Relapse Records

Author & Punisher – Krüller Review

Author & Punisher – Krüller Review

Author and Punisher albums seem to alternate between anthemic and ambitious. Women & Children saw Tristan Shone’s transhumanist industrial drone-doom project spinning out singles with the force of a hundred pound steel drum, an approach echoed by 2018’s belligerent Beastland. But between them, the disturbing, experimental Melk en Honing took a slower, nastier pace, savoring the acrid stench of electrocuted machine-oil that the music produces. So does Krüller, Shone’s densest work yet.” Punishment and dystopian donuts.

Monolord – Your Time to Shine Review

Monolord – Your Time to Shine Review

“Three Monolord reviews, and three 3.0 scores. The epitome of “good.” In fact, when I jotted down all the metadata for this album I also penciled in “3.0 of course” for my rating placeholder. I mean, what are the odds the score goes up or down? Actually, here on Your Time to Shine, the Swedish doom trio’s fifth album, there’s a good chance of that score coming untracked, at least if they continue down the less-fuzz, more-doom path they started down with No Comfort. As mentioned two years ago, the band seemed to be evolving into a “fuzzier version of Pallbearer.” Rabbit don’t come easy.

Wolves in the Throne Room – Primordial Arcana Review

Wolves in the Throne Room – Primordial Arcana Review

Wolves in the Throne Room is an important band for me. When I was just getting into black metal, I found my way to the early albums in the band’s discography, which demonstrated to me the intrinsic and glorious bond black metal has with nature. I was absolutely captivated and I still consider the trilogy of Diadem of 12 Stars, Two Hunters and Black Cascade to be one of the strongest in black metal’s catalog. While I may be less enamored with the later albums (Thrice Woven, apart from its thunderous opener, left me cold), I feel a very close affinity with the band, and any new release is a very big deal to this reviewer.” Wolves or sheep?

Red Fang – Arrows Review

Red Fang – Arrows Review

“Ever wanted to spend your afternoon crafting a suit of armor from empty beer cans to go make drunken, bloody war on the D&D nerds at the local park? Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang got you. Ever been in the shower, sipping on a beer, when two, large hairy and, it has to be said, naked stoners apparate to invite you to an air guitar contest, before disappearing (with your tinny)? This four-piece stoner outfit understands. After a five-year hiatus, Red Fang is back with fifth full-length, Arrows, and in reassuringly generous mood.” Pay as you slow.

Incantation – Sect of Vile Divinities Review

Incantation – Sect of Vile Divinities Review

“If your initial response to a new Incantation record isn’t “INCANTATIOOOOOOOON!!!” followed by an immediate tearing of skin, then you are not my kind. These days, it’s redundant to introduce a band like Incantation. If you’ve been listening to death metal for more than five minutes, then you’ve almost certainly encountered their classics Onward to Golgotha and Mortal Throne of Nazarene. Their savage take on soul sewage has magnetized the masses since the band’s inception and that reputation remains untarnished.” Vile markers.

Valkyrie – Fear Review

Valkyrie – Fear Review

“Summertime is when I’m most susceptible to the bleary-eyed charms of jammy, fuzzed out retro/occult doom. That kind of music just seems to go with warmer days and brighter skies. Virginia’s Valkyrie play their cards right by dropping their 4th album in the middle of a New York heat wave, as my brain is already hot-wired to embrace what they’re doing on Fear.” Fear is the riff dealer.