Album Review: Somnuri – “Somnuri”

Somnuri - Somnuri

The NYC/Brooklyn metal scene is nothing if not vibrant, but I’ll admit my gut instinct if asked to described a common sound or characteristic is not to go with the sludgy, progressive metal/doom hybrid that Somnuri are cooking up on their debut self-titled album.  And yet, a closer listen to Somnuri the album reveals a lot of what makes the scene so alive: a wicked blend of styles and technicality that doesn’t overshadow song structure, respect to influences without being overly slavish, and – above all – the innate ability to kick ass at any tempo.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Transcending Records

transcending records logo

Transcending Records may be a jack-of-all-trades, acting as a record label, online shop, and distribution company out of the Chicago area, but all of that work is focused on one thing: bringing brutal metal to the masses.  And like many noble pursuits, it’s damn hard to make any money at it.  But a massive storm in October put an even larger dent in things, as a flood wiped out a significant portion of the business’s stock.  CDs, cassettes, clothing, even personal items were completely lost.  So they salvaged what they could and put together some cool packages, including a box of 15 CDs and a plethora of stickers for folks willing to help support them.

So for this edition of Nine Circles ov... not only am I asking you to help support Transcending Records in the best way possible: hit their site and check out what’s available (they have some GREAT releases coming soon, including the debut from Transylvania Slut and the latest from Monolith Cult) but I’ve assembled nine sick and twisted blasts of metal that came in the bundle I received as thanks for my support.  let’s dig in…   Continue reading

Second Circle: Throne of Heresy and Tetragrammacide

Second Circle

In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.

What do you think of when you see the term “blackened death” applied to a band or album?  Is it predominantly death metal, but “blackened” up a bit?  Is it black metal with traces of that good ol’ drop-D groove?  Is it once again just a silly attempt to pigeon-hole and categorize something for easier consumption?  Rhetorical questions one and all, but it helps to classify the theme for this edition of Second Circle as we check out the latest slab from Throne of Heresy and the debut from Tetragrammacide.   Continue reading

Album Review: Blut Aus Nord – “Deus Salutis Meæ”

Blut Aus Nord - Deus Salutis Meæ

Upon the arrival of each new Blut Aus Nord album there’s a moment of questioning.  What are we getting this time?  Is it the industrial tinges fueled the maelstrom of The Work Which Transforms God?  The progressive leanings of the band’s 777 trilogy of albums?  Or the lean and mean traditional blasts of the Memoria Tretusta series?  Unsurprisingly, the answer is something different, and the results in new album Deus Salutis Meæ are a bit of a mixed bag.    Continue reading

Album Review: All Pigs Must Die – “Hostage Animal”

all pigs must die hostage animal cover

While black, death, and doom metal may be my forte (and what I spend the most time with), there is something about a grimy, fisticuff-inducing hardcore album that scratches a certain itch for me.  Maybe it’s all the metalcore I cut my teeth on in high school, but it just feels like a good time.  It’s nice to find bands now that take elements of hardcore and bring it to a level of darkness that matches the rest of the music I listen to, and one such act that is a go-to of mine is All Pigs Must Die.  Their brand of dark, visceral hardcore consistently delivers the goods, and nowhere more so than on their new album, Hostage Animal. Continue reading