Best of Q1: Dustin’s List

9_headerThe releases for any genre that come out in the first quarter of a given year are what usually set the precedent for the remaining nine months of music to be consumed. If a bunch of mediocre albums come out, the bar for quality (and expectations) is set low, and listeners won’t expect to be wowed anytime soon. But if solid albums come out within a year’s first quarter, we at least have the anticipation of more solid albums down the pike. As fortune would have it, the first quarter of 2016 has been stacked with great releases from both major label artists and those who are just now crossing our collective radar.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 4, 2016

Inverloch band photo

Another Friday is here — a little lighter than last week’s, to be sure, but some definite highlights all the same. We’ve got Inverloch, we’ve got Wolvserpent, we’ve got a new split from Primitive Man and Northless…you name it. Plenty to satiate yourselves with. So forget about what I’m writing here and get yourselves started. Here’s what’s on tap for Friday, March 4:
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Album Review: Soon – “Vol. 1”

SOON_vol1_cover_rgbThe longer I stick around in heavy metal, the more I find myself asking the question –– and answering it by searching for new bands –– “What happens when you form a heavy band that isn’t necessarily influenced by metal?” This seems like an odd question, but especially in the past decade, we’ve seen all niches of metal move far beyond the confines of the genre, sometimes never really starting in it to begin with. Vol. 1, the debut from Soon, isn’t merely an answer to the posed question –– it’s a declaration that the most compelling heavy music bursts with light and color rather than hues of gray and black. Continue reading