Sep22

ColdWorld – Isolation Review

ColdWorld – Isolation Review

Isolation is ColdWorld‘s coldest album. In spite of the snowy fuzz that graced 2008’s debut Melancholie² or the decaying grim tones of Autumn, Isolation lives up to its name in the bleakest way imaginable. It nearly forgoes its depressive and atmospheric black metal roots entirely for an album with utmost restraint, organicity taking precedence over rawness or intensity. Encompassing more wintry post-rock soundscapes and doom tempos, Isolation is held high by the pillars of loneliness and patience.” The sadbois of winter.

Darkest Era – Wither on the Vine Review

Darkest Era – Wither on the Vine Review

“Talk about making fans wait for a new album. Way, way back in 2014 I was gobsmacked by Severance, the sophomore release by Irish epic doom act Darkest Era. It had a near-perfect blend of doom, black, goth and Viking genres and felt like a heavy-duty emotional journey through dark, trying times. It stitched together the best parts of Primordial, Atlantean Kodex, Ereb Altor, and Iron Maiden to create an album grander than the sum of its parts. There was a brooding, melancholic beauty and power to it that few albums could equal. I was very anxious to get a followup, and nearly 8 long years later, it finally shows up.” Dark days.

Arkheth – Clarity Came with a Cool Summer’s Breeze Review

Arkheth – Clarity Came with a Cool Summer’s Breeze Review

“Even for I, Voidhanger, Clarity Came with a Cool Summer’s Breeze is a hallucinogenic odyssey of unreal proportions. In its wild ways of whimsy, I catch whiffs of everything ranging from Ved Buens EndeBlut Aus NordVulture Industries, and even The Beatles. With an expansive stylistic gamut to manage, it’s bewildering that Tyrone not only concocted a compelling compound with it, but also condensed it into a tight and twisted thirty-seven minutes.” Shrooms with a view.

Spectrum Mortis – Bit Meseri – The Incantation Review

Spectrum Mortis – Bit Meseri – The Incantation Review

“Through a medium of heavily atmospheric blackened doom, Bit Meseri mainly succeeds in communicating its occult inspiration. There is something of the ancient near east in the lilt of the guitars, reverberating against dusty darkness in quieter passages. The music also holds a distinctively ceremonial air that recalls Praise the Plague in its cavernous grandiosity and Behemoth in a near-warlike march, and guitars that parody church organs.” Necrofancy.

Strigoi – Viscera Review

Strigoi – Viscera Review

“As much of a doom metal cat as I am, I’ll woefully admit when I miss the boat on a band.Vallenfyre, the death/doom side-project that Paradise Lost axeman Gregor Mackintosh created to process the loss of his father, released three albums of 90s throwback Asphyxiation before Mackintosh put the band to rest in 2018, stating that he felt the band had run its course thematically. However, he still wanted to continue in that murky, grotesque vein, so with the help of live ‘Fyre bassist Chris Casket, Mackintosh unearthed Strigoi, a grindier, filthier proposition.” Death as paradise.

Phobophilic – Enveloping Absurdity Review

Phobophilic – Enveloping Absurdity Review

“After hearing the first few seconds of “Survive in Obscurity,” I knew I wanted to review Enveloping Absurdity. Infectious death metal riffs, raw energy, palpable fuzz – the song had everything I could ask for. Enveloping Absurdity is a debut, but Phobophilic has an EP and a split with Sedimentum under its belt, getting picked up by Prosthetic in the process. These Fargo natives play death metal that is as gruesome as Fargo but much less distinctive, preferring to dwell in the darker corners of old-school death metal.” Death from the cold.

Autopsy – Morbidity Triumphant Review

Autopsy – Morbidity Triumphant Review

“When one of the founding fathers of death metal wanders out of the cemetery with a new album, the dead heads of the world take notice. Autopsy is right there with Massacre and Death as a progenitor of this gruesome genre, and on 9th full-length, Morbidity Triumphant they remind you that this is their grave and you just play tourist within its rancid confines. And this new splatter scrapbook finds Autopsy shockingly vibrant, agitated and more rabid than on 2015s Skull Grinder.” Mess with bull, get the gore.

Slugcrust – Ecocide Review

Slugcrust – Ecocide Review

Ecocide, the debut from Slugcrust, was a difficult album to write about. The brevity, genre and unrelenting frenzy made for a somewhat complicated but altogether illuminating reviewing effort. Not only was I called to deliver a verdict on the quality of the album, but I found myself asking some very basic questions about the nature of reviewing itself: should I base my conclusions on my personal views without taking into account the context of the style of metal in question? Or should I instead grade on a curve, remembering that one of the album’s shortcomings is perhaps also one of the genre’s founding principles? All these questions and more went through my head as I spun Slugcrust‘s Ecocide,” Surviving the critical grind.

KEN mode – NULL Review

KEN mode – NULL Review

“No, this album has nothing to do with our favorite sponge friend. Yes, this album has everything to do with FOUR angry Canadians now that KEN mode has promoted Kathryn Kerr, a one-woman wrecking ball of saxophone, synth, and piano prowess, previously guest-credited on 2018’s Loved. Did you think that KEN mode would go full saxcore after that experimental sludgeball? Well, I bet your 2022 bingo card is all kinds of fucked up at this point, so let’s make this one easy: KEN mode—or more accurately, primary bleeding heart Jesse Matthewson—hated the past couple years and it shows.” No dream house for you!