Album Review: Artificial Brain – “Infrared Horizon”

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If we’re gonna talk about Artificial Brain and their new behemoth of an album Infrared Horizon, we need to talk about space.  And I don’t mean space as in the overall concept of the record, or indeed of the band’s thematic palette.  I’m talking about the space in between notes, the dynamic release of tension that is essential in order to break apart the monotony that a record this dense can easily fall prey to.

In other words, let me tell you how Artificial Brain learned every lesson they needed to learn in order to craft one of the best death metal albums of the year.   Continue reading

Best of 2016: Zyklonius’ List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

I am writing this intro blurb on Christmas eve, on Lemmy’s birthday and almost exactly a year after his death. Today, the largest newspaper in Finland published a fascinating article discussing Lemmy’s life (unfortunately in Finnish). The article’s lead paragraph notes the failure of humanity to carry on without Lemmy and the shockwave his death created, paving the way for 2016 in all its depressing grimness. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Panopticon – “Social Disservices”

Panopticon - Social Disservices
Social Disservices artwork by Austin Lunn

Last week US Black Metal underground hero Panopticon celebrated the five year anniversary of their massive and poignant third album Social Disservices. One of the darker points in the band’s discography, Social Disservices stands out among the often right-wing leaning political black metal and is an album whose message is still as vital now as it was when first released. Today, we look back on this piece of history. Continue reading

Album Review: Withered – “Grief Relic”

Withered - Grief Relic

The six year wait since the astonishing and punishing Dualitis has been a long one but Atlanta’s Withered reclaim their rightful spot on the death by way of black metal throne with fourth full length Grief Relic. But this time that description only tells a part of the story. With lineup changes seemingly the norm since right after their debut, the band has soldiered on and has somehow gotten stronger as time marched on. With new blood comes new ideas and new perspectives but the triumph in all of that is that Withered stay true to their roots and demolish everything in their path. Continue reading