenteritis. And no map. This is how difficult it is to forge a unique and compelling sound in the saturated world of metal. Bands generally either go super heavy, or adopt a hybrid sound of some kind. But when you have bands like An Autumn for Crippled Children combining dream-pop with black metal, and Devourment making music so dense it almost absorbs light, what is a band to do? Well, if they have the balls, they could try to do both. Enter Den, a band that wants to offer you a joint, then smash it unceremoniously through your skull after two tokes.” Heavy sand.

Entrail – Eater of Starlight Review

Entrail – Eater of Starlight Review

“When I furtively snatched Entrail‘s new album Eater of Starlight from the promo pit, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. Given that Entrail recently played a show alongside Vouna, whose latest material was recorded entirely at Wolves in the Throne Room‘s studio (Owl Lodge), and, like me, resides in the gloom-shrouded Pacific Northwest, I was easily intrigued. Choosing to review her new album was a no-brainer. Looking back, I am convinced that going in blind was the best possible way to be introduced to the one-woman experimental drone project of Christine Anderson.” Morbid entrails.