Album Review: Bastard Grave – “What Lies Beyond”


Somewhere between the buzzsaw guitar grind of vintage Entombed and the murk of the modern American underground’s best up-and-comers like Baptists and Call of The Void, you’ll find Sweden’s Bastard Grave. The group’s new full-length, Pulverised Records’ What Lies Beyond, is a dripping mud pit of frantic riffs and horror aesthetic that sounds just as much at home on a playlist with old school death metal as with the latest blackened thrash. According to Bastard Grave’s press release, prior to What Lies Beyond, the band only had one demo to their name, which makes the debut effort all the more impressive. Sitting down to spin this album and knowing that this was the band’s first full-length, I expected a more scattered affair. Pleasantly surprised to find out how wrong I was; What Lies Beyond features an array of songs uniting under the clarity of one solid vision. Continue reading

Album Review: Sumac – “The Deal”


As I was reading about metal supergroup Sumac’s new debut album, The Deal, I was thinking: we often reduce what a band sounds like to a mere math problem. There’s one member who’s also in a hardcore band, one who used to be in a sludge band, and one in a doom metal band. And, as press releases often breathlessly claim, the band they’re all in together sounds like a mixture of those styles. Groundbreaking! So what happens when your math problem consists of Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom), Brian Cook (Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes), and Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists)? Does the proven skill of the combined musicians ensure that the music will be greater than the sum of its parts? Continue reading