Embracing the Descent: February 24 – March 2, 2019

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Welcome to a fresh new thing called Embracing the Descent where we will briefly discuss somewhere between one and a handful of the current week’s new releases. Every now and then we might look back a week but for the most part we’ll try and keep it current and somewhat regular. That’s the plan anyway. Now, there will be bias because let’s face it: listening to 40-60 albums each week ain’t happening so we’ll be highlighting a select few that stood out for whatever reason. Almost like a grab bag of sorts. We don’t know how we’ll land on the albums we highlight, how many albums we will highlight, or who will be highlighting them… But we figure everyone likes a good mystery. So without further ado, let’s jump into a few from this week and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent.

Fange - Punir

Fange, oh how I love your nasty brand of sludge and death metal. But you’ve changed…and added noise and industrial to the mix. I’m not mad, not mad in the least. Matter of fact, I’m ecstatic as this just adds to the depths of extremities you’ll go to as one of the most devastating acts going today. As for you, dear reader, Punir is the culmination of six years, two EP’s, and three full lengths of agonizing death sludge – Purge and Pourrissoir were wicked good in their own rite but Punir feels like a totally different beast.

[listen]

Pig's Blood - A Flock Slaughtered

Misanthropy, war, and anti-christianity are some of the things that Pig’s Blood tout as stressors for their brand of death metal and on A Flock Slaughtered the war part of those stressors comes front and center like the lone tank called to destroy with impunity. I was blown away with their 2017 self-titled debut but this is what it might sound and feel like to have your innards eviscerated with a landmine. Viscous, malicious, and heavy as all hell, the band rips through 32 minutes of death metal as effective as shrapnel ripping through flesh.

[listen]

Heretical Sect - S/T

New Mexico’s Heretical Sect are a reclusive bunch so good luck in any endeavors to try and uncloak them. But really, what does it matter who or what they are when their particular amalgam of black, death, and doom metal is as damn good as it is on their self-titled (Heretical Sect) debut EP?! Make no mistake about it, black metal is pretty much the front runner here (“Visceral Divination”) but each track offers a savage glimpse into all of the above mentioned genres. Its energy is only eclipsed by its dogged determination to force complete submission to the slithery grooves hidden behind walls of blast beats.

[listen]

Vimur - Triumphant Master of Fates

It’s not often we get to highlight a black metal act from Georgia but the battalion known as Vimur are more than worthy of the spotlight. It’s been five years since their last full length, Traversing the Ethereal Current, and this time hasn’t been squandered as their sound on Triumphant Master of Fates has evolved to the point of critical mass. Their raw approach is, well, rawer, the atmospheric haze set deep within is even more of a destructive mood setter, their structure and pacing is better, and this album flat out smokes because of it all. “Seditious Apertures” is an opening statement of harsh yet melodic black metal in the vein of Dissection while “Adversarial” calls Immortal to mind. But, “Nuclear Desecration” sets the band far from any RIYL comparisons and on their own destructive trajectory. This black metal has balls and horns and bloody candles and more.

[listen]

Der Weg Einer Freiheit - Live In Berlin

Chances are, a live album isn’t the first experience any listener has with any given band. In Der Weg Einer Freiheit’s case, I’ll wager the majority of you are already familiar with their amazing atmospheric black metal: Unstille, Stellar, and Finisterre are such great examples and that’s just their full lengths. Anyway, Live In Berlin is a near perfect compilation of their recorded output to date beginning with the relentlessly paced “Einkehr” from 2015’s Stellar and ending with a rousing performance of “Ruhe” from their self titled debut. They cover pretty much everything with the exception of the Wacht / In die Weiten EP so it’s a ‘more bang for the buck’ kind of deal for anyone into Der Weg and for anyone into great sounding live albums – see “Repulsion” to understand the quality of it. It’s almost like being there in person, almost.

[listen]

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You may not recognize the project, but the names behind Chrome Waves should ring somewhat familiar. Stemming from the minds of current and former members of Abigail Williams, Wolvhammer, The Gates of Slumber, and Amiensus (plus a few more), the debut full length album, A Grief Observed, serves plenty of intrigue. And if you could imagine a more post-metal take on a collaboration of the above projects, you would probably end up around here. A Grief Observed is compelling in both theme and musical structure. The six tracks covering about 45 minutes of music is a complex endeavor that explores a dark and solemn range of human emotion. It’s not perfect, the production lacks a certain density and some passages do drag, but overall it’s something I’ve enjoyed digging into and is certainly something that is easy to get lost in.

[listen]

That’s a wrap for this edition. We’ll be back with a few more picks next week. Maybe.

One thought on “Embracing the Descent: February 24 – March 2, 2019

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