Album Review: Elizabeth Colour Wheel – “Nocebo”

Elizabeth Colour Wheel - Nocebo

Last night I had a dream.  I was back in college; it was 1993.  I was hanging out at the local used record shop (it was Last Vestige in Albany, if you’re familiar with the area).  As per usual I was pouring through the CDs and records and this loud, hazy wash of sound slipped through the air, grabbing my attention.  “What is this?” I asked aloud.  “Oh, you don’t know Elizabeth Colour Wheel?” a haughty voice responded.  Even then and in my dreams folks who work in record stores can be real dicks.  Anyway I woke up and realized Nocebo, the band’s debut full length after a number of singles and EPs, has that timeless quality that marks a unique and vital voice in the music world. Continue reading

Album Review: Noisem – “Cease To Exist”

Noisem - Cease to Exist

This is what I remember about Noisem when they hit the scene with their debut Agony Defined back in 2013: Death/thrash/grind played by a bunch of young upstarts.  Loved the classic 80s era cover, didn’t care for the music.  Everyone and their brother proclaimed the band as the “next big thing” with the arrival of 2015’s Blossoming Decay.  And it was…fine.  Nothing that compelled me to put them on a pedestal.  But lo and behold four years later brings a new album I’m told I NEED to listen to and, what do you know?  Cease To Exist manages to finally get me to sit up and take notice by making good on the promise of those awesome album covers. Continue reading

Album Review: Tempel – “Tempel”

tempel - self titled

I have a couple bones to pick with the debut self-titled album by Tempel. The first bone is that no, it is not Tempel, the excellent post/death/black-metal band that released 2015’s epic The Moon Lit Our Path. The second is that after I got over my disappointment… I was annoyed to realize that this album is a pretty god-damn good album that liberally borrows from countless metal genres. Continue reading

Album Review: Basilysk – “Emergence”

Basilysk - Emergence

Coming across a previously unknown band that exudes passion and ambition and demands the world to unconditionally surrender and kneel is without doubt one of the most joyful experiences even for the grimmest, battle-hardened veteran of many a metal war. Enter Basilysk, with their debut full length Emergence, driven by insatiable hunger, eager to devour everything within its impact radius. Ageless both in spirit and execution, Emergence forms a rupture in time and space that Basilysk rips wide open with vicious riffs and wildly flailing yet skillfully steered exuberance. Continue reading

Second Circle: Black Anvil and Gatekeeper

second circle - black anvil and gatekeeper

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.

Ah, the Extended Play.  Compact, versatile…few genres really know how to effectively wield the EP like metal does.  In today’s edition of Second Circle we take a look at two EPs, used to different ends, but carrying the message of metal loud and clear.  So let’s kick things off with the forthcoming tribute from Black Anvil and then cap it off with the early 2019 metal hammer that is the latest from Gatekeeper.
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