Mar 292020


At last, I’ve called a halt to my effort to pump so much new music into your ears that your brain drowns in it (though I still have plans for a SHADES OF BLACK column later today, so I guess I’m only pausing rather than stopping). Picking up from Part 2, the alphabetical ordering of bands continues here, R through V.


We begin with four tracks of roaring, howling, mind-warping death/grind courtesy of these North Carolina marauders. Veering between gargantuan roars and shattering screams, the vocals are truly ferocious; there’s a mountainous bass presence; and the riffing shifts from utterly crazed to sickeningly dismal and apocalyptically calamitous. The band inflict truly brutish, skull-flattening punishment; sometimes the distorted fretwork sounds like a giant excavation machine at work in a quarry; and they are equally adept at igniting conflagrations of ravaging chaos. Explosive and electrifying…. Continue reading »

Jul 232019


I’m happy within myself, and I can imagine few things that would kill that, but I’m deeply unsettled by just about everything I see in the world around me. I don’t enjoy indulging those feelings of depression, dread, and anger, but sometimes it happens. Sometimes I consciously do that in the music I choose to listen to, and sometimes I’m led down those pathways by chance encounters.

Last night in my listening I went down a rabbit hole that became an increasingly dark pathway through a warren, and it happened by chance, just checking out the most recent songs I found in our in-box, and one that came to me thanks to a friend. But it all fit together as a kind of journey. I can’t say the trip left me buoyant by the end; it mainly indulged those other feelings instead. I’m not egotistical enough to think that everyone who lands on this post will find the entire journey as meaningful as I did; I’m not humble enough to think that you won’t.


Sometimes powerful underground music would be lost to me, as for many others, if not for a striking piece of artwork or the appearance of a familiar name, or some other truly random signal. In the case of FDeM, what made me stop and listen was the name Brad Boatright. It’s a familiar name, of course, because his recording and mastering work at Audioiege is attached to so many great records, but in the case of FDeM (as in From Ashes Rise), he’s a performer. I had to hear what that would be like in this new band. Continue reading »