Mizmor – Cairn

Blackened doom is a metal subgenre that has, to my ears, remained mostly untapped compared to other genre-meshing hybrids. Blackened death, death-doom, blackgaze, and blackened thrash all have a list of artists that could be considered legends in each respective camp (dISEMBOWELMENT, Deafheaven, and Destroyer 666/Aura Noir come to mind).…

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Full of Hell – Weeping Choir

Well, dear reader, here we are again. It’s been just over two years since the release of Full of Hell’s last full length. In the time since Trumpeting Ecstasy, they’ve released a second collaboration with sludge/noise savants The Body, this time taking a detour into the wild world of power…

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Altarage – The Approaching Roar

For all its historic and contemporary emphasis on gore, violence, and the southern hemisphere of the otherworldly, it’s a bit surprising how unscary modern death metal is. Perhaps it’s my own desensitization to the music that I’ve explored in depth for the past several years, but it seems like there…

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Ataraxy – Where All Hope Fades

Death-doom is having a bit of a moment. Developed from the initial undercurrent of the works of Incantation, Asphyx, Decomposed, Katatonia, and diSEMBOWELMENT, the little subgenre that could has produced some of metal’s best and most consistent bands. Hooded Menace and Hamferð have already released two of 2018’s best records,…

Outliers // 2017

Welp. You’ve seen it. You’ve debated it. You’ve cried over it. But what’s done is done: Our list of the best albums of the year is behind us, and there is much rejoicing. But what about the albums we loved that didn’t make the cut? For those of you who…

Desolate Shrine – Deliverance from the Godless Void

There is often a mystique surrounding bands that take several years in between projects. Whether they deserve it or not, bands and artists who most often fall into this camp (the Tools and Sufjan Stevenses of the world) tend to be surrounded by hype simply for the fact that they have not released new material in a significant period of time. This isn’t to say that the material released cannot be quality, because it most certainly can be, but rather that there seems to be a strange thread in musical fandom that connects time elapsed between records to expected quality/increased hype. Finnish death metal maestros Desolate Shrine represent the exact opposite of this phenomenon. Having released four albums in just over six years, the band’s fans barely have enough time to absorb their last album before the release of their next project. This pace of material creation also comes with its own potential downsides, but none of them seem to apply to Desolate Shrine, who have topped their previous efforts with each new record, culminating in the crown jewel of their discography, this year’s Deliverance from the Godless Void. In the war of quality over quantity, Desolate Shrine seems to ask: why not both? What a novel proposition.

Death’s Door // October 2017

Welcome to Death’s Door, nerds. We’re freshly past Our Lord and Infernal Master’s designated holiday, and I’m so hopped up on candy and the blood of the non-believers that I can’t even function. Despite my shot adrenal glands and ever-expanding waistline, there’s a whole lot of premium death metal to cover, as has been the custom in this most nefarious year of 2017. Praise be. October is typically a fantastic month for premier releases, especially in the world of metal. In that regard, this October did not disappoint. Melodic death metal in particular saw a glut of fantastic releases, while death-doom and progressive death metal both unleashed releases that are poised to transform the way we think about death metal as a whole. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 2017 is one of the finest years for death metal of nearly every shape and type in recent memory. This is legitimately the second golden age of death metal, and I hope and pray it continues in perpetuity. Regardless, let’s celebrate the health of the music we love while it continues to fester and rot in new and unexpected ways. Our picks this month pull from many different sectors of the death metal world. Post your picks in the comments and let us know what you loved/what we missed. Let’s do this.

Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing

Sometimes I listen to albums and mini-movies play in my head. Narratives that to me encapsulate the sound, the feeling, of the music I am listening to. Spectral Voice has been doing this to me for years, with demo after demo of evocative, strangling death-doom that conjures images and stories that transcend the boundaries of my typically limited imagination. Their debut full-length album, Eroded Corridors of Unbeing, is no exception. In fact, it is the apex of everything the band have thus far released. It is cavernous, ethereal, terrifying, expertly performed, compositionally sound, and an utter masterpiece of death-doom glory. This is music that soundtracks nightmares of spiteful aliens, burning space stations, decaying planets, and the coming of the end of all things. It is music constructed for the dark. Prepare yourself accordingly.