Initial Descent: November 11 – 17, 2018

ævangelist
Ævangelist

By the time this goes to print, I’ll be on the way back from the Holy City where I’ll have indulged in breweries, old architecture and a graveyard or two (hey, old architecture there too) but for sure will have several of this week’s new offerings in my ears for the duration. What exactly is new this week? Read on to find out…

Kicking this thing off in grand fashion is the ever suffocating and esoteric maelstrom of darkness that is Ævangelist on Matricide In the Temple of Omega, this is a band that defies categorization but always pushes the boundaries of black and death metal as well as its listener’s limits. Don’t just sample it, completely bury yourself in its hour of audio terror. Next up is Ghostly White from Deceased who over the course of 30 years and some change have put out consistently great death metal and this eighth full length is no exception but furthermore after all this time the band seems to have more energy than ever and dare I say the best chops yet. Moving along is Introvert from Norway’s Slegest which really scratches that black ‘n’ roll itch I get from time to time, this things just rocks. Period. Last in this week’s opening four is Arête with their debut full length Hymnal which expands on everything that made their 2016 EP such a hit. They’ve taken a genre tag, atmospheric black metal, and offered us the very definition of its parts – as the weather turns cold this is an outstanding companion to steal away from the surrounding world and its crazed pace.

Plenty more inside to explore so jump in and don’t miss a thing. Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 4 – 10, 2018

Valle Crucis
Valle Crucis

November is here and it has brought cold weather with it and earlier darkness. I am not amused, at all. As a kid I loved it but now, nope. But, my seasonal pains is not something you care about so let’s get into what the first full week of metal for this month has to offer…

First up is SC’s answer to vicious and cold black metal, Valle Crucis with their full length debut Iron & Blood – I don’t get enough chances to rep my locals but this duo is stunning, don’t sleep on this one. Next is Hypnagogia from funeral doom by way of death metal legends Evoken, their level of genuine artistry is somewhere high atop the stars and continues that trajectory here. Moving along is the second full length, Holy Grove II, from Portland’s Holy Grove and much like their last one, this album further blurs the lines of heavy metal, doom and space rock but make no mistake it hits as hard as a freight train and scratches that bluesy itch perfectly. Last up, at the top at least, is Thoren with their extremely dissonant take on instrumental, progressive death metal with Gwarth I – if looking for a challenging listen is one of your priorities, this is the one for you.

That’s the first four but there’s so much more. Get in there… Continue reading

Initial Descent: October 28 – November 3, 2018

The Ocean
The Ocean

The best month of the year winds down this week and that sucks. But you know what doesn’t suck? New metal and, yet again, the list is longer which means more to get into. Read on to see what’s in store…

First up and FINALLY, The Ocean returns in epic fashion with Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic and if you have the slightest doubt a step has been lost, forget about it. This thing is master class level post-metal and should be in your collection already so go, NOW. Next up is Piach from Gorycz which is their debut but you’d never know it as their brand of dark and brooding black / death is as mesmerizing as it is immersive, death metal vets Cancer return with Shadow Gripped and after all this time they still have some damn gnarly chops, and rounding out these top slots is occult doom rockers Alastor who pull off the perfect album for those Halloween night scares with Slave To the Grave.

As previously stated, these four are just the tip of the iceberg and this iceberg runs deep. Continue reading

Initial Descent: October 21 – 27, 2018

Hate Eternal
Hate Eternal

My weekend festivities consisted of healthy doses of horror and metal, as it should. How many of you caught the new Halloween? I thought they did a great job with it and the fact that they packed it with stuff for fans of the original was a definite plus. And I’ll leave it at that in case you haven’t seen it yet. As for the metal, read on to see what’s in store this week…

Hate Eternal are back with their seventh full length of wildly technical but oh so good death metal on Upon Desolate Sands – I’m not calling it a triumph over Infernus yet but Rutan and co. kill it as usual. No matter what camp of Bloodbath you frequent the most, their fifth full length The Arrow of Satan Is Drawn offers enough horror fueled Swedeath for any and all parties, I dig it. Norway’s Sjukdom keep it frosty with 90s style black metal but offer just enough melodicism to trip my trigger on Stridshymmer Og Dodssalmer and Oregon’s Megaton Leviathan turn the psychedelic drone of Mage into an entrancing ritual which makes it a worthy successor to their stunning Past 21: Beyond the Arctic Cell.

AND there is much, much more to sink your teeth into so get in there… Continue reading

Initial Descent: October 14 – 20, 2018

Exxxecutioner

As we get deeper in the year the metal just gets better and better. And amazingly, it hasn’t been shabby to this point so count your blessings folks. The list gets a little longer each week from here on out and I could’ve easily put way more than four up here. Be sure to stick around at the end of the list for picks from last week we missed but have since rectified it with extended listening sessions and vinyl purchases. Yea, I’m that guy AND I’ve got tapes too. Nerd.

Anyway, kicking these festivities off in a raucous way is the debut, Death Sentence, from England’s Exxxecutioner and if you thought this was porno grind you’re dead wrong. It’s eight tracks of kick ass blackened speed metal perfect for a night of drunken debauchery. Next up is one of NY’s shining death metal legends, Internal Bleeding, and thank Satan the brutish death contained within Corrupting Influence is so much better than that artwork, just sayin’. Following that is Outre-Tomb with Nécrovortex and good god almighty this is down and dirty morbid death that needs to be in your ears, NOW. Switching it up a bit, tempo wise, is Domkraft‘s Flood which flips the Neurosis meets Ufomammut switch but adds major apocalyptic heft which makes for a devastating second effort.

So, crushing top slots here but fear not as there’s more where that came from directly below… Continue reading