Black Tusk – TCBT

At the time, the Savannah trio Black Tusk’s caffeinated sludge felt like the ultimate median between direct punk rock and the region’s slower or proggier acts. 2008’s Passing Through Purgatory, 2010’s Taste the Sin, and 2011’s Set the Dial sounded alive, raw, furious, loud… they’d almost made your face vibrate.…

Pig Destroyer – Head Cage

New albums from Virginian grindcore legends Pig Destroyer are increasingly few and far between, so each new release is a genuine momentous occasion. This time around, in the six years since Book Burner (which was itself five years removed from Phantom Limb), the stakes grew higher for the band in maintaining their spot on grindcore’s pedestal; or the first time ever, the band have invited a bassist into the fold in John Jarvis, further expanding their lineup after additions of drummer Adam Jarvis replaced Brian Harvey prior to Book Burner and sampler/electronics guy Blake Harrison on Phantom Limb. Such a change in dynamic, both sonically and interpersonally, is bound to have an affect on the output, and when taking into account six years of artistic development and fan anticipation, the group’s latest effort Head Cage was bound to be heavily scrutinized.

The Lion’s Daughter – Future Cult

Experiments. They don’t always go well. Think Shelley’s Frankenstein’s Monster. Morbid Angel’s Illud Divinum Insanus. Flubber. Art, science, and technology are rife with examples of new ideas gone awry, and the consequences these failures exact on their originators and society at large. In metal, experimentation (obviously in definition completely dependent…

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.

Doomsday // June 2018

Greetings, heaviest of Heavy Bloggers! Welcome to Doomsday, our celebratory roundup of all things slow and low, doom and gloom that may have slipped under the radar over the past month (or so). I’ll be frank, fellow doomheads: the month of June, at least for this author, was dominated by…

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…