The Artisan Era

Oubliette – The Passage Review

Oubliette – The Passage Review

“When a record feels right — truly right — you just know. No ramp-up is required. Nothing is asked of you but your admiration. Satisfaction is born in full, a sensation that mirrors the wholly filling quality of a spin free from reservations. Oubliette — a Tennessee meloblack outfit headed by married duo Emily and Mike Low, the latter of Inferi; some readers should be familiar with — comes dangerously close to that feeling with their second offering.” Marriage makes the heart blacker.

Inferi – Revenant Review

Inferi – Revenant Review

“AV Club ran a recent piece on the best ever back-to-back-to-back run on an album. That site may not be brutal enough for you malcontents, but you know who is? Me. Inferi. 2014’s The Path of Apotheosis stands on its own merits, but the 6-7-8 of “Destroyer,” “Onslaught of the Covenant,” and “Marching Through the Flames of Tyranny” made that record. Alone, each could have been a song of the year contender; together, they drove me to get “Inferi” tattooed directly on my heart. Needless to say, the Nashville quintet set the bar for follow-up Revenant at an unrealistic level.” Expectations and tattoos.

Augury – Illusive Golden Age Review

Augury – Illusive Golden Age Review

“Before Beyond Creation, there was Augury. At the tail end of the 2000s, the Quebeckers were at the forefront of the proggy side of tech-death along with Anata and Obscura, and their 2009 LP Fragmentary Evidence is a too-often overlooked milestone in the genre – perhaps because so many contemporary tech death albums (CosmogenesisThose Whom the Gods DetestOraclesEverything is Fire) were just as good and bore follow-up releases. Yes, for a long time it seemed that Augury had been outright replaced by Beyond Creation, who snatched the torch of Montreal’s world-class tech death scene, but a bit shy of a decade later, here we are with Illusive Golden Age.” Back from the tech-dead.

Inanimate Existence – Under a Melting Sky Review

Inanimate Existence – Under a Melting Sky Review

“I love to see a band you can’t quite pin down. I picked up the thread on Inanimate Existence with their sophomore effort, A Never Ending Cycle of Atonement, an album which couldn’t decide whether to be brutal or proggy — and was much better at the latter. Then came Calling from a Dream, and a radical redirection towards the band’s strengths. It was concise, melodic, interesting, and above all, memorable, an experiment in storytelling and fantasy that worked remarkably well. Just a year later, the band is back, this time with yet another new direction.” Tech-mech.