Manes – Slow Motion Death Sequence

Hidden histories are a tricky thing. On one hand, they’re everywhere, untold stories bubbling beneath the surface of clean, accepted narratives. They’re also fascinating in their obscurity, inviting a host of retellings, rediscoveries and the create of new, even cleaner, more “accurate”, meta-narratives. On the other hand however, they tend…

Extremity – Coffin Birth

In trying to find explanations for how so many things in our world are unique and yet able to be categorized by our minds – such as, for instance, how two chairs could share practically no traits in common and yet still both be recognized as chairs – Plato created…

Mantar – The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze

Despite being just a guitar and drum duo, Mantar still sound just as massive as their modern sludge metal brethren. On their third album The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze, Erinç Sakarya (drums, vocals) and Hanno Klänhardt (vocals, guitars) continue their consistent trend of dropping an abrasive slab of blackened, crusty sludge every two years, all…

Stern – Missive: Sister Ships

One of the greatest traits of the underground music community is its deeply collaborative nature. A journey into one artist’s discography will often illuminate connections to other like-minded artists, which initiates the insatiable quest to devour yet another intriguing discography. Such is the case with Stern, which likely attracted attention due to its…

The Dark Third – Even As the Light Grows

Here’s the thing about writing reviews: it’s a constant act of parsing. What you’re trying to do when writing a review is to take something that has many elements which are either impossible to utter because of their elusive nature of just very, very hard to put into words because they’re so complex and subtle. Often times, the tools we have at our disposal (like genres, structures, post layouts and more) do a good enough job of letting us do just that and write a review. But sometimes it’s exceptionally hard. This usually happens when you’re dealing with ambitious albums, works of music which attempt to approach many issues at once or tackle one issues from multiple directions. If the music is also varied and composed of many parts then you’re in for even more of a challenge.

Rebel Wizard – Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response

Black metal can be such an interesting genre. There are so many different ways to take the sound. You can be fairly straightforward and make the most evil sounding music possible and follow in the footprints of our Norwegian forefathers; you can just go heavy on the imagery but make fairly accessible metal a la Venom; you can get atmospheric and create a more environmental sound the completely enraptures you. Or you can tell all that stuff to fuck off and get really weird with it. Such is the path chosen by Rebel Wizard, a one man project from Ferny Creek, Australia. The latest record, Voluptuous worship of rapture and response, is just the latest example of this unique take on the genre.

Crossfaith – Ex_Machina

The buzz surrounding Osaka’s Crossfaith seemed to dissipate as quickly as it arrived. The quintet quickly amassed formidable reputation based on their exhilarating live shows and their intriguing blend of EDM and modern metalcore. Unfortunately, the excitement the band brought on the live front failed to translate to record, and…