Profile: Chris and Aki of Dystopia A.D.

Dystopia A.D.

Long distance relationships have wildly varied results but the recording of New Jersey’s Dytopia A.D.‘s second outing have yielded pretty much gold in the pantheon of proggy technical death metal. Lead guitarist Aki Shishido recorded his parts from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan while being deployed via the U.S. Army and the results resemble the thunderous sound of war captured in a bottle. The fact that the band employs sax, acoustic guitars, and choirs is not lost on the ambitious and epic feel of Rise of the Merciless, it’s a brawny death metal album with unexpected twists around every corner that works like gangbusters and is, surprisingly, cohesive as hell. Ahead of the album’s release we had the chance to chat with Aki and Chris Whitby via our set of Profile questions so head inside to read all the details and be sure to support them from the links contained within. Continue reading

Album Review: Ulcerate — “Stare Into Death and Be Still”

Ulcerate - Stare Into Death and Be Still

Sometimes you play an album and immediately know that this one is different. I almost didn’t write this review because I wasn’t sure I could even put words to my thoughts and feelings. Despite listening to Stare Into Death and Be Still by Ulcerate more times than I can count in the past weeks, I am left awestruck by this marvel of technical and progressive death metal. Yet even those words seem meaningless in the face of this revelation of heavy music.

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Album Review: Sutrah — “Aletheia”

Sutrah - Aletheia

All too often, technical death metal may feel soulless, as if its impressive technicality lacks a pulse. Similarly, progressive strains of death metal may end up meandering without proper direction, impetus or impact. Both styles strive to push the envelope, but frequently fall short. With a new 4-track EP Aletheia, Sutrah shows how all this is done with resounding success and spectacular results. Continue reading

Best of 2019: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

Best of 2019

No meandering preamble.  Too much of 2019 was utter shit, and music was the salve to my battered and bruised soul.  Last week I touted 19 albums that helped me cope with the personal and global tragedies that the year brought, and this week brings another 15 records that, while not formally ranked all can on a given day act as my #26, or even my #1.  Don’t try to find reason or logic in a list.  Not only is it all subjective, but it’s all subject to change on a dime, on a given moment when the axis spins and tries to buck you off into orbit, and all you can cling to is the fragment of a melody, a riff or a lyric that tethers you to the world, keeps you grounded and ready for another day.

Enough.  Let’s do this.   Continue reading