Album Review: Mavradoxa – “Nightmarrow”

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No one on Earth has ever said, “You know what we need more of?  Melodic, atmospheric black metal.”  And yet, here we are with Mavradoxa, nailing that melodic mid-paced black metal to the bone on third album Nightmarrow and you know what?  I dig it.  I dig it quite a bit.  More than just another band hitting the same notes as everyone else, there’s a strong melodic bent and a tendency to shy away from more overt black metal moments to craft something that feels melancholic and personal, with a strong sense of place owing to their upstate New York region.  I can do with more music like this. Continue reading

Initial Descent: February 12 – 18, 2017

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Frowning’s Val Atra Niteris

Another week and another mass of new metal here on Initial Descent. Did you make it through Valentines ok? Well, if you did or if you didn’t we have a home for you here with tons of new and exciting stuff to dig into so lets get right to it. Funeral doom titans Frowning offer up their second full length of phenomenally executed grief on Extinct, Sunlight’s Bane go straight for the jugular on their utterly terrifying blackened grind debut The Blackest Volume: Like All the Earth Was Buried, Obitus go long with a single track but go heavy on relentlessly vicious black metal on Slaves of the Vast Machine and Stinking Lizaveta continue their adventurous journey through instrumental compositions of doom, stoner, rock and many other genres on Journey To the UnderworldAs usual that’s just the tip of the iceberg so dive in as there’s so much great stuff to get into this week and spoiler alert: the sheer amount of quality is going to get ridiculous from here on out. Ready, set, go… Continue reading

Album Review: Obitus – “Slaves of the Vast Machine”

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Cries of being part of the machine have been the fodder of rock and roll for decades. For Pink Floyd it was the conformity stamping music industry that prompted their 1975 classic “Welcome to the Machine.” Hell, even Sebastian Bach lamented “I gotta punch the clock that leads the blind / I’m just another gear in the assembly line-oh no” on Skid Row’s 1991 Slave to the Grind. We’ve all felt that wearing down of the rough edges, whether it’s due to the corporate machine, the political machine…even the family machine. The crushing weight of authoritarianism and idealogical control has been acutely present these last few months, and it’s an oppressive weight Swedish black metal duo Obitus channel with a clinical fury on their latest release, Slaves of the Vast Machine.   Continue reading

Sepulchral Saturday: Atten Ash – “The Hourglass”

attenash_thehourglassI’m not one to fawn over things unless they are worthy of praise. As PR cycles for bands and releases get more aggressive and fast-paced, it’s inevitable that some great releases fall by the wayside only to be unearthed after some time passes and the dust has settled. (For non-writer folks, that means after the carnival that is EOY lists.) Thanks to Metal Bandcamp Gift Club, Atten Ash‘s absolutely stellar melodic death/doom displayed on The Hourglass won me over very quickly and is worthy of all the accolades I can throw at it. The whole point of Sepulchral Saturday is to cover things that were we missed, and this certainly fits –– it originally saw release in 2012 and was brought back to the light after Hypnotic Dirge Records did a physical release last February. I’m so behind.  Continue reading

Single Review: Lycanthia / Atten Ash [split 7″]

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To hold us over until their new full-lengths arrive, doom duo Lycanthia and Atten Ash whetted our appetites with a brand new, split-7″ vinyl single earlier this week. Sydney’s Lycanthia tease us with a new track called “The Harbinger,” while North Carolina natives Atten Ash give us “City in the Sea.” The split makes perfect sense; each group adds its own unique touches, but both end up falling into a broad, melodic death-doom sound. And they both do it pretty well.

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