Initial Descent: April 28 – May 4, 2019

Appalling

Monday. I got nothing. Well, I take that back – I’ve got new metal and lots of it so let’s focus on that…

Up first is a twofer of outstanding death metal. Appalling have a way about them that screams old school death yet sounds forward enough in their brash mix of blackened, thrashened (two in a row, fight me) death and not to mention their outstanding ability to write a killer song so give Inverted Realm a spin at max volume. Once that one’s done take a stroll through another album with incredibly memorable songwriting and death metal thick enough that even a chainsaw couldn’t cut through it, Parasitic Slavery from Body Harvest is one you’ll not want to miss. Kampfar has been around for nearly 25 years and still manage to put out some of the darkest black metal going today and on Ofidians Manifest they do it darker and better than ever. Last but not least is Mavradoxa on their melodic leaning atmospheric black metal filled Nightmarrow which is a beast on several levels and stay tuned for an in depth look at this one in the coming days.

See, I actually did have something. Here. Not elsewhere. Not today. Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 21 – 27, 2019

Lord Dying
Lord Dying – photo courtesy of Alyssa Herrman

New week, new set of circumstances, new opportunities, and new metal which is the one reason we’re here. As some band once said ‘nothing else matters.’ And with that, let’s get on with it.

This week will be remembered for many reasons, I’m sure, but the biggest of which is whatever you thought you knew about Lord Dying forget it and make way for their new, more progressive, more classically psychedelic, and more fantastic look on Mysterium Tremendum – talk about surprises, it’s nearly impossible to tell this is the same band but make no mistake, it IS amazing. Then we’ve got black metallers Murg who moved mountains with their debut Gudatall but return to grab the sky and move it too on Strävan, it’s everything that was great about their debut, just better and particularly so in the memorable songwriting department. Next is everyone’s favorite droners Sunn O))) (say it with me…sun) who return with another slab of frequencies on Life Metal that are so heavy you can feel them, or breathe them – points if you know where that came from and if you missed out on RSD, now’s your chance. Last up top but certainly not least is Spotlights who prove that post-metal as a tag is limiting seeing as how Love & Decay is so much more with its power, haunting melodies, and wisps of granite destroying heaviness – ‘iron tone in a velvet glove’ was part of the promo accompaniments and it couldn’t be more accurate.

Beyond that you’ll just have to explore for yourself. Get in there… Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 14 – 20, 2019

Dead To A Dying World
Dead To A Dying World – photo courtesy of Kathleen Kennedy

Didn’t we just do this? Just confirmed and it has indeed been a week. Anyway, much metals to tend to this week and since I can’t manage to figure out where the hell a week went let’s just get to it.

You know, I haven’t had an album completely captivate me as much as Dead To A Dying World’s third full length Elegy has, it’s like listening to GY!BE In one ear and blackened doom in the other but as the minutes tick off it transports your mind to some decaying world that’s all too familiar. And that production, hoooo boy – get this in your ears. Moving on to a pair of albums that excite and charge me; the first is Mork’s Det Svarte Juv which brings the early Norwegian black metal strain roaring back to life in a way that is as cold and chaotic as it is warm and vibrant, yea I know that may be impossible to understand but once you hear it, you will. The second of these is Finnish black metal vets Förgjord who lay down a viciously scalding 41 minutes on their fourth effort Ilmestykset – why do these excite me? Mostly due to this pair being what I want to hear when I want to hear black metal, period. All this leads us to Allegaeon’s fifth outing of technically busy, progressively minded, melodically leaning, and best may I add, Apoptosis. They shed some of their shell here but add so much more depth, Charles has the run down so click the full review link when you get there.

So much more to go and I’m just surprised another week hasn’t gone by already… Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 7 – 13, 2019

Inter Arma
Inter Arma

I was in a bus full of 50 screaming kids over the weekend so EXCUUUSE me for blasting all this week’s metal and downing all the cabinet bourbon. What’s up this week? Plenty, so read on good readers…

First up is Inter Arma who have seemingly found that elusive door to hell on Sulphur English. Seriously, between the nihilistic doom and devilish chants you’d think ol’ Beezlebub himself might have tracked this thing straight from his lair. Next up is black metal juggernauts Waldgeflüster who get weirdly chanty and folky on Mondscheinsonaten but it really is another outstanding notch in the belt of a band that has made their name residing outside the normal lines of black metal. Moving right along, NJ’s Hath capitalizes on the promise of their last EP with the insane death metal full length Champ du Sang, expect these guys to be large and in charge based on this. And, rounding out the top slots is Vous Autres who saw some action in a recent feature of ours (link contained below) but now offer Champ du Sang on physical format so there’s no excuse not to pick up this beast of blackened sludge, trust me (and Zyklonius) here: it rules and hard.

Get in there and get some. Plenty of good stuff this week so no excuses. Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 31 – April 6, 2019

Mord 'A' Stigmata

With seemingly ALL the good stuff hitting the inbox on a daily basis it’s getting harder and harder to pick the top slots. Which means we’re having a stellar year so far, hard to argue with that. But, please argue or tell me I’m wrong. That’s the way now, right? Whatever. 2019 is shaping up damn nicely and it’s just April. Read on, there’s a lot to get to.

Poland’s Mord ‘A’ Stigmata have a tough hill to climb after 2017’s Hope and this year’s hit comes in the form of Dreams Of Quiet Places which finds the band experimenting with synths and solitude but make no mistake, black metal is still the backbone and this band still rules. Next up is the anomaly called Waste of Space Orchestra comprised of heavy hitters (look them up) that teamed up for the psych metal / mind-bending / thought provoking Syntheosis which is as epic in music as it is in scope and themes, go and experience this. Moving along, if you’re a fan of Zimmers Hole you will be a fan of West of Hell (if you’re not already) and on Blood of the Infidel Chris Valagao’s voice is still a metal treasure and the thrashing good time just doesn’t quit. Can’t let this one end without giving a shout out to Periphery who pretty much fly a middle finger to all the broisms of metal on Periphery IV: Hail Stan – try to look at that and not see Satan. But more than that, this is their heaviest release to date while still clutching the grandiose feel of Coheed & Cambria.

Enter below and enjoy all that is this week. And, do feel free to comment with all the “2019 blows thus far” or “what are you smoking” and I’ll be over here cranking the likes of Moon Tooth, Venom Prison, Mastiff, WOORMS, so on and so forth, so loud that I can’t hear your whining. Continue reading