Initial Descent: November 4 – 10, 2018

Valle Crucis
Valle Crucis

November is here and it has brought cold weather with it and earlier darkness. I am not amused, at all. As a kid I loved it but now, nope. But, my seasonal pains is not something you care about so let’s get into what the first full week of metal for this month has to offer…

First up is SC’s answer to vicious and cold black metal, Valle Crucis with their full length debut Iron & Blood – I don’t get enough chances to rep my locals but this duo is stunning, don’t sleep on this one. Next is Hypnagogia from funeral doom by way of death metal legends Evoken, their level of genuine artistry is somewhere high atop the stars and continues that trajectory here. Moving along is the second full length, Holy Grove II, from Portland’s Holy Grove and much like their last one, this album further blurs the lines of heavy metal, doom and space rock but make no mistake it hits as hard as a freight train and scratches that bluesy itch perfectly. Last up, at the top at least, is Thoren with their extremely dissonant take on instrumental, progressive death metal with Gwarth I – if looking for a challenging listen is one of your priorities, this is the one for you.

That’s the first four but there’s so much more. Get in there…

Valle Crucis - Iron & Blood

Valle Crucis – Iron & Blood (Pagan Pride / Narcoleptica Productions) – black metal [interview]

Evoken - Hypnagogia

Evoken – Hypnagogia (Profound Lore) – doom metal

Holy Grove - Holy Grove II

Holy Grove – Holy Grove II (Ripple Music) – heavy metal

Thoren - Gwarth I

Thoren – Gwarth I (Drylands Records) – progressive death metal

Also on tap:

Adder’s Fork – The Individualist (Independent) – post-rock

Anomalie – Integra, EP (AOP) – atmospheric metal [feature review]

Architects – Holy Hell (Epitaph Records) – hardcore [full review]

Atrocity Exhibit – Extinction Solution (WOOAAARGH) – grind / crust

Begravningsentreprenörerna – Jämna Plågor (Ektro) – proto metal

Black Earth – A Cryptic Howl of Morbid Truth, Vinyl Issue (Sentient Ruin / Bestiarie) – black / ambient

Bow Gamelan Ensemble – Great Noises That Fill the Air (Cold Spring) – avantgarde

Brand of Sacrifice – The Interstice (Unique Leader) – brutal death / hardcore

Burning Witches – Hexenhammer (Nuclear Blast) – heavy metal

Convent Guilt – Diamond Cut Diamond (Gates of Hell) – heavy metal

Cortez – No More Conqueror (WOOAAARGH) – hardcore

Crawling for Carrion – Rake and Roads (Giganto Records) – sludge [profile]

Cripple Bastards – La Fine Cresce Da Dentro (Relapse) – grind

Cult Leader – A Patient Man (Deathwish) – chaotic crust [feature review]

Dire Peril – The Extraterrestrial Compendium (Divebomb Records) – power metal [feature]

Flat Earth – None For One (Drakkar Entertainment) – psych metal

Four Stroke Baron – Planet Silver Screen (Prosthetic Records) – rock

Fractal Cypher – Prelude To An Impending Outcome, EP (Independent) – progressive metal

Goddess – Raped Into Being (Medusa Crush Recordings) – black metal

Godskill – The Gatherer of Fear and Blood (MDD) – death metal

HEX A.D. – Netherworld Triumphant (Fresh Tea) – doom

Holygram – Modern Cults (Cleopatra Records) – goth

Jakethehawk – To Build A Fire (Blackseed Records) – desert rock

Jose Rubio – Forbidden Dreams (Fighter Records) – instrumental

Josef Van Wissem – We Adore You, You Have No Name (Consouling Sounds) – drone

Kælan Mikla – Nótt eftir nótt (Artoffact Records) – post-punk

Kuar Nhial – S/T (Consouling Sounds) – black metal

Lethean – The Waters of Death (Cruz Del Sur) – doom / heavy metal

Nekromant – The Nekromant Lives (Ripple Music) – heavy metal

Neos Gheron – Potius Nihil, Potius Deseltus (Masked Dead Records) – black metal

Ohhms – Exist (Holy Roar) – doom / post-metal

Psycroptic – As the Kingdom Drowns (Prosthetic Records) – death metal

Rainburn – Insignify (Independent) – prog-rock

Randall Dunn – Beloved (figureeight) – drone

Realm of Wolves – Oblivion, CD (Casus Belli Musica) – atmospheric black metal [full review]

Sadist – Spellbound (Scarlet Records) – death metal

Sectorial – VYR (Noizr Productions) – black / death

Septagon – Apocalyptic Rhymes (Cruz Del Sur) – thrash / power metal

Som – The Fall (Independent) – post metal

Sumptus Ignis – Ambition (Independent) – metal

Swallowing the Weak – Devourer of Souls (Sliptrick) – death metal

The Castor Troys – Legends Never Die, EP (Independent) – hard rock

The Mon – Doppelleben (Supernatural Cat) – experimental

Third Storm – The Grand Manifestation (Dark Descent) – black / death

Ulthar – Cosmovore (20 Buck Spin) – death metal [feature review]

Various Artists – The Wall, Redux (Magnetic Eye Records) – metal covers Floyd

Voices From the Fuselage – Odyssey: The Founder of Dreams (Incendia) – progressive rock

Vulturic Eye – Crucifixion of Hope (Howling Invocations) – stoner doom

Vuohi – Witchcraft Warfare (Saturnal) – black / death

Vouna – S/T (Artemisia Records) – synth / doom

Wald Krypta – Nature Enigma (Eternal Death Records) – black metal

Zealot Cult – Spiritual Sickness (Blood Harvest) – death metal

– Josh

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