Progressive Death Metal

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

“I am ashamed. Why? Because I almost let this badass record slip through my greedy clutches. You see, my good friend (who we know as Septic ’round these parts) randomly pops in now and again to apprise me on some of his choice metallic discoveries. He introduced Irish/German/Dutch quartet Ascend the Hollow to me and I was instantly hooked. Like, so fast my head spun. I needed to share my excitement for Echoes of Existence with as many people as possible, but how? It would’ve been grand if we received promo, I thought. Then, all of a sudden I received a virtual sucker punch while rooting around the bin—the thing’s been sitting there since the end of April! How in the actual heck did I miss that??? And lo I experienced great embarrassment. I nearly neglected one of the coolest new bands to materialize out of absolute nowhere this year.” Finder of nearly lost things.

The Odious – Vesica Piscis Review

The Odious – Vesica Piscis Review

“I didn’t know this album was coming. I thought The Odious had faded out of existence long ago, trapped behind an ever-thickening glass of ‘what-if’s’ that both magnifies and distorts the legacy of bands that disappear just as they reach their creative zenith. You’ve heard swansongs before, but never from as fluffy and yolk-drenched a cygnet as The Odious were, releasing a career’s worth of great ideas over the course of two years and two releases – 2012’s Joint Ventures LP preceded by the That Night a Forest Grew EP in 2011. Now reaching for an altogether opposite avian metaphor, the band have reformed.” From swansong to phoenix.

Flub – Flub Review

Flub – Flub Review

Flub is something of a supergroup, with current and ex-members of Rivers of Nihil, Alterbeast and Vale of Pnath, though their sound is markedly different than the sum of their parts. Lyrically this is standard fare for the genre—subcategory fantasy—with the tale of a hero who is possessed at the end of his life by an entity bent on destroying Mother Nature herself, but musically Flub is a bit more colorful and damn near uplifting when compared to the members’ other bands. Make no mistake, there is still brutal death metal baked into this evil fruit pie.” Little Jack Horner stays tech.

Inanimate Existence – Clockwork Review

Inanimate Existence – Clockwork Review

“Five albums in, California’s Inanimate Existence still find themselves in an ironic perpetual animation, racing through phrases song by song while never quite making headway. Since the band ditched the whole Nightwish goes tech moments of Calling from a Dream – a record that I, oddly enough, quite liked – the band have returned to the vivid progressive and technical death metal that they’ve more or less always peddled.” Existence is pain.

Warforged – I, Voice Review

Warforged – I, Voice Review

“The Artisan Era has been on a decent roll lately, releasing good to great albums left and right for just over a year. Warforged seemed like a bit of an odd duck for the label though. The Chicagoan five-piece of progressive blackened death metal don’t really fit the tech-death-heavy mold The Artisan Era have curated for themselves. It was this fact that initially drew me to I, Voice.” War by another name.

Hath – Of Rot and Ruin Review

Hath – Of Rot and Ruin Review

“Pure originality is overrated. I mean, yeah, it’s nice when something newfangled pops up and smacks you in the kisser. However, I would much rather see an already existent construct improved upon, re-imagined or perfected in some way. I don’t care if it takes three iterations or four trillion, five-hundred billion, three-hundred-forty-seven million, twenty-thousand-and-two iterations to get there.” If it ain’t broke, improve it!

Architects of Aeon – Koloss Review

Architects of Aeon – Koloss Review

“As a metal reviewer, I, every so often, have to describe the music I’m hearing. Using complex vocabulary, a plethora of unnecessary adjectives, and textures as real as your blind uncle’s toilet seat, I force you to feel, hear, and taste the album I’m reviewing. If you think that’s easy, you’re wrong. ‘Tis hard. Thankfully, for all you, I’m the master of my domain.” Touch nothing, hear everything.

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

“Dear readers, what are your favorite ’90s progressive or technical death metal albums? Perhaps it’s Cynic‘s legendary Focus, Death‘s Human, Edge of Sanity‘s Crimson, or is it Pestilence and their classic Consuming Impulse opus? Or maybe Atheist‘s brilliant Unquestionable Presence album floats your boat. Or digging deeper, a more left-field choice: Martyr‘s underrated Hopeless Hopes. New York’s Contrarian pay omage to the classic ’90s progressive and technical death scene through their retro and impressively authentic throwback style of spazzed out prog death on their third LP, Their Worm Never Dies.” Undying worms and olde death.

The Ridiculous Year o’ Death Metal Round-up, Part 1 [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

The Ridiculous Year o’ Death Metal Round-up, Part 1 [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“A lot of good death metal came out this year. In the last six months, it has become an outright deluge, and Ferrous Beuller and I have doggy-paddled through it, coughing and sputtering and generally being overwhelmed. But even if great albums were few, enough good albums came out—and got passed over—that we’re in dire need of a recap. In fact the need is so dire that we can’t hope to cover it all ourselves.”