These posts are written by: Jimmy Rowe

Car Bomb – Mordial

Car Bomb have always been on the cutting edge, but since their 2012 revival w^w^^w^w, they’ve held a special place within the metal community that’s only grown with each record, particularly reaching new heights on 2016’s Meta, which was our album of the year. Hopes are always high for Car Bomb, and here we are with Mordial.

The Contortionist – Our Bones

Two years out from Clairvoyant, The Contortionist offer an update on their musical journey with the scant but worthwhile Our Bones. Four tracks (three originals and a cover) that provides some insight on the continued expansion of the band’s sound. Fans of Clairvoyant will be satisfied with the moves made on Our Bones, with the only complaint being that there just isn’t enough new music to go around.

Periphery – Periphery IV: HAIL STAN

It’s 2019, and Periphery are untethered by third-party oversight and have complete creative freedom. One would expect, given their memey and not-so-serious aesthetic and progressive-leaning musical nature, that they must have not had much oversight from their previous label Sumerian Records to begin with; after all, much of the music that Periphery were releasing under Sumerian had a paper trail of demos from the Bulb Soundclick demo era of the band, and the output was always super consistent in terms of quality and musical direction, so it was easy to just assume that the band called their own shots.

Ceremony of Silence – Oútis

The murky and amorphous style of extreme metal that has taken root in the wake of acts like Gorguts, Portal, and Deathspell Omega has seemingly become the predominate driving creative force in the underground extreme metal zeitgeist in recent years. The emphasis on weird, Lovecraftian atmospheres has infected both black and death metal, with acts like Imperial Triumphant, Artificial Brain, Pyrrhon, and Dodecahedron, to name a few, land on year-end lists with wonky, dissonant riffs, and a flair for the experimental. The trouble at this point is that when working within such an esoteric sound, it becomes difficult to carve out a niche and break out from the pack. Up and coming bands, take note: murk chords and blastbeats aren’t cutting it anymore.

Fallujah – Undying Light

Major lineup changes, particularly from the replacement of a member fundamental to the band’s sound like a founding vocalist, can cause a clear divide in not only a band’s fanbase, but the narrative of the band’s discography into distinct eras. Bay Area progressive death metal act Fallujah have just entered their own new era of music following the departure of vocalist and keyboard player Alex Hoffman in 2017.