Nine (or so Heavily Qualified) Circles ov…2021: A Mid-Year Report

2021 mid-year report

Wait…so the guy who only wrote a total of 10 freakin’ reviews this year thinks he has any weight when it comes to a mid-year report? Well, uh…I guess that’s why I put the “heavily qualified” in the title of this post?

But seriously, I’ll be the first to admit that metal hasn’t really been my #1 go-to when it comes to music lately, but like everything else, what you see on the Internet never tells you the whole story. I haven’t been writing nearly as much about the genre lately, but I have been listening. Listening, and refining. Finding the things that really resonate despite the press and the push of PR, or what the pundits tell you on the 1,001 other sites out there scrambling for clicks. And what I’ve discovered is that more and more I’m coming to the sounds that drew me to the genre: thrash riffs, lots of melody, and tasty solos. So yeah: expect some old school bands putting out great records more than 30 years into their existence here. And maybe a few newer bands as well.

Is that qualified enough for ya? Then let’s dig in.

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Album Review: Expander — “Neuropunk Boostergang”

It’s getting really hard to tell what’s real and what’s been pulled from a young adult dystopian novel these days.  I’m pretty sure we started living in the future about 5 years ago, what with all the rapid technological and scientific advancements coupled with the rise of authoritarian governments and oligarchic corporations spying on and tracking every move we make and everything we say and think.  If all this seems overwhelming to you, good news!  You’re far from alone, and chief among your allies is Austin, Texas’ Expander, whose new release Neuropunk Boostergang is the perfect soundtrack to the technopocalypse.

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Album Review: DEATHCAVE — “Smoking Mountain”

In the ever-expanding world of metal, new bands seem to constantly be emerging and stepping up to the plate.  DEATHCAVE is here to take a big swing with their debut full-length release, Smoking Mountain.  Their is, at times, as haunting as its namesake (the Apache death cave in Winslow, Arizona) with lyrics to match.  The general theme here focuses on the inexorable concept of the decay, demise, and death of humans and nature.  While the lyrics are enough to sink into a depression, the music is a delightful combination of thrash, doom, and psychedelic metal.  While at times haunting and dark, it has some lively high-energy moments mixed into the doomy haze.  The trio formed in 2018 and released a three-song, self-titled demo last year.  Their music is a captivating combination of metal sub-genres performed by just three skilled musicians.  Smoking Mountain is an enticing introduction to DEATHCAVE and their experimental sound. Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Warbringer and T-Shirt Weather

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations. Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering:  Warbringer’s Weapons of Tomorrow and Trustworthy Brewing Company’s T-Shirt Weather.   Continue reading

Album Review: Rebel Wizard — “Magickal Mystical Indifference”

Rebel Wizard - Magickal Mystical Indifference

If you aren’t familiar with Rebel Wizard, I regret to inform you that you are required to have a good time and educate yourself immediately. Located at the intersection of black and thrash, this album hoons through the intersection like only an Australian wearing a wizard hat shredding epic solos while car surfing could. Magickal Mystical Indifference is the album that you blast through your open windows while taking corners too fast for the rest of the summer. I agree with the title of the first track: “Heavy negative wizard metal in-fucking-excelsis” indeed.

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