Initial Descent: November 17 – 23, 2019

Blood Incantation
Blood Incantation

No chit-chat this week, we’ve got a stacked list to get to so let’s do it… The death metal benders and shapers, Blood Incantation, are back with an effort that finds them, yet again, pushing the boundaries of the genre far beyond its capacity – alienesque indeed. Newcomers Astralborne explode off the starting gate with an incendiary melodic death metal debut that rips, tears, shreds, and progs; in other words, an immensely satisfying maiden voyage. Obsequiae flood the moats again with their third full length of intriguing and well thought out castle metal but more than that, this is their best yet so jump on it. And, closing out the top slots is the always avantgarde and always exceptional Chaos Echœs with a double disc that features a once in a lifetime live performance, outtakes, alternate song versions, and yes, more live recordings spanning four years. All that said, in the span of four top slot albums we’ve got four must own albums. That’s some damn good odds. And, we’re far from done here so head below to unload the rest of that paycheck you got Friday. Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 10 – 16, 2019

Tribulation
Tribulation

As we move closer to Thanksgiving it’s time to reflect on the smorgasbord of exceptional metal releases this year. And, of course, give thanks for them. At this point, anyone still pushing the “2019 metal has been weak” agenda gets these two middle fingers. Moving on…

This week’s new metal kicks off with Tribulation who offer an opportunity to experience their commanding stage presence with an audio visual double treat from a gig captured in Sweden and yes, a live album caught top spot — it’s Tribulation so it’s an automatic thing. Casket Huffer get filthy via blackened death and sludge on their sophomore outing, and Warsenal combine old school speed metal with a healthy dose of thrash and holy crap is it ever a sweet sound with a killer album cover to boot. Last up top but certainly not least, I’ve got a soft spot for anything Michael Denner does (King Diamond and Mercyful Fate ring a bell?? Anyone?) and lucky for me Denner’s Inferno returns with a full length that’s heavy on those majestic riffs of his. All that and there’s so much more awaiting directly below. Get ready to offload some cash.  Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 3 – 9, 2019

Schammasch
Schammasch

Still in the afterglow of another Devil’s Night. I’m planning on keeping the pumpkins out and the spirit alive to push back against the thought of Christmas rearing its head before it’s even December. Feel free to do the same, you rebels. Anyway, the list is a little shorter this week but there’s no shortage of good metals to wrap your ears around and spend your cabbage on so let’s get to it.

Avantgarde black metallers Schammasch really can do no wrong and prove it with yet another epic length, mind bending journey into the deepest recesses of the psyche. This one will be an EOY list buster for so many. We featured a track premiere from Forest of Tygers recently and in case you missed it, this band’s approach to blackenedpunksludgenoise is some of the best you’ll hear this year so do jump on this new release. Very few bands fold melodic and progressive into their death metal as successfully as Iapetus do and on their sophomore effort they do it better and more cohesively than on their debut – this is another epic length album that is a MUST. Closing out the top slots, Immanifest wield a seriously sharp edge of symphonic black / death metal on their incendiary full length debut that’s full of twists and turns and nightmarish speed. Yea. 

Remember to keep those pumpkins burning and keep that horror spirit alive. But whatever you do, support as much of this list as you possibly can, right now. Continue reading

Initial Descent: October 27 – November 2, 2019

Nile
Nile

Alright folks, THIS IS IT: Halloween week. Do all the things associated and do them with vigor, we’ve been discussing this for weeks now so if you’re behind, GET CAUGHT UP. Moving on, bands are fighting for your attention this week — it’s the devil’s week so why not? — seeing as we’ve got the longest list in recent memory so let’s get to it.

Nile has always understood how to make some of the best death metal around and this week’s new album is no exception, expect more Egyptian tales and more vitriol. Score. November’s Doom officially usher in the gloominess of winter on their eleventh powerhouse, Paganizer keep Swedeath punchy and neck-breaking on their eleventh full length, and Wilderun make a strong case for uniquely different progressive metal that’s truly one for the ages AND it’s not another Opeth clone, finally. So much music to get to and so many Halloween things to do, it’ll be a busy week on so many levels. Go forth and destroy… Continue reading

Initial Descent: October 20 – 26, 2019

Cloak

Went on a ghost walk last night and even though we didn’t run into any, it did make me think about Ken Foree’s iconic line in the also iconic 1978 Dawn of the Dead film “When there’s no more room left in hell, the dead will walk the earth.” In my estimation, we’ve got to be hurtling towards max capacity down there. Soooo, food for thought and I’ll leave it at that. But before you think on that too much, dive into this new list of metal we’ve got up for grabs – that’s why we’re here so let’s burn it down…

Atlanta’s Cloak offer up their second full length and it betters their debut with larger than life rock swagger, seedier gothic undertones, deeper hooks, and blacker black metal – Cloak rules. Period. Speaking of ruling, Vastum does it again on their filthy, debauchery filled fourth death metal expedition, Texas based Cleric bring even more filthiness with their second full length of classic sounding Swe/Fin/Dutch inspired death metal, and the absolutely electrifying heavy metallers Savage Master are back with their third epic concoction. You need all of these and there’s still a ton more to follow, GET SOME. Continue reading