Initial Descent: October 15 – 21, 2017

Hallatar
Hallatar

As we edge closer to the end of the year the trend in long lists of new releases continues. But one thing that has remained consistent is the quality, for the most part, of these releases week to week. This week is no different here on Initial Descent and expect this trend to continue in the coming weeks. Leading us off is the emotionally stirring debut No Stars Upon the Bridge from atmospheric doom metallers Hallatar, many names you’ll recognize from this group: Amorphis, Trees of Eternity and HIM so be sure to check this one out. Next up is Amenra who continue their very distinct vision of sonic depth, dark spirituality and uncompromising heaviness on Mass VI and again, do not miss it. Moving right along is the debut Teneral from NY’s Pyrolatrous who very successfully combine black and death metal in a unique way. Finishing up the top spots this week is the doom duo Bell Witch with their mammoth one-song opus Mirror Reaper and they actually pull it off. One-song albums are a bit of a chance to say the least but also a marathon if there’s not enough substance but that’s not the case here, grab some popcorn and dig in. Like I said, the quality is already apparent but it also lies in the quantity that follows so stick around and enjoy it. Continue reading

Album Review: Bell Witch – “Mirror Reaper”

Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

Let us be clear, here at the outset:  if there’s an ounce of honesty to be had when writing reviews, it’s in the unspoken (and often masked) understanding that all of us come to an album differently and subjectively.  Whether my take of an album follows an imaginary herd of writers or not doesn’t matter, nor should it. What should matter is the implicit agreement between you and I – or any writer, for that matter – that what we’re telling you comes from our own experiences coming into the record, listening  to it, and digesting its intent.  I emphasize this because my experience with Mirror Reaper, the new massive single track album by Bell Witch is entirely colored by the time and manner in which I took the album in.

And in that specific set of experiences the album charted a course of darkness allowing me to work through fears and pain and come to a place of peace and acceptance.  It’s a powerful work singular in intent and circumstance, and a signpost in the band’s evolution.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 11 – 17, 2017

cavernlight band shot
Cavernlight
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages…wait, this ain’t no circus. This is metal. And we have plenty of it to sift through today on Initial Descent. Over the top? Meh, just do it already. Leading off is Cavernlight‘s debut full length As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream and don’t let that long title throw you, this is an album heavy on doom metal with chunks of noise and black metal expertly woven in to create a massive sound befitting of the long title. Next up are the “wall of death metal” masters Impetuous Ritual with their latest effort Blight Upon Martyred Sentience and trust me when I say: this band has done the impossible and not only bettered their previous outings but made it sound all the more dangerous yet crystal clear — a masterwork of avantgarde death metal. Moving along are the 27 year veterans Aposento with their second full length Bleed to Death and if you’re looking for death metal that’s in strict adherence to the old ways then this is it, highly recommended. Rolling on, if I were to tell you there’s an album out this week that blisters and bubbles in it’s heavy metal sincerity would you believe me? Rhetorical question, there is and it’s Iced Earth with Incorruptible — if you know then good, if not go find out. Not quite last but filling out the top slots is Tombs with The Grand Annihilation and having spent the better part of the last two days with this thing I can safely say this is one of, if not, the best album this band has done to date. Strong words indeed but the heavier lean on black metal combined with their trademark bruising is amazing. Don’t stop there as there is soooo much more to get to, after the jump. Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 30 – May 6, 2017

Full_of_Hell_portrait-2
Full of Hell

This was a weird week. Maybe I’m on my own in this opinion but it seems like the general population has lost their minds all of a sudden or been hijacked by aliens. On the road, walking down the street, ordering food, you name it, NO ONE pays attention anymore and it’s as annoying as twenty ass pimples, all at once. Ok, that’s out of my system but you came for new metal and we have plenty of it this week. Full of Hell kicks things off this week with a scorching statement on Trumpeting Ecstacy and to put it simple, this album is full of awesome (nope, couldn’t help myself). Next up is Exuvia from The Ruins of Beverast and while it is another amalgamation of black metal and doom the band continues their experimental touch and come away with another triumph of an album. Moving along, Drug Honkey offers up their wickedly nasty gutter death on Cloak of Skies, I’ve never been a junkie but this could be a fitting soundtrack to a trip. And Snares of Sixes get all proggy/avant-garde on us with their genre bending debut EP Yeast Mother: An Electroacoustic Mass. With that, the opening four are down and you know the drill, dive in below for tons more metal. Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 16 – 22, 2017

Casket Huffer
Casket Huffer

Ok so, current events happened — blah, blah. No time to waste this week as we have a TON of new metal to get into so waste not here we go: Casket Huffer rule the week with a limited vinyl and digital release of their absolutely sick death metal debut Gospels of Scum. There’s no amount of words I can say here to convince you to pick this up but trust me when I say you NEED this album in your life, period. Next up is Artificial Brain with Infrared Horizon and honestly this is a mindf**k of a technical death metal (not tech death) album but in the best of ways so DO check it out, you’ll be glad you did. Moving on, everyone’s favorite Finns Foreseen return with their second full length Grave Danger and if you loved Helsinki Savagery (most of you did) then you will feel the same about this thrashtastic album, jump on it. Rounding out the opening slots is Night Demon with their second full length of wickedly good and classically tinged heavy metal, Darkness Remains — yes it is every bit as good as their debut and yes it is every bit as catchy, pick it up for the sake of all things metal. There you have it with the opening salvo but I did say there is a TON to wade through so get cracking, right after the jump.

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