Nine Circles ov… Phil Swanson

Phil Swanson
Phil Swanson

In light of the recent and fantastic self-titled debut from Sumerlands, which Phil Swanson (vocals) is a member of, I revisited some of my favorite projects he has been and is involved in. Since hearing Hour Of 13 for the first time I’ve had a fondness for his vintage and classically powerful vocal sound. It speaks to a time when metal wasn’t about being the fastest or most guttural. And of course every band he’s been associated with has a tie to doom metal of the occult persuasion and they are all great in their own rite. For this Nine Circles ov... I’m highlighting Hour Of 13, Seamount and Vestal Claret. Barely scratching the surface for sure, but there’s only nine picks and these nine were tough to whittle down. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 11 – 17, 2016

High Spirits
High Spirits
Welcome to another Initial Descent and yet another stacked batch of releases. Hopefully you spent yesterday getting a head start because there’s enough on tap here to keep most anyone busy. We all could use some happiness so do yourself, and those around you, a favor and check out High Spirit‘s latest full length Motivator. On the opposite spectrum, if you just recovered from Subrosa’s latest dive into Light Falls from Wrekmeister Harmonies and keep that heavy yet somber feeling alive. Blister your eardrums with Cara Neir and Wildspeaker‘s latest Split on Broken Limbs Recordings, who actually have several out this week that warrant your time. Sumerlands debut Sumerlands deeply satisfies the traditional heavy metal craving and Mare Cognitum returns with their hypnotizing take on atmospheric black metal with Luminiferous Aether. All that and much more so click that “continue reading” link. Continue reading

Album Review: Sumerlands – “Sumerlands”

Sumerlands - Sumerlands

Any late 80’s metal connoisseur will be thrilled with Sumerlands debut full length Sumerlands. But that’s not fair to everyone else so let’s just say the guitar wizardry and soaring vocals at the core of this album will illicit nods all across the metal nation, and beyond for that matter. A bit over the top? Maybe. But, it’s been a while since something as simple as a band flat out ruling 30-plus minutes sounded so good. And they do it with zero theatrics, showboating or endless noodling. Continue reading