As subgenres of metal continue to evolve, their vaguely defined borders become irrevocably blurred to the point where one would either engage in fruitless pseudo-academic ontology or disregard the idea of subgenre classification altogether. The young upcoming four-piece Apothesary is one of dozens of bands that proficiently blend different styles to create their own well-balanced sound. The American quartet from northern California provides an energetic and exciting mix of thrash and death metal influences on their sophomore album Accept Loss Forever which comes six years after its predecessor. The album’s overarching theme of grief and loneliness, as rather crudely expressed by its title, ties the eleven tracks together to provide some coherence to the album as a whole.
Chicago-based debutants Nucleus mark their arrival on the death metal scene with Sentient; a thirty seven minute album that would make it quite difficult for many listeners to give them any kind of rotation spot. You see, an album like Sentient offers little to make it distinguishable despite bearing all the markings of a good death metal album. On one hand, the concise play time makes for an easy listen yet on the other hand, this listen isn’t actually made easy due to the album’s lack of character. Of course this lack of character is understandable considering that Sentient is the band’s first foray into the world of death metal but that is neither here nor there, especially considering how well some other bands have fared on their debuts.