Apr 022019
 

 

I never learn. I have music from 10 bands that got me very excited this past weekend (on top of the 7 I wrote about in SHADES OF BLACK on Sunday). Ten is too many for a single post, which means I’m splitting this up, and the thing I never learn is that my best-laid plans always get dashed on the rocks by other life pressures. In my head, I feel that if I put my back into it, like a shackled oarsman on a Roman galley, I can get the second part done. In my head, I also think the odds are that the vessel will ram some Macedonian pirate vessel and sink like a stone.

The music of these 10 bands is all over the place. I usually have inspirations about how to organize the music in these round-ups so there’s some kind of flow. This time, I came up short. It’s all just so different. So I arranged everything in alphabetical order by band name, for want of a better idea. We have A-M here; maybe we’ll have the rest of the alphabet later. Ramming speed!

ACRITARCH

I got quickly addicted to this new release by Acritarch, before the archaeological ministry of my memory could excavate the recognition of who was behind it. Fortunately, Rennie of starkweather, whose mind is so much more agile than my own, knew who it was immediately, and told me. No wonder the album is so damned good. Continue reading »

Jun 052018
 

 

As mentioned yesterday, I’ve been missing in action at NCS for the better part of the last two weeks, attending one metal festival and helping present a second one. The last of these new music round-ups I was able to prepare came on May 18th. Since then, the flood of new metal has continued unabated rather than politely waiting until I could pay attention again. As a result, there’s perhaps even more than the usual degree of randomness in the following selections.

And speaking of randomness, I decided to include some country music at the end, which I learned about through a conversation on Sunday with Austin Lunn (Panopticon). And since I’ve now dropped his name, maybe you’ll be more likely to give the song a chance.

CHURCHBURN

The dark handiwork of Nestor Avalos adorns the new album by Rhode Island’s Churchburn, the name of which is None Shall Live…The Hymns of Misery. It will be released on July 13 through the Armageddon label. Some new members have joined the band since their last album four years ago, and guest performers appear on the album as well. The first advance track, “The Misery Hymns“, is the song I’ve chosen to lead off today’s playlist. Continue reading »

Aug 152017
 

 

Non-blog life is rapidly encroaching on me, so I’m forced to make this round-up short. But it’s sweet. It’s short but sweet. I just made that up… pretty good expression, don’t you think?

IN TWILIGHT’S EMBRACE

For me and many others, The Grim Muse by Poland’s In Twilight’s Embrace was one of 2015’s highlights — a multifaceted and uniformly strong melodic death metal album loaded with fantastic riffs, memorable lead-guitar melodies and solos, powerful performances by the rhythm section, and absolutely ferocious vocals. We had the privilege of premiering the full album stream, and then last year we also debuted a full stream of their next release, an EP named Trembling that also consisted of tracks from the recording session for The Grim Muse.

Today I was excited to learn through an announcement at DECIBEL that the band’s fourth album, Vanitas, will be released on September 22 (through their longstanding label partner Arachnophobia Records). At the same time, DECIBEL premiered a track from the album named “The Hell of Mediocrity“. Continue reading »

Mar 082016
 

tragedy

 

(In this post DGR combines reviews of three recently released albums, by The Howling Void, thenighttimeproject, and Embrace the Darkness.)

As of this writing there’s a pretty hot chance that we’ve already run the little collection of grind groups that I’ve been blasting the last few months [yes, we did]. Truth be told, I’ve actually been working on these two collections side by side, but as the best plans are often wrecked at the last minute, this one began as one review, only to be expanded out to three as I kept finding new stuff that needed to be archived.

All three of the acts here are of the slower and melancholy sort, the type that we use as the amplifier of moods for the grey skies that may be outside, and in this case we’ll be committing absolute heresy because two of the three are pretty much entirely clean sung — hell, one is more depressive rock, but that’ll explain itself as soon as you read who is involved, with the third being a more traditional melodoom band who are getting their feet off the ground. The first clean-sung one, I actually didn’t expect to be that way because of the precedent set by the previous releases, and the other one I did, but as a fan of the musicians involved I felt it had to be shared out there.

Let’s begin with one that might have bred some familiarity amongst our readers, as we last touched bases with the project in December of 2013! Continue reading »

Dec 102013
 

(In this post DGR reviews the new fourth album, now available on Bandcamp, by the one-man entity known as The Howling Void.)

Winter has descended upon Northern California, leaving us all frozen in ice cubes every morning at the shock of sub-thirty-degree weather. As usual, the melancholy mood that strikes around this time of year has found us once again, and so we shift in terms of music from the speed, tech-death, thrash, melo-death, and grind upon which most of this year’s listening has been spent and crawl into to the familiar comforts of the slow, depressing depths of the metal subgenre known as doom — specifically, the type that is remarkably European, laden with keyboards, and created to make the listener envision vast, open fields covered in snow or cities long destroyed, slowly being overtaken by ice. Ethereal almost, if the word strikes you.

When Nightfall by The Howling Void came across the metaphorical desk of yours truly it peaked my interest, in part by defining itself as glacially slow doom and in part because it came from Texas. Not to generalize North America in any sense, especially considering the humongous variety of metal that we have put out and adapted to our own sensibilities over time, but much of the doom that seems to come out of this continent is of the low-fi, fuzzed out, stoner doom sect, rarely using the term “glacial”.

“Glacial” brought up images of slow-moving ice and thus immediately connected to the idea of the more ethereal brand of doom that seems to be a mainstay in Europe, especially when combined with this album’s forest-themed artwork and the band’s logo. From the very start, these signposts made it pretty clear what The Howling Void aimed to achieve on Nightfall, and the album succeeds, coming out of nowhere with a pleasant surprise of that slow, depressing movement for which we come to this genre. Continue reading »