Initial Descent: March 19 – 25, 2017

Twilight Fauna
Twilight Fauna

The weekend, FINALLY. For those of us who actually have weekends off you know it’s something we look forward to and for those of you that never get a weekend off my heart goes out to you, seriously. Whether you’re off or working or whatever, thank you for stopping by and we have a killer bunch of releases to get to so, shall we? In pole position this week is The Year the Stars Fell from Twilight Fauna and on this release black metal collides with emotional heft, Appalachian themes and astoundingly heavy atmosphere that transcends music in a general sense and goes straight for the heart and mind, give yourself over to this album completely and the reward will be monumental. Next up is Memoriam with For the Fallen and honestly this record gives me chills for a couple reasons: the tie in with Bolt Thrower and just how damn good it is, definitely recommend you seek it out (see below). Carrying on, Pallbearer hits us with Heartless, their third full length, and not only have they matured over their last album but they’ve incorporated progressive rock elements to better balance the mournful melodies the band has become known for — it’s early still but this may well be their best. Last but not least is the absolute skull crushing aggression Sloth Herder lays down on their debut full length No Pity, No Sunrise which combines black metal with grindcore and serves as a nice counterpoint to the albums we’ve already mentioned. And as usual, thats not all so take a deeper dive after the jump. Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Vhöl and Chocolatté Porter

Receiving the Evcharist

Welcome back, readers. Sometimes, when the world gets us down, we look for ways to help others in need to boost our own spirits. I have seen first hand the way the metal community has banded together to help where it counts, and while metal as a whole is far from a utopia, I love that I have surrounded myself with people who are working towards making metal the kind of community it always should have been; one that is inclusive and safe for everyone, one that sticks together, and one that helps pick up those that need it the most. So with this Evcharist, I wanted to try to be the change I wish to see in the world and do what I can to help one of metal’s own, the legendary Mike Scheidt. If I can help someone find great new booze or tunes in the process, so much the better. The Metal: Vhöl’s S/T. The Booze: Evan’s Brewing Company’s Chocolatté Porter.  Continue reading

In the Flesh: Ash Borer, Volahn, and Shataan (January 23, 2017)

ash-borer-show-flyer

The Black Twilight Circle is a name that many familiar with underground black metal hold in high regard, and for good reason. Both the sheer amount of releases and the quality of these releases from the insular Los Angeles based acts brings acclaim from around the world, and to be able to live close enough to catch these various acts often is one of the best things about living in Southern California for me. So when I found out that two of the Circle’s best acts were opening for Ash Borer, an all time favorite of mine, there was no way I could miss out on that experience. Hosted once again at the Complex in Glendale, CA, this night would hold three memorable performances from some of the best black metal bands around.

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Initial Descent: November 27 – December 3, 2016

Ash Borer
Ash Borer

We’ve officially breached December which means Christmas is right around the corner and I assume you’ve gotten your Abbath snow globe? WHAT…no? Do it. A new month and another week of great metal here on Initial Descent. And if you’ve been paying attention we have had almost a years worth of stacked releases each week. Which should make this years round of best of lists very interesting. Anyway, on to this week which has Ash Borer back with the ridiculously good Irrepassable Gate and honestly what this band does with black metal is jaw dropping, Maligner gives us a thrashingly good time on Demon, Obscure Evil is still plying their massive death metal chops on Void Fumes, progressive metallers Arriver bend time and ears on Emeritus, and Flidais fly the flag for power metal on Kazador. If that was all we had it would be a huge week but we have so much more for you to dive into and dissect so hop to it, after the jump. Continue reading

Album Review: Ash Borer – “The Irrepassable Gate”

Ash Borer - The Irrepassable Gate

You’d think being a musician would count for something when it comes to reviewing an album. Listening to a piece of music while simultaneously deciphering the method of its execution would surely provide some deeper insight into the multitude of layers enveloping the latest blackgaze project, or the frenetic syncopations of the current tech death band hitting the scene. Truth be told, it’s more often a hindrance than a help: you get distracted trying to dissect what’s happening instead of just listening, hearing what’s happening and simply committing yourself to the artistic aims of the music. Luckily Ash Borer is here with The Irrepassable Gate to remind us in blistering fashion music is meant to be voraciously consumed, mainlined in hypnotic delusion rather than picked apart and categorized in technique and time signatures. Continue reading