Winter

Pestilength – Basom Gryphos Review

Pestilength – Basom Gryphos Review

“Although divisive, Portal‘s influence in the death metal world is undeniable. Featuring riffs that seem to crawl with murk and dissonance aplenty with an eldritch monstrosity roaring from the pulpit, there are few who can accurately channel this particular breed of otherworldly alienation. Many have tried and failed, but getting that squirming aesthetic just right is nearly impossible. Basque duo Pestilength is the latest to try their hand at the next Vexovoid.” Cake? No cake!

Mass Worship – Portal Tombs Review

Mass Worship – Portal Tombs Review

“Not being an especially spiritual bloke, I only took a flyer on Mass Worship‘s sophomore platter Portal Tombs because they were tagged “death metal” in our greasy promo sump. Well, the promo sump sits on a greasy throne of greasy lies! These Swedish sadists are NOT death metal, and it’s actually a challenge to explain what they are. I can tell you Portal Tombs is a ridiculously heavy slab of extreme metal designed to smother and obliterate all light and joy from this cursed world. Their style rumbles through death, black, sludge, doom and grind genres like a nuclear-powered killdozer, and the band is more than happy to beat you with any and all tools they come across during their bloody rampage.” Portals and tombs but no cake at all.

Soothsayer – Echoes of the Earth Review

Soothsayer – Echoes of the Earth Review

“When thinking of how to describe Soothsayer‘s primitive sound, I thought if the band were a people, they’d be advanced enough to build a pretty mean henge, but they’d definitely still be eating their enemies to steal their battle ability, and if a farmer brought their shaman a vegetable that grew weird, they’d probably worship it.” Protoculture.

Goden – Beyond Darkness Review

Goden – Beyond Darkness Review

“We’ve discussed revivals before, and tributes aplenty. Just look at Sweven‘s Morbus Chron tribute–kind of a bit of both, and to mixed reactions. The list goes on: Black Sabbath and Heaven and HellImmortal and Abbath. Musicians looking to revive an old project under a new name must tread lightly, as we don’t want Morbus Chron 2.0, for example, but something that acknowledges the past while taking a fresh step forward. Today’s topic of discussion, New York’s Winter,  a relatively quiet 90’s death metal act that nevertheless influenced the development of the death/doom niche with its murky and sprawling tunes.” Winter is coming back.

Cultic – High Command Review

Cultic – High Command Review

“Celtic Frost‘s music was simple yet influential. But there’s a problem with simple yet influential music: it’s easy to play, and thus you’re going to have a lot of bad bands try to play it. Still, for the longest time I couldn’t really think of a particularly awful group that sounded like early Celtic Frost. Well, you know what they say: if you spend long enough poking around, you never know what you’ll dig up. Here, amidst the remains of half-baked riffs and ideas long ago discarded by young groups who knew they could do better, I’ve uncovered a true stinker of an album, a record that I question how it ever came into being: High Command, the debut full-length by Pennsylvania’s Cultic.” Celtic Lost.

Shrine of the Serpent – Entropic Disillusion Review

Shrine of the Serpent – Entropic Disillusion Review

“I don’t know what it is with the water in Portland, Oregon lately that’s causing this recent influx of heady, destructive doom/death metal. With Bell Witch dropping an almost-90-minute megaton bomb in Mirror Reaper last year, Portland is starting to become the city where all things slow and guttural go to blossom into incredible, epic-length cascades of the downtrodden. Throwing their hats into that collective summoning circle is upstarts Shrine of the Serpent.” Dirges over Portlandia.

Antichrist – Pax Moriendi Review

Antichrist – Pax Moriendi Review

“I’ve often wondered about the importance of a band’s name. Would Death be as big, or produced the same groundbreaking music, if they’d named themselves Erotic Diarrhea Monster? Would Kreator have become the thrash legends they did if they instead called themselves Pee Wee’s Scrotal Shitstorm? The world may never know, but it certainly seems having a more common and accessible name puts pressure on a band to produce better music. Case in point: Antichrist, a Peruvian quartet originally formed in 2004 and later reactivated in 2012.” The Devil is in the details.

Oceans of Slumber – Winter Review

Oceans of Slumber – Winter Review

Oceans of Slumber is walking a very unique path. A combination of melodic death, doom and black metal influenced by the Century Black roster from about 1998, Winter blends that with a sadboy metal and alternative rock base. The album is beautiful, mysterious, and oddly chaotic. It’s also really good.