Initial Descent: April 22 – 28, 2018

Boss Keloid
Boss Keloid

We’ve got another long list of metal this week so let’s jump right in — Boss Keloid return with Melted On the Inch which is vastly different from their last album but is without a doubt their best yet and consequently one of the most forward thinking metal albums you’re likely to hear. Even though Cist‘s The Frozen Casket has been out for a minute, this week’s expanded CD release is as good a time as any to pick up this slab of speedy OSDM, so get on that.  Grá‘s Väsen is a healthy dose of primal black metal and Aura Noir, a band I wasn’t sure would ever return with an album, is back and exceptionally so on Aura Noire. It serves as a great reminder as to how much I’ve missed their thrashy black metal. There you have it, the lead off four. But there’s much more to get into this week so stick around as long as you want, we never close. Continue reading

Album Review: Grá – “Väsen”

gra - vasen

Pop culture’s outrage of the week has been the revelation that Kanye West is a weird dude. Unless you’re an abject dumbass, you probably figured this out long before, if not from the bastardization of Nina Simone’s painful paean to old South lynching, “Strange Fruit,” into some navel gazing corniness in 2013’s “Blood on the Leaves” then from his 2016 concert meltdowns where he ranted about Beyonce betrayals and the like. More than a few allegedly woke fans have excused West’s deeply flawed worldview and gross misogyny since even before 2008’s colorless 808s and Heartbreak because of his creative production and iconoclastic style. Up until he touched the political third rail and defended President Donald Trump, West’s eccentric personality and even more erratic output have been virtually unquestioned. Not anymore. It is almost certain that Kanye West will never cross paths with Andreas Vingbäck, better known by his stage moniker Heljarmadr. Yet, on Väsen, the new album from Grá, Heljarmadr’s Swiss-born black metal juggernaut, there are lessons in integrity that many performers, including West, could learn from. Continue reading

Initial Descent: December 11 – 17, 2016


Yep, here we are amongst best of 2016 list season and in true form these final weeks are looking to be list busters. But hey, on the bright side we have tons of great new metal just in time for the hectic shopping and traffic season. So, strap on a pair of headphones, get out there and brave it. Sweden’s black metallers Murg return with their second full length Gudatall which is as heavy on black metal aggression as it is on suffocating atmosphere, Grafvitnir offers scathing and utterly evil black metal on Obeisance to a Witch Moon, Call of the Void continue their amalgam of death, grind, punk and sludge metal on AYFKM (guess what that stands for), Black Cilice gives us yet another cold and blistering black metal release for the week on Nocturnal Mysticism, and Youdash bend time as well as all constraints of typical death metal thought patterns on their strikingly good debut Astrophobia. Stellar week here on Initial Descent and we still have more to go so continue the exploration, after the jump. Continue reading

Album Review: Grafvitnir – “Obeisance to a Witch Moon”

Artwork by Chadwick St. John

Grafvitnir may just be one of the harder working bands in black metal. While their output may not rival that of, say, Jute Gyte, the Swedish collective are poised to put out their third full length album in as many years. Far from just being content for content’s sake, Obeisance to a Witch Moon continues the band’s tradition of crafting cold and calculated black metal sure to please anyone looking for something darker in their listening. Continue reading