Album Review: Oceans of Slumber — “Oceans of Slumber”

Please welcome guest reviewer Didrik Mešiček, who was brought to us by our very own Hera, as he pens his thoughts on this release.

From the American south comes a romantic darkness in the form of Oceans Of Slumber, a thoroughly unique band blending death/doom with progressive metal. The sextet will be releasing their fourth full-length album Oceans of Slumber this week and I’ve been enamored by it ever since receiving it.

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Nine Circles ov…Divebomb Records

tribunal, dive-bomb records

It’s August, which I feel is enough time to start building the argument that one of the releases destined to end up on my 2020 EOY list is a compilation of demos that were originally released in 1990.  One of my “safe places” during this shitstorm that is the current world politic has been retreating to the sounds that made me fall in love with metal, metal that moved beyond the hairspray and whirlwind solos that attracted me in the first place.

With that in mind, I want to focus this edition of Nine Circles ov… on the absolute treasure trove that is Divebomb Records (not to mention parent company Tribunal Records).  The work they’re doing releasing obscure and oftentimes unrecognized early metal gems—not to mention some great packaging when it comes to physical releases—has been exemplary, and the chance to highlight some of the many, many great pieces I’ve found digging through their Bandcamp page is one I couldn’t pass up. Continue reading

Exist’s Max Phelps on new album “Egoiista,” life for the band since their last album, advantages of longer songs, music teaching, Chuck Schuldiner’s lasting legacy, and so much more!

Exist

Baltimore, MD’s Exist have a deep lineage across the metal spectrum and with some of the most heralded bands in history. So it should come as no surprise they’ve made a splash since their mid 2000s debut or that they’ve shared tours with many elite bands. Their first two albums were an encyclopedia of how progressive metal is done and now with their third, Egoiista, ready to roll they, yet again, hold a masterclass in how to stay atop this crowded genre and dive deeper into their own mechanics to make this junior effort their best yet. Continue reading

Album Review: Black Crown Initiate — “Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape”

Black Crown Initiate - Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape

Black Crown Initiate made a splash with Song of the Crippled Bull, an EP that crawled deep into my skin and never left. On Selves We Cannot Forgive, they had struck gold with the balance of death metal and progressive tendencies that many would compare to the sound Gojira explored on Magma, albeit with a more melodic dissonance that made the album a delight to listen to. With this in tow, Black Crown Initiate managed to avoid the second album pitfall and now had a new direction to explore: whether their progressive tendencies could bloom into full technical mastery with an experimental edge. With the release of Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape, Black Crown Initiate has succeeded in this regard, creating an album that shows adept mastery into their craft while also revealing just how deeply emotional they can be. Continue reading

Profile: Denver, Colorado’s Hydraform

Hydraform

No doubt some truly amazing metal has come out of Denver, Colorado over the years and although Hydraform is not a new name from this scene, they are still a young band with one full length and one recently released, self-titled, EP under their belts. Their sound falls comfortably between accessible modern metal and cranial prog which allows them to set deep hooks early then dazzle with intricate technicality and groove. We recently had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions and as you read through their responses you’ll get a feel for where they are coming from and how their influences shape their sound. Be sure to hit the links contained within to show them some support.
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