Unearthly Trance – Stalking the Ghost

First impressions are often a make or break endeavor. Job interviews, first dates, introductions to new people, that awkward first dinner with the folks-in-law… we’ve all had them, and we all know that they matter to some extent. Bands undergo a similar audition for our attention when releasing their first album to the teeming masses, and our willingness to stick with a band throughout their discography is often determined by our regard for their initial work. New York’s sludge-covered doom masters Unearthly Trance are no exception.

HARK – Machinations

HARK’s previous record, Crystalline, marked them as one of the bands to watch from the multitude of artists emerging across the progressive stoner scene. That album held incredible promise, a promise which we’re now delighted to see fulfilled on their 2017 release, Machinations. It is a step forward in every respect, doing away with few problems Crystalline had and further solidifying HARK at the very top of their style. Cutting through some of the filler tracks from the previous album and enhancing the flow of the whole thing in the process, Machinations is a magnificent piece of music which belongs up there with the seminal works of Mastodon themselves.

Kvlt Kolvmn – February 2017

Here we are folks – the second installment of Kvlt Kolvmn, Take Two, a monthly round-up of my top 10 favorite BM releases from the past 30 28 days. While I fully intended to make this an actually recurring segment, all of my time spent digging for new black metal has kept me stoked to come back here with new recommendations. It seems like every week I find a handful of new, invigorated albums that either venerate or progress one of my favorite genres. I will admit that February was a bit sparser than January, and I spent most of the month yearning for some big name albums dropping in March (more on that next month). Still, there was no shortage of great BM in February, and I’m excited once again to not only share these albums with you, but to also see your suggestions of releases I’ve missed out on but are definitely worth a spin.

Hey! Listen to Lorn!

Black metal has a storied and profoundly ugly history. Most fans of metal as a whole need no introduction to the bloody and unhinged events that brought one of metal’s most notorious genres into the limelight. As black metal has progressed, however, less violent and anti-social forms of the genre have taken center stage as the principal players in the genre’s evolution. Blackgaze, atmospheric black metal, experimental black metal, blackened death, the list goes on. But every so often a band emerges that blends the musical stylings that have propelled black metal into bold new territory while heralding back to black metal’s more sinister, malevolent aesthetic; that portion of the genre that makes your skin crawl. Enter Italian black metal duo Lorn and their incredible new EP, Arrayed Claws.