Embracing the Descent: April 21 – 27, 2019

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Welcome back to another edition of Embracing the Descent and another opportunity to catch some fire from this week’s incoming metal. If it’s your first visit, we briefly discuss a handful of the current week’s new releases that stood out for whatever reason and maybe, from time to time, a week behind but who’s counting. We won’t be hitting everything because no one needs a 40 – 60 entry piece and who’s got that kind of time anyway. Let’s jump in and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent. Before you go, leave us a comment if you have thoughts or gripes or something we should be listening to. Continue reading

Profile: Christian Ayala of Progressive Metallers Avandra

Avandra

The story of Avandra and how their sophomore effort, Descender, came to be on Blood Music is one filled with strife and a fairy tale turn of events. The album was written in the wake of Puerto Rico’s devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and due to the huge response from their debut, one fan wrote to Blood Music and the rest, as they say, is history. Or at least, how they ended up where they are now. Avandra’s music is progressive in nature, epic in scope and sound, and overall a pleasure to listen to with just enough bite to cut through the otherwise majestic atmosphere. Just ahead of the album’s release we had the chance to pose our Profile questions to mastermind Christian Ayala Cruz, who also takes care of vocals, guitars, and synths, so head below to see how it went down. Continue reading

Album Review: Waste of Space Orchestra – “Syntheosis”

Waste of Space Orchestra - Syntheosis

How do you describe something that defies description at every turn?  What does ‘avant-garde’ even mean when you are so far removed from your peers that you don’t even seem to notice them? George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is not necessarily your go-to spirit guide for examining and understanding boundary-pushing psychedelic metal, yet here we are, listening to Waste of Space Orchestra’s monumental Syntheosis and witnessing abstract concepts swirling and coalescing around us. True to Hegel’s dialectical method, concrete meets abstract and both are reconciled to pure absolute during the course of the album, in the sublime manner of an eternally recurring sonic metamorphosis equal parts primal and cerebral. Continue reading

Album Review: Archaic Decapitator – “The Apothecary” (EP)

Archaic Decapitator - The Apothecary

I love a good EP, especially one that is so enjoyable it demands repeat listens. Add to the fact that this EP is short enough that I can listen to it whenever the mood strikes, and you’ve got yourself something worth its weight in salt. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Hypocrisy, so finding something in that vein is always a treat and when Archaic Decapitator’s The Apothecary came to my attention, I was intrigued. Combining elements of melodeath and prog, The Apothecary hits the ground running, immediately giving off an expansive, melodic experience even though it has a short run time. Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 21 – 27, 2019

Lord Dying
Lord Dying – photo courtesy of Alyssa Herrman

New week, new set of circumstances, new opportunities, and new metal which is the one reason we’re here. As some band once said ‘nothing else matters.’ And with that, let’s get on with it.

This week will be remembered for many reasons, I’m sure, but the biggest of which is whatever you thought you knew about Lord Dying forget it and make way for their new, more progressive, more classically psychedelic, and more fantastic look on Mysterium Tremendum – talk about surprises, it’s nearly impossible to tell this is the same band but make no mistake, it IS amazing. Then we’ve got black metallers Murg who moved mountains with their debut Gudatall but return to grab the sky and move it too on Strävan, it’s everything that was great about their debut, just better and particularly so in the memorable songwriting department. Next is everyone’s favorite droners Sunn O))) (say it with me…sun) who return with another slab of frequencies on Life Metal that are so heavy you can feel them, or breathe them – points if you know where that came from and if you missed out on RSD, now’s your chance. Last up top but certainly not least is Spotlights who prove that post-metal as a tag is limiting seeing as how Love & Decay is so much more with its power, haunting melodies, and wisps of granite destroying heaviness – ‘iron tone in a velvet glove’ was part of the promo accompaniments and it couldn’t be more accurate.

Beyond that you’ll just have to explore for yourself. Get in there… Continue reading