Album Review: Witchskull – “The Vast Electric Dark”

Witchskull - The Vast Electric Dark

It’s always a bad idea to judge an album by its title. There I was, assuming that The Vast Electric Dark would be a slab of drone-y, plodding distortion in the post-metal mode—a statement by a band that thinks more in terms of soundscapes than riffs. But I was wrong (and how). Australia’s Witchskull plays a nervy, focused kind of heavy metal that careens from one riff to the next with the force of a truck rolling downhill. Or, better yet, maybe this is the sound of whatever lives out there in the vast electric dark—some creature, all sinew and muscle and bone, moving relentlessly forward, honed shark-like for its single purpose. Continue reading

Album Review: Witherscape – “The Northern Sanctuary”

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Somewhere in the north of Sweden, there is a bed and breakfast . . . from hell! Continue reading

Album Review: Gozu – “Revival”

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There’s a type of dude you may know: burly, boisterous, almost certainly bearded. This dude is usually the life of the party. He likes his riffs heavy and his tempo mid-. He may have soft spots for southern rock and nineties grunge. But imagine, one day, he shows up somewhere, at a party or the bar, and isn’t quite himself: he’s unfocused, detached, a little bummed out. It bums you out. Continue reading

Album Review: Cough – “Still They Pray”

12 Jacket (Gatefold - Two Pocket) [GD30OB2-N]

Cough’s Still They Pray will sound familiar to fans of sludgey, doomy music. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Cough plays a style of metal that resists wild experimentation and rewards consistency. It’s difficult, after all, for a band to write slow, dreary songs that aren’t boring; or to play loosely and nimbly and be crushingly heavy; or to wring something vital out of a sound that many others have visited and re-visited since the days of Black Sabbath. Cough does all these things, and quite well. This album is so absorbing that you won’t care if other bands can do these things, too. Continue reading