Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets & The Mindless Flora

To simply sum Darkest Hour up to yet another ATG-core band would not only be insulting, but wildly inaccurate as well. The band has been different ever since their inception, as they started much more closely in line with the hardcore-metal crossover of their heyday in the mid-90’s. Eventually this would change, of course. The band began to overlay their blistering metallic-hardcore with melo-death riffs galore, showing that they were not only impassioned Integrity fans, but At The Gates fans as well. The hardcore always lingered though, driving their sound to blistering speeds and intensities that other bands simply could not keep up with. At the time it was remarkable in its own right, the perfect marriage between death metal and hardcore, but soon it led to just as many bands trying to rip them off as closely as many before them had tried to rip off In Flames.

Sunless – Urraca

The state of progressive or technical death metal is an interesting one as it has relatively quickly found the fancy of many modern musicians, swiftly becoming a well-canvassed style with no shortage of quality records. In no small part dominated by giants like Gorguts, Deathspell Omega, and Portal, the genre…

Power Trip – Nightmare Logic

A five step plan to maximizing your experience with Power Trip’s new record Nightmare Logic: Step one: Enter automotive apparatus. Step two: Drive somewhere. Step three: Roll down your windows (I’m aware it’s February… DO IT). Step four: Hit play and crank the volume to an unholy level. Step five:…

Suicide Silence – Suicide Silence

When analyzing art, it is important to keep both the artist’s experience in creating the art and the experience of the consumer absorbing the art in mind. Often times, an artist’s vision can be obscured by our view point and we can lose sight of what was meant to be gained from the experience. On the other side, regardless of what an artist’s intent may be, the consumer has every right to like or dislike something based on their own personal preference. There’s even the possibility that you can completely understand where the creator of art is coming from and appreciate their intent and artistic integrity, but think that the art itself isn’t something remotely enjoyable. In this middle ground of understanding and distaste for what is understood, we find the new self-titled Suicide Silence album nestled quite comfortably.

Lunar Shadow – Far From Light

Metal has, for all intents and purposes, pretty much reached the peak of how far it can really go with the extremity and weirdness while still remaining in its musical sphere and not moving into genres like noise or purely avant-garde. Subgenre movements like brutal slamming deathcore, atonal death metal, and noisegrind have been pushing the limits of slowness, weirdness, and overall listenability into strange, bizarre, wonderful new territories, and although the experimentation is certainly welcome, after a certain line is crossed, the returns start to diminish quickly, and what we’re left with as a musical community is a handful of bands that are great in the context of a clambering race to the tipping point, but really don’t serve much purpose for a listener who wants something, you know, metal. Don’t get me wrong – I love Gigan, Jute Gyte, and probably any other ridiculous and ‘unlistenable’ band you could throw my way, but shit, what’s a guy to do at this point if he’s looking for something more reminiscent of the classic sound?

Henry Kane – Den Förstörda Människans Rike

Like gin and tonic or sunny days and the beach, crust and death are the perfect pairing. The glorious bludgeoning of death metal and overdriven, fuzzy crust makes short work of anyone uneducated in the mires of extreme music; novices may start and stop with Entombed, more shame on them. Henry Kane, a project headed by members of Wombbath, make even shorter work of those unwilling to get a bit of nasty dick crust in their jeans. Den Förstörda Människans Rike might compare to certain records with a certain guitar pedal sound, in that it sounds familiar in tone and feel, but not necessarily in terms of actual content.

NOÊTA – Beyond Life And Death

There is the genre “ambient” and there is the descriptor “ambient.” And though NOÊTA often seems to aspire to the former, what they have created with their new album, Beyond Life and Death, more likely belongs in the latter. Ambient music is a weird thing that, to be successful, has…

Immolation – Atonement

With their latest record, Atonement, Immolation has brought to our ears what is essentially Jake LaMotta in audio. It is not attempting to impress with flashy speed or impenetrable technique. It is instead a fiendishly calculated and precise blow to the face; a menace glowering over the fallen, emanating power and reveling in destruction newly wrought. It is punishing. It is methodical. It is precise. It is destructive.

Emmure – Look At Yourself

It’s necessary to start this review with a bit of a history lesson, because, frankly, I’m not really sure anybody who reads our blog has exactly kept up with Emmure’s turmoil as a band: at the very tail end of 2015, every instrumentalist in Emmure walked away from the band in…

Sail – Slumbersong

When is something good just as another example of its genre, without effort at innovation or experimentation? In other words, how do you distinguish between something that’s just lazy and an earnest work of art created out of love of the genre that might go a bit too far with leaving most of that genre’s tenets intact? Sail’s Slumbersong raises these questions and then some, as it mercilessly worships stoner metal in all its fuzzy glory, never bothering itself with saying anything new or audacious about the genre. But you know what? It works. Slumbersong is a pleasing album, clearly crafte with love and a not irrelevant amount of talent for riffs, raspy vocals and groove.