Album Review: The Ditch and the Delta – “Hives in Decline”

Hives in Decline17796436_1259379870797786_4705478823159974786_n

Before we dive into Hives in Decline, the debut LP from The Ditch and the Delta allow me a moment to lament the original introduction to this piece, which I thought was a fair and funny bit about how a successful sludge album is a lot like a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup™.  I’m not saying it was comedy gold, but it was clever and fun and served to set the theme for the review.  Alas, when doing digging into their previous EP I saw that another publication essentially used the same joke (and better, to be fair).

So farewell, original intro.  I thought you were funny, but so did someone else, and almost two earlier to boot.  At least you served as fodder for this new intro.  Now let’s talk about massive riffs and grooves instead.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 25 – October 1, 2016


Here we are at the dawn of October. One of the finest months of the year, obviously. What better way to kick it off than with a stacked list of metal that is as varied as the many horror movies you need to watch over the next 31 days. Anyway, Initial Descent knows you need it so, this week we have the amazing new album The Dark Hereafter from Winterfylleth, a jazzy avant-garde self titled debut from Brain Tentacles, Okkultokrati‘s Raspberry Dawn that is satan rock at it’s finest and of course Sorceress from everyone’s favorite target Opeth. For everyone still mad about the whole no death metal thing, news flash, they’re still great. Also Veilburner returns with their third full length of inherently evil and challenging black/death/experimental The Obscene Rite and Halshug cracks the earth in half with their brutal new album Sort Sind. Plenty here for you to enjoy so without further delay, get busy after the jump. Continue reading

Initial Descent: February 12, 2016

rotting christ band

Hey kiddies. Another Friday is upon us. And unlike last week, I don’t have much to say about this one. That’s not to say that there isn’t some good stuff coming out — Rotting Christ, Eight Bells and Magrudergrind are all worth your attention, to name just a few — but rather that my main focus is on making it through the work day and getting into a long weekend. Can you blame me? Anyway, enough words — here’s what’s on tap for Friday, February 12:
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Album Review: Eight Bells – “Landless”

eight bells landless
Artwork by Nate Burns

Landless is a bit of “wait and reward.” Long ambient passages, epic build ups and soft harmonies give way to rewards in the form of well-paced, driving sections of addictive, drum-forward rock. Appropriate, as the addition of Thrawsunblat drummer and Immortal Bird vocalist Rae Amitay provides the atmospheric and remains filled experience necessary for Eight Bells. Despite being entitled Landless, the album feels anchored by oceanside plains. It’s as if the music is tracing the cartography of these lands; pulling the listener along with them. Continue reading

Album Review: Vehemence – “Forward Without Motion”

Vehemence - Forward Without Motion

It’s been 11 years since the last album from Arizona’s Vehemence. That’s not quite as epic a wait as we had for the latest At the Gates release, but still… it’s a long time. Lucky for them, the melodic death metal landscape hasn’t changed too drastically in that time. For the most part, it relies on the same components it always has. On the band’s new, fourth fulllength, Forward Without Motion, they adhere to the core melodic sensibilities of the genre which makes for a better, more focused effort. Continue reading