Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2019

Best of 2019

The Dark Souls franchise may own this title, but Aldia’s got nothing on me.

Last year around this time I made a statement, hoping that I would take it easier on the album listening; however, I also said that it would be for naught, as my 2019 release calendar was looking great and I was so excited about it.

However, life has a way of kicking you in the bollocks. Continue reading

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2019 End of Year List (But Should Have)

Best of 2019

* Hey it’s Thursday!  And it’s more than 9!  What else is new?  I hereby fully (don’t) apologize for the late entry that clearly doesn’t at all conform to the format.  Suck it….

I tried to keep my 2019 End of Year list(s) brief…I really did.  But like last year simply too much happens in the span of 365 days to limit advocating and championing the things one comes to love.  And I’m not talking about the release of records.  I’m speaking to the way we change and grow and mutate with every experience, the way what we hold dear or take comfort in stands as a totem or ward against the hate and pain of a world gone mad, a world that grinds away at our compassion, our love, and our fortitude to stand against it while maintaining the core of who we are.  Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Metal on My Horror Break

Nine Cirlces ov.... October 2019

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here talking about metal.  That’s because I’ve been knee-deep in Blood Red, our annual horror series where I watch a crap-ton of movies and write them up for the Letterboxd Hooptober Marathon.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening to metal – I’ve been trying to keep up with the veritable glut of heavy offerings bestowed upon us so far this Autumn season.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I thought I’d jump in and share nine recent(-ish) releases that have been keeping the blood pumping…as it spurts out a major artery.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.  Continue reading

Initial Descent: May 20, 2016

katatonia band 2016
Photo credit: Ester Segarra

Guys. GUYS. We’ve got less than a week ’til MDF. If I sound like a broken record right now…fuck you, I don’t particularly care. I’m JACKED for this thing.

But until then, we’ve got quite a bit of new metal to hold us over. Like, oh, I don’t know…new Katatonia, for starters? The Swedes are back with album number ten, The Fall of Hearts, which you can bet your asses Mr. Butterworth and I are psyched for. (Check out his review after the jump if you don’t believe me.) We’ve also got a new EP from OSDM worshippers Gruesome — who, oh yeah, will also be all about that MDF life next week. Tons more in the queue, so let’s not waste any more time. Here’s what’s on tap for this week:
Continue reading

Album Review: In Mourning – “Afterglow”

COVER SMALLWhen it comes to reviewing albums, comparisons to past and larger outfits are inevitable –– necessary, even. Likening an album to a more familiar work in the metal genre gives readers a context for what to expect, and if nothing else, lays a general foundation for how to process the elements at work. But occasionally you hit a snag where you don’t just compare a work to another; you get the sneaking suspicion that the lesser album is dwelling in the shadow of the greater one. Sweden’s progressive melodic death/doom outfit In Mourning, now releasing their fourth album, Afterglow, have stepped into some new territory and certainly matured, but for the life of me, I can’t shake comparisons off and feel that it’s still a solid-at-best album dwarfed by its own influences.  Continue reading