Oct 212014


I got carried away with a lot of rifftastic death metal malignancy in yesterday’s round-up’s, so I thought I’d move in more varied directions today. The following new and newish songs are among those I found in my trawling through the interhole yesterday, after siphoning off the effluent that would sicken you, plus one find by my comrade in arms Austin Weber. Prepare for brain spasms and spinal trauma.


I enjoyed the hell out of this Philadelphia band’s last release, the 2013 EP SolarBipolar (reviewed here). Just to give you a flavor of my reaction to it (and because if I don’t quote myself, who will?), here’s an excerpt from my review:

This is the kind of music that will give your neck muscles a real workout while dosing you with a narcotic addictiveness that will pull you back for another hit, and another. I know. I have plenty of other things to do, but I’ve been jamming this little three-song smasher over and over again. Continue reading »

Jul 122013

One thing leads to another. In late May I came across a compilation by the name of Anthrosphere IV assembled by Philadelphia label Anthropic Records. It includes some stellar tunes, and so I wrote about it here. One song that I singled out for specific praise was from a stoner/sludge/doom band I hadn’t heard of before named Sunburster. And that led to the discovery that they’ve got a new EP coming this August named SolarBipolar, and a chance to hear it in advance.

The EP includes three songs of increasing length. All three remind me that you don’t need brain-scrambling complexity or high-wire instrumental acrobatics to make a great song. Sometimes the simplest tunes can be the ones you remember the longest and enjoy the most, though it takes a special kind of songwriting ingenuity to pull off that trick, and it helps a lot for the band  to have the power of the music in their blood. Sunburster bring all that to the table on SolarBipolar.

“War Torn” is the shortest and simplest of the EP’s songs. From start to finish, it’s essentially one repeating riff, in sync with the drumbeats. It’s immense, spine-smashing music that exerts its magnetic pull almost immediately, and most definitely will bind itself to your head by the end. Mike Murro’s raw, high-pitched, bleeding-wound vocals contrast effectively with the music’s staggering low end. Continue reading »

May 292013

Anthropic Records is a Philadelphia record label “obsessed with heartbreaking chest crushing noise and doomed psychic soundscapes”. That’s what they say, and I believe it. Yesterday, I discovered via Facebook that they made available a compilation by the name of Anthrosphere IV. It’s free, except it only comes free with a purchase from the Anthropic web store, so I guess it’s only “sorta free”. But I’ll tell you what, at least in my case this doesn’t function as a bonus, but as a main draw.

Anthrosphere IV features 10 tracks by 10 Philadelphia bands, as well as the excellent cover art you see above by Mike Wohlberg, who has done work for the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, and The Acacia Strain. All 10 songs are brand new and they were all mastered by Chris Grigg (Woe). I’m only familiar with three of the bands on the line-up, but those three are really fuckin’ good, which made me quite interested in the other seven.

One of those four is Ashencult (the other two being Infiltrator and Sadgiqacea), and in a flash of fortunate coincidence I deduced (okay, I’m guessing) that the Ashencult song, “My Tenth Death”, must be the track that Ashencult contributed to Opus Serpens, the forthcoming vinyl split with Sweden’s Mephorash — whose own contribution we premiered just a bit earlier today (here). Man, “My Tenth Death” is a riveting piece of music, with dark, magnetic riffs that exert their hold from the first seconds and vocals that burn like a napalm storm. Seriously, it’s a great song.

And it’s not the only great song on this release. How do I know? Because all 10 of the tracks on Anthrosphere IV are streaming on Bandcamp. Continue reading »