Initial Descent: June 28 – July 4, 2020

Myrkridia

As of last week, Deicide’s self titled album turned 30 years old. I look back on it like it was yesterday as that album was the one that really pushed me headfirst into death metal. Sure, I had dabbled in the tape trading circles but nothing I had heard to that point really grabbed me like “Lunatic of God’s Creation” or the pummeling of “Dead By Dawn.” Stone cold classic. Anyway, there’s no way to know which album off of these new release lists we’ll be looking back on with the same admiration but damn if it ain’t fun searching. About that search; this week brings us a sick manifestation of blackened death metal from Myrkridia, a soul crushing epic of death/doom from Convocation, and a tumultuous amalgamation of black metal, doom and noise from Swarming. And, as always, so much more below. Seek and enjoy. Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 7 – 13, 2020

Beyond Deth
Beyond Deth

My new favorite thing in the blackened thrash spectrum of metal is Georgia’s Beyond Deth and this week sees the release of their second full length, good for me and good for you since, plainly put, this is my favorite album of this ilk thus far in 2020—definitely do yourself a favor and check it out. Ulthar continue to push the boundaries of death metal far beyond its limits on their second outing, Uprising offer up their second effort of straight forward black metal (smack in the middle of digital and physical releases so get in on it now), and Curse the Son are back with what I call working man’s doom metal—dirty, gritty, fuzzy, and worth every bit of effort spent. Folks, right now we need an escape, any escape, and these top four, along with the remainder of the list below, offer just that. Enjoy. Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 19 – 25, 2020

Katatonia
Katatonia

We all can use a pick-me-up at this point. And, this week we’ve absolutely got you covered with a multitude of stellar metal. What, you ask? Hang in there soldier… Katatonia return with another stone cold stunner that furthers their adventurous efforts into the ether, Cirith Ungol effectively silence a 29 year gap with an explosive fifth full length of high brow heavy metal, Ulcerate kick the death metal doors down and demand the spotlight, Vølus show us how dangerous death metal can be in the right hands, and Elder enlightens us with their algebraic approach to doom. A fantastic start for sure but we’re only getting warmed up to the plethora of amazing albums that await the adventurous. So, get to it. Continue reading

Profile: Justin Vølus of Vargheist Records

Vargheist Records

We’ve profiled a ton of bands over the last handful of years but very few labels – yea I know, total fail. Today we’re proud to feature one such label, Vargheist Records, and its owner Justin Vølus. Vargheist Records is based out of South Carolina and is making its mark featuring some of the most extreme underground metal you’ll find anywhere. We’re in this really good place where these kind of labels are popping up again and it’s a very good thing indeed. In the coming months we hope to feature more but for now, head inside to see what Justin had to say to our ‘Record Label’ curated set of Profile questions, then head over to the links embedded below to load up on Vargheist Records’ offerings – their roster is growing so don’t miss out. Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 17 – 23, 2019

Sigils
Sigils

First full week of this time change and I already feel better. Under the guise of having a hard time with it, did you miss anything we had last week? Go back and research but do, at the very least, catch our February album of the month chat for Ithaca’s The Language of Injury, and I’ll make it easy for you – link here. New week and new metal, GO.

Leading this charge is NY’s Sigils with their spine tingling doom debut You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves, its soaring melancholy meets occult themes and personal backstory makes for a splendid experience. Next up, Gods Without Name from Aoratos (new offering from the mind behind Akhlys) is a whirling maelstrom of black metal with a terrifying atmosphere, no surprise here from Naas Alcameth. Moving right along, Tempel who combine good-time old school metal, rock and hardcore for a sound that’s, well…, a damn good time on Tempel. Last up top is California’s Tryptamyne who recently found a home for Tryptamyne with upstart label Vargheist Records and since the label deals in a niche corner of the extreme, this blend of grind and progressive elements with an experimental flair is a perfect fit.

Beyond these four, a massive pile awaits… Continue reading