Album Review: The Wraith – “Gloom Ballet”

The Wraith - Gloom Ballet

Somehow the seedy dive bar you enter is darker than the night outside.  The music throbs, sending out pulses your cerebral cortex can’t process but some older, primordial part of your brain instinctually knows, and understands.  It’s that crux, that convergence of the primal beat that falls partly between the post punk of the early 80s and the tradition of gothic rock and roll, where early Danzig meets The Cult and howl into the moonlight.  Call it whatever you want, “death rock” or otherwise; there’s no mistaking the bleeding heart of influence laid bare on the sleeve of The Wraith.  To have something like Gloom Ballet arrive like a shot so late in the year is like that one drink at said bar that puts you over the edge from wary observation to full-on goon dance, and it’s a marvel to experience. Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 24 – 30, 2019

Sentient Horror
Sentient Horror

Best of lists are flying out like gangbusters and we’ve still got so much good stuff coming out on a weekly basis that WILL be list busters. You doubt this statement yet haven’t looked below to see what’s in store; do that.

Sentient Horror makes the best American Swedeath ever, and with their latest they do that and so much more; it’s like a geographical map of the best death metal wrapped up in one album by some talented musicians – scrumptious. For their sophomore effort, Teeth ratchet up the grind aspect of their death metal and knocks it clear out of the park, The Wraith offer up a debut that’s gotten some serious mileage here at 9C for its combination of gothy deathrock and post-punk, and the band with the most umlauts ever, Öxxö Xööx, return with another epic movement of avantgarde, experimental doom that’s a vehicle for its mastermind’s dreams – don’t be curious here, just get it. In closing, I said there would be list busters and now it’s up to you to find them…Enjoy.
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Album Review: Wolfbrigade – “The Enemy: Reality”

wolfbrigade - the enemy: reality

Anger.  Righteous indignation.  These are the stakes that tether and ground rock and roll to the Earth, roll it in the dirt and filth and muck.  If it can rise from that soup, caked and muddied from battle we call it crust punk.  I’m on pain meds so I have no idea if that metaphor makes any sense but it’s what I think of when I hear Wolfbrigade.  There’s little in the way of pretense or artifice on new album The Enemy: Reality.  Just an unrelenting pursuit of speed and aggression, a hardcore chase of the elusive Kilmister meat and potato savagery.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: May 19 – 25, 2019

Misthryming
Misthryming

Saw Cloak, Withered, and Goatwhore over the weekend. It was ridiculously good. I’m still tired. Alright then, new metal is on tap and plenty of it to go around so let’s do this.

Icelandic black metallers Misthyrming are upon us once again with second full length Algleymi and expect another knockout of an album full of living and breathing personality that is cold, intense, and perfectly temperamental. Next up is a cavalcade of crusty rawness on Hexhammaren, the seventh studio album from Martyrdöd, that comes off feeling larger than anything they’ve done to date – strong words but right around the second track you’ll understand. Steamrolling right along we’ve got New England’s nasty death thrash dealers Rancorous with their second demo Stealth Dominion and if early Slayer and Kreator gets your juices flowing then GET ON THIS. Last up top is debut full length De Val from Dutch black metallers Verwoed and not even their last two EP’s can prepare for this multi layered and heavily atmospheric assault, don’t miss it.

Killer top four and there’s a ton more below. Hop to it. Continue reading