Mar 162023

(Andy Synn guides you through the twists and turns of the new album from Ottawa’s Dissentient)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the corruptive influence of the profit motive… how difficult it makes it to believe that anything that’s written can ever be impartial (and I know there’s a whole other argument to be had over objectivity, or the lack thereof, in reviewing music) once you realise that every feature, every review, every cover photo, comes with a potential price tag attached.

It’s one reason (among many) that I consider myself lucky to write here. None of the three of us who still form the core team – Islander, DGR, and myself – make any money from the site, nor do we have any advertisers to please or specific print deadlines to meet, and so we’re free to write about what we want, when we want.

Now, to be clear, I’m not trying to tear down print media wholesale – as someone who used to write for a physical magazine I’m fully aware of the complexities which need to be balanced in order to both serve your readers not just what they want, but also what you think they need, while still remaining solvent (or not) – I’m simply laying out a case for why you can (and should) trust us.

Hell, we don’t even write to please the bands themselves (there’ve been a few times when people have gotten pissy with us because we didn’t blindly praise them enough) and have, in fact, alienated a few labels and PR firms in the past with our refusal to just dole out perfect scores to anything and everything that comes our way.

Long story short… believe me when I say that you won’t regret checking out Dissentient‘s new album.

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Mar 152023

(DGR was inspired to pick three particular albums from his backlog to review together, which is what you will find below the anime image above.)

Look, sometimes you lay out your “to listen to and potentially review” archives in such a way that the moment strikes you. This is one of those times where the exercise is likely to appeal to just me, and me alone, so indulge me, will you? as I crawl backwards to catch up with even more stuff that has managed to hit throughout the first quarter of this year. Sometimes you do it because the idea you had for the article photo is, in the long run, more than enough.


Portugal’s Oak are likely to grab people’s attention with their sophomore release Disntegrate. Their first for Season Of Mist – after debut Lone was handled by Transcending ObscurityDisintegrate is a near forty-five-minute traversal through the roiling collision of the worlds of death and doom.

Ever-dedicated to their world-building, the two-piece comprising Oak have spent much of the lead-in to the release of Disintegrate painting their music with the visages of lumbering giants, collapsing mountains, and enough Misery to make a 1987 Barnes & Noble jealous. While the lyrical inspirations may be purposefully vague and presented as one large archival screed, the music is recognizably suffocating and slow, at times fitted more as “mood” than artistic piece. When the two lead videos for the album have the group drenched in either snow or fire – with little room for subtlety in between – then you certainly know that there is “something” present here that is going to grab people. Continue reading »

Mar 152023

On March 17th, the Danish post-metal band Late Night Venture will release their new album V: Bones Of The Extinct via Trepanation Recordings and Vinyltroll Records, and today we present it in its entirety, along with many words of introduction.

But before we get to our own words, we want to share what the labels and the band themselves tell us about the album’s conception, because it adds useful insights into the multi-faceted power of the music. For example, this:

“‘Bones Of The Extinct’ is a text excerpt capable of containing all the album’s songs, which individually are images of unforeseen occurrences with irreversible consequences. The lyrics cast their gaze upon the world and can be characterized as grounded doomsday stories about conditions, which more or less concern all beings on the planet. This gaze is directed towards mankind and its nature, all our efforts in this world – and the consequences of our urge.” Continue reading »

Mar 152023

Robot God

(The title of this post points the way. Axel Stormbreaker wrote it.)

I don’t get new stoner rock. It’s too trippy, psychedelic, or even “forced” for my taste. Normally, psych aspects do provide some shaky thrills, but not if the said riffs sound watered down to a state of indifference. It’s become too blunt, devoid of all nerve, as if a magical fairy showed up, only to cut their balls off in an instant. And believe me, I ain’t edgy for the sake of it, I’ve overplayed albums I don’t dig to the point of exhaustion, just in case I might convince myself that, yes, yes, I get it now, it’s so great and I’m so excited….

