Jul 072017


(This is DGR’s review of the complete version of Cold Insight’s debut album, released on June 28 of this year.)

The subject matter territory that heavy metal covers is vast. When you view heavy metal as a filter through which all musical aggression seems to come through, you have a recipe for just about anything and everything being screamed, growled, shrieked, yelped, barked, and even sung about.

Heavy metal still has its staples; longtime readers will of course recognize the holy trinity of body horror in mutilation, gore, and murder — the various possibilities inflicted upon corpses has long since been the foundation upon which death metal is built. You also have Satan so ingrained throughout heavy metal that almost everything has a thin veneer of Lucifer spread on top of it, and then… then you also have the void.

We in heavy metal specialize in the void, the empty, and the abyss — we’re void worshipers and watchers, we claim to see things in the emptiness, and the abyss is where we seem to record half of our early musical releases until we can afford some proper production work.

The most analogous thing to all three, of course, is space. It doesn’t take a short logic leap to see that we exist quite literally in a Big Empty — where on a map, two planets can look close together, until you are informed that it takes years to travel between them. “Cold” and “empty” are often descriptors we apply to music, especially doom, so of course we have now wound up in space.

From that, we draw upon science fiction with its space-opera overtures and something that has found its way into heavy metal more and more, especially as a visual component. In part, this helps explain the sci-fi aesthetics of Cold Insight’s newly released debut Further Nowhere. Continue reading »

Apr 282017


As I mentioned earlier today, I returned to Seattle very late last night after a 4-day road trip for my day job. While away, I didn’t have time to pull together round-ups of new music that I was noticing, so I have some catching up to do. This is the first installment of that catching-up exercise, which will continue with at least one more part either later today or tomorrow. The music here is organized in alphabetical order by band name, and I’ve tried to provide variety in each of these installments.


I wasn’t familiar with Anima Nostra before hearing this first song, but I’ve learned that it’s a collaboration between Henrik Nordvargr Björkk (Sweden) and Margaux Renaudin (France). The two of them released an album named Anima Nostra last year, and now they’ve taken that as their band name.

Their second album, Atraments, will be released by Malignant Records (digitally and on digipak CD) on June 2nd. I gather from press announcements that the sound now differs from their first collaborative effort, “taking the more intimate ritual ambient aspects of the debut, and incorporating them as part of towering constructs that blur the line between death industrial, doom metal, and neo-classical”. Continue reading »