I’ve gone on record before about how I like death metal, both in print and on the Audio Thing™, and I will, until the end of time, stand by my assertion that death metal is best when it beats you senseless about the face and head. Black metal to me is a different story. I think black metal is best when it is at its most elegant and refined. I like black metal that uses old-school influences to inform and build on contemporary pieces to elevate the whole affair to a new level. It’s why I like bands like Saor, Panopticon, Deafheaven, Aara and Falls of Rauros so much. Enter Ruadh and their sophomore release The Rock of the Clyde, which emphasizes the old school in both black metal and cultural influence, while still retaining a sophisticated sound. Continue reading
There’s nothing I can add or say about the events this week on US soil that hasn’t already been said or shouted at the top of devastated lungs…and I’ll leave it at that. I’m, instead, retreating to my happy place; metal. And there’s tons of it to get to here on Initial Descent. Finland’s first doom metal band Spiritus Mortis return from a 7 year absence with an absolute juggernaut of classic heavy metal and jaw dropping doom on The Year Is One, Gloam‘s Hex of Nine Heads receives the long overdue vinyl treatment, Saor offer up a friendly reminder as to why black metal and folk go so well together on Guardians, Hammer King still hold the heavy-power metal flag high on King Is Rising and at a time like this we all could use a pick me up, and In Flames are still riding clean on Battles but sound more like In Flames than they have on their past 4 albums combined, so thats a plus right? Anyway, all that and so much more after the jump.
Occupying a niche somewhere at the cross-section of Warning, Pallbearer, and My Dying Bride, Germany’s Cross Vault left quite the impression on the doom scene with their debut album Spectres of Revocable Loss, released only last year. The trio return this year with their sophomore album The All-Consuming, an album that, despite some flaws, manages to carry listeners into a state of appropriate gloom and anxiety while offering glimpses of light through extensive guitar harmonies and strong songwriting. Continue reading