Embracing the Descent: March 3 – 9, 2019

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If you recall, last week we shared our first Embracing the Descent. As a reminder if you can’t click that link: we briefly discuss somewhere between one and a handful of the current week’s new releases. There is a possibility we’ll 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. Now that you’re back up to speed, let’s jump into a few from this week and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent.

Sâver - They Came With Sunlight

The fact that Sâver’s debut full length, They Came With Sunlight, is handled by Pelagic Records makes perfect sense – the label is known for its heavy yet thought provoking roster of bands. The band’s self tagging as atmospheric sludge metal may not strike like a hot iron but fear not, these six tracks – that run nearly an hour – fall between the lurching heaviness of Neurosis and the volatile mood of Amenra. Vocals are the battering ram here while the guitar and bass work to methodically build crushing atmospheres and then out of nowhere “Dissolve to Ashes” sounds like a synth driven soundtrack to an impending apocalypse. Somewhere around the halfway mark, it’s hard to believe this is a debut; the pacing, songwriting, dense atmosphere, and ferocious delivery mark an album far beyond its years and maturity. The limits are off for Sâver, sky be damned.

Bewitcher - Too Fast for the Flames

To whet appetites for an upcoming full length (spring, maybe), Oregon’s speed freaks Bewitcher kick the tires and light the fires with their Too Fast For the Flames 7”. Being that, it’s a quick hitter, the new single storms out of the gates with reckless abandon, speed metal with a punk attitude that hits hard and quick. They follow this with an inspired cover of W.A.S.P.’s “Show No Mercy” which, in case you missed it from the band’s self titled debut, gives a good indication of where their heads are at: the 80s. And it shows across every speedy riff. Consider appetites thoroughly whetted and anticipations carried through the roof with this, all too short, precursor.

0N0 - Cloaked Climax Concealed

Slovakia’s 0N0 are no strangers to industrial tinged death / doom metal, they’ve been mining this vein since 2005 and have two full lengths under their belts along with a handful of EP’s. As is usually the case, EP’s are where bands either strike out on something a little different or use it as a precursor (see above for Bewitcher). In 0N0’s case, the latter is true on Cloaked Climax Concealed. But not so fast, with these two tracks the band does continue picking away at their chosen path but there’s a distinct middle earth rumbling not unlike Gateways era Morbid Angel at work on “The Crown Unknown” that plays to the band’s strengths, wrapping their mechanized and cold sound with bass heavy death metal. “Hidden in the Trees (Sail this Wrecked Ship)” turns the tide towards the kind of atmospheric doom that sounds like it’s played on a wide open and majestic plain that holds a burning pit of souls smoldering just underneath. Tasty.

Misery Index - Rituals of Power

The world is a cesspool of vile and corrupt thieves.  It took a few years, but Misery Index have arisen from their slumber to punctuate the hate with their vitriol and rage on the massive slab of grinding death Rituals of Power.  The speed may have been turned down a notch, but that’s only so the anger can hit that much harder.  At times, tracks like “Universal Untruths” and “Decline and Fall” feel more like old school American death metal, with bludgeoning riffs hitting the groove pocket so hard it’s going to split.  But it’s all in the name of making the targets of their ire abundantly clear: the ones who oppress and seek to retain the right and might their power and wealth affords them, all too often at the expense of those with no power or hope.  Let the razors of Misery Index cut them down to size.

tyr - hel

It’s getting harder and harder to know who Týr are at this point.  Are they the viking power metal from their debut back in 2002?  Are they the more aggressive, battle metal band that came to prominence in 2010 with By The Light of the Northern Star? In this case Hel, the latest album after a lengthy six year break, finds the band hitting all the buttons: viking metal, power metal, prog…you name it and there’s a good chance it’s represented on tracks like “Northern Gate” and “Into the Storm.”  There’s also a good chance that if you dug 2013’s excellent Valkyrja then Hel will be right up your alley.  But what do I know?  I’m not your mother.  I am, however, the guy telling you to look at that awesome cover and then realize the music therein is just as awesome

LOOK MA, we made it two weeks in a row! Stick around and see if we make three.

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