All too often, technical death metal may feel soulless, as if its impressive technicality lacks a pulse. Similarly, progressive strains of death metal may end up meandering without proper direction, impetus or impact. Both styles strive to push the envelope, but frequently fall short. With a new 4-track EP Aletheia, Sutrah shows how all this is done with resounding success and spectacular results. Continue reading
When a band takes over five years between albums, expectations can and should run wild, especially if your previous album stunned critics with its idiosyncratic style and unrestrained creativity, yet at the same time remained criminally unnoticed. Do you return with updates to your formula and double-down on your artistic approach or do you dilute the complexity of said formula to achieve a flavor more palatable to the masses? With Immoto, Nero di Marte tackle this dilemma decisively with mesmerizing results that reverberate hauntingly. Continue reading
By now, it has become customary for me to recall at the turn of the year how great the past 12 months were for metal and its myriad sub-genres and styles, and how difficult it has become to keep one’s head above the water in the face of the deluge of releases. I have been listening to metal for over 25 years but am still astonished and impressed on a daily basis by the boundless imagination on display, be it the ever-blossoming creativity of bands who have been operating for 20 years or the ravenous appetite of newcomers. Continue reading
In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.
In today’s edition of Second Circle we take a look at the latest releases from grind legends, who happen to share a magnificent collaborative past (Gridlink, Hayaino Daisuki) and have now reached stunning creative apexes with their respective new albums. Whether it is pure serendipity or part of a divine plan that these albums are released on the same day only adds to their allure. So let’s dive head first into the unhinged brilliance of Takafumi Matsubara and No One Knows What The Dead Think. Continue reading
How do you describe something that defies description at every turn? What does ‘avant-garde’ even mean when you are so far removed from your peers that you don’t even seem to notice them? George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is not necessarily your go-to spirit guide for examining and understanding boundary-pushing psychedelic metal, yet here we are, listening to Waste of Space Orchestra’s monumental Syntheosis and witnessing abstract concepts swirling and coalescing around us. True to Hegel’s dialectical method, concrete meets abstract and both are reconciled to pure absolute during the course of the album, in the sublime manner of an eternally recurring sonic metamorphosis equal parts primal and cerebral. Continue reading