It always pains me when I become a fan of someone’s work or a band when they decide to call it quits or reveal that their new album will be their last. This is the case for Shroud of Despondency, a black metal act from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that gives us pure black metal that delivers rawness and power as well as atmosphere and melodies. The band consists of two members now, Rory Heikkila (all music) and Ron Blemberg (vocals) and they deliver a rather AAA performance with their ‘DIY’ plug in and record methods that they disclaim on their Bandcamp page. Well using ‘shit equipment’ doesn’t matter when the talent is truthfully present and their use of this equipment and software gives them a great progressive approach on an old school sound using newer methods. Shroud of Despondency is done with all of the bull shit and this final album is their negativity on full blast for us all to enjoy.
Sometimes when you hear of an oriental metal band you may think of poppy choruses, boasting loud guitars and females dancing in school girl outfits. Well Ghost Bath is from China and no they do not possess the energy and light show of your semi typical event. No this is a brooding, emotionally deep, depressing type of album. Ghost Bath sucks you in slowly and then proceeds to blast your face off, only to take it all away and get truly emotionally low with the music. If there was anything that would push you over the edge and make you want to take the plunge, it’s this album.
Hailing from Pomona, CA comes forth a furious blend of the heaviest hardcore and death metal mix I’ve ever heard! Xibalba’s Tierra Y Libertad gives us a mix of these two fine genres without turning it into deathcore, which is on a thin line as it is with their simple yet amazing approach to song writing. Xibalba translates to “place of fear” and is the name of the underworld found within Mayan mythology, where it is ruled by the Maya death gods and their helpers. This land of the dead is portrayed well within Xibalba’s sound, as they maintain an ultra brutal devastation type of sound within their wall of excellent tone. The cover art also does a fine job at showing the listener what they should expect to hear before they even press play. This is pure unholy war.
Ever just want some fearless ass kicking instrumental stoner/sludge music to jam out to? If you have been searching, then Karma to Burn is PERFECT. Even if you weren’t searching for something like this, Karma To Burn’s new album is just so good that you cannot pry away once the music has started. The upbeat high energy whiskey fueled tempos and bong resin tone/fuzz just makes this release, Arch Stanton, a high impact and enjoyable listening experience. There is no nonsense filler here, this is massive amounts of filthy southern edge being forced into your body. It’s very exhilarating and always puts me in a good mood when I listen to this.
Double albums…..they can be an experience. A good chunk of your day will be gone after you enjoy a double album and they usually are about 1.5 to 2 hours long. Arcane’s sublime progressive journey is nearly 2.5 hours long! I could damn near drive to St. Louis (I am in Kansas City) in that amount of time! Known – Learned is my first time listening to these guys and boy is it a wild start for someone just getting into a band. Something of this scale is quite monumental and intimidating, even for someone who can listen to a 50 minute song/EP (Eye of Solitude, various other black/doom/drone bands). Arcane starts off with good momentum and with the right amount of uniqueness within the progressive metal and something I can familiarize with I dove head first into the expansive release that is Known/Learned.
When you think of Richmond, Virginia do you think of frost bitten Scandinavian black metal? Well you will now with Unsacred’s new album “False Light”. The inspired writing and fierce riffing found within the false light is a vicious blasting of all of the senses. An attack that only Marduk has displayed so far this year, Unsacred’s no holds barred sound offers us a pleasurable experience with their integrity and energy. All hail the Scandinavian sound from Virginia!
Nothing beats some good ol bloody death metal when you’re in the mood for it. Want something new from someone you may have never heard of? I suggest Gorelust from Canada! This rotten slab of metal meat only comes with bloated riffs, maggot filled drum work, oozing bass tone and fowl vocal work. Brutal death metal suffers from a lot of bands whom replace quality riffing with slam riffs these days and it’s finally grand to hear a band whom want to shove as many god damn riffs down our throats as possible within 10 songs. These tracks are just heavy as hell. “We Are The Undead” delivers 10 counts of aggravated battery.
Twingiant is a 5 piece “stoner” metal band out of Pheonix, AZ and their new album MUST be inspired from their experience at a KFC after a night filled with bong hits and craft brews. Devil Down is crunchy, moist on the inside and overly rich with flavor and calories. This old school doom sound is lead by seriously great guitar riffs and fuzzy bass guitar. Vocals are spread out and this approach gives us a chance to just zone the fuck out and absorb the electric music that flows from these guys. Yeah man.
Welcome to the FIRST installment of my new lazy as fuck review series. Sometimes I just do not want to go into full detail about an album. I can review an album with a brief description and a score just fine, right? Well this is an off shoot of my old series “Qreviews” or Quick Reviews”. This TL;DR (meaning “Too Long, Didn’t Read”, which originated from Reddit I believe) series will offer 4-6 bands per post, with links to the bands so you can jam this shit and buy the music that deserves to be purchased.
Ennoven is a one man project from Warsaw, Poland who is influenced by the power and beauty of nature. A common theme with atmospheric and ambient black metal bands. Does this one stand out from the rest and deliver profound musical offerings that the others fail to bring to the black metal party? Short answer is yes, the guitars resonate and gleam, the bass is nasty and the drumming serves it’s purpose. Vocals have this Sviatibor sound to them, just that distance howling scream that sits on top of the music perfectly. The music often touches things outside of the black metal realm too with wildly noticeable post-rock riffing that folds and flows like the endless ocean into one another. The rolling whimsical style of the music makes this a skin crawling experience and the album flows on and on until the very end, something I love since it grabs me and never lets go.