Initial Descent: January 14 – 20, 2018

Labyrinth Entrance
Labyrinth Entrance

If you’ve been missing the weeks of double digit releases to dig into, the metal gods have shined upon you. Too bad release date didn’t come earlier in the week when those of us on the east coast were getting hammered with snow and needed a mountain of music to use as a warm blanket. But, it’s here now and leading us off is Poland’s Labyrinth Entrance with their black metal, by way of doom and heavy metal, debut Monumental Bitterness, Druid Lord offer up their horrifically eerie death / doom mixture on Grotesque Offerings, Mammüth scratch that Mastodon / COC / sludgy, stoner metal vibe on their second full length Outlander and Texas based Witchcryer gloriously throwback to the days of classic doom and heavy rock on Cry Witch. And with that, it’s been a strong start to this week’s offerings but like I said before, new albums are bountiful so hang in there. We’ve much to explore.

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Album Review: Druid Lord – “Grotesque Offerings”

Druid Lord - Grotesque Offerings

Dear death/doom,

I get it.  You’re supposed to have fast and slow moments.  It’s right there in the name.  So please understand I have nothing personal against the touchpoints that signify you as a sub genre of that great and glorious noise we call metal.  It’s just that…well, I need both those facets to be interesting within the context of the song.  And in the case of  Grotesque Offerings, the long awaited full length followup by Druid Lord, while I really dig the “death” (aka the fast and angry bits), the “doom” (aka the tedious boring bits) leave more than a little to be desired.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: December 10 – 16, 2017

midnight 2017
Midnight

We’re another week closer to slamming the book on 2017 and we do hope you’ve been enjoying list season thus far. For what it’s worth, we certainly have been and our staff lists will start rolling out in the coming days so stay tuned. But for now it’s another jam packed week of metal and the quantity here squashes any thoughts of new releases slowing just because it’s December. Leading us off this week is the metal / punk / let the good times roll Midnight on Sweet Death and Ecstasy. This band just continues to rule and have always reminded of the era when rock n’ roll was considered dangerous and an instrument of Satan himself — this album amps up that feeling and is one hell of great time. Next up is Ghastly Sound with their second EP of the year, The Bottom — think 90s hard rock mixed with death, sludge and stoner metal but with a killer singer. Moving on, the mechanized and industrious black metal attack of Iperyt‘s The Patchwork Gehinnom reminds us that industrial and black metal do indeed make the perfect pair. Rounding out the opening slots is Deathmarch‘s Dismember EP and in case the chainsaw on the cover doesn’t give it away, it’s full of gnarly death metal that will appease even the most hardened death metal fan. What’s next? You know the drill, get in there and explore. Continue reading

Album Review: Bonehunter – “Sexual Panic Human Machine”

Bonehunter - Sexual Panic Human Machine

Albums like Bonehunter‘s second full length, Sexual Panic Human Machine, stand to remind us all that amidst the cvltness and overall frontin’ that we have to endure across all platforms in life, metal can be wicked, wicked fun. Yea, I said it — fun. When you need that soundtrack to general stupidness or just something to help keep a saddened state at bay this kind of metalpunk/thrash is the perfect fit. Even if the album art is a bit…out there, I mean aliens hysterical over a bear dude’s schlong. But, it fits with the overall no f’s given attitude so why not?!  Continue reading

Initial Descent: July 2 – 8, 2017

skyeater
Skyeater

All of a sudden it’s July. Half the year gone and I don’t know where it went but alas we have a full plate of metal for you this week here on Initial Descent. And I offer you a challenge: pick one or two of these and really give them a listen, I mean REALLY concentrate and not only hear it but feel it. No better place to start than with the jaw dropping black metal/atmospheric doom debut, The Maw of Time, from Skyeater. Next up is NZ’s Heresiarch with their war torn blackened death metal on Death OrdinanceInvocation Spells return with their third full length, The Flame of Hatewhich finds them further refining their black metal/thrash attack and it’s a barnburner, closing out the top slots is the part cinematic score and part new album from MelvinsA Walk With Love & Death, and while it’s true their discography is deep there’s no better time to climb onboard than now — so do that. Read beyond these four to find much more to sink your teeth into and don’t forget about the challenge, feel free to report back on your findings. Continue reading