Initial Descent: January 20 – 26, 2019

Carnal Forge 2018
Carnal Forge

Good morning, you wicked and divine souls.  Through the magic of WordPress admin rights it only looks like Josh is putting up this week’s Initial Descent.  But in truth it is I, Old Scratch, the Devil himself who has taken over the reins of this post to give you the latest upcoming releases.  Don’t worry: Josh is bound and gagged in the corner with a dozen botflies to keep him company…

Carnal Forge has risen from my depths to vomit forth Gun To Mouth Salvation, their first blast of evil thrash since 2007.  Oh, it is a delicious slice of metal pie!  Do your appetites skewer more…foul?  Then prepare yourselves for Of Worms, a cemetery slab of death doom from Seattle’s Foul bleeding forth on cassette from Caligari Records.  But maybe the death doom doesn’t move you?  You prefer your metal with more noise and static, the better to hear the voices I implant in your head?  Well, Sofy Major have returned from their black mass rituals to take a total dump on you with their new album…uh…Total Dump.  Seriously, I have been playing this to the investment bankers and hedge fund managers we keep in the Fifth Circle of Hell and it elicits the most exquisite screams of agony.  Finally, when I need a little rest and relaxing from all the torture and crossroad bargains I like to cozy up with the latest post-metal goodness from Mono, whose latest Nowhere Now Here lets a little light into this dark and dreary home.

Ah, the botflies have buried their demonic larvae into Josh’s skin.  Read on while I tend to my new children… Continue reading

Second Circle: Majestic Mass and Doldrey

Majestic Mass - Doldrey

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.

It’s been a hot minute since we sang the praises of Caligari Records but don’t mistake that for a lack of releases. The label continuously churns out some of the nastiest content from all corners of the metal spectrum and mostly on cassette which I adore. For this edition of Second Circle we’re taking a look at the blackened rock of Majestic Mass and the death punk of Doldrey. Continue reading

Initial Descent: July 22 – 28, 2018

Inexorum
Inexorum

Last week, things happened. All over the place. AND we featured a lot of things – good things as a matter of fact, so when you get some free time head back and check it all out. Plus, we will feature more good things this week. Speaking of good things, there’s new metal and plenty of it. What you ask? Read on…

Leading the charge is a pair of stunning black metal releases; the first of which is Inexorum with their melodic black metal debut Lore of the Lakes. This thing has had me in a trance since it hit our inbox, it’s an extremely personal piece of music that is as huge in scope as the landscape and themes at its core. And the second of which is the atmospheric black metal of Twilight Fauna on Where Birds Sing My Name and if you’ve somehow missed any of the past praise we’ve heaped on Twilight Fauna just listen to this album and formulate your own opinions — original release date was this week but it dropped late last week, still including it here so you DON’T MISS IT and because I can. Missouri’s Degrave bring the old school of thrash metal roaring back to life on their debut Degrave and Bloodsoaked Necrovoid give new meaning to slowly raising the dead from old infected crypts on their death / doom four-track Demo.

There’s more to follow so hang around awhile. We’ll be seeing you here throughout the week, stay tuned. Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 11 – 17, 2018

Slaves BC
Slaves BC

Lots of things happening this month: March Madness, warmer weather (sort of) and the time change. So if you’re into any of that, have at it. Around here, new metal is what’s happening and if you came here looking for it you’re definitely in luck. Long list ahead so let’s get to it — first up is the absolutely vicious yet cuttingly personal black/death of Lo and I am Burning from Slaves BC. As you are all aware (or not) Josh Thieler writes for us from time to time and we love him dearly but that has nothing to do with top billing this week, this band has grown exponentially and have put their best foot forward here. Next up is Where Owls Know My Name by Rivers of Nihil and this is another album where a band has put their best foot forward, technical death metal that bleeds forward thinking and rules. Moving along is the extremely soothing dark folk of Ulvesang on The Hunt, this is the one you need while contemplating life or just trying to get through it — perfect soundtrack. Closing out the top slots this week is the EP Question from the Mexican quartet of the same name Question, this thing is ultra-aggressive, extreme and with four tracks it steamrolls the senses in the best way possible. Plenty of fodder already for end of year thoughts but there’s much more to get to. Stick around and bask in the rest… 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