Concert Review: Maryland Deathfest XV, Part Four

maryland deathfest xv

[click here for part one]  [click here for part two]  [click here for part three]

As I hit the “Publish” button on this post, it’s a little less than three weeks since Maryland Deathfest wrapped up its 15th edition down in Baltimore. I’d like to tell you that the delay’s been down to me “just processing it all” or “trying to find the right words” or some shit, but let’s be real, I’ve just been busy with other things. However, the timing of my posts should not be construed as a lack of enthusiasm for this year’s fest. In fact, I’ve been quite jazzed about my experience in the time since it all wrapped up. But more on that later; for now, let’s jump into the final recap and see how Sunday closed things out… Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 22, 2016

Goddammit. This is the first time in I don’t know how long that I actually get to write this post the Thursday evening before it runs, rather than hastily cobbling it together the morning of. And I can’t even feel happy about that because we lost Prince today and all I wanna do is listen to Purple Rain and Sign O’ The Times. Is there metal coming out this week? I don’t even know anymore.

Okay, that’s a lie. There’s some. Aborted has a new album out. There’s also some hip-hop being released on a metal label —otherwise known as Dälek‘s new album, Asphalt for Eden, which is coming out on Profound Lore. So dive on in and take a look. Here’s what’s on tap for Friday, April 22:
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Album Review: October Tide – “Winged Waltz”

Winged Waltz Cover SmallFor the longest time, the elephant in the room with Sweden’s harbingers of doom and gloom October Tide was that their identity as “the other band that guys from Katatonia play in” was hard to shake. Their first two albums were important for the melodic death/doom scene at its peak in the 90s, but it was hard to envision them as anything beyond Dance of December Souls 2.0 or Brave Murder Day Redux. It was only with 2010’s A Thin Shell that they came into their own identity, and 2013’s Tunnel of No Light, while still a good death/doom album that showed mature and tasteful songwriting, didn’t hold up much against bands like Daylight Dies. Their newest, Winged Waltz, however, is a very strong album that demonstrates the band’s growth in identity, songwriting, and band chemistry.  Continue reading

Sepulchral Saturday: Atten Ash – “The Hourglass”

attenash_thehourglassI’m not one to fawn over things unless they are worthy of praise. As PR cycles for bands and releases get more aggressive and fast-paced, it’s inevitable that some great releases fall by the wayside only to be unearthed after some time passes and the dust has settled. (For non-writer folks, that means after the carnival that is EOY lists.) Thanks to Metal Bandcamp Gift Club, Atten Ash‘s absolutely stellar melodic death/doom displayed on The Hourglass won me over very quickly and is worthy of all the accolades I can throw at it. The whole point of Sepulchral Saturday is to cover things that were we missed, and this certainly fits –– it originally saw release in 2012 and was brought back to the light after Hypnotic Dirge Records did a physical release last February. I’m so behind.  Continue reading