Album Review: MONO — “Pilgrimage of the Soul”

Well, this was *supposed* to be a Rainbows that went up two days ago, but, you know, life and stuff.  Still, I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t move things around to make time to talk about another notch in the belt of 2021 being one of the best years for post-rock in recent memory.  But then again, you probably already had an idea that a new MONO album was going to be good.  Anybody who wasn’t expecting that has probably never listened to MONO, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere and Pilgrimage of the Soul is as good as anything they have ever done, which is to say it is utterly astonishing.

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CANTO: Maryland Deathfest 2019, Behemoth, Steve Albini and more!


It’s gross outside. Let’s talk metal for a bit and forget about the moistness of this Monday afternoon. Here’s some news you might have missed from today:

  • Leading off, Maryland Deathfest announced the first wave of bands playing its 17th edition next Memorial Day. The highlights from this crop? Immolation, Pestilence, Mortician, Vomitory, Tomb Mold, Full of Hell and a bunch more. Peep the full list here — and maybe think about starting your anti-cancellation prayers ahead of time. Like, today.
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Album Review: Stinking Lizaveta – “Journey to the Underworld”

GDOB-30H3-007 3.5mm spine

Instrumental bands never really had a fair shake in metal. We’ve moved from the guitar histrionics of the 80s and 90s (Satriani and Vai maintaining a steady popularity, though your own mileage may vary) to ultra-technical progression with the likes of Animals as Leaders and Scale the Summit. But the majority of press, accolades, and recognition always seem to heavily favor bands with vocals, which is more than a little ironic considering so much of vocals in extreme metal is often unintelligible without a lyrics sheet.

I’ve always been partial to instrumental bands who skirt the mainstream trends of the genre, focusing on melding genres and structures in an effort to put the emphasis on composition over technicality. Stinking Lizaveta have been leading the charge when it comes to this brand of music for over 20 years, and new record Journey to the Underworld continues charting new ground for striking, adventurous music.   Continue reading

Album Review: KEN mode – “Success”


KEN mode’s real success has always been their live show. The Winnipeg natives have been together for over 12 years, and have been road-dogging almost consistently since they began touring for their previous album, Entrench, in 2013. It makes sense, then, that brothers Jesse and Shane Matthewson, and their newest bassist, Skot Hamilton, would decide to record with Steve Albini in order to capture their ferocious live sound. Success has been treated as a departure from the band’s sound, and it is of course different from their previous record Entrench‘s dirtied-up, metallic hardcore. But Success is really a return to the band’s roots in noise rock—just a little more tightly controlled than before.   Continue reading