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

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2019 End of Year List (But Should Have)

Best of 2019

* Hey it’s Thursday!  And it’s more than 9!  What else is new?  I hereby fully (don’t) apologize for the late entry that clearly doesn’t at all conform to the format.  Suck it….

I tried to keep my 2019 End of Year list(s) brief…I really did.  But like last year simply too much happens in the span of 365 days to limit advocating and championing the things one comes to love.  And I’m not talking about the release of records.  I’m speaking to the way we change and grow and mutate with every experience, the way what we hold dear or take comfort in stands as a totem or ward against the hate and pain of a world gone mad, a world that grinds away at our compassion, our love, and our fortitude to stand against it while maintaining the core of who we are.  Continue reading