Initial Descent: December 24 – 30, 2017

Pissboiler
Pissboiler

And the countdown to another year begins. Time is always something that mystifies me, particularly how fast it goes. Seems like just yesterday we were all researching our most anticipated albums for 2017 and here we are again, getting ready to seal off the chamber and dive knee deep in more research. Anyway, hope you had a good holiday and cheers to a Happy New Year. This week’s list is quite short but fear not, there’s enough quality to make up for the minimal quantity. First up is some ferocious funeral doom and from a band with a name like Pissboiler I totally expect nothing but some sludgy, nasty and downright sickening doom and with In the Lair of Lucid Nightmares this is precisely what is offered. Next up and quenching a ten year silence is Nortt with the sorrowful, intimate and depressive doom of Endeligt, one must get their mind right to enter here but those that do will be rewarded. Rounding out the top slots and lightening the mood a bit is Morrow on their long player Fallow which is full of hardcore, crust, punk and a ton of killer (look for the LP release in the spring of 2018 on Halo of Flies and Alerta Antifascista). Short week but good stuff to wrap your ears around here so get in there… Continue reading

Initial Descent: December 17 – 23, 2017

Greytomb
Greytomb – pic courtesy of Natalie Morgan Photography

To those of you reading this we hope you are ready for, and have, a good Christmas/holiday/whatever and if you don’t celebrate we hope you have a good…Monday. Whether good, bad or indifferent by the time you read this next week the holiday will have come and gone but the metal will continue on. Speaking of, this week’s metal offerings may be light in the quantity department but there might be a few here that stand to bust your best of 2017 list plans. With that said, let’s get to it — leading us off is the completely captivating atmospheric black metal of Greytomb on Monumental Microcosm. Next up is a blast furnace of death and grind on Combat Grind from Sonic Poison and closing out the opening slots is The Howling Void‘s continued evolution in melancholic doom metal on The Darkness at the Edge of Dawn that truly must be heard to be believed, and yes I know the digital version has been out for a month or so but with the digipack version out this week let this stand as a reminder. Super strong openers here, but there’s a few more just inside that are equally as strong. Dive in… Continue reading

Initial Descent: May 21 – 27, 2017

Jordablod Band
Jordablod

MDF week is upon us and while I can’t be there I know plenty of you that are. Hopefully soon I can live vicariously through your experiences, be safe and enjoy. For the rest of you, it’s another stacked week here on Initial Descent. And leading us off is the amazing prog/black/death metal debut Upon My Cremation Pyre from Jordablod. If you’ve ever heeded my advice I implore you to check this one out — scorching way to burst onto the scene here. Next up is Wode with their second full length Servants of the Countercosmos and as ridiculously good as their debut was this one is even better. The formula has been altered slightly but the results are astounding, count on this one staying the course the rest of the year. Sólstafir return with Bedreyminn and unshockingly they’ve done it yet again — blistering post rock collides with their signature metal style and it’s, simply put, bliss. Last of the top slots goes to Illustrations with Acts of God and if you missed out on this band’s debut do not make that mistake again. Hardcore is the foundation but many elements have been added to make this a heartfelt and colorful album, highly recommended. As usual, there is much more to sink your teeth into right after the jump… Continue reading

Album Review: Wode – “Servants of the Countercosmos”

Wode_BC

Seems like it was just over a year ago our editor was extolling the virtues of Wode and their cold take on the classic black metal sound on their debut LP.  I listened to it all spring and into the summer, and its precision and adherence to a strict code of freezing precision and brutality left enough of an impression that it made my end of year list for 2016.  Now the formula that worked so well is tweaked ever so slightly, that cold warmed by the dark earth of the grave with their second album, Servants of the Countercosmos.   Continue reading

Second Circle: Mountains Crave and Device

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.

Here’s the way it usually works.  Our illustrious editor gets in dozens and dozens of promos each week that he puts up on a Google doc for the writers, who converge like a pack of wild dogs,  starving and scrabbling to get a cut of the juiciest meat.  That’s how it usually works, but every so often you just come across something else, whether it’s an obscure band you found in you Bandcamp collection one day because of a label subscription with an AMAZING cover or a surprise drop from a band saying goodbye.  In this edition of Second Circle we’re stepping away from the promo box to alert you, however briefly, to the wonders of Mountains Crave and Device.  So let’s find those comfortable pants you wear when no one’s watching and dig in… Continue reading