Calligram – Askesis

Stop paying attention for a minute and a slew of underground acts with immense talent will pass by. There’s just a lot of music out there. Obviously. When Basick Records pulled the pin on Askesis, the label debut of multi-nation marauding powerhouse Calligram, they dug deep into the ground, wrenching out a wholly satisfying genre blender of most unholy nature. And there’s so many big dirty riffs, before the stiff upper lip of review speak gets too much. Riffs and beats and grooves, too. The opening six minute salvo of “Della Mancanza” discharges all of the bite and snarl of…

Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained

After finally listening to Kingdoms Disdained, its clear that guitarist Trey Azagthoth’s deterioration as a songwriter has been a key, unaddressed factor that’s affected Morbid Angel’s recent output. While he may have written some of death metal’s greatest riffs during the band’s heyday, Kingdoms Disdained is the best case study thus far in terms of demonstrating Azagthoth’s slipping capability as the driving force of Morbid Angel’s sound. It was easy to overlook Heretic given how generally forgettable it was, and the predominant critiques of Illud Divinum Insanus revolved more around the band’s decision making than anything else. But now that Morbid Angel have entered into the perfect setup for a successful comeback, it’s difficult to overlook how complacent Azagthoth’s songwriting is across the entirety of Kingdoms Disdained. There’s no denying the album is an incomparable improvement over their industrial metal excursions, but it’s also difficult to avoid comparing the album’s aggressively average delivery with the milestone records that have preceded it in the band’s discography

The Anatomy Of – Nullingroots

Yesterday, I reviewed Nullingroots’ Into the Grey, a review in which I lamented getting the word about this band out there so late in the year. Their blend of progressive and post black metal is really something to be in awe of, resulting in an exceptional album. Clearly, there’s a lot going on in the background of such a band and getting a look at their influences would probably be a varied and fascinating affair. Thus, when the opportunity to do just that presented itself, we jumped on it and here we are, posting their Anatomy Of post! The below list, compiled by vocalist/guitarist Cameron Boesch, contains some expected picks (like post black metal geniuses, Lantlos) and some which make sense only in retrospect (like the present of a thrashy riff or two on the album fitting in with the Metallica influence).

Nullingroots – Into the Grey

It has been a fantastic year for black metal. Releases from all over the black metal spectrum have been hitting listeners left and right. From the return of legends like Wolves In the Throne Room to tripped out new comers in the vein of Asira, black metal has both reborn and brought back to its essentials in 2017. As deep winter descends and the year winds down to a close, the book of frostbitten sounds must remain open for just a little more as we induct Nullingroots among these great names. These guys have been active since 2014 and have always paddled in a type of post black metal that should be immediately accessible and appealing to fans of the classics; there’s something remaining here of the austere and depressing atoms of the genre, gilded with plenty of progressive and gaze-y influences.

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE – Listen to Silenmara #shredforthecure On “Bed of Lies”!

Let’s get something out of the way before we begin: FUCK CANCER. Cancer is, without a doubt, one of the worst plagues that humanity has ever faced, as close to the Borg as we’ll ever see in real life (I hope) in the sense of an unstoppable, uncaring and all-encompassing force of destruction. Fighting it is an uphill battle and one in which we have made strides towards victory but are as far as ever from an ultimate triumph. Resources are needed and must be pooled if we want to keep pushing back against this thing and we should all contribute how and when we can.

Take Silenmara as an example; this Miami progressive death metal based band started #shredforthecure, a subsidiary foundation set up to support Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Hey! Listen to Ethnor!

December is invariably a great month for musical discovery; less albums are being released but more people are combing into the year that has gone by and finding overlooked gems. Case in point, Ethnor’s Exile. This excellent EP was introduced to me by Noyan just before our podcast and boy is it good; it digs a bit deeper into the whole “death metal with oriental influences” thing that Shokran have been exploring for a while and adds a ton of progressive flourishes. The result is an album that knows how to be heavy as all hell when it wants to, experimental and moody at other times and overall incredibly interesting and complex. Let’s head on down below for your first taste and meet afterwards to discuss!

107 – AOTY 2017 Part I: Categories

  It’s the time of the year! We’re discussing our favorite albums of the year, or more specifically, the albums that are most worthy of discussion. Before we jump into the meat, we talk about two news items – Hark calling it quits and this very cool neural network paper that talks about generating The Dillinger Escape Plan and Krallice music using AI. Then we go into the AOTY deliberations! This week, we outline some categories, and choose our picks for them. Next week we’ll work on a ranked list! The category listing is after the jump. Enjoy! By the…