Album Review: Grave Gnosis — “Lux Nigredo”

Lux Nigredo, the second full length from Floridians Grave Gnosis, loosely means illumination of putrefaction or decomposition. And being that this album is based on the steps to Transcendent Death, I’d say this loose translation is somewhat accurate whether intended or not. Its foundations are in black metal—and death metal to a lesser extent—and its beauty is in its atmospheric and trancelike presentation. Even through the, at times, muddled production and astoundingly dizzying passages it is an album that beckons repeat listens to fully grasp the material and even then the feeling is one of barely scratching the surface of music versus meaning.

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Initial Descent: November 22 – 28, 2020

Deveneror

Turkey week, folks. Do it up. New stuff this week brings us some dissonant black metal from Deveneror, blackened death metal from Azarath that favors speed and brutality, an excellent thrash return from Sodom, and an outstanding live album from Morne. Beyond that, the list is yet again very long so there’s certainly something here for everyone. If you’re reading this and in a band with an upcoming release you want featured here, send us an email with the details. And, if you’re wondering why X band is not featured here, tell us in the comments what we missed and why it should’ve been here. You never know, your favorite might become ours as well. Sharing is caring. Or, something like that.

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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