Jul 182019
 

 

I nearly finished this collection in time to post it yesterday before I had to turn to the job that pays me. The delay turned out to be fortuitous, because in the meantime I found something else I was excited to include. As usual, my aim in this selection is to showcase the variety of extreme metal, and to do some extravagant globe-trotting as well.

SEMPITERNAL DUSK

First up is a track named “Spears of Pestilence” from a new album by Portland’s Sempiternal Dusk, set for release by Dark Descent on September 27th. The album title is Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation, and it features cover art by D. Desecrator. Continue reading »

Jan 312014
 

(In this post you’ll find Austin Weber’s review of the new album by Canadian/Swedish band Culted.)

In the heart of winter, doom metal often makes for a great soundtrack to the season, as both the cold and doom have a common nature — they both desire to choke the life out of you. This is where Culted come in. They are a group of talented Canadians with a vocalist based in Sweden who together have utilized the internet to collaborate and give humanity top-notch doom that swells with an intense aura of bleak misanthropic rage.

The artwork certainly draws you in quickly, its imagery of a cloaked figure peering out at decay providing a visual glimpse into the crawling cold punishment explored on Oblique to All Paths. This is unsettling doom, bound in a sense of torment that seeps from every note and scream. Oblique To All Paths is sludgy, sometimes drone-y, and graced with piercing black-metal, reverb-soaked screams. Culted have a tendency to dress up the desolate proceedings in soundscapes that capture a morbid and mellow Swans-esque feel. This being a doom record, there are copious amounts of reverb and feedback swirling around, which only serve to magnify the deliciously suffocating and quite tripping duality conjured on Oblique To All Paths. Continue reading »

Dec 282013
 

Between the time I’ve spent with family and friends over the holidays and pushing out the biggest year-end LISTMANIA series our site has ever published, I’ve been constricted in my ability to listen to new songs and forthcoming releases. But I keep lists. I keep lists like a hoarder of names. Never mind that actually making it through the lists is a frail hope, given that they keep growing, and growing, and growing…

But yesterday, I made a small dent in them and came away with four songs I’m really high on. Two of them are new tracks by bands whose past work I’ve admired, and two of them come from bands who I’d never heard before. Musically, the four songs have very little in common, other than the fact that they are all winners — and they all have darkness in their souls.

HAIL SPIRIT NOIR

Hail Spirit Noir’s first album, Pneuma (reviewed here), was unlike anything else I heard in 2012. It was exceedingly strange and yet brilliant, a splicing together of black metal, 60′s flower-power pop psychedelics, 70′s prog rock, 80′s New Wave dance beats, melodic doom, and even cool jazz. Each song was distinctively different from, though related to, the others, like cousins on a gnarled family tree. Continue reading »