Initial Descent: March 11 – 17, 2018

Slaves BC
Slaves BC

Lots of things happening this month: March Madness, warmer weather (sort of) and the time change. So if you’re into any of that, have at it. Around here, new metal is what’s happening and if you came here looking for it you’re definitely in luck. Long list ahead so let’s get to it — first up is the absolutely vicious yet cuttingly personal black/death of Lo and I am Burning from Slaves BC. As you are all aware (or not) Josh Thieler writes for us from time to time and we love him dearly but that has nothing to do with top billing this week, this band has grown exponentially and have put their best foot forward here. Next up is Where Owls Know My Name by Rivers of Nihil and this is another album where a band has put their best foot forward, technical death metal that bleeds forward thinking and rules. Moving along is the extremely soothing dark folk of Ulvesang on The Hunt, this is the one you need while contemplating life or just trying to get through it — perfect soundtrack. Closing out the top slots this week is the EP Question from the Mexican quartet of the same name Question, this thing is ultra-aggressive, extreme and with four tracks it steamrolls the senses in the best way possible. Plenty of fodder already for end of year thoughts but there’s much more to get to. Stick around and bask in the rest… Continue reading

Album Review: Slaves BC – “Lo and I Am Burning”

Slaves BC Lo and I Am Burning

Pittsburgh blackened metallers Slaves BC are back with a new album, Lo and I am Burning, and it’s one that shows just how far a band can go to reinvent their sound in a relatively short time.  Slaves BC’s musical jump between their latest offering and 2016’s All is Dust and I Am Nothing is less a jump and more an oblique step, but in a way that highlights the maturation of the members through time spent refining their sound. Continue reading

Initial Descent: July 9 – 15, 2017

Expulsion
Expulsion – pic courtesy of Jay Valena

Alright so, I hope you took my advice last week and really listened to something you found. And, I hope you’ll do the same this week as we have much more to get into here on Initial Descent. We all have to have an outlet — a way to just bang it out, you know? And a way to escape and have a little fun from time to time. Well, we’ve got just the thing in our lead off spot with the full length debut, Nightmare Future, from the mega-super-group Expulsion — a raucous good time with members of Repulsion, Exhumed, Phobia and more, get it. Moving on is the split 12″, Procession of the Equinox, from the absolute masterminds of current folk/atmospheric black metal, Twilight Fauna and Evergreen Refuge — a monster of an album that is a must own. Next up is NZ’s Vesicant with their bombastic blackened death metal debut Shadows of Cleansing Iron and closing out the opening spots is Boris with Dear, this amazing band triumphantly returns with their personal brand of rock, drone and experimental soundscapes and again, a must own. So, we are already loaded for bear but as usual this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg — keep reading and keep listening… Continue reading

Album Review: Twilight Fauna/Evergreen Refuge – “Procession of the Equinox”

twilight fauna evergreen refuge split

Over the course of a few albums you begin to take the measure of a band by the steps they take on their musical path.  Some bands are explorers, never content with where they were, always looking to try something else, move further.  Some find their place and stick to it, content to tread the same rhythm over and over again (lest you think that’s always a bad thing, I’ll simply leave you with a “Hey! Ho!  Let’s GO!).  But between the balance of standing in place and grasping for something just out of reach is the band that refines, that chances upon something and digs deeper, finding the hidden corners and unexplored nuances of the terrain they commit to.  And it’s this thin space that Twilight Fauna and Evergreen Refuge have been residing in over the course of multiple albums and side projects, and their latest split Procession of the Equinox demonstrates how subtle shifts and expansions of sound can reap huge rewards.   Continue reading