Review: Primitive Man / Unearthly Trance – Split

Primitive Man and Unearthly Trance‘s split is about noise and sludgy, skull-breaking riffs. It’s about atmospheric suffering and how to create hateful doom by only alluding to it half the time. It’s a split whose pitch-black heaviness is constantly lurking in the background, waiting. Watching. Occasionally striking but never killing. Teasing but never getting to the act itself.

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Review: Trappist – Ancient Brewing Tactics

Trappist unites bassist Chris Dodge of Spazz and guitarist Phil Vera of Despise You with co-owner of California’s Grill ‘Em All-slash-drummer Ryan Harkins for a craft beer-based hardcore band that’s an intoxicating amount of fun. Don’t let the name and theme fool you into thinking this is some kind of in-joke – Trappist combines powerful hardcore punk with well-written, intelligent lyrics to great effect over the course of 21 tracks and 33 minutes. The album also doubles as a solid soundtrack for getting drunk off excellent beer pairings.

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Review: Draghkar – The Endless Howling Abyss

Draghkar‘s new EP The Endless Howling Abyss is the one metal media outlets are going to be talking about in a few years. Not just because they missed it the first time around, but because everyone is going to be scrambling to catch up with the band when they’re a bigger deal. So maybe just stay at the forefront of modern death metal and get into the weirdness that is The Endless Howling Abyss now.

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Review: Haunt – Burst Into Flames

I’m slightly under qualified to review Haunt‘s new album Burst Into Flames in that I don’t own a jean jacket or a pair of aviators. I didn’t even listen to this album on cassette at full volume in a Chevy Camaro with the T-Tops off. Despite these crucial setbacks, I feel qualified enough to praise Trevor Church and his newly founded backing band on successfully channelling that classic NWOBHM sound into an album that’s worth blasting at top volume in 2018.

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Review: Backwoods Payback – Future Slum

Future Slum is what I’d imagine Whores would sound like if they were fronted by Chris Cornell with a sore throat. Or maybe Nirvana if they married their grungy simplicity with the noise rock movement they weren’t (really) around for. No matter how you want to look at it, Future Slum by Backwoods Payback is an uncompromisingly dirty and honest rock album from a newly-minted trio that’s at the top of its game.

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Review: Ripped To Shreds – 埋葬

Andrew Lee rooted down in the death metal scene last year with his band Disincarnation‘s only demo. The band promptly broke up after the release, propelling Lee to operate as a solo artist named Ripped to Shreds. Armed with the only Disincarnation song he wrote by himself and seven new tracks, Lee has disinterred a compelling and successfully diverse death metal album that nauseatingly reeks of rot.

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Review: Inexorum – Lore Of The Lakes

Lore Of The Lakes is stylistically reminiscent of 1990s hypnotic black metal and harmonically in the vein of melodic death metal. It’s also a lyrical study of a person or people’s persevering nature in the face of adversity, with both positive outcomes and mournful conclusions. The result of these homages and deep dives into personal histories is one worth listening to over and over again. Continue reading “Review: Inexorum – Lore Of The Lakes

Review: Skeletonwitch – Devouring Radiant Light

I wanted to like Devouring Radiant Light. I don’t, but I wanted to. Post-Chance Garnette Skeletonwitch seemed promising enough with new vocalist Adam Clemans on the 2016 comeback EP The Apothic Gloom. All they had to do was step up their game just a notch or two to really deliver something killer. The two singles off Devouring Radiant Light indicated that maybe they did. In context with the rest of the album, that’s not the case.

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Review: Bloodletter – Under The Dark Mark

It’s only a matter of time before Bloodetter gets picked up by a label. Their new full-length Under The Dark Mark is heavy on the modern thrash sound with songs that get in, fuck you up for about two minutes, and leave before the next one shows up. If you’re a fan of bands like Vektor, Black Fast, and Havok, then you’re going to dig this one.

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Review: Imperial Triumphant – Vile Luxury

Beyond Times Square and its throngs of gaping tourists, or the diurnal peacefulness Central Park, lies the remaining hive of New York City. Lavishness gives way to grime, gives way to richly historic areas, gives way to towering decrepitude. All of which slowly rolls like ocean waves across the peninsula. Imperial Triumphant masterfully examines that endless flow of filth and opulence in an experimental manner akin to electric-era Miles Davis joining forces with Deathspell Omega and Portal, and does so as if it’s been done before.

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