Album Review: Alustrium — “A Monument To Silence”

Alustrium - A Moment to Silence

In a short amount of time, I have come to appreciate the intricacies of progressive death metal, especially since it has been doing incredibly well during a pandemic, where death is rampant and trauma is at its height. While things are slowly improving, it still feels like a sense of dread hangs over this newfound normalcy, and all one can want is a sense of silence. A lot of albums released last year seemed to deal with what happens when trauma is left unchecked, leaving you feeling hollow and as if you have no one to rely on. However, underneath that hollowness stands a sense of hope that’s slowly gaining traction, and that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. If last year was about the heaviness of trauma, then Alustrium’s A Monument to Silence, an album that seems to straddle the line between experimentation and melody, is about making the decision to deal with that trauma.

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Album Review: Dornenreich — “Du wilde Liebe sei”

Summer is approaching, which means summoning black metal to the front of my listening queue once again. However, I have decided to opt for something a little calmer than the usual screeching and atmosphere of what I usually go for, and that means softer strains of black metal to start. Now, imagine my surprise when I heard that, after seven long years, Dornenreich were returning with their ninth full-length release, Du wilde Liebe sei (“You, wild love, be”), and I was ecstatic. One of neofolk’s long-standing stalwarts, Dornenreich is a band that oozes both mystery and practicality in their music, and that combination pulls the listener in, showing them the sensuality of neofolk.

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RETROCUTION: Perturbator returns with new album, “Lustful Sacraments”

Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments

I’m not gonna lie, it feels kinda weird to resurrect my Retrocution column for the first time in more than a year… with an artist who, by his own account, has been actively trying to move away from “conventional” synthwave for a while now. But for James Kent, I’ll make an exception.

After all, Kent’s work as Perturbator was one of my earliest exposures to synthwave. I wouldn’t be anywhere near as big a fan of this music — maybe a fan at allif not for Dangerous Days. So even though my tastes within the genre have since shifted a bit more toward the pop end of the spectrum, I tend to listen whenever Kent drops something new — conventional or otherwise. And in the case of his latest effort, Lustful Sacraments, the listen proved to be quite an excellent one.

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Album Review: Kataan — “Kataan” (EP)

If you were dismayed when Vattnet Viskar began their slow dissolution, I have good news. Nicholas Thornbury, one of the creative forces behind that band has teamed up with Brett Boland (Astronoid) for what I can only call an epic success. If you like blackened death metal that’s firing on all cylinders: melodic, engaging, and full of riffs and hooks, then put Kataan’s self-titled EP in your cart immediately. 

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