Nov19

Bask – III Review

Bask – III Review

“Asheville, North Carolina. A bizarre cultural potpourri famous for its beer, food, music scene and road construction, Asheville is one of those strange places that is both cripplingly flawed and difficult to resist. It’s a fascinating place, and it has my heart. So it should come as no surprise that I Bask in the glow of III, an Americana-spiked hard rock album that comes direct from my current hometown. We write infrequently about stuff from or within spitting distance of this city, but it seems like every time we do we like what we get—I direct you to Aether Realm and Undrask, for starters—and Bask’s latest continues the trend.” Sweet home Carolina.

GoatHawkBuffalo – Come to Temple Review

GoatHawkBuffalo – Come to Temple Review

“It’s been quite a long time since I thought about ‘Portlandia,’ the I-have-to-assume wholly accurate depiction of life in Portland, Oregon. But reading the promo material for GoatHawkBuffalo’s full-length debut, I was put in mind of the particularly curious ‘We can pickle that’ sketch. Not because GoatHawkBuffalo are from Portland – the five-piece is based in Copenhagen, Denmark – but because of this statement from guitarist Asger Abel Sørensen, talking about how the band live-recorded Come to Temple but “subsequently recorded various crazy overdubs – we’ve had microphones in empty Jack Daniels’ bottles and buckets of water, we also ran a guitar signal through a pickle …”” Brine and brawn.

Schammasch – Hearts of No Light Review

Schammasch – Hearts of No Light Review

“There are two kinds of metal albums that tickle my fancy. The first kind takes a band’s trademark sound, alters it just enough to keep things fresh, but also retains everything that makes that artist or band unique, enjoyable, and otherwise impossible to do without. The other has mere glimpses of what made that band who they are, but throws so many curveballs, surprise left hooks, and a kitchen sink or twelve your way, and demands that you catch it all. Swiss avant garde spiritualists Schammasch most certainly fit into the latter with relative ease. Even after releasing a three-disc, exactly-100-minute monstrosity in the form of Triangle back in 2016, it still didn’t fully prepare me for what Hearts of No Light had in store for me.” That’s a big Schammasch!

The Night Watch – An Embarrassment of Riches Review

The Night Watch – An Embarrassment of Riches Review

The Night Watch bill themselves as “violin fronted instrumental progressive folk metal,” which certainly isn’t inaccurate. However, An Embarrassment of Riches feels first and foremost like a soundtrack album. It’s just one that adopts folk and metal as part of its sonic palette, in the vein of some of Bear McCreary’s work. As an instrumental concept album, it’s looking to tell a story.” Telling tales.

Sarke – Gastwerso Review

Sarke – Gastwerso Review

“Since 2016’s Bogefod, Sarke has been on a steady incline that includes clean/acoustic guitars, interesting key work, and female vocals. In and around it all, they use aggressive Hellhammer/Celtic Frost moments, cold first-wave tremolo pickings, and plenty of slumbering sinisterness. Bogefod and its follow-up, Viige Urh, were fresh cuts that sounded like siblings born moments apart from one another. But where is Gastwerso’s branch on this family tree? Is it the birth of triplets or is this a xenomorph C-section?” Horrific lineage.

The Drowning – The Radiant Dark Review and Album Premiere

The Drowning – The Radiant Dark Review and Album Premiere

“Since we got ourselves into the whole album premiere business not too long ago, I wondered what kind of album it would take to warrant a premiere of my own. Shockingly, I didn’t have to wait very long. Thanks to a certain Muppety influence, I acquired was deemed just barely worthy of access to a monumental death-doom album that very quickly rose to the top of my year-end contenders list. Imagine my sadistic ecstasy as I rushed to resuscitate The Drowning from the promo pool, only to discover that one sparkly sponge absorbed the Assign To bubble weeks beforehand. Joy Accordia! I’ll not be forgiven for this, not for an eternity.” Drinking deeply of despair.

Purulent Necrosis – Cadaverized Humanity Review

Purulent Necrosis – Cadaverized Humanity Review

“The good folks at Comatose Music traffic almost exclusively in brutal death metal, so their promo team needs to get creative. It won’t surprise you that Purulent Necrosis is brutal death metal—that morbid word salad (with feta) is what brutal band names are made of. I commend Comatose on their promotion of Cadaverized Humanity though—upon its release, according to the label, “indiscriminate killing on an unprecedented scale is sure to follow.” Kill for your music.

Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile Review

Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile Review

Cannabis Corpse have gained impressive mileage from their death metal gimmick, mainly through striking a keen balance between their old school Floridian worship, crafty weed and death metal puns, and a blasting sense of fun and technical expertise integrated into their chunky, groove-laced brand of death. The experienced band follow-up 2017’s reliably solid Left Hand Pass on the cheekily titled homage to Cryptopsy’s classic None So Vile album, here re-dubbed as Nug So Vile.” Smoke damage.