Album Review: Graves – “Liturgia da Blasfémia”

graves - liturgia da blasfemia

Anyone else in the mood for primitive, lo-fi black metal?  Graves comes out of Portugal, and their debut album Liturgia da Blasfémia is exactly that.  Thick, cavernous black metal that howls and drools evil all over the carpet when you let it into your house.  Production that sounds like the engineer had tentacles instead of fingers.  But still with just enough clarity that the intent doesn’t get lost in a wash of reverb and candle smoke.  Know what I mean? Continue reading

Album Review: Soen – “Lotus”

soen - lotus

Soen have always played in that space that blurs the distinctions between genre classification: are they metal?  Rock?  They’re certainly progressive, but are they so progressive to be considered “progressive” metal?  Or rock for that matter?  The good news is that on fourth record Lotus continues to not care about labels, opting to let the emotional core of their music carry through.  Others can opt to argue what it sounds like; to these ears, it simply sounds like Soen. Continue reading

Album Review: Dødsfall – “Døden Skal Ikke Vente”

dødsfall - døden skal ikke vente

Døden Skal Ikke Vente translates from Norwegian to “Death Must Not Wait” and it’s a good thing 2019 didn’t have to wait for some great black metal to come out, because the latest from Dødsfall is a skin-peeling melodic black metal assault.  After four years of inactivity and the pickup of new drummer Telal, Døden Skal Ikke Vente finds Ishtar (the man, not the Dustin Hoffman/Warren Beatty film, although that would be cool) in a rejuvenated place, with a brighter overall sound that doesn’t diminish the frigid attack of the album. Continue reading

Album Review: Inferno – “Basado En Hechos Reales”

inferno - basado en hechos reales

Sometimes you don’t want to think.  You just want to get that nasty guitar in your head and thrash like a denim clad meathead like you did in the 80s.  But the old stuff just isn’t cutting it like it used to.  Too much nostalgia in those riffs you carved into your head after so many listens.  No, you need something new, something fresh.  Something that invokes the same speed feeling, has the pulse of the past but is new and shiny and here in the present.

My friend, you need Inferno.  And you need their new album Basados En Hechos Reales now. Continue reading

Album Review: Barshasketh – “Barshasketh”

barshasketh - barshasketh

Here’s the thing about black metal, particularly black metal in the vein of the second wave: there’s so much of it.  So if you’re going to play it, or pay homage to it, you’re going to have to do something to stand out because when you get down to it most people are going to be perfectly content to go back to the 5-10 albums that made them love the genre in the first place.  And for about a song and a half the new self titled album from Barshasketh appeared to tread similar ground.  But like the best the genre has to offer, there are strange and sharp hooks on Barshasketh that come out and refuse to let go, resulting in a real grabber of an album as well as a fitting use of the eponymous title. Continue reading