Her Highness, Black Metal: Black Metal Round – Up, March 2017

Bathing Goddess
Statue of the Goddess Venus, part of the environment “The bathing Venus” – Caserta (Italy)

Black metal is Venus Anadyomene. She is death incarnate. She waits for her next victim. She preys on men and women, besotted by her beauty. Slowly, you approach her. Slowly she surrenders herself. In your arms she caresses your cheek with the back of her hand, Then, she sodomizes your ears. She rapes your soul. She is beautiful, but at an angle, the moonlight casts a glow on her true condition. She is death. Pluto, god of the underworld, sends her forth and awaits the many souls she claims with a kiss. Black metal is beautiful, and just like Venus, she’s capricious.

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Initial Descent: March 12 – 18, 2017

Woe
Woe

I’m not going to ramble on this week because not only do we have some stellar music for you in the top four slots but we have plenty more in store beyond that. Oh and I’m heading out to the Atlanta Decibel Tour in a few short hours so expect some words on that in the coming days, should be epic. Stay tuned. Up first is Woe‘s incendiary Hope Attrition that basks in its ability to see the current state of affairs as they really are and calls for action instead of complacency, vicious black metal with a message. Next up, Fange return with their second full length Pourrissoir and somehow they’ve managed to retain all the nasty sludge qualities that made their debut so amazing but here they hone their song craft to a sharpened tip of extremity. Third up is legendary US death metallers Obituary with their tenth full length Obituary, and yes the band still has it after all these years and yes it will be a treat to see these guys tonight (had to throw that in there). Last but not least is Saille with their melodic yet epic black metal on Gnosis and if you’ve yet to experience this band now is as good a time as any, you won’t be disappointed. So there you have it with the top slots but there’s so much more to explore after the jump. Continue reading

Profile: Kevin De Leneer of Saille

Saille
Saille

Belgium’s melodic black metallers Saille (pronounced sahl-yeh) will be releasing their fourth full length Gnosis this week via Code666. Saille was formed in 2008 and over the course of their previous three albums the band has grown and matured exponentially to what we have in front of us now on Gnosis. Their original goal was to create melodic black metal with an “epic and threatening feel” and they’ve done just that since the beginning but here the fruits of their labor are fully realized: the brute force of “Prometheus”, the sweeping scope of “Magnum Opus” and the british heavy metal meets epic power feel of closer “1904 Era Vulgaris” proves the point beyond any question. Being inspired previously by horror literature and HP Lovecraft themes each album features a different concept and Gnosis is no exception as the band explores the Promethean ideal and its Luciferian counterpart (aka striving for knowledge and the consequences thereof). But they also lightly touch on Aleister Crowley’s Thelema — huge themes for a band to tackle but Saille does it with ease and makes a believer out of the listener with their skilled songwriting and musicianship. We recently got the chance to ask drummer Kevin De Leneer our set of Profile questions, see what he had to say after the jump. Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 5 – 11, 2017

Lock Up
Lock Up

Quick reminder before we get into this amazing week in metal: we gain our days back tomorrow so don’t be a knucklehead and use the “I forgot to set my clock right” excuse at work on Monday, just saying. Now for the goods: everyone’s favorite grind/death metal veterans Lock Up return with Demonization and, with a new frontman in Kevin Sharp, to say they’ve hit the biggest homerun of their career is an understatement — hearing is believing so get to it. Even though Engulfed‘s debut full length Engulfed In Obscurity has been out digitally for a minute it’s set for a CD release this week which is the perfect opportunity for those of you who missed it (you boneheads) to take advantage of some extremely dense and classic sounding death metal. Atmospheric black metallers Fen return with their fifth full length Winter and this is one you’re going to want to take the time to listen to in full — trust me it’s well worth it, don’t skimp just do it. And last but not least is In the Company of Serpents with their latest full length Ain Soph Aur which finds the band fully realizing their immense doom talents amongst a backdrop of spaghetti western motifs as they explore the “true self” and what a ride it is, think of your favorite doom band mixed with an old classic western film score — yet another one you just have to hear to believe. Alright so, the first four are ridiculously good but as always there’s much, much more to explore right after the jump.

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Initial Descent: December 4 -10, 2016

Zao
Zao

December came in like a rowdy drunk with the first real blast of cold air we’ve had. Between that and the already horrible traffic made far worse by the throngs of christmas shoppers armed with their lists and checking it twice I’m severely longing for summer to return. But, like always, I’ll impatiently await its return. As we get closer to kicking 2016 to the curb new releases are slimming but that doesn’t mean quality is taking one on the chin. For example, the mighty Zao are back from a 7 year absence with The Well Intentioned Virus and within the first 3 minutes it’s crystal clear how much their brand of thoroughly engaging metallic hardcore has been missed. Moving on, Bearstorm kick up some serious southern swagger on their EP Biophobia but of note is how well they combine that with black metal and death metal (bonus points for that beautiful album cover), avantegarde noise drone duo OvO offer up Creatura and honestly if you’re looking for something completely different from the norm and terrifying at the same time look no further, along the same lines but harsher is Gnaw Their Tongues Hymns For the Broken, Swollen and Silentand Terra take a chance on their 2 song album, Mors Secunda, but the risk pays off with intense yet brooding black metal peppered with post rock and heavy atmosphere. As stated before the quality hasn’t waned in the least but the list that follows is a bit shorter so jump in and see what’s left. Continue reading