Initial Descent: January 27 – February 2, 2019

mastiff
Mastiff

Botflies. Old Scratch’s botflies. Shiver me timbers that was a rough one to get away from and all of a sudden I’m a pirate. Last week I was a bit predisposed but I’m back basically because Old Scratch wants his music on display. And that, we do and do well. Exactly what you might be wondering…read on, dear reader…

In Gladiator, Russel Crowe asked ‘are you not entertained?’ and because of Plague from the UK’s Mastiff I will now ask ‘are you not entertained by the heaviness?’. Seriously, this band finds new ways to make sludge, hardcore and grind heavier than a really heavy thing. Ossuarium continues the heavy theme but in an old school nasty death metal vein on Living Tomb, Tennessee’s Thetan bring the power and the violence and the hardcore on sophomore effort Abysmal, and Unendlich hit the right combination of melodicism and second wave black metal on Thanatophobia.

Now, if I can just keep those botflies from ruining my hard drive…dive in below while I find an electric fly swat. Continue reading

Josh Thieler’s Favorite Records of 2018

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2018 has been quite the year. It was a roller coaster personally, nationally, globally, and in the realm of metal. There are people that I loved that are gone now. There are people who are gone that I should have loved more. I failed a lot of people. I’ve struggled in so many ways. If you are curious about that, just listen to the last Slaves BC record or read any interviews I did during that release cycle. I got fatter, fitter, quit smoking, joined five or six more bands, did artwork for some bands, did PR for some others, and spent a lot (but never enough) of time with my wonderful wife and animals.

Anyway, I listened to a ton of music again in 2018. I didn’t get a chance to talk about any of it very much, but I listened to a ton. 2018 was another fantastic year for metal/hardcore/whatever. I’ve been altering this list for months and I had a real hard time narrowing it down as much as I did. Just like last year, I have compiled my favorite 50 full length metal/hardcore records, favorite 10 non-metal records, and my top 10 favorite EP’s/singles/etc.

I made this playlist with one track from each of the records that are on Spotify for you to listen to a sampling of everything below. Thank you for checking this out and here’s to a better 2019!

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Receiving the Evcharist: Ulthar and Pumpkin Harvest Ale

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

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: Ulthar’s Cosmovore and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Harvest Ale.   Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Extremity and Newton’s Folly

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: Extremity’s Coffin Birth and Newton’s Folly Semi Dry Cider.   Continue reading

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