Album Review: OMITIR — “Ode”

Narrow cobbled stone streets rise and fall passing by vendors outside their homes, and cafes bustling with life—leading to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean or the Douro River.  This hillside city of Porto, Portugal holds so much history and many natural treasures.  OMITIR transports listeners to this historical, robust city and on a tour of Portugal in their newest album Ode. Continue reading

Album Review: Geist and the Sacred Ensemble — “Waning Hymns”

Geist and the Sacred Ensemble are a tough band to pigeonhole.  To even call them a band seems like an oversimplification, when they’re more of a collective or organization, combining music, aesthetic and ideology seamlessly into one amoeba-like unit.  Take one part Swans, one part Inter Arma, one part Ulver and one part Crass and you might come close to what Waning Hymns sounds like.  Then again, maybe not.  It’s an album that begs a deeper dive than just seeing what box it can be shoved into, a whole greater than just the sum of its influences. Continue reading

Album Review: Imperial Triumphant — “Alphaville”

In a romantic sense, New York City embodies a perfect sampling of America.  Opulence and poverty, history and revision, thriving culture and commodified gentrification, honesty and corruption, passionate vision and stubborn ignorance, grandeur and insignificance — all these things come together to make up a city that is as beloved for its endless opportunity and diversity in people and worldviews as it is reviled for its deep-seated association with power, money and depravity.  Imperial Triumphant have taken it on themselves to tell the whole story of the city they call home, and Alphaville is the next chapter in that tale. Continue reading

Album Review: Judicator — “Let There Be Nothing”

judicator - let there be nothing

There’s a nasty rumor – perpetuated by years of actually being true – that when an underground band signs to a larger, mainstream label their sound gets neutered; their wings are clipped and their teeth are filed down so as to not harm the delicate sensibilities of the commercial masses.  Prosthetic Records have been defying this with excellent releases from the likes of Vile Creature and Rebel Wizard, just to mention two amazing releases from 2020 alone.  So it should come as no surprise that Judicator, far from delivering a rote, by-the-numbers slab of historical power metal have put out possibly the heaviest, more glorious record of their careers with Let There Be Nothing.  This is the benchmark by which I hold other bands who want to carry the label of “USPM” accountable in terms of power, majesty and killer anthemic riffs moving forward.

You’ve been warned. Continue reading

Album Review: Defeated Sanity — “The Sanguinary Impetus”

Defeated Sanity - The Sanguinary Impetus

Admittedly, I get drawn to high-minded concept, philosophical lyrics or cerebral, progressive elements that stretch the limits of the genres in metal all the time.  I love an album that is evocative, that makes me think about the world around me in new ways.  Equally as much, I love an album that’s ignorantly heavy and chock full of crushing, guttural brutality with just a hint of tasty experimentation, and sometimes it’s exactly what I need.  Thankfully, there’s Germany’s tech/brutal death metal veterans Defeated Sanity and their sixth installment The Sanguinary Impetus to smash my brain into a pulp. Continue reading