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

Album Review: Big|Brave – “A Gaze Among Them”

big brave - a gaze among them

It is a fairly common experience for people (read: me) getting into meditation for the first time to experience difficulty in quieting one’s mind. Repeating mantras over and over can sometimes be helpful , because that repetition gives the conscious mind a concrete task to focus on, which frees up the rest of the person. The language used can change based on the tradition it’s found in of course, but the idea of using repetition to lower defenses and experience something wonderful is all I have been able to think about as I continue to sit with Big|Brave‘s new album, A Gaze Among Them.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 21 – 27, 2019

Lord Dying
Lord Dying – photo courtesy of Alyssa Herrman

New week, new set of circumstances, new opportunities, and new metal which is the one reason we’re here. As some band once said ‘nothing else matters.’ And with that, let’s get on with it.

This week will be remembered for many reasons, I’m sure, but the biggest of which is whatever you thought you knew about Lord Dying forget it and make way for their new, more progressive, more classically psychedelic, and more fantastic look on Mysterium Tremendum – talk about surprises, it’s nearly impossible to tell this is the same band but make no mistake, it IS amazing. Then we’ve got black metallers Murg who moved mountains with their debut Gudatall but return to grab the sky and move it too on Strävan, it’s everything that was great about their debut, just better and particularly so in the memorable songwriting department. Next is everyone’s favorite droners Sunn O))) (say it with me…sun) who return with another slab of frequencies on Life Metal that are so heavy you can feel them, or breathe them – points if you know where that came from and if you missed out on RSD, now’s your chance. Last up top but certainly not least is Spotlights who prove that post-metal as a tag is limiting seeing as how Love & Decay is so much more with its power, haunting melodies, and wisps of granite destroying heaviness – ‘iron tone in a velvet glove’ was part of the promo accompaniments and it couldn’t be more accurate.

Beyond that you’ll just have to explore for yourself. Get in there… Continue reading

Josh Thieler’s Favorite Records of 2018

36872013_1857075977647957_437081311132254208_n

2018 has been quite the year. It was a roller coaster personally, nationally, globally, and in the realm of metal. There are people that I loved that are gone now. There are people who are gone that I should have loved more. I failed a lot of people. I’ve struggled in so many ways. If you are curious about that, just listen to the last Slaves BC record or read any interviews I did during that release cycle. I got fatter, fitter, quit smoking, joined five or six more bands, did artwork for some bands, did PR for some others, and spent a lot (but never enough) of time with my wonderful wife and animals.

Anyway, I listened to a ton of music again in 2018. I didn’t get a chance to talk about any of it very much, but I listened to a ton. 2018 was another fantastic year for metal/hardcore/whatever. I’ve been altering this list for months and I had a real hard time narrowing it down as much as I did. Just like last year, I have compiled my favorite 50 full length metal/hardcore records, favorite 10 non-metal records, and my top 10 favorite EP’s/singles/etc.

I made this playlist with one track from each of the records that are on Spotify for you to listen to a sampling of everything below. Thank you for checking this out and here’s to a better 2019!

Continue reading