Sunn O)))

Alexander – I Review

Alexander – I Review

“Every now and again, even I stumble across an album that I struggle to overwrite and, in this case, that is because a terrible mistake was made. I picked up I, the debt by Canadian-German duo Alexander after spotting it, alone and unattended in the promo sump, sporting a funeral doom tag. Only it didn’t say funeral doom, it said funeral drone, something I realized only after the No Takesie Backsie policy had kicked in.” Strong policies, harsh consequences.

Wolvennest – Temple Review

Wolvennest – Temple Review

“Belgium is a weird place. Maybe it’s the chocolate or waffles, but any country that offers groups like Neptunian Maximalism, Emptiness, or Amenra & Co. needs to have its cholesterol checked. Spewing out bizarre organic atmosphere with haunting repetition, artists like these have strangely minimalist tendencies that end up feeling bigger than the individual parts suggest. While spanning a broad range of metallic subgenres, it comes across as otherworldly, surreal, and fiercely dark. To add their two cents to these Belgian shenanigans is Wolvennest.” Temple of Weird.

Neptunian Maximalism – Éons [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Neptunian Maximalism – Éons [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Consisting of core members Guillaume Cazalet, Jean Jacques Duerinckx, Sebastien Schmidt, and Pierre Arese, alongside a massive entourage of musicians, Neptunian Maximalism (or NNMM) utilize a range of influences, genres, and instruments both traditional and contemporary, to create their second full-length and crowning achievement Éons. While it’s unclear if it is indeed metal, that matters little. It’s an immensely sprawling release, a two-hour-plus release over three discs, and its content is just as challenging.” MOAR to score.

Dark Buddha Rising – Mathreyata Review

Dark Buddha Rising – Mathreyata Review

Dark Buddha Rising is a Finnish band, formed in 2007 and packing six full-lengths and an EP under its belt. For a collective that channels drone, doom, and sludge (you’d be safe to throw some stoner doom in there too), their megalithic songwriting is surprisingly restrained, relying on simple bass riffs, distant vocals, and other instruments to communicate their psychedelic soundscape as it reaches a drone climax.” Buddha don’t play.

False Gods – No Symmetry… Only Disillusion Review

False Gods – No Symmetry… Only Disillusion Review

“I’m the biggest Eyehategod fan I know, and sludge gets a bad rap. I get it: much like drone, if you just amp up the distortion to an 11/10 and know how to abuse the blues scale, you’ve got it made. Of course, there’s more nuance, like the need for facial hair, flannel, intoxicating substances, a shotgun, and some dark woods in the Deep South, but that’s just pedantic. My point is, you wouldn’t expect Crowbar-esque sludge from some dudes in New York, New York.” Empire expanding.

Saltas – Mors Salis: Opus I Review

Saltas – Mors Salis: Opus I Review

“In spite of listening to this stuff for the better part of my life now, I still realize how much I don’t know about so many sub-sub-subgenres, such as doom’s vast array. While I delved into the melodic death flavors of Saturnus, Swallow the Sun, and Novembers Doom, I let the cavernous stuff pass me by. It all comes full circle, when Swedish duo Saltas punishes me with a lethal dose of suffocatingly dense doom to whom comparisons are sparse.” Saltas the earth.

Fós – Rinne mé iarraidh Review

Fós – Rinne mé iarraidh Review

“Prior to this review, you could have jotted down what I knew about sean-nós singing on the back of a postage stamp and still had most of the stamp free for other notes. Still, we are where we all are and probably only Fós, a collaboration between Irish singer Orla Cadden Patel and multi-instrumentalist Fionn Murray, have much right to feel aggrieved. Sean-nós turns out to be a traditional form of Irish singing. Typically unaccompanied, the singing is highly ornamented in terms of melodic style and the lyrics often deal in laments and tales of historic events. That description does not, perhaps, suggest it as the obvious partner for electronica-driven drone but then, as I always try to explain to non-metal friends and colleagues who ask (and usually regret doing so), one of the things I love about metal is its seemingly endless ability to blend genres and influences.” Luck o’ the Irish.

Crowhurst and Gavin Bryars – Incoherent American Narrative Review

Crowhurst and Gavin Bryars – Incoherent American Narrative Review

“Not knowing what to expect from Crowhurst and Gavin Bryars‘s new album Incoherent American Narrative, I snuggled into a corner of my couch with a piping hot mug of mint tea at my side and put on my Sennheisers. Now that I have experienced the album more than a handful of times, the idea that keeps coming to mind is that of a sound collage. Sound collages, like their visual counterparts, are compositions created from “gluing” together various, oftentimes disparate, sound pieces. Incoherent American Narrative fits that description to a T.” Art and crafts.

Via Vengeance – Diestractions from the Truth Review

Via Vengeance – Diestractions from the Truth Review

“He’s a happy dude that makes everyone around him happy. Case in point: at a Neurosis show in Phoenix, I became so enamored with opening act Amenra that nothing existed around me but dark, depressive death. Then I felt the nudge and looked over at the smiling face of Mr. Ocell. One second, I wanted to die. The next, I wanted to give the little guy a noogie. But how can a guy as happy as Shane write music as dark and heavy as that of Via Vengeance? I haven’t a clue, but that’s what he does.” Beware the smiling man.