Album Review: Howling Sycamore – “Seven Pathways to Annihilation”

Howling Sycamore - Seven Pathways to Annihilation

Whenever someone mentions the term supergroup, I can’t help but think of massive ones, like Ayreon or Avantasia, and the way they are able to create stories while incorporating a revolving door of vocalists and musicians that play major parts as characters. However, supergroups don’t need a huge group of people to be considered as such, which brings us to the band Howling Sycamore, whose members have various degrees of expertise across the metal spectrum, making this one of the more ambitious groups I’ve encountered. But, that doesn’t mean that Seven Pathways to Annihilation works like a total charm. Continue reading

Album Review: The Austerity Program – “Bible Songs 1”

austerity program - bible songs 1

For anyone who has ever tried to dramatize Bible stories, especially for movies, the first and often most important challenge is how to fill in gaps from the text so it makes sense to modern audiences. Usually these are narrative gaps, but certainly as ancient bits of myth making, the psychologies of its characters are rarely, if ever explored. This practice of using, as Wil Gafney calls it, “sanctified imagination” goes back more than a thousand years to the rabbinic tradition of midrash. But what happens when the stories we explore are violent, unstable and predatory? Well, you get Bible Songs 1 from The Austerity Program.   Continue reading

Album Review: Nuitville – “When the Darkness Falls” (EP)

Nuitville - When the Darkness Falls

Ah, blackgaze – the genre that, when done correctly, can be the most beautiful thing to grace a set of ears. As someone whose primary listening turns dark in the summer, it made sense to continue my sensibilities into pursuing what else is out there before I’m neck-deep into black metal for the next four months. Which brings me to When the Darkness Falls, an EP from the Ukrainian one-man project, Nuitville, whose emotional flair really caught my attention and held it for the duration. Continue reading

Embracing the Descent: May 26 – June 1, 2019

EMBRACING TEMP LOGO

Welcome back to another edition of Embracing the Descent and another opportunity to catch some fire from this week’s incoming metal. At this point we’re pretty sure you got it but for a recap: if it’s your first visit, we briefly discuss a handful of the current week’s new releases that stood out for whatever reason and maybe, from time to time, a week behind. We won’t be hitting everything because a 40 – 60 entry piece ain’t happening and who’s got that kind of time anyway. Let’s jump in and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent. Continue reading

Album Review: Death Angel – “Humanicide”

death angel - humanicide

The joke is that thrash never changes.  It is what it is, and its steadfast adherence to the tenants of its genre are what make thrash, well…thrash.  And over the course of the six albums released during their re-emergence, Death Angel continue to hold fast that line of blistering precision and aggression, with new album Humanicide fitting comfortably in with their previous output.  Maybe consistent is a a more apt descriptor, as there’s little to differentiate any of the songs from previous albums, but when the quality is this high that’s hardly a complaint. Continue reading