Opeth

Oceans of Slumber – Starlight and Ash Review

Oceans of Slumber – Starlight and Ash Review

“Anyone who follows Oceans of Slumber on social media is aware of the stylistic evolution the band has been undertaking. The band, notably leaders Cammie Gilbert and Dobber Beverly, have been hammering on the fact that this new album will not be another progressive doom metal outing. Starlight and Ash is the band’s fifth album; fourth with Gilbert at the helm, and second in a row with the current lineup. The fact that they have all stuck around through the turmoil of the last couple of years and have also all bought into the stylistic shift is a positive thing.” Different tides.

Nechochwen – Kanawha Black Review

Nechochwen – Kanawha Black Review

“It seems like forever since Nechochwen graced our collective lobes with an album. It’s actually been 7 years since the excellent Heart of Akamon, but it feels longer given everything that’s happened since it dropped. Now we finally get new platter Kanawha Black and with it, a different approach for the West Virginia twosome. The Native American themes are still present, and their fusion of genres is still in play, but now the breadth and scope of it all has been thrown wide open.” Mad ambitions.

Haunted Shores – Void Review

Haunted Shores – Void Review

“Washington, D.C. progressive instrumental duo Haunted Shores returns after a seven-year absence with second full-length, Void. This is the follow-up to 2015 EP, Viscera, and 2011’s self-titled debut album. Haunted Shores members Mark Holcomb and Misha Mansoor are better known as members of Periphery, where both handle guitars and Mansoor is also responsible for programming, synthesizers, orchestration and drums. And once you know that, you can’t unhear Periphery in what the duo turn out.” Crawling eyes and void fanciers.

Dessiderium – Aria Review

Dessiderium – Aria Review

“December is an exceptionally bad time to release any album. Between all the list compiling and TYMHM-ing that comes with the territory, I like to try to squeeze in a review or two for the “good enough” albums that find themselves caught out in the cold amid list season celebrations. Mind you, I don’t let them inside to partake, but I at least open the door just a crack to grant them a fleeting breath of celebratory warmth. For an album like Aria, this is an exceptionally disappointing fate. Had this been released even a few months prior, I feel that I would have had the time to digest this immense record to its fullest by list season.” Scrooged.

Khemmis – Deceiver Review

Khemmis – Deceiver Review

Khemmis, along with Pallbearer, Crypt Sermon, and Spirit Adrift, were once at the vanguard of an exciting new wave of American doom metal. Between 2012 and 2016 these acts burst onto what appeared to be a promising and burgeoning scene, each offering an exciting mixture of old and new sounds. 2021 finds most of these once-promising acts on a bit of a downward trend.” Deceive or reprieve?

Trance of the Undead – Chalice of Disease Review

Trance of the Undead – Chalice of Disease Review

“Sometimes you just need an audio beating, to crank that funky brutal music to 11 and let your ears bleed. The issue with a lot of beatdown music is that there’s simply too much of it and not enough contrast, which is why bands like Isis or Opeth were applauded in their heyday, while Tetragammacide and Deiphago are chastised like a class clown. Having your skull beaten in is fine and dandy, but you need some sophistication. A baseball bat made of maple instead of ash, perhaps, or a titanium crowbar instead of iron. Maybe a fist with some pretty rings or maybe even a bedazzled tire iron? Brazil’s Trance of the Undead utilizes predictable beatdown techniques in its blackened death attack.” Discount diseases.

White Stones – Dancing Into Oblivion Review

White Stones – Dancing Into Oblivion Review

“Here we are to provide a legal, post-release examination of the quickfire second LP from White Stones, the death metal project spearheaded by Opeth bassist Martin Mendez. 2020’s debut Kuarahy certainly had its moments and was an intriguing, well crafted, if not overly exciting platter. In hindsight, I was perhaps a half-point generous in my assessment. Still, it offered enough interest and intrigue to make me eager to hear how White Stones develop on subsequent releases. Sophomore album Dancing Into Oblivion is now upon us, so how does it stack up?” Whitewater parks.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Katatonia – Last Fair Deal Gone Down

Yer Metal Is Olde: Katatonia – Last Fair Deal Gone Down

“The year of our Angry Metal Overlord 2001 was a “very good year,” to quote the everyone who has ever spoken about wine in a movie. Indeed, the year that produced Opeth’s epic and scene-changing Blackwater Park and Propagandhi’s Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes, also gave us Mutter by Rammstein, Awakening the World by Lost Horizon and Laundry Service by Shakira. But is Last Fair Deal Gone Down the best album released in 2001?”

Siderean – Lost on Void’s Horizon Review

Siderean – Lost on Void’s Horizon Review

“For the second time this year, I grabbed what appeared to be a brand new band’s debut record, only to find that the band has already existed for many years in another form and under another name. This may, in fact, be the member’s first full-length release together, but before they changed their name to Siderean in 2020, the band had worked under the name Teleport for ten years, releasing demo after EP after demo as their sound evolved from the Voivod / Vektor-influenced progressive thrash of their beginnings into another beast altogether. On their final release as Teleport, the 2018 demo The Expansion, the band abandoned nearly every trace of their original thrash sound, embracing a proggy death metal that was infused with copious amounts of dissonance. Somewhere along the way, the members decided that their evolution warranted a fresh start and a fresh moniker, and Siderean was born.” Bring me the event horizon.