In the Flesh: Ulcerate, Zhrine, and Phobocosm (November 2, 2016)

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Welcome to another edition of In the Flesh, a recap of the best live metal has to offer. On the 2nd of November, I had the extreme pleasure of catching New Zealand’s Ulcerate on the opening date of their Shrines of Paralysis North American tour, featuring support from Montreal’s Phobocosm and Zhrine from Reykjavik, Iceland.  These three bands, from vastly different parts of the world, getting together on one bill was like the stars lining up, and it proved to be one of the most crushingly heavy shows I have seen in recent memory.  Continue reading

Initial Descent: July 29, 2016

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Ghoul release their new album, “Dungeon Bastards” on July 29. (Image courtesy of the band)

It’s Friday! And I’d like to talk about Ghoul for a second. You see, Ghoul are releasing their fifth full-length, Dungeon Bastards, today. The vinyl edition of the album comes with a gatefold jacket that opens into a board game, which they described as follows in the August 2016 edition of Decibel:

“Essentially, it’s a board game in the style of Candyland or the traditional Creepsylvanian game, ‘Ivan Must Escape from the Pederast.’ It can truly be said that when playing this game no one gains anything and there are no winners. The only thing you will gain is a drinking problem, and you will certainly lose friends.”

Welp, sign me the fuck up. If you don’t love this band after reading that, you’re doing it wrong. That’s all there is to it. Anyway, there’s some other stuff out this week, too! Like A.M.S.G. and Ringworm! And also Descendents, even though, okay, they’re not metal. So let’s dig into it. Here’s what’s on tap this week:
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CANTO: Tour dates for Skeletonwitch and Ulcerate, updates from Testament and Ozzy

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“In tortured flesh, your name is called. Inseminate the bornless one. Invisible Gods on planes apart. I thee invoke, oh western star.”

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– Corey

Initial Descent: May 13, 2016

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Ladies. Gentlemen. Friendly reminder that we are now just two short weeks away from Maryland Deathfest. And I’ll be damned if I’ve ever needed that weekend more. Your boy’s gonna get more than a little silly, I can promise you that.

But that’s two weeks from now. For now, it’s only May 13, and that means…actually, that means we’ve got some killer new metal dropping today. We start with Norwegian black ‘n’ rollers Kvelertak, who return with their third album, Nattesferd. (Is “black ‘n’ roll” still an appropriate label for them? Maybe not, but I also can’t think of a more fitting one.) We’ve also got a highly anticipated, single-song EP from Gorguts, a new album from Grand Magus and quite a bit more. So let’s take a look. Here’s what’s on tap for this week:
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Album Review: Phobocosm – “Bringer Of Drought”

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On second full length, Bringer Of Drought, Montreal’s Phobocosm go beyond the impenetrable wall of death metal they displayed on their debut. Choosing instead to mine the depths of despair, anguish and horrific ambience this time out has paid off. However they haven’t torn the wall of sound completely down, rather built it better and thicker than before. It’s an intense listen that will demand many returns to fully take it all in but the journey of discovery is a rewarding one for anyone that is looking for something outside the paint by numbers lines of standard fare death metal. Continue reading