Initial Descent: September 23 – 29, 2018

Hexripper

Blasting into this week with a movie that if you’re a horror fan, is an absolute must: Mandy. You may have heard the hubbub over this thing but I’m here to tell you said hubbub is on point. I won’t spoil it but Nicolas Cage is a beast and there’s a nod to Celtic Frost. Grab it on your favorite VOD platform and get ready to come unhinged. Now, for what you came for: new metal and there’s a heaping platter of it this week so let’s jump in the fire…

Opening this week’s festivities is an album that dropped late last week but I’m including it here because it blew me away with its ferocious nod to the kings of heavy metal but one that we, as heavy metal fans, desperately need to remind us that staying grounded to our roots is extremely important so go immediately and grab a copy of Hexripper’s Demo 2018 – I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun with five songs or the last time I felt such a joyous rush of nostalgia. Next up is Bonehunter with their third full length Children of the Atom and if speed metal laced with black and punk interests you then this is a no-brainer – kick the tires and light the fires folks, the band certainly did here. Ambient black metallers From the Bogs of Aughiska grace us with quite possibly their best, darkest and harshest effort yet with Mineral Bearing Veins which still has my jaw planted firmly on the floor, just sayin’. Closing out these top four with a bang is Valdrin who return with their second full length of occult mythology by way of blackened death metal, Two Carrion Talismans.

So, there’s a peek but this list is longer than we’ve had in recent weeks and all we got is time – I mean, what else are you going to do on a Monday that’s better than this?! Get in there and click those links. Continue reading

Album Review: Cemetery Urn – “Barbaric Retribution”

Cemetery Urn - Barbaric Retribution

I come to you now with this confession, fully cognizant of the fact it may strip away what little metal cred I may’ve curried while writing for this website: I don’t really like Incantation.  I’ve tried, gone back and forth through their catalog and the most I’ve been able to muster is a half-hearted appreciation for Vanquish in Vengeance.  So it’s a doubly odd thing when I tell you that Barabaric Retribution, the latest from Australia’s Cemetery Urn – a band whose foundation lays within the muddy filth-ridden death metal Incantation calls home – not only got me to stand up and take notice, but revels in its muck in a way the former band never really got across to my ears.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: August 12 – 18, 2018

Trappist
Trappist – photo courtesy of Paul Lee

We are in the throes of a new week, like it or not. No need to get all bent out of the frame though, Monday means it’s time for new metal and for another week of showcasing some of it. Plus we’re on the downhill slide of the year and if the first half was any indication, the second half should be a knockout finish. Speaking of, we begin the week with a four pack of treats. Carry on…

We like beer and so does Trappist, who in the span of 21 tracks in 33 minutes, rip with crusty d-beat violence on their debut Ancient Brewing Tactics all in the name of almighty beer. It’s a supercharged juggernaut slam full of all star guests so make sure to check this one out – they’ve also included some pairings, nice guys. Just in time to extinguish the light from everything are two beasts of blackened doom and noise; Primitive Man and Unearthly Trance offer up a Split release that will leave indelible marks on any and all souls who dare to listen (over the top? nah). Black Tusk return with an all-guns-blazing attack of swampheavypunkmetal on T.C.B.T. and Cemetery Urn continue their reign of savage death metal on Barbaric Retribution.

As usual, we are far from done with what this week has to offer so head directly below to get your fill. Continue reading

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