Panopticon – Autumn Eternal (2015)

Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Panopticon

Album: Autumn Eternal

Label: Bindrune Recordings

 

After three releases in the vein of DSBM/Atmospheric Black metal, Panopticon, the brainchild of Austin Lunn, rose to prominent attention with 2012’s Kentucky. For what may have been the first time in black metal, Panopticon incorporated the use of traditional folk music from the southern United States, including banjo, steel string guitar and fiddle. The unconventional approach worked for some, and others disregarded as a gimmick, but Kentucky was widely regarded as a high achievement in American black metal, and the term ‘Appalachian Black Metal’ was used to distinguish the music’s influences from its northern Cascadian cousins. Continue reading

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Ævangelist – Enthrall to the Void of Bliss (2015)

Author: Arvind

Band: Ævangelist

Album: Enthrall to the Void of Bliss

Label: 20 Buck Spin

The first semblance of organized structure on Aevangelist’s latest offering, “Enthrall to the Void of Bliss”, comes nearly 8 minutes into the opening track. Up until then, “Arcanae Manifestia” plods along, a sprawling mass of creaking industrial sounds, buried cymbals, and swirling chaos. It’s impressive just how many disparate sounds Aevangelist are able to cram into their sonic space. For every solid death metal chug, there are industrial scrapes, vocal wrenches, angular riffs, and even a church bell or two. As you might imagine, there’s a lot going on here. Consequently, “Enthrall to the Void of Bliss” comes across as a messy, chaotic affair, but it’s clear that chaos is exactly what they were going for. Continue reading

Nahab – Nahab (2015)

Author: Dave

Band: Nahab

Album: Nahab

Label: Independent

Nahab are a trio from Kentucky that have recently released their eponymous full-length debut. The album begins with “Azathoth Rising” and features a voiceover of the introduction to Lovecraft’s Azathoth. The voice sounds like it was lifted from a radio show from the nineteen forties. As the man speaks in his perfectly stoic yet slightly grainy voice, a steady drumbeat on the toms plods along. A background of choatic playing and howling wind slowly builds in volume and eventually overtakes him. Though this first track doesn’t sound much like the rest of the album, it’s an excellent starting point, as chaos and Lovecraftian