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 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

Rainbows in the Dark: Ulvesang – “The Hunt”

Ulvesang - The Hunt

Welcome back to Rainbows in the Dark, our section devoted to covering all that which lies adjacent to or outside the realm of heavy metal.  Today, I’m extremely excited to bring you my thoughts on an album that has been captivating me for weeks now: Ulvesang‘s The Hunt, a brilliant and moving work of dark folk music. Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 11 – 17, 2018

Slaves BC
Slaves BC

Lots of things happening this month: March Madness, warmer weather (sort of) and the time change. So if you’re into any of that, have at it. Around here, new metal is what’s happening and if you came here looking for it you’re definitely in luck. Long list ahead so let’s get to it — first up is the absolutely vicious yet cuttingly personal black/death of Lo and I am Burning from Slaves BC. As you are all aware (or not) Josh Thieler writes for us from time to time and we love him dearly but that has nothing to do with top billing this week, this band has grown exponentially and have put their best foot forward here. Next up is Where Owls Know My Name by Rivers of Nihil and this is another album where a band has put their best foot forward, technical death metal that bleeds forward thinking and rules. Moving along is the extremely soothing dark folk of Ulvesang on The Hunt, this is the one you need while contemplating life or just trying to get through it — perfect soundtrack. Closing out the top slots this week is the EP Question from the Mexican quartet of the same name Question, this thing is ultra-aggressive, extreme and with four tracks it steamrolls the senses in the best way possible. Plenty of fodder already for end of year thoughts but there’s much more to get to. Stick around and bask in the rest… Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 9 – 15, 2017

Craven Idol
Craven Idol

Well, we’ve made it to the eve of Easter. For you youngsters out there be mindful of time as it happens and seize the moment, you will get older and time will fly by so fast you’ll miss everything. Speaking of seizing the moment, there’s tons of great metal to enjoy this week so let’s get to it. Craven Idol lead us off with their second full length of blackened thrash, The Shackles of Mammon — full review and interview links are moments away and worth every second of your time to investigate. Next up is Vaiya with their mesmerizing take on atmospheric black metal and first proper full length Remnant Light. Moving on, Buckshot Facelift melt ears, faces and everything else within hearing distance with their heady mix of death metal, grindcore and powerviolence on Ulcer Island. Hexis show us how blackened hardcore violence is properly put to tape on Tando Ashanti, and old school thrashers Blood Feast are back with their first release in 28 years, The Future State of Wicked, and honestly you have no idea how much you’ve missed them until you hit play on this wicked good album, get it — trust me. As usual there’s much more in store to take up all your time so feel free to stay as long as you like and sample everything there is to offer, after the jump. Continue reading