May 022022

(Wil Cifer wrote the following review of a new album-length EP by the Australian extreme doom band Mournful Congregation. The first in a two-part series of EPs, it will be released by 20 Buck Spin (North America) and Osmose Productions (everywhere else) on May 27th.)

When it comes to sub-genres in metal, funeral doom is one of my favorites. It is typically the more depressive of the doom sub-genres, though just playing at a dopamine-draining tempo is not the requirement to excel in this style. With any form of extreme music, the oppressive heaviness might be enough for the first song, then after that it boils down to the question, “But can you write a song ?”

Here is what puts this Australian band at the top of the funeral doom heap. They might even be the best, though Evoken is neck-and-neck with them. In saying that it means my expectations are high. What I hoped for was a new full-length album, since it has been four years since their last release. The reality is this is the first of a two-part series of EPs. We are getting three songs, one of these being a reworking of a song from their 1995 demo tape. Which, considering that was 27 years ago, makes this for all practical purposes a new song. Continue reading »

Jun 012017


(Here’s Wil Cifer’s review of the new album by Goatwhore from New Orleans, which will be released on June 23rd via Metal Blade Records.)

Seven albums in, and the swampy metal machine known as Goatwhore continues to press forward with a formula that would have gone flat for other bands a couple of albums ago. I am not sure when they have had the time to record anything, as these guys seem to be constantly on the road, so the fact they squeezed these sessions in is impressive in its own right.

This album is not a wild deviation from their sound, but the songwriting has sharper focus and, with their sound man producing, it plays off their strength, which is the energy of their live shows. This might also be one of the band’s most melodic albums, despite the fact it also seems to be Goatwhore fully embracing their death metal side.  Normally their sound is characterized by being a hybrid swirl of sub-genres. Here, beginning with the first track, the aggression locks in everything in such a way that the hooks are shoved down your throat. Continue reading »