Portrayal of Guilt – Let Pain Be Your Guide

My initial impressions of portrayal of guilt, mostly based off their self-titled EP, were that the band bore compelling similarities to You Fail Me-era Converge.  Holistically, both releases invoke the sense of urgency in the aftermath of trauma (something arguably still present in Let Pain Be Your Guide); more specifically,…

Mentor – Cults, Crypts and Corpses

Have you ever asked yourself: “I wonder what Clutch but with thrash metal influences thrown in would sound like?” If, like me, you’ve answered that question with “uuuhhhh hell fucking yes”, then Mentor’s debut, full length release, Cults, Crypts and Corpses is exactly what you need. They make a kind of no holds barred,…

Riven – Hail to the King

Ah, October. The month of changing colors and the impending onset of winter. The shadows get longer and there’s an air of mystery enveloping the world. Perfect time of year for some music that reminds you of the inevitable end of all things! Riven definitely does that with their take…

Monobody – Raytracing

One of the most consistently difficult and frustrating things about covering music that falls into the buckets of math rock, fusion, prog, and more is that a central and foundational tenet of that music – complexity – also ends up being the very thing that is the music’s undoing. Fans can (and do) constantly obsess over how many unusual time signatures a song packs in as a proportional measure of how great that music is, but so often in the pursuit of the most head-spinning riffs, polyrhythmic grooves, and impenetrable song forms, what most frequently is lost is the music itself and whether it’s actually worth listening to. There’s nothing wrong with complexity and complicated music, but if there isn’t an adequate payoff for the time and patience required to “understand” it then what exactly are we doing here?

Vouna – Vouna

When I tell you that Vouna are signed to Artemisia Records (a name which evokes both important, female, historic figures and America’s Pacific Northwest), the label founded by Wolves in the Throne Room, and that they play self described “Cascadian Funereal Doom”, you should already have a pretty strong mental image of what you’re about…

Deschain – Grit Part 2: Drift

Have you ever stopped to consider how weird it is that American metal bands from across all genres (but especially heavy and black metal) adopt what are essentially Germanic/Scandinavian symbology and cultural language? After all, while a more significant portion of Germans did make up early and mid-19th century American…

Street Sects – The Kicking Mule

Austin, Texas favorite sample-based sons Street Sects career arc has been a fast, strange and always interesting one, with their extreme and extremely well-received debut End Position garnering them widespread praise, the band have evolved their sample-based sound while moving slowly away from their industrial elements, playing more to the post-punk side…

Ayahuasca – Beneath the Mind

There must have been a point, early in Slipknot’s rise to fame, where the joy of new fans discovering the band was only matched by the despair of house sound engineers when presented with their technical specifications for a live show. Pushing the size of your band beyond four or…