Dec 182023

(This isn’t DGR‘s annual year-end list. That might yet come. This is the first Part of a four-Part collection of reviews, focusing on 2023 albums we hadn’t managed to review before.)

Every year we do this; the final clearing of the slate before the annual list-making season begins. This year will be no different, because like every other year, I’m also opening this with an apology to the bands included.

Normally my reviews tend to be long-winded and wordy as can get because I enjoy the long-form dissection of an album – no matter how repetitive in my choice of phrases as I may get – and the final clearing tends to be shorter. It was my intent not to do so this year but life happened.

Not only that, life happened hard and life happened in such a way that I’m going to have a very, very difficult time talking about it for a long time and I’m not entirely convinced that we’ll ever be any definition of ‘okay’ again around here, so much as we are just getting by and in a permanent state of ‘recovering’. It’s been tough.

But, I haven’t forgotten about this because as much as we’ve spoken about how life and work kick our asses and the website takes a backseat, this is one of my few outlets. As a result, I’m not sure if I have it in me to do my usual end of the year clusterfuck – though I will try – but I do want to at least get some words out about the last remaining groups of releases that have haunted my ‘to review’ notes over the year. Continue reading »

Oct 282023

Autopsy – photo by Nancy Reifert

Prepare for… a lot of sentences that begin “Prepare for….”

It’s a little way for me to say very little about what you’ll hear but without me feeling like I’ve done nothing to induce listening or to thank the bands.

The shorthand is necessary because the past week produced so damn much music I’d like to recommend, and because I got lots of suggestions from other people, including my compadres Andy Synn and DGR. Their picks and mine, which produced a mix of bigger bands and more obscure bands, are arranged here in alphabetical order by band name.

Prepare for… lots of twists and turns…. Continue reading »

Oct 202021


(This is DGR‘s review of the new album by The Breathing Process, which was released on October 8th by Unique Leader.)

Sometimes a song can define a whole album for you. Samsara, the previous release by the genre maelstrom of deathcore, symphonic death, and black metal that is The Breathing Process, definitely had one of those songs. An eight-year gap between albums saw a group with a ton of material available to them, and Samara was one of those albums where every song was different, but if you’ve lurked around these hallowed halls long enough you’ve probably heard me banging the drum about the song “The Nothing” enough times to consider calling the cops and filing a noise complaint.

It was a massive song that was equal parts dynamic and cinematic and it was something that I had hoped The Breathing Process would take cues from in the future. Well, like all good turn-of-the-millennium TV commercials about the internet, “The Future Is Now”. October 8th saw the release of the band’s newest album, Labyrinthian, arriving only three years after Samsara and with a new vocalist in tow. Armed with over fifty minutes of music on their latest release, The Breathing Process have an album that is singularly focused on one objective, in comparison to its predecessor. After a handful of listens the one thing the band really seem to have settled on is sounding massive. Continue reading »

Sep 172021


In part because the deluge of metal has continued unabated this week, and in part because I had a little more time than usual to keep track of what was coming out, I prepared a truly massive round-up of new songs and videos. To make it possible for me to recommend as much as I can, I’ve again resorted to this stripped-down format, choking down my usual verbosity and not taking time to grab all the artwork.

I’ve again alphabetized my giant list by band name and divided it into segments. I’ll get as far as I can with these segments today, and then pick up the rollout tomorrow. In Part 1 I only made it to “C”.

AEON (Sweden)

We begin with a video, and a sorrowful stroll through a cemetery which becomes a harrowing tale told partially in reverse, a tale that increasingly becomes supernatural and horrifying. The explosive and ferocious music is even more intensely harrowing. Prepare to have all your nerve endings ignited, and to chant: GOD ENDS HERE! Continue reading »

Jul 162021


As you can see, I had time enough yesterday to make my way through a lot of music that surfaced over the last week or so, and found a lot to like — even more than you’ll see here, because I decided to devote this round-up exclusively to songs with videos and leave the others for another time. The visual approaches are quite wide-ranging and so is the music. I decided to set them out in alphabetical order by band name, and that coincidentally turned out to make for an interesting sonic sequence.

Get popcorn, or whatever else you like to chew on while glued to a screen, and perhaps a preferred intoxicant, then sit back and get ruined or rapt or both.


Benighted teamed up with Metal Injection for the premiere of a lyric video for a new digital single, “A Personified Evil,” which includes guest vocals by Francesco Paoli from Fleshgod Apocalypse. As if the song weren’t slaughtering enough without him. Continue reading »

Jan 022019


(Here’s the third installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music.)

Now that I’ve broken it out from the tremendous bulk of the rest of my year-end collective, I’m amused by how much world traveling this specific subset of the list does. It spends a surprising amount of time in France (which has done very well for itself these past few years), some time in the States, some time in Australia, and even manages to touch base with both Canada and Sweden for a few. It is also probably the most varied intsallment so far — the tech-death crews make a strong play here, but you’ll also start seeing some of the prefix-core resurgence that happened recently, as well as some ugly-as-fuck grind (on two fronts). And then there’s however in the hell Author & Punisher might be described.

Oh, did I spoil that Author & Punisher is making an appearance here? Whoops. Well too bad, Beastland is fucking killer but if you want to know why you’ll have to read on and see just where the San Diego noise-engineer found himself. There’s still a lot of list left to go, and knowing me, at least two-thousand more words of intro paragraph left to be written somewhere so let’s get the third chunk of this motherfucker going. Continue reading »

Sep 052018



(DGR prepared this large collection of reviews and streams, addressing some older and some newer music, and some things that haven’t yet arrived in full.)

This poor review collection saw more permutations than I’d be willing to admit, with so many different groups being added and removed for fear that I hadn’t spent enough time with a disc and so wouldn’t be able to speak about it properly, that the body count has to be in the double digits by this point. What this thing did move into was something of a themed archive of releases — bookended by earlier albums but with two that are much more recent, and with preview songs from two upcoming releases in the middle to help transition over the two.

What I found I was listening to recently was the real heavy and destructive forces of powerviolence, death metal, and grind, and on the other side of the spectrum, some real caveman level prefix-core styled music as well, just ones with a taste for the symphonic and speed on top of it. It was fortuitous then that on top of that I had a small collection of singles for upcoming (maybe? in one case) releases that I wanted to talk about that felt like suitable bridges between the two, so that our esteemed editor would’ve have to cleave this poor baby in twain; it kind of felt like a perfect thematic walk along the admittedly arbitrary spectrum brought before you.

Much like my much larger review nightmare collections, this one includes four albums but with somewhat shortened reviews, and all come highly recommended. Fingers crossed, maybe you’ll find something to enjoy as well, once you’re able to scrape your face off of the wall behind you. Continue reading »