Initial Descent: March 19 – 25, 2017

Twilight Fauna
Twilight Fauna

The weekend, FINALLY. For those of us who actually have weekends off you know it’s something we look forward to and for those of you that never get a weekend off my heart goes out to you, seriously. Whether you’re off or working or whatever, thank you for stopping by and we have a killer bunch of releases to get to so, shall we? In pole position this week is The Year the Stars Fell from Twilight Fauna and on this release black metal collides with emotional heft, Appalachian themes and astoundingly heavy atmosphere that transcends music in a general sense and goes straight for the heart and mind, give yourself over to this album completely and the reward will be monumental. Next up is Memoriam with For the Fallen and honestly this record gives me chills for a couple reasons: the tie in with Bolt Thrower and just how damn good it is, definitely recommend you seek it out (see below). Carrying on, Pallbearer hits us with Heartless, their third full length, and not only have they matured over their last album but they’ve incorporated progressive rock elements to better balance the mournful melodies the band has become known for — it’s early still but this may well be their best. Last but not least is the absolute skull crushing aggression Sloth Herder lays down on their debut full length No Pity, No Sunrise which combines black metal with grindcore and serves as a nice counterpoint to the albums we’ve already mentioned. And as usual, thats not all so take a deeper dive after the jump. Continue reading

Initial Descent: January 1 – 7, 2017

mordskog
Mordskog

First off, our hearts go out to all those affected by the shooting spree at Fort Lauderdale Airport. This is a senseless and disgusting act that will leave an indelible mark on many survivors. Our thoughts are with you.

Hard to talk or think about much else but we do have several new releases that will avert your mind from atrocities elsewhere. This week we have XIII from Mordskog and its a scathing and ferocious black metal album that will have fans of the second wave cheering, Endless Floods goes the total opposite direction on the droning and ambient doom of II and The Vomiting Dinosaurs blend death, thrash and grindcore in a refreshing and extremely catchy kind of way on Exoplanets. That’s not all, see what else is in store after the jump. Continue reading

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

Album Review: Bearstorm – “Biophobia”

cover

The year is drawing to a close. Winter is laying its hand down, bringing the cold and the end of colors. You’re feeling the lingering physical blech from a flu shot, and all you want is your warmest slippers, a steaming cup of coffee and some familiar music to while away the rest of the day. But then you see this cover and are immediately drawn to the juxtaposition of an album called Biophobia where the cover teems with color and life. The loose definition of “biophobia” is a fear of nature, and if there is anything more terrifying in nature than a literal storm of bears, I can’t imagine it (although I’m sure someone at SyFy is…Copyright!). So kudos to the band Bearstorm for really bringing it in the name department, as well as delivering a strong mix of variety to their brand of progressive black/death metal. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 18 – 24, 2016

Neurosis
Neurosis

Anyone complaining that there hasn’t been a great week for metal thus far in 2016 needs to go immediately and start over, but there won’t be any complaining after this week. Mostly due to Neurosis‘ highly anticipated eleventh full length Fires Within Fires finally seeing the light of day. But that’s not all; Fatalist are back with their insanely good Swedeath saturated The Bitter End, Predatory Light further their black metal chaos on Predatory Light, Trap Them punch you in the mouth with their fifth album Crown Feral while Witchskull breaks out the bluesy doom on The Vast Electric Dark. Switching gears a bit, Dysrhythmia bends time on their progressive instru-metal album The Veil Of Control — let the dissecting begin. And last but not least, Insomnium‘s epic fifth full length Winter’s Gate is a blast. As stated, its another stacked week here on Initial Descent and literally, there’s something for everyone. So hit that ‘continue reading’ link. Continue reading