Heavy Rewind // Cathedral – The Ethereal Mirror

Just two years after their debut, Cathedral pumped up the tempo and incorporated a slew of influences stretching beyond their solid, but somewhat limited, doom metal sound on Forest of Equilibrium. Shades of sludge à la Black Flag and The Melvins are most apparent, but the band reaches further beyond the low-and-slow realm to pull in influences from hard rock, heavy metal and progressive rock. Most importantly, the band’s vibrant personality sheds its skin entirely and reveals its true colors, thanks in large part by an unhinged, dynamic vocal performance from Lee Dorrian. It’s an exceptional combination that slightly edges out the band’s initial groundbreaking efforts. Whereas several bands contributed to the sound developed in part by Cathedral on Forest of Equilibrium, there’s never really been an album that sounds quite like The Ethereal Mirror, and it remains a multifaceted album with reverberations felt in music from the likes of Baroness, Pallbearer and a decent chunk of modern stoner metal.

Hey! Listen to the New Converge EP Beautiful Ruin!

Thanks to the spoiler-obsessed tendencies of the internet, you probably already saw that Converge are releasing a “surprise” EP today. The legendary metalcore quartet’s latest release drops less than a year after their acclaimed ninth album The Dusk In Us, which landed sixth among our Top 25 Albums of 2017. And honestly, there’s not much more to say than that; the declaration of “new Converge” will prompt fans and detractors to act accordingly, just like they always do when the band drops new material. But if you count yourself a member of the “fan” group, then Beautiful Ruin is a four-track treat of the band doing what they do best: scorching, multifaceted metalcore that’s as engaging as it is punishing.

Gaerea – Unsettling Whispers

Black metal is formulaic in nature. The tropes of the genre have been recycled and reused on an endless spectrum. Bands have been integrating strange things into the style for a long time, yearning to breathe life into the cold and desolate sound beyond the standard helping of meat and…

Bridge Burner – Null Apostle

Anyone who followed metalcore in the mid-to-late-2000s and early 2010s (e.g. me) remembers the movement of bands who declared in unison “we’ve heard some extreme metal and want to be like Converge and Entombed.” Whether their persuasion lied with the black metal, sludge or elsewhere, the key for bands who succeeded (Gaza, Trap Them, etc.)…

YOB – Our Raw Heart

Dear reader, I am going to be straightforward and brutally honest with you: objectivity will fail you. There may be times when you feel as though you can truly step back and objectively appraise a work of art; there may be times where you are certain that your opinion on something is…

Rongeur – An Asphyxiating Embrace

Sometimes, you need a record that is no-nonsense. You don’t always need a huge prog rock record packed to the gills with flowery guitar work and instruments you’ve never heard of. Sometimes you just need a record that’s straightforward pure rock fury. You need a record that’s just aggression given…