Album Review: Municipal Waste — “Electrified Brain”

Of course we want to see bands push the boundaries with their music.  We love bands inventing whole new genres, pushing unlikely ones together or bringing their art to the next level, and even when a band takes a big swing and misses, we still give them kudos for trying.  We don’t want to see this from every band, though.  For some, the biggest strength is consistency.  If Amon Amarth ever made an album that wasn’t about Vikings, I think my world would turn upside down.  Similarly, Municipal Waste should never try to do anything other than Municipal Waste things, and fortunately, on Electrified Brain, they don’t.

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Album Review: Alexisonfire — “Otherness”

I distinctly remember when Dogs, the last release of new material from The Great White North’s own Alexisonfire came out; I remember being so stoked at how raw and aggressive and downright nasty it was and being so excited for what could possibly come next from that EP.  Well, what came next was a breakup and very little else for years on end.  Then came 2019, new material and the hope of a new full-length release, but even then, it still took a few more years to get to this point.  But here we are.  Otherness is more than just an exercise in cashing in on the hype of reforming after a long absence; it is a mission statement and a path forward.

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Album Review: Saor — “Origins”

Folk-infused black metal (folkened black metal?  blackened folk metal?) comes in so many varieties, seemingly as many as there are cultures across the globe.  If you’re a connoisseur of this genre, then there’s no way Saor is a new name to you.  Born from a desire to blend the Scandinavian fury of black metal with the Scottish folk of Andy Marshall’s native home, the outfit has been steadily gaining traction from the strength of each output, even beginning to play live shows across the world (a performance not to be missed, from someone who was lucky enough to catch them).  On Origins, the fifth full-length from the project, new beginnings are indeed seized and new paths forward forged.

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Album Review: Inexorum – “Equinox Vigil”

Inexorum have quickly climbed up the ranks of bands I need to keep my eyes on, but it was not always so.  You know how this story goes: someone (usually Vince or Angela) mentions an album they are thrilled about, in this case it was 2020’s Moonlit Navigation, I swear on God I’m going to listen to it, and then I don’t.  It took me far too long to get around to Moonlit Navigation, but when I did it was like a cartoon mallet came down on my head: I couldn’t avoid it if I wanted anymore.  So, I told myself I would make the same mistake twice when the next release came around.  Enter: Equinox Vigil.

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Album Review: Kardashev — “Liminal Rite”

It’s hard to imagine a band blowing up more than Kardashev right now.  Between their musical grind, which includes the astounding The Baring of Shadows from last year, their signing to Metal Blade Records, keeping the YouTube and Twitch games on lock, and all of the behind-the-scenes work they have done to bring their brand of beautiful, heavy music into the future, the self-styled “deathgaze daddies” seem to be just over the precipice of being household names.  Liminal Rites, their debut for the aforementioned new label, sees them realize all of this potential in a big, beautiful way.

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