Album Review: Stygian Crown — “Stygian Crown”

stygian crown - stygian crown

Traditional metal continues to forge a path that is refreshing to these old ears.  Toss “extremity” out the window and ride hard and steady on a riff, nail that groove with the eye of a sharpshooter and carry that melody to the end of whatever metaphor I lost a few words back.  Point being, this debut self-titled full length from Stygian Crown is good.  Damn good. Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 8 – 14, 2020

Smoulder
Smoulder

Ah yes. On time, once again. I know you missed that Monday fix but at least you got it by Friday and what can I say, life you know. Anyway, last week was fairly packed but this week? Ha, PACKED like a huge moving truck with new metals so let’s get to it. Smoulder, who had one of the biggest trad metal hits of last year are back with an EP and it has bonus materials, score. Spectral Lore and Mare Cognitum team up on a fiery foray into astral black metal, Lychgate continue their wicked take on all things extreme, and The Goners put the good time in fuzz fueled doom. As always, much more to follow so crack that can of whoop ass and enjoy. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 22 – 28, 2019

Creeping Death
Creeping Death, photo courtesy of Rahul Raveendran

Expect Halloween talk here for a bit, just FYI. Between Chris kicking off this year’s Hooptober, 3 From Hell, and AHS 1984 starting, the season is off to a killer start (see what I did there?). Those things are all great and as a bonus we’ve got, what might be, the longest list of new metal thus far so let’s jump right in…

Everything’s bigger in Texas, is what they say, and Creeping Death prove it on their full length debut of cracking death metal – don’t miss it folks, just don’t. Opeth return with their next prog filled opus and honestly some old Opeth creeps in but without a doubt, it’s another great album and I can’t wait to see all the “I’M MAD STILL” happen – wait for it…. You want psych metal that’s as retro as it is exceptionally great? The Neptune Power Federation definitely have you covered there and no they’re not a throwback rasslin’ group for those of you with questions. Last up top is everyone’s favorite sludgers, Fister, who cover classic metal tracks in their own wretched way. And it’s fantastic, so get on that. 

Start bingeing bloody horror and vile death metal, ‘tis the season. Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 16 – 22, 2019

Lunar Shadow
Lunar Shadow

By the time this goes to press, I’ll be having my morning coffee sitting on the sand and near the waves for the first time since last year. Needless to say, I’ll be in my happy place and will be enjoying every second of it. Luckily, I will have brought along some of this week’s new metal which will, of course, only enhance the week ahead. A trio of heavy metallers get this edition of new releases under way; one that leans towards the goth side: Lunar Shadow, one that leans towards the fantasy side: Gygax, and one that leans towards the thrash side: Kryptos, and all of which kick some major heavy metal ass. Which leads us to the last top slot with newcomers Murk Rider who weave long, epic and twisting black metal tales to add the just the right amount of darkness to my current playlist.

Now, go seek and destroy. I’ll be over here getting sand in my crack. Continue reading

Second Circle: Black Anvil and Gatekeeper

second circle - black anvil and gatekeeper

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.

Ah, the Extended Play.  Compact, versatile…few genres really know how to effectively wield the EP like metal does.  In today’s edition of Second Circle we take a look at two EPs, used to different ends, but carrying the message of metal loud and clear.  So let’s kick things off with the forthcoming tribute from Black Anvil and then cap it off with the early 2019 metal hammer that is the latest from Gatekeeper.
Continue reading