Mar 312016
 

Universe 217-Change

 

(Here’s the third of our friend KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released during March.)

Truth be told, I’ve been knee deep into “comic book research” for the past few months, but especially in March, so my attention has been split between music and yet another hobby to spend way too much money on.  And by research, I mean investigating what new books and series recently came out and what’s on the horizon so I can generate a valid “pull list”.  I was toying with the idea of doing a semi-regular column on comic books.  What do you think of that prospect?  I’m rarely, if ever, gonna discuss a book about men (or chicks) in spandex, it will be all the indie and creator-owned ones (yes, I’m an elitist snob in my other hobbies as well).  Anyways, on with this month’s best of…… Continue reading »

Mar 112016
 

Universe 217-Change

 

(KevinP introduces our premiere of the new album by Universe 217 from Greece — a well-earned exception to the “rule” in our site’s name.)

Today we have the honor and privilege to present to you the fourth full-length album from Greek doom masters, Universe217. Change is due on March 18, 2016 via Ván Records and is simply the best material of their career.

While I never subscribed to the theory that vocalist Tanya carried the band, I could understand the sentiment. She is in a class all her own, like a more dynamic and powerful metal version of Janis Joplin. But Change shows a band that is on equal ground; no longer does the music take a back seat to Tanya’s soaring, emotionally driven vocals. There’s a sonic immediacy to it, with a richer and fuller sound and with more textures — the instrumental music could easily stand on its own. Continue reading »

Feb 292016
 

Oranssi Pazuzu-Värähtelijä

 

(Here’s the second of KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released during February.)

So much for the notion that the beginning and end of the year are slow times for new releases. We have another month stacked with quality through and through. As pleasing as it is to spread the love of great releases to people far and wide, I wouldn’t mind a slight respite during a busy time of the year (I do have other obligations and hobbies). But yeah, #FirstWorldProblem. Continue reading »

Feb 112016
 

Oranssi Pazuzu-live-praha

 

(KevinP brings us another installment in his ongoing series of brief interviews, and today he puts questions to Ontto, the bassist of Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu, who have a new double-album named Värähtelijä headed our way.)

 

K:  The first time I listened to Värähtelijä it did not feel nearly as “immediate” when compared to Valonielu.  But after 3-4 full spins of the new album it is much weirder yet more memorable at the same time. 

O:  Yeah, Värähtelijä is a bit more of an introvert album. The idea was to create a  dark and hypnotic fog that you can get lost in, instead of going after instantly catchy riffs. We used lots of polyrhythms on this one, so many times there are two riffs playing simultaneously.  Also, since it’s a double album, I get that it might need a bit more chewing. Didn’t try to make it intentionally weird, though.  Rather I think it’s more “free”.

 

K:  You and Jun-His started the band in 2007, but you’ve had a stable recording lineup since the first release in 2009.  I find that refreshing since your music is by no means easy to digest.  Normally I think it would be difficult to keep 5 people in that same mindset.

O:  We were friends with the guys already when we started the band, so that helps a lot. The reason why the band sounds like it sounds is that each one of us adds their own thing into the mix. Sometimes that sounds schizophrenic, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing when you’re searching for psychedelic effects. Continue reading »

Feb 052016
 

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(KevinP reviews two Florida shows this week by Australia’s Ne Obliviscaris as part of their in-progress U.S. tour.)

I always bemoan the fact that Florida gets the shaft when it comes to tours, whether it’s from US bands or groups from the rest of the world. So when Ne Obliviscaris announced they were coming to Florida, for not 1 but 2 shows, I was tickled pink (to say the least).

Anyone who has known me for more than 5 seconds is aware I have no interest in Butcher Babies or Cradle of Filth, but hey, you can’t really expect a new band on their first US tour flying over from Australia to do a headline jaunt right off the bat.

Upon further inspection of the tour dates, there was a gap in the schedule, conveniently due to the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise leaving out of Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, February 4th, and returning on Monday, February 8th. Continue reading »

Jan 272016
 

NJR

 

(Earlier this week KevinP named the debut album by Sweden’s Fifth To Infinity, Omnipotent Transdimensional Soulfire, the top album released this month, and that followed on the heels of Andy Synn’s laudatory review of the album last week.  Now Kevin brings us a new installment in his short-interview series, in which he quizzes the band’s vocalist/guitarist Nader Jonas Reslan.)

******

K:   After starting the band back in 1997 you finally released your debut album (19 years later).  I’m sure there is a sense of relief and excitement about that.

N:  Indeed there is and very much so.  It’s been a really long and messed up journey, so far.. and now after all these tough years, we’ve finally succeeded in manifesting our music beyond the realms of the underground.  So, yes, the feeling is great. Continue reading »

Jan 252016
 

Fifth To Infinity-Omnipotent Transdimensional Soulfire

 

(Here’s the first of KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released or scheduled for release during January.)

Writing these little “intros” for the monthly picks are by far my least favorite part of what I have to do.  I always try and keep it pithy even on the off chance I have something profound to say.  So on that note, here we go…… Continue reading »

Jan 042016
 

2015 list

 

(KevinP weighs in with his year-end list of top EPs and albums.)

441 albums.  That was the total amount of metal I consumed this year.  Easily the most I’ve ever listened to and almost double last year’s consumption.  Even though most of these are from my Albums of the Month columns (if you have followed that, GOOD, if not, get with the program in 2016), there are 3 that made my final list that I either overlooked initially or grew on me enough over the course of the year to warrant inclusion.

All 12 number one albums from the monthly series made the list (naturally), but not all of them held up, as 3 albums in my Top 10 were not ‘Best Of’ their respective month.  Anyways, enjoy the list. Hopefully, there’s some new music you overlooked that I put on your radar.  Feel free to discuss what albums tickled your fancy in the comments below. Continue reading »

Dec 172015
 

Akhenaten - Incantations Through the Gates of Irkalla

 

(Here’s the last of KevinP’s monthly selections for 2015, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released or scheduled for release during December.)

Since I’ve had plenty of time with this month’s releases to formulate my list, along with the fact that things start to get slow once Xmas week arrives, you’re getting this a little earlier than normal.  Also, my Top 25 Albums and Top 5 EP’s of the Year will be posted the first week of January.  Nothing else profound to say, so let’s get on with it. Continue reading »

Dec 022015
 

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(As part of our annual LISTMANIA series, KevinP brings us his round-up of awards for 2015.)

Here’s my rundown on the best stuff of the year that doesn’t fit into my Top 25 Albums and EP’s of the Year column (which will be published next month).

 

Best Metal Country:  POLAND

How many Polish albums does it take to win the “best of” honors?  Apparently 8.  1 to hold the lightbulb… ok, you’re not here for the jokes.  This year featured releases ranging from outstanding to solid by Outre, Lost Soul, Blaze of Perdition, Mgła, Infernal War, Manipulation, Ogotay, and Kult Mogil.  Greece, who won last years award, had yet another solid year, but was edged out by the big 3 kielbasas of Outre, Lost Soul, and Blaze of Perdition, a trio that’s impossible to beat. Continue reading »