….yeah, OK, I may sound a bit of an asshole here. But let’s be honest, most old-timers I’ve known have shared relative thoughts from time to time. It’s the way people are consuming music these days; they won’t digest it properly, so why should any band spend the next three years in crafting a record. Even if the outcome is bound to sound rushed, sloppy, or even tiresome to some, you receive no assurances your effort won’t drift overlooked in the maze of sordid mediocrity.

Still, you should know none of the following records are perfect by any means. But they do offer some hardened guts, honest riffs, and, perhaps, the needed touch that may intrigue a personal flare of interest. They may not count as the cream of the crop, but they’re far too enjoyable to just not recommend. So, to each his own, but this is my 2022 Dark Horse list of Top-5 Booze Records. With the exception of trendy doom, as I take no interest in bands who excel rather at smoking weed, than writing truthful, heartfelt riffs. Continue reading »

Mar 132023

(Andy Synn continues his long-standing relationship with Downfall of Gaia)

I still remember the first time I saw Downfall of Gaia live. To say I was blown away would be an understatement.

Of course, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. I had, after all, only recently declared their third album, Aeon Unveils the Throne of Decay, to be one of the best records of 2014 (a decision I still stand by).

In the years since then I’ve seen the band several times more – each time, arguably, even better than the last – and they’ve produced a further two (soon to be three) more albums, including another potential classic (only time will tell) in the form of 2019’s Ethic of Radical Finitude.

And now it looks like they’re about to add a third top-tier, A-list release to their catalogue in the form of their sixth full-length release, Silhouettes of Disgust, which comes out this Friday.

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Mar 092023

(Andy Synn continues his busy week of reviews with three excellent examples of black musical magic)

With so many different styles and sub-genres of Metal out there (don’t ever let anyone tell you “it all sounds the same”) it’s perhaps understandable that I, like many of you I’m sure, go through different phases of listening to certain sounds more than others.

In that spirit then, allow me to introduce you to three albums which have, in recent weeks, played a major role in getting me back into a Black Metal mode.

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Mar 082023

Just two days from now, on March 10th, the Italian label Lethal Scissor Records will release a new EP named Metastasis by the German band Bloodjob. True to their name, Bloodjob give us a bloody piece of work, an explosive five-track onslaught that’s foul and ferocious, bringing to bear ingredients of both brutal death metal and technically electrifying death metal, as well as the kind of grindcore zealotry that spawns visions of mosh pits gone wild.

The EP features the talents of a new rhythm section that joined the fold after the band’s 2019 debut album Sick Concept Humanity. And so the new EP includes re-recordings by the new lineup of two cuts from the band’s 2012 demo Misogynic Obsessions, as well as three new songs inspired by the band’s “dystopian view on the degenerating civilization we live in” — and we’ve got all five of the songs for you to hear today. Continue reading »

Mar 072023

(Andy Synn has a few words to share about the outstanding new album from Seattle’s Witch Ripper)

I mentioned yesterday that writing about music is a joy unto itself (or, at least, it is if you do it right).

But it’s even more enjoyable when the music you’re writing about it this good.

Because, make no mistake about it, as much as I enjoyed the band’s debut album, the long-awaited follow-up is a whole new level of awesome.

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Mar 072023

In the midst of daily reminders from around the globe that humans are in fact plagued by a god disease (masking won’t help and there’s no vaccine), the band God Disease are about to land a new album, with a title that makes clear what this Finnish group see in their crystal ball: Apocalyptic Doom.

That title is also a fine summing up of the music on this Helsinki band’s second full-length, and a sign of how much further they’ve moved in their evolution from death metal to the most soul-stricken and earth-quaking doom. Continue reading »

Mar 072023


(Another month has closed its doors, and Gonzo takes another look through them, this time spotlighting five favored albums released during February 2023.)

I can’t be alone here in saying February is the most useless fucking month on the calendar. More often than not during that godforsaken stretch of time – in its cold, dreary misery – I’m finding myself constantly losing track of time, forgetting what day it is, and scrambling to fit four weeks’ worth of plans into what seems like two.

Priorities, I suppose – that’s what it all comes down to. I’ve managed to listen to an alarming amount of music already, and seeing that we’re only just over two months into 2023, that’s always time well-prioritized.

Here’s the new shit that’s been on my heavy rotation through the last 28 days.

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