Unholy Trinity: Vrasubatlat Spring Releases

vrasubatlat

Portland, OR’s premiere boutique metal label Vrasubatlat has been an unstoppable machine since the label opened its doors in 2015.  Gaining almost instant regard for its projects and commitment to a cohesive aesthetic, the label has attracted followers in high places in the short amount of time it has been releasing music, cementing relationships with fellow local hotshots Fallen Empire Records and one of my favorite noise labels Unseen Force.  I’ve been riding this particular hype train since the first batch of releases dropped, and today it is my pleasure to be able to share my thoughts on not one, not two, but three new full-length albums that span across all the styles of music that make Vrasubatlat the diverse treasure trove it is.

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Column: The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, I discussed my penchant for symphonic metal and how its fandom eventually led me to listen to it with a lot of caution. Now, the three albums I chose for that segment weren’t my first gateway albums, but are three that remain close to my heart and are underappreciated by a lot of listeners. Anyway, for this chapter of the column – and for the sake of a timeline – I decided to talk about a subgenre that has remained controversial despite the claims of apolitical affiliations and people making terrible decisions.

It’s time we talk about black metal. Continue reading

Album Review: Grave Upheaval – “Untitled”

Grave Upheaval - Untitled

Anonymity has been one of extreme music’s time-honored, though shopworn, traditions since even before the first wave of black metal. It has endured through a succession of major and far-lesser-known acts spanning continents and decades, in part, because anonymity taps that fearful part of the imagination in which these walls of haunting sound flourish. Furthermore, this tactic subtly returns to the music snob in all of us, by letting the music speak for itself. However, so common is anonymity that it has become an officious self-parody in instances like Ghost, where estranged bandmates battle it out in court over money, intellectual property and identity.

The Australian group Grave Upheaval seemingly pursues obscurity intentionally. About five years ago, the band released an album titled simply Untitled. It conveys no lineup information and its tracks are titled in a fashion that is as bland as one can get, e.g. Roman numeral titles. Now, roughly five years after Untitled, Grave Upheaval is back.

With what, you ask? Untitled, of course. Not Untitled II. Just Untitled. Not a good sign, perhaps. Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: One Thousand Birds and Rogue Cold Brew IPA

Receiving the Evcharist

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy.  This week’s offering: One Thousand Birds’ Rehearsal Tour Demo and Rogue Brewing Company’s Cold Brew IPA.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Cradle of Filth

I first discovered Cradle of Filth via the temporary resurrection of Headbanger’s Ball in 2003, when their video for “Mannequin” was in heavy rotation. This catchy yet creepy song stuck with me and helped me remember the band when I started getting more into black metal the following year, picking up the Lovecraft and Witch Hearts compilation and getting thoroughly hooked. “But they’re not really black metal, what are you talking about?!” Ah yes, I understood early on how controversial the band was within black metal circles. They, along with Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon, had achieved some crossover mainstream success in the mid-2000s. And thus this leads us into my Nine Circles ov…Cradle of Filth. Continue reading