Album Review: Mystras — “Castles Conquered and Reclaimed”

Mystras - Castles Conquered and Reclaimed

It’s been a pretty stellar year for the musician known as Ayloss, aka Spectral Lore, aka Mystras.  As if the monumental split he put out with Mare Cognitum from earlier this year wasn’t good enough, he returns with a new project, a new concept and even more inspired ideas, courtesy of medieval history and its surprising parallels to modern times.  Castles Conquered and Reclaimed is both a love letter to a time long ago and a call to action against the current state of affairs, all wrapped up in soaring melodies, nasty riffs and furious beats. Continue reading

Initial Descent: July 12 – 18, 2020

Väki
Väki

I know you missed me yesterday. Or, was it the new metals? Ah yes, the new metals; that you did indeed miss, more than me. Anywho, as usual, we’re overflowing with good picks so let’s get to it… back in 2017 Finland’s Väki put out a blistering EP of fierce yet cold black metal and with this week’s debut full length they up the ante in almost every aspect—expect utter chaos. The Czech Republic’s Oči Vlka offer up a scathing demo that defies any sort of easy categorization and it’s out on Caligari so you know it’s quality, Battalions continue their sludgy ass-kicking trajectory, and Mystras form of black metal is as fascinating as one might expect coming from Ayloss who you may know from Spectral Lore. So, several winners already and many, many more to follow. Enjoy. Continue reading

Initial Descent: May 17 – 23, 2020

Revenge
Revenge

As of today, my Mortician facemasks have been delivered. Glorious day, folks. Anyway, new metal Monday so let’s do it. Canada’s Revenge have been called a lot of things but extreme and chaotic are among the most pertinent descriptors, and they’re back with a major label debut and if anyone thought that would mean a less striking platter of extreme, those kind of thinkers are dead wrong. Pile of Priests drop their self titled debut which is a stunning display of thinking man’s death metal that has cahones as big as a planet, Chepang doles out punishing grindcore on their sophomore effort that will bring the eardrum pain, and Cosmic Putrefaction offer an all encompassing journey through every imaginable metal arena—kind of an ‘all that and a bag of chips’ sort of deal. So, as I don my fresh Mortician face mask you go and drop some cash on today’s offerings, I’ll be there in a sec. Continue reading

Album Review: Spectral Lore & Mare Cognitum — “Wanderers: The Astrology of the Nine”

Spectral Lore and Mare Cognitum - Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine

Do you like black metal? Concept albums? Sprawling epics created by musicians dedicated to their craft? What about space and the cosmos? Did you spend a period of your life obsessed with Holst’s The Planets? Ever thought that what The Planets needed was a complete re-imagining driven by all of the above? Well then, Mare Cognitum & Spectral Lore have got you covered with Wanderers: The Astrology of the Nine.

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Initial Descent: March 8 – 14, 2020

Smoulder
Smoulder

Ah yes. On time, once again. I know you missed that Monday fix but at least you got it by Friday and what can I say, life you know. Anyway, last week was fairly packed but this week? Ha, PACKED like a huge moving truck with new metals so let’s get to it. Smoulder, who had one of the biggest trad metal hits of last year are back with an EP and it has bonus materials, score. Spectral Lore and Mare Cognitum team up on a fiery foray into astral black metal, Lychgate continue their wicked take on all things extreme, and The Goners put the good time in fuzz fueled doom. As always, much more to follow so crack that can of whoop ass and enjoy. Continue reading