Gonna admit to some bias here — I am a huge fan of Hope Drone and their unique style of blackened post-metal. I’ve been waiting for Void Lustre for longer than I’ve known its name. As soon as I saw the announcement I started hammering on Josh here at Nine Circles to find me the promo. When he delivered, I dropped literally everything I was doing (I was supposed to be finishing the Falls of Rauros review), hit play on the album, and immediately wrote out my stream of consciousness reaction, which forms the basis for this review. Cloak of Ash tore me apart and put me back together broken, and I was sure that it was an album that would be impossible to top. I was wrong.
Mediocrity. The mother of all fails. We’ve all been guilty of it at some point; we get busy and things either fall by the wayside or we do just enough to tick off whatever task is in question. Make it a point to not be mediocre. Kick today, and life, right in the ass and own it. And keeping with that topic, there’s nothing mediocre about this week’s new metal as we’ve got new stuff from enthralling black metallers Necronautical, a major upgrade to the atmospheric post-black metal tag from Hope Drone, Wizard Rifle offers up unclassifiable but grade-A avantgarde metal wizardry, and Witch Vomit mine the cavernous depths of death metal extremely well.
Everything is a madhouse right now. Which is maybe part of the reason I straight up forgot to write up this post last week. Thanks to Josh for covering me. But I’m back, and ready to share more of the good stuff we’ve been listening to on another glorious Saturday morning. We’ve got new tunes from Hope Drone, Coffins, White Ward, The Great Old Ones, Russian Circles, as well as a smattering of some of the best songs from other releases from this year and beyond. There’s even a few electro-pop songs thrown in there by a certain band that I personally feel got a raw treatment from the 2edgy4u hardcore crowd this week. Just my opinion though.
There’s plenty in here for every taste, so grab a seat and your headphones and let’s get down to business.
Hello. It’s me again, your old pal. You’ll have to excuse my absence, I was off having the time of my life at Fire in the Mountains in Wyoming this past weekend. Three straight days of camping, music, revelry, and the most glorious nature I’ve experienced in all my life added up to be one of the best weekends I’ve had in as long as I can remember. More about my experiences there might be coming later on down the line, provided our own Corey Butterworth makes it back from backpacking in the Tetons alive. But if you’re curious as to what my weekend was like, I included some choice cuts from some of my favorite sets in our weekly roundup playlist; it is Saturday after all, and that’s why we’re here. Alongside my own picks are some of the best new tracks that this week has given us, plus just about whatever else floats our collective boat. Tune in, turn the volume up, and get your weekend started right.
Atmospheric black metal is one of those subgenres that should lend itself well to experimentation, exploration, and just more overall creativity. Yet recently, it’s been criticized for failing to do just that. Some may not agree, but one of the primary trends I’ve noticed lately has been the new boundaries black metal has pushed, specifically in an atmospheric sense. From the ambient to the relentless, it seems we’re constantly getting new twists on the style. This time, however, Hope Drone gives us a bit of everything with their debut full length, Cloak of Ash. It covers the full spectrum of the atmospheric black metal universe, making it undoubtedly ambitious. And for the most part, it delivers.