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

Best of 2018: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

EOY 2018 Header 9C

We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list.  There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work.  But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.”  I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me.  All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far.  I can’t ask for much more than that.  Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.

So let’s dive in and talk about them for a spell. Continue reading

The Be(a)st of 2018 – J’s List

 

EOY 2018 Header 9C

Every year is an interesting trip around the sun.  New music comes and goes like the ebb and flow of time, and some albums hit us harder than others.  2018 for me was a very rich year in metal, yielding tons of great material from all over the heavy landscape.  There was a lot I enjoyed, so sorting the wheat from the chaff for this year has been enjoyable and fairly difficult, which is a testament to all the bands putting out great albums this year.  Below is my top 15 list for this year with a brief explanation with each album as to why I picked them.  Feel the misery (wait, that wasn’t this year?!).  Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Un and Hazy Little Thing

Receiving the Evcharist

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Un’s Sentiment and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Hazy Little Thing IPA.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…High Dynamic Metal

nine circles ov high fidelity metal

Straight talk:  it doesn’t matter how you consume music.  Listen any way you want: use the earbuds that came with your phone, $1,000 studio monitors, a sound bar…whatever.  If you’re enjoying it, you’re doing it right.  I’m not here to tell you you’re doing it wrong.  That being said, there is a certain pleasure to be derived from tweaking and upgrading, searching for the right combination that takes the music you love to the next level, shorting your synapses and inducing a synethetic delight.  So after numerous discussions with our resident Finn and audiohead Zyklonius I slowly began to improve my at-home listening experience.  I invested in a modest pair of planar magnetic headphones and a headphone amp (the ones above, actually: the HIFIMAN HE-400i and the Schiit Magni 3) and took my first steps into the murky world of the metal audiophile.     Continue reading