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Zebulon Pike – Space is the Corpse of Time Review

Zebulon Pike – Space is the Corpse of Time Review

One of the simplest facts about Zebulon Pike is that they are a band based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After that, things become much more complicated, as they engage in a genre of music that can only be described as auditory mad science. Formed in 2002, every single one of their albums has been a brain-demolishing piece of experimentation: And Blood Was Passion in 2004, The Deafening Twilight in 2006, and Instransience in 2008. With each release, they have become more dense, more intelligent, more volatile. Space Is the Corpse of Time continues this progression, spiralling out in a universe of it’s own making.

Trillion Red – Two Tongues EP Review

Trillion Red – Two Tongues EP Review

When a band states that they make “truly unique music” or something to that effect, I’m always skeptical. Most of the time it just means that it a) sucks ass or b) isn’t “unique” at all, but just more of the same. Trillion Red, however, really do have a sound of their own, and it doesn’t suck. While you could just throw them on the huge pile of Neurosis copycats, it really wouldn’t do them justice, because there’s more to their music. It has the typical ingredients of atmospheric sludge, the down-tuned guitars, the huge riffs, the minimalistic drumming, the synths, and, unfortunately, boring and sometimes awkward ambient sections.

The Fallen Divine – The Binding Cycle Review

The Fallen Divine – The Binding Cycle Review

The Binding Cycle is the first full-length album by Norwegian quintet, The Fallen Divine. Founded in 2009, and with one EP under their belt, the band worked with King Diamond guitarist Andy La Rocque at his studio, Sonic Train, to produce the album. And he produced the fuck out of them. The sound on this album is so clean it sparkles. Which is as it should be, because there is a lot going on and The Fallen Divine don’t want you to miss any of it. A self-described progressive metal band, they have a lot of influences and only one shot at showing you that they’ve mastered them all. Fortunately, they pretty much have.

Bjørnar Selsbak – Rygteflom/Tunge Taarer Review

So, a couple months ago I got Lumsk‘s debut Åsmund Frægdegjevar and I have to say that I was really impressed. It’s one of the most unique folk metal records I’ve ever heard. Slow, but the smart blending of progressive elements with traditional Norwegian folk music and the melodies was stellar. In fact, way better than their contemporaries in a lot of areas. However, I was soon informed to not check out the band’s later material, largely because the guitarist who had written the majority of it had left the band. This creativity, however, lives on in this single or EP (or whatever it is) released all these years later which is made up of two songs “Rygteflom” and “Tunge Taarer”.

Shroud of Despondency – Dark Meditations in Monastic Seclusion Review

Shroud of Despondency – Dark Meditations in Monastic Seclusion Review

Some say that the album is dead. And no, by this I don’t mean vinyl, because for all but the biggest audiophiles vinyl really is dead. I mean the album; a set of interconnected songs that form a whole, that induce you to sit and listen to them all and enjoy. Every truly monumental record is one of those kinds of records, one that should make you want to sit down and listen and just feel that swelling in the chest, or whatever you feel when you find something that really hits home. Few live up to this these days and I think there are several reasons for this, though, I’ll save those for another time. But Shroud of Despondency’s Dark Meditations in Monastic Seclusion is one such record, a cohesive whole and a supremely honest offering which, for all its warts, is a tremendous piece of work.

A Walk with the Wicked – Architects of Sadism Review

A Walk with the Wicked – Architects of Sadism Review

Old school death metal is making a comeback around the world and apparently South Africa is no exception to this rule. In fact, as I’ve already referenced, South Africa is an up-and-coming scene that seems to have little cohesive sound but still has a lot of talent in it. Because of that, whenever you get a demo from one of these bands it’s always a surprise, and this was an old school death metal surprise that came out in the form of A Walk with the Wicked’s debut disc Architects of Sadism. It was also a pleasant surprise, at that.

Crow Black Sky – Pantheion Review

Crow Black Sky – Pantheion Review

One of the things that people have been lamenting about the dawn of the Internet and how it will affect the future of music is that localized scenes no longer get localized sounds, and Crow Black Sky is definitely an example of this. Or more specifically, the South African metal scene seems to be a great example of this. See, Crow Black Sky is a melodic death metal band, whereas the other two bands that I’ve heard from South Africa (Heathens and A Walk with the Wicked) are black metal/black n’ roll and old school death metal. Due to access to music and information worldwide, it sorta kills that homogenization effect that gigging together, hanging out together and shopping at the same record store seemed to cause. Is it possible that the black metal scene from Oregon is the last cohesive scene we’re going to ever see? Well, that’s not actually relevant to this review. What is relevant to this review is that despite (or because of) the lack of homogeneity in the South African scene every single one of these bands that I’ve heard has been really very good. Crow Black Sky being no exception.

Sanity of Impiety – In Life We Despise Review

Sanity of Impiety – In Life We Despise Review

I know it’s not a popular standpoint, but I’ve actually been pretty critical of Sweden’s underground. It is true that Sweden has produced some of the best metal in the world, I still have a bit of a feeling of “What have you done for me lately?” While there are some great bands out there that we all know, the underground here since after that first wave in the early 90s just hasn’t been the same. However, in the last few years a new generation of Swedish death metal and black metal has started coming to the forefront. Sometimes these are older bands, but there are also a number of younger bands carrying on the banner of their proud Swedish heavy metal heritage and doing it well. Sanity of Impiety, from up north in UmeÃ¥ (the same city which spawned Meshuggah, Naglfar, Cult of Luna and others) is certainly one of these bands.

Empuse – The Beginning of the End (1995)

Empuse – The Beginning of the End (1995)

What was happening in your life in 1995? Maybe you weren’t into metal yet, or maybe you weren’t aware that there was something growing in the heart of Sweden that would soon be one of the most successful and influential scenes in the history of heavy metal. Between 1994 and 1996 a myriad of amazing records were released from Scandinavia, Sweden in particular, but also the budding black metal scene in Norway was going on and even Finland was producing Amorphis records. Katatonia released For Funerals to Come that year, as well as it being the year of the mighty Slaughter of the Soul in 1995 as well. Go through your iTunes or on RYM or wherever and check out what was going on.

Eternal Silence – The Arsonist Review

Eternal Silence – The Arsonist Review

Eternal Silence is a death metal band that hails from New London, Wisconsin and has been around as long as this Angry Metal Guy has been into death metal. They started out in the late 90s, released a record in 98, an EP again in 2002 and then went silent, though they’ve been playing shows around Wisconsin and Illinois consistently. Like so many bands, they’ve suffered from issues surrounding labels, studios and band members, but somehow the core of this group has managed to stick together and stick it out. Sometimes stubbornness is really the best friend of a musician. Eternal Silence has shown that years of patience and hard work can pay off.