Straight talk: it doesn’t matter how you consume music. Listen any way you want: use the earbuds that came with your phone, $1,000 studio monitors, a sound bar…whatever. If you’re enjoying it, you’re doing it right. I’m not here to tell you you’re doing it wrong. That being said, there is a certain pleasure to be derived from tweaking and upgrading, searching for the right combination that takes the music you love to the next level, shorting your synapses and inducing a synethetic delight. So after numerous discussions with our resident Finn and audiohead Zyklonius I slowly began to improve my at-home listening experience. I invested in a modest pair of planar magnetic headphones and a headphone amp (the ones above, actually: the HIFIMAN HE-400i and the Schiit Magni 3) and took my first steps into the murky world of the metal audiophile. Continue reading →
Not surprisingly, as its become a theme in 2016, May was an outstanding month for metal. Well, another shocker: June is just as good. On the larger side of things a new Thrawsunblat LP was released, there was a Blut Aus Nord / AEvangelist split, Vale of Pnath dropped an LP, Aaron Turner’s celebrated sludge project Sumac put out an absolute burner and, thanks to Shadow Kingdom, Tombstalker finally got to release Black Crusades on vinyl. But where June really shocked was in the amount of smaller, quality releases. July is looking to change that fact with a bunch of super high-profile, high-quality releases on the horizon. But we will save those for the end. So, for now, let’s take a look at nine releases from June that knocked our (well at least my) socks off.