Album Review: Lesser Glow — “Nullity”

I feel like sludge is in something of a renaissance right now.  Between mainstreamers like Mastodon and Baroness to critical darlings like Inter Arma, Intronaut and almost anything Aaron Turner is involved in, sludge has arguably never been closer to the forefront of new and exciting metal as it is now.  I feel like a large part of that is the trend of embracing the atmosphere and crushing heaviness that are the pillars of sludge and driving them both to their extremes. And, that’s exactly what Boston’s Lesser Glow does on their sophomore release Nullity. Continue reading

Album Review: Ruadh — “The Rock of the Clyde”

I’ve gone on record before about how I like death metal, both in print and on the Audio Thing™, and I will, until the end of time, stand by my assertion that death metal is best when it beats you senseless about the face and head.  Black metal to me is a different story.  I think black metal is best when it is at its most elegant and refined.  I like black metal that uses old-school influences to inform and build on contemporary pieces to elevate the whole affair to a new level.  It’s why I like bands like Saor, Panopticon, Deafheaven, Aara and Falls of Rauros so much.  Enter Ruadh and their sophomore release The Rock of the Clyde, which emphasizes the old school in both black metal and cultural influence, while still retaining a sophisticated sound. Continue reading

Album Review: Ashtar — “Kaikuja”

Creatively captivating black/doom duo hailing from Basel, Switzerland, Ashtar, has returned after five years with their sophomore album Kaikuja.  The band has been in the studio since the summer of 2019 developing their sound and creating this darkly impressive work of art.  The rich and idiosyncratic tracks of this album are layered with intricacies giving each listen new discoveries and appreciation. Continue reading

Album Review: Paradise Lost — “Obsidian”

Paradise Lost - Obsidian

Paradise Lost are one of those bands where everyone has their favorite album, and they’re all different from person to person.  Whether it’s Draconian Times or Host or their eponymous debut, The Plague Within, One Second, whatever, it’s hard to argue that there isn’t something to enjoy in the vast scope of their catalogue.  Personally, when I first heard 2018’s Medusa, I was sure that they could not get better than the ultra-heavy kick-in-the-face that album was.  I was wrong.  Obsidian is more than just a follow-up to Medusa.  It’s everything that was good about Medusa turned up to 11. Continue reading

Album Review: Naglfar — “Cerecloth”

naglfar - cerecloth

Man, 2005 was a crazy year for me and metal.  It was the year I re-engaged with the genre, and the more extreme side held me vice-like in its grip.  If it had a cool cover and logo I grabbed it, and paramount in those random grabs was the melodic black metal of Naglfar.  The mix of heavy, black and melodic was an immediate hit, and they’re still a band I turn to when I want something immediately catchy and aggressive.  New material has been a long time coming, but now we are diabolically blessed with Cerecloth after eight long years, and it doesn’t miss a step, picking right back up on the traits that made the band one of my gateways bands back to the genre. Continue reading