Initial Descent: June 17 – 23, 2018

Khemmis
Khemmis – photo courtesy of Alvino Salcedo

With our fearless editor still banking massive quantities of cocktails on an undisclosed beach I am once again taking keyboard in hand to deliver your weekly dose of Initial Descent.  And there’s some killer tunes arriving on the solar wings of Summer, so let’s get to it.

Khemmis return with their particular blend of melodic doom with Desolation, and it doubles down on everything that worked on their previous albums, but with a slight tweak to engage a classic hard rock vibe. And hey, how about those harsh vocals?  If you’re into black metal then the rest of this paragraph is going to make you very, very happy because first off Unsettling Whispers, the debut LP from Gaerea is a gorgeous dark and brooding example of atmospheric black metal you just might be hearing a lot more about on an upcoming episode of the Nine Circles Audio Thing.  Next up Anicon return with Entropy Mantra, and I make no excuses: these guys have completely keyed into my love of modernizing traditional black metal since their Aphasia EP back in 2015.  The new album just rips with great drumming and blistering guitar lines.  Finally, Sweden’s Craft are back after seven long years with White Noise and Black Metal, and it’s a clarion call to all the crusty, old school black metal you love with just a hint of progression to show you these veterans can take the face off anyone around nowadays.

And that’s just a taste of what came out this week, so check out the list below and let us know in the comments what’s been whispering evil things to you in the dark.   Continue reading

Album Review: Khemmis – “Desolation”

Khemmis - Desolation

Denver’s Khemmis took the fast lane to acclaim on debut Absolution and quickly followed it with the ante-upper Hunted and now return with Desolation which will catapult the band into a stratosphere they’ve yet to see. And it should because it’s THAT good. Take everything that made those first two a success, split it, mix it, swirl it and make it, for lack of a better word, better and you have this album. Weird right? Not really, since in my opinion bands with any salt at all will do their best to better themselves and their craft. Khemmis are hungry and it shows time and again. Here they’ve topped themselves but more than that have truly entered the all exclusive hall of heavy metal legends and with three albums of top quality I can’t see this stopping anytime soon. Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 3 – 9, 2018

YOB
YOB

Another week full of stuff, things, happenings and more stuff. Whatever. But now, a fresh start in the form of new releases and even though the massive quantity of recent weeks has waned a bit, quality takes a front seat. So, what’s up this week?

Oregon’s (and the world for that matter) favorite doom sons, YOB, return with their eighth full length Our Raw Heart and in case you’ve somehow missed it to this point, this is some of their most heart wrenching yet fully realized work to date. Yea, I said it. Feel free to have your own opinion. Nearly as massive but on the death metal front is Tomb Mold with their second full length Manor of Infinite Forms which rides even higher than their debut — is it possible? Yes…and again, insert opinion here. Moving right along with Lago, a band I discovered and developed a huge affinity for back in 2014, return with their second full length Sea of Duress and honestly I didn’t expect this much death metal maturity but I’m fully engrossed once again and happier than a pig in sh…you get the idea. Last up in the opening slots this week is Zeal & Ardor with their amazing combination of black metal and spirtuals with Stranger Fruit and this is where you’ll find something way different from the norm yet something to completely lose yourself in — love this band. We’ve had an already massive showing but as usual there is soooo much more. Stick around as long as you like and by all means, leave those opinions in the comments section below.  Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Tomb Mold & Solid Gold

Receiving the Evcharist

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy.  This week’s offering: Tomb Mold’s Manor of Infinite Forms and Founders Brewing Company’s Solid Gold Lager
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Album Review: Ghastly – “Death Velour”

Ghastly - Death Velour

There’s something in the cold air, the frozen waters of Finland that just makes everything that comes out of the metal scene there just left of center.  It’s a fleeting, hard to pin sensation, a slight queasiness that leaves you wondering what otherwordly nightmare the riffs originated from.  Ghastly make the most of that mystification with their second full length Death Velour, and the result is a filthy cadaverous slab of death metal that mourns even as it drags you into the bowels of hell.   Continue reading