There have been classic masterpieces throughout the history of the sub-genre known as black metal, since the inception of the style. There have been albums such as Darkthrone’s Transylvanian Hunger, Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, and fast-forward to later, albums such as The Ruins of Beverast’s Rain Upon the Impure, and Agalloch’s Marrow of the Spirit. Whether traditionally minimalist, or progressively evolutionary, there have been albums that astonished metal fans from top to bottom of such albums, from start to finish if you will.
Count this indescribable, throwback, yet modern, minimalist yet progressive effort in the list of history’s best black metal albums, and is also my top year-end favorite –- Goath’s Luciferian Goath Ritual, care of the rather obscure but reliable Ván Records. Continue reading →
Here we are, the best day of the week. Saturday’s are full of wonder and all that trash but here on Initial Descent they are full of metal. And this week the QUANTITY returns. Diving right in, The Ominous Circle bursts onto the death metal scene with their stellar yet essential debut Appalling Ascension and I’m calling it early this album will be on year end lists. Black Metallers The Ruins of Beverast continue to amaze on their experimental and psychedelic EP Takitum Tootem!, it may have taken Beheaded five albums — and a transformation away from just brutal death metal — to do it but on Beast Incarnate the band has officially put out the best album of their career, and The Great Old Ones return with EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacywhich is yet another opus of black metal and doom wrapped neatly in a veil of foggy atmosphere. So yea, great week for metalheads and we still have a long list to go, after the jump. Continue reading →
In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.
Let’s have a moment, you and I. I want to come clean, because if we’re going to cultivate a relationship and earn a modicum of trust between us then I have to share some of the secrets of this gig with you. So, a little honesty: I’m slightly drunk (“slightly” being relative in this case). Also, and perhaps more to the point: sometimes I don’t know what the hell I’m going to write about an album before I sit down and start hitting the keys. Even now I can tell (even if you can’t, though my former admission may give it away) I’m stalling for time, trying to think my way to a hook to describe what I want to talk about in today’s Second Circle. In the music of both albums there’s an intangible quality I’ve been trying to get at, and maybe the only way to catch it is to just write, let the words fall out and see where they take me.
So let’s spend some time puzzling out our thoughts on the latest from Wolvennest and Arrebol. Continue reading →
Alright so, Monday is Halloween and surely by now you have your costume in order? In the midst of a horror movie marathon? Burning a skull candle? If not, why and my god what are you doing?! Anyway, it’s Initial Descent time which means more outstanding metal releases for your ears, souls, and minds. This week we’ve got the debut full length, Louring, from Jagged Mouth and honestly these guys rip a canyon in vile doom metal, highly recommended. Speaking of highly recommended, King Dude treats us to another top shelf album of satanic and dark americana with Sex, the always loud Whores kill it, as usual, on Gold, Ulcerate don’t deviate from their crushing and technical death metal on Shrines of Paralysis, Urfaust continue their mind bending exploration on Empty Space Meditation but do it with a bigger dose of black metal than we’ve come accustomed to recently, and Vermin Womb stay true to their despicable (in a good way) death metal selves on Decline. That was a mouthful. But it’s only the beginning so be sure to check out what else is on tap after the jump. Continue reading →
Alright, so, there’s pagan black metal, there’s folk metal, and then somewhere in between you get Árstíðir lífsins. With a name that translates to “seasons of life”, the personality behind this band is immediately apparent. Aldafǫðr ok munka dróttinn is the German/Icelandic trio’s third full length release since their inception in 2008. Released last December internationally, it’s only just making its rounds in North America, so this review may be considered somewhat late. But the fact is, it’s good enough to warrant a full write-up now.