Transcending Obscurity

Wardaemonic – Acts of Repentance Review

Wardaemonic – Acts of Repentance Review

“Length alone does not a smart song make. Anyone can throw a dozen disparate riffs together without rhyme or reason under the pretense of progressive songwriting. That’s what’s kind of amazing about Wardaemonic‘s fourth LP, Acts of Repentance. These songs aren’t necessarily clever, but what they lack in songwriting tact is made up for by a dense, captivating atmosphere.” Repentance, then war.

The Drowning – The Radiant Dark Review and Album Premiere

The Drowning – The Radiant Dark Review and Album Premiere

“Since we got ourselves into the whole album premiere business not too long ago, I wondered what kind of album it would take to warrant a premiere of my own. Shockingly, I didn’t have to wait very long. Thanks to a certain Muppety influence, I acquired was deemed just barely worthy of access to a monumental death-doom album that very quickly rose to the top of my year-end contenders list. Imagine my sadistic ecstasy as I rushed to resuscitate The Drowning from the promo pool, only to discover that one sparkly sponge absorbed the Assign To bubble weeks beforehand. Joy Accordia! I’ll not be forgiven for this, not for an eternity.” Drinking deeply of despair.

Bones – Diseased Review

Bones – Diseased Review

“Everybody knows a local band like Chicago’s Bones. If you attend small scale metal shows in your vicinity with any sort of regularity, you know them well: a groove oriented death metal band, often fresh off work, that seems to open every show regardless of whether they fit the bill. This results in often hilarious pairings, including my recent bewilderment at Kansas City’s death/doomsters Pulchra Morte opening for Gloryhammer of all bands. Bones is the very embodiment of that same working class energy, but as they fall under the eclectic umbrella of Transcending Obscurity, curveballs are to be expected.” Boning it in.

Esogenesi – Esogenesi Review

Esogenesi – Esogenesi Review

Esogenesi is an elemental doom machine that grinds along like heavy earth mover equipment, alternating between standard death doom and a more funerary style. The band is a classic four piece of vocals, guitar, bass and drums with each member sticking to their role. When I say they are no-frills, I don’t mean they lack creativity, rather they let each instrument stand on its own as an irreducible component.” Weights of the world.

Eternal Storm – Come the Tide Review and Album Premiere

Eternal Storm – Come the Tide Review and Album Premiere

“Surround myself as I might with dissonant blasts and angular minimalism, all it takes is the first few notes of a melodic lead by Insomnium or mid-era ,b>Amon Amarth and all of my weirdo-cred moves to the back burner. There’s something about that mix of primal aggression and soaring emotion that scratches an itch no other genre can reach, so whenever I happen upon a new melodeath record of exceptional quality, it’s almost a religious experience. Come the Tide, the incredible debut album from Spain’s Eternal Storm, is just such a record.” Seize the tidal.

Rogga Johansson – Entrance to the Otherwhere Review

Rogga Johansson – Entrance to the Otherwhere Review

“Whatever happened to melodic death metal? No, I don’t mean power metal with harsh vocals, as the term’s modern connotation entails. I’m talking about classic, knuckle-dragging death metal riffage, paired with somber, melodic atmosphere; the sort explored by Edge of Sanity, Tales from the Thousand Lakes-era Amorphis, and others during the 90’s. It’s a specific concoction that fell out of popularity as the genre pushed ever onward down increasingly brutal and complex avenues. And yet, Rogga remembers.”Rogga! Rogga!

Hex – God Has No Name Review

Hex – God Has No Name Review

“When I look at the cover art for the sophomore full-length, God Has No Name, by Spain’s Hex, I see a hyperbolic metal label distribution PR blurb made pictorial. ‘Riffs so heavy, so scorching, they splinter the Earth’s crust into black obsidian shard,’ it declares. Straight-faced, it adds ‘A sound so singularly malignant, it tears a hole in the very heavens above. As it rends the firmament, fire erupts from blah blah blah,’ you get the point.” Sounds of an apocalypse fading.

Goregäng – Neon Graves Review

Goregäng – Neon Graves Review

“If there was ever a genre of extreme music my library woefully under-represents, it’s anything tagged with the term ‘crust’ or ‘punk.’ Why, you may ask? Because I just don’t listen to it often. Punk and many of its sibling genres find little purchase with me. Which is funny, since I like grindcore and powerviolence, two of punk’s more extreme descendants. My suspicion is that at this point in my musical evolution I remain a tad stubborn as it pertains to things I don’t want to like, and crust-punk is one of those things.” Eat the crust!

Chalice of Suffering – Lost Eternally Review

Chalice of Suffering – Lost Eternally Review

“Grief can seemingly last forever. Whether you’re actively working through it or just passively experiencing its various stages, grief is a marathon, not a sprint. Excitement, on the other hand, is always fleeting. Moments of joy, fright or rage flare up and burn out quickly. Excitement is not a state that can be sustained for long. Grief, sorrow, despondency, these can last indefinitely. There’s a reason grindcore albums never break 30 minutes while funeral doom albums stretch well past an hour. If it takes time to experience, it will take time to express. But listening to the genre at its best isn’t about being patient, as if there’s some reward at the end. It’s more about allowing yourself to be borne along by the slow process. Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Chalice of Suffering—612, represent—is here to take you on a long journey through the deepest despair.” Playing the long winter game.

Illimitable Dolor – Leaden Light Review

Illimitable Dolor – Leaden Light Review

“Two years ago I reviewed the self-titled debut of Australia’s Illimitable Dolor, a project carved from the members of The Slow Death to illuminate the loss of their friend and band mate Gregg Williamson. It was a feast of death-doom delights with a bold sense of atmosphere to truly define the plundered depths. Now, the band have returned with Leaden Light and a mind clearly bent on expansion. But a broadening of such bereaved horizons requires mass. And sometimes too much is simply too much.” When heavy isn’t enough.