Album Review: Vile Creature – “Cast of Static and Smoke”

vile creature cast of static and smoke

While the last few years may have been dominated by talk of just how many great death metal releases we’ve gotten (and who could blame anyone for saying so), looking to the future, I feel that there is a change in the winds coming: 2018 is going to be the year of doom metal.  With releases on the horizon from Fórn, Body Void, and Thou, to say nothing of genre stalwarts like Mournful Congregation, there’s a lot to get excited over in the world of all things slow and heavy.  Setting the tone for all these releases to come, and setting the bar pretty high at that, is Cast of Static and Smoke, the new release from Canadian duo Vile Creature.   Continue reading

Profile: DJ Scully of Forward Thinkers Dead Empires

Dead Empires
Dead Empires

Dead Empires fans are going to be in for a treat with Designed to Disappear, the bands third full length since forming in 2009. Waiting in Waves and Secret Snakes / Silent Serpents were instrumental atom bombs of progressive metal with a strong lean towards the sludge palette. But with the addition of vocalist Jason Sherman (Torrential Downpour) the band takes on a new persona. And it’s one of a heavier ilk, steeped in hardcore and death metal but with the balls to still be able to pull out a reggae jam (“A Summertime Song”) and pop melodies (“Ergot”). The hues painted with this album are some of the deepest the band has mined to date and they pull it off with an ease befitted of only the most seasoned vets in the game. It is an absolute must to experience the feelings encountered throughout Designed to Disappear and it’s nearly impossible to put it down once you’ve made this journey. Just ahead of the album’s release we had the opportunity to ask DJ Scully our set of Profile questions so head inside to see what he had to say. Continue reading

Album Review: Pillärs – “Abandoned”

Pillars - Abandoned

There’s something lurking in the blackened pockets and hidden corners in Ohio.  It’s not a new phenomenon; just look back at the explosion of sounds that came out of the 70s: the no- and new-wave punk anarchy from bands like the Bizarros, the Pagans, and a small band called Devo turned cities like Cleveland and Akron into a hotbed of incredible music.  Although not couched in the same style, Pillärs takes its cue from the same spark that drove the furious creativity of those bands, and in debut album Abandoned craft a pummeling assault of crust-laden noise that provides a righteous soundtrack to the beginning of 2018.   Continue reading

Album Review: Ghastly Sound – “The Bottom” EP

Ghastly Sound - The Bottom

You know that cliche in movies when someone is being approached by a huge, hirsute mean looking dude?  Think Hells Angel stereotype circa Clint Eastwood’s Any Which Way… series in the 80s.  They come stalking up, scowling, menacing score playing in the background…only to then offer to help with the groceries or to expound on some mathematical theory, thus laying on think the adage that you can’t judge a book by a cover?  Case in point Ghastly Sound, and their walloping second EP in the span of a year The Bottom.  Forget what the cover and logo are signaling to you: this is a stellar melange of hardcore, noise, and indie rock that isn’t afraid to mix passionate melodies with bone crunching riffs and waves of killer rock.   Continue reading

Looking Back on the Tracks: Revisiting Chris’s 2017 Anticipated Records

railways tracks

Looking backward, what’s interesting isn’t so much how the albums I selected back in January as part of Nine Circles’ 2017 Metal Forecast held up (or didn’t), but how what I was looking for in music at the beginning of 2017 changed and mutated as the year went from bad to worse, from televised and networked insanity to personal tragedy and a gaze into the abyss that was closer than I had ever anticipated at this point in my life.   Revisiting the three albums that actually came out in 2017 now it’s striking how different the things I first imagined would be the draw fell to the wayside as new priorities and impact points made themselves evident.

We look back, and never see what we expect to, I guess.   Continue reading