Jan 292017
 

 

Welcome to the 19th installment of my list of 2016’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. I’m beginning to feel stressed about this list, because I swore to myself (and may have promised you) that I would bring this to an end on January 31, and yet I still have dozens of worthy candidates. That means there’s going to be an arbitrary cut-off, with a lot of worthy tracks being neglected. But I figured that would happen when I started this list… I’ve never been very good at list-making.

Anyway, here are four more songs. You’ll never guess why I chose to group these four songs together. It will just have to be my little secret.

FALLUJAH

In his NCS review, my colleague Andy Synn called Dreamless the finest of Fallujah’s three albums so far — a creation that “could very well be a game-changing, life-altering release for these Tech-Death titans-in-waiting.” He praised the songwriting, which gave each track its own distinctive personality despite the presence of common ingredients — “nuanced, technical drums, strobing, rapid-fire riffs, dreamy synth waves, and soaring, extravagant lead guitar work” — and the positive direction of the band’s continuing evolution. Continue reading »

Jul 182016
 

ColdWorld-Autumn

 

(Wil Cifer brings us this review of the new album by Germany’s ColdWorld.)

Finally after 8 years, Germany’s ColdWorld has released a new album, Autumn. This world might be more of a slight chill than a cold one, as the sound has certainly changed. With this album, everything is bigger, so the compromise is even up to some of the starkness created by the more lo-fi ambiance of this project’s earlier work. I love depressive black metal; if you have read my other reviews then you know I like it as dark as a band can give it to me. So after hearing the changes, which have made this more of an atmospheric black metal album than a depressive black metal album, I had to pry my stubborn old mind open even further.

The mood has changed; something hopeful lies within the chords propelling the scowling vocals. Things become even more refined when clean vocals appear in the first song, creating a more Porcupine Tree sound. Female vocals are even layered within “Void”. Synths set the stage for “Woods of Emptiness”. There is an emotive pulse to the guitar, but to my ears it’s not what I call dark; instead it paints the song in a hazy, dream-like gray. Continue reading »

Dec 092013
 

(Guest writer Alain Mower is back with recommended releases appropriate for the season.)

As prophesied in ice and fire, winter has come and – as pointed out in Ben’s guest article ”At the Heart of Winter” – with the change of seasons into the most dark and frostbitten of them all, in conjunction with the beginning of hunting list season, we need a little extra something to help offset the fact that we can’t just hibernate this season of stillness and death behind us.

Also, while undeniably a necessary part of any tried and trve vinter, I’m going to try and leave off the classics in favor of featuring some (relatively) modern releases that are more recently bidding for the throne of winter. It’s not that Immortal, Windir, and Ulver haven’t put out the most quintessential albums of the season, it’s just that some young wolves are just getting their first real taste of fresh blood, and they deserve some mentions too.

Also, not all the releases listed here are metal, but I will argue to the death that all of them are Winter. So, without further longwinded gusto, here are ten albums guaranteed to help you meet the heart of winter head on. Continue reading »