CANTO: Khemmis, Sunn O))), Borknagar, and More!

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Anybody else watch Lords of Chaos yet? Actually… neither have I.

  • Look at Khemmis doing stuff! The Denver doomers have just signed on with Nuclear Blast. Looks like new music and some tours in the works as well. I love these guys, I hope they make lots of money.
  • Sunn O))) have announced some fun Record Store Day happenings. Their next album, Life Metal, will be released on both CD and vinyl come April 13th via indie retail. I guess that’s cool if you don’t want to wait a couple extra days? Not sure what to pull from this news exactly, tbh.
  • So. Borknagar has a new lead vocalist. Who is it you ask? None other than I.C.S. Vortex… who was already doing a lot of vocal stuff anyway? Anyway. Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund has decided to step down, and there seems to be no negative feelings anywhere… So let’s see what happens next!
  •  A music video! “Blood Of The Levant” from Queensrÿche. Casual reminder that The Verdict, is out at the end of the week.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– cmb

Best of 2018: Corey’s List

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Ah, yes. Here we are again. Yet another journey around the sun has given us reason to pause and reflect on how lucky we are to have, almost literally, an indefinite source of music and art to appreciate at any moment in time. In this case, the musical form known as heavy metal. Yes, even in our very defined place in the artistic world, there is an unending wave of inspired music that we endlessly celebrate, together, across the globe. Except… wait, metal internet is basically the worst and ruins everything, doesn’t it? Nevermind. Continue reading

Best of 2018: Josh’s List

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I had a plan in January. The same plan I have every January: to only document the albums that strike a major chord in one way or another. Yet, here we sit in December and I’m debating on at least one or two of my locked list and mourning those who fell off. Don’t take ‘fell off’ as a knock either. It simply means there was no shortage of amazing albums this year and well, I just enjoy the torture of whittling away on my favorites (not).

I’ve spoken at length about how important music is for life in general and how important it is for me as someone that had a finger on the play button for nearly all 8,760 hours that made up this year. EOY lists, I love them – always have and always will. It’s a chance to purge all the best and move on to yet another cycle into the unknown. Fire walk with me through the albums that hit home the hardest… Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 17 – 23, 2018

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Khemmis – photo courtesy of Alvino Salcedo

With our fearless editor still banking massive quantities of cocktails on an undisclosed beach I am once again taking keyboard in hand to deliver your weekly dose of Initial Descent.  And there’s some killer tunes arriving on the solar wings of Summer, so let’s get to it.

Khemmis return with their particular blend of melodic doom with Desolation, and it doubles down on everything that worked on their previous albums, but with a slight tweak to engage a classic hard rock vibe. And hey, how about those harsh vocals?  If you’re into black metal then the rest of this paragraph is going to make you very, very happy because first off Unsettling Whispers, the debut LP from Gaerea is a gorgeous dark and brooding example of atmospheric black metal you just might be hearing a lot more about on an upcoming episode of the Nine Circles Audio Thing.  Next up Anicon return with Entropy Mantra, and I make no excuses: these guys have completely keyed into my love of modernizing traditional black metal since their Aphasia EP back in 2015.  The new album just rips with great drumming and blistering guitar lines.  Finally, Sweden’s Craft are back after seven long years with White Noise and Black Metal, and it’s a clarion call to all the crusty, old school black metal you love with just a hint of progression to show you these veterans can take the face off anyone around nowadays.

And that’s just a taste of what came out this week, so check out the list below and let us know in the comments what’s been whispering evil things to you in the dark.   Continue reading

Album Review: Khemmis – “Desolation”

Khemmis - Desolation

Denver’s Khemmis took the fast lane to acclaim on debut Absolution and quickly followed it with the ante-upper Hunted and now return with Desolation which will catapult the band into a stratosphere they’ve yet to see. And it should because it’s THAT good. Take everything that made those first two a success, split it, mix it, swirl it and make it, for lack of a better word, better and you have this album. Weird right? Not really, since in my opinion bands with any salt at all will do their best to better themselves and their craft. Khemmis are hungry and it shows time and again. Here they’ve topped themselves but more than that have truly entered the all exclusive hall of heavy metal legends and with three albums of top quality I can’t see this stopping anytime soon. Continue reading