Mar20

Sicarius – God of Dead Roots Review

Sicarius – God of Dead Roots Review

“When we last saw Californian black metal band Sicarius, they were receiving high praise from yours truly for their outstanding debut Serenade of Slitting Throats. I returned to Serenade so its follow-up God of Dead Roots can be put in proper context for this review. This was beneficial, as the differences were in little things – at face value, God of Dead Roots certainly sounds like Sicarius, and Mick Kenney finds himself back behind the boards.” Roots and replanting.

Rosy Finch – Scarlet Review

Rosy Finch – Scarlet Review

“The hallway that led to my office in grad school was red. Both walls. I shit you not. To make matters worse the hellish tunnel narrowed as you approached its end—where, to no one’s surprise, you could find my office. Trust me when I tell you that five years of red walls can fuck with a person. Like grad schools, animals also use the color red to ward off people. Red can represent everything from lovers to the most gruesome of deaths. And Spain’s grrrl sludge group, Rosy Finch, is every bit as varying in its topics and delivery. With artwork that looks as though poor Carrie got it again, this is Scarlet.” Red is a slow color.

Ambush – Infidel Review

Ambush – Infidel Review

“I have many things to be thankful for in life, but among the luckiest of happenstances was the opportunity to be a metal loving teen growing up in the 80s. That was truly the golden age of all things metallic, with the genre growing, evolving and mutating into multiple sub-genres at a ferocious rate, and I got to be there to experience it all first hand. I was especially fond for that early era when the only genre of metal was metal, and my love for the “classic style” is just as powerful now that I qualify for AARP benefits. This makes me an easy mark for the slick 80s-centric approach of Sweden’s Ambush.” Go olde or die.

Monolith – No Saints No Solace Review

Monolith – No Saints No Solace Review

“My tolerance for the often maligned deathcore subgenre received a boost of newfound optimism on the back of stellar 2019 releases from scene heavyweights, Shadow of Intent and Fit for an Autopsy. Both bands demonstrated the sick grooves and punishing, over-the-top brutality and technical chops, reminding me of a time long ago where bands like All Shall Perish and early Despised Icon tore me a new one. Yet, more often than not the style falls flat to my jaded ears. Perhaps an unsigned UK deathcore outfit may not be the best choice to pull myself out of a writing rut, but I’ll be damned if I’m not ready to take the plunge and hope for minor miracles.” Deathcore blues.

Stonus – Aphasia Review

Stonus – Aphasia Review

“While I can appreciate that certain substances can enhance a listening experience, I’ve always been a bit wary of music that seems designed to appeal to folks under the influence. Maybe I was burned by the rubbish techno of my youth — so repetitive that unless hopped up on MDMA, it’s damn near unlistenable. For that reason, I’ve steered clear of a lot of stoner doom/rock. If I don’t do any drugs, why would I bother with music for which getting high is a sine qua non?” In the weeds.

Last Call at Nightowls – Ask the Dust Review

Last Call at Nightowls – Ask the Dust Review

“There is something special about music created by artists who must collaborate with each other from afar rather than together in person. Take the short-lived yet beloved synth-pop duo, The Postal Service. Two artists, electronic musician and DJ Jimmy Tamborello of Los Angeles and Ben Gibbard, singer of the indie band Death Cab for Cutie, of Seattle decided to collaborate with each other undeterred by the distance between them. Jimmy and Ben overcame said distance by sending recordings back and forth via, no joke, the United States Postal Service. I find this mode of collaboration endearing, and I still hold The Postal Service‘s one album Give Up near and dear to my heart. Dark ambient doom-jazz band Last Call at Nightowls followed the same formula The Postal Service employed to create their debut album Ask the Dust.” Suspicious package.

Canis Dirus – Independence to the Beast Review

Canis Dirus – Independence to the Beast Review

“Our sharky hero runs, surgically-repaired legs pumping, swag clutched to his chest. He doesn’t look back. He doesn’t need to. He knows what’s chasing him: a velveteen puppet and a number that is two times six. Eventually, lungs heaving, he sinks down behind a dumpster to study his haul… This, dear reader, is a more a less accurate depiction of what it takes to successfully smuggle something tagged as ‘black folk metal’ out of the promo sump and how I come to be reviewing Minnesotan duo Canis Dirus‘ third full-length, Independence to the Beast.” Free beasts and folk thieves.

Ross the Boss – Born of Fire Review

Ross the Boss – Born of Fire Review

Ross the Boss is one of those bands I can’t help rooting for, being as it’s the outfit of Ross Friedman, the man behind the guitar on all the classic Manowar albums. Those platters were a huge part of my early metal education and I still cherish them dearly, as all trve metal fans should. Ross’ post-Manowar projects have been somewhat hit or miss, and 2018s By Blood Sworn was very disappointing despite some major league talent coming on board to help out. Because of this, I majorly tempered expectations coming into their 4th album, Born of Fire.” Who’s the Boss?

Earth Rot – Black Tides of Obscurity Review

Earth Rot – Black Tides of Obscurity Review

“Last month I sampled an advance track for Earth Rot‘s third full-length album, Black Tides of Obscurity, and I rather enjoyed what I heard. And now that I’ve spent some significant time with the full record, I have to say that I’m completely blown away. Black Tides of Obscurity is the sound of a band that believes the answer to the question “Should we play old school Swedish death metal or true Norwegian black metal?” is an emphatic “YES!”” Rot n’ roll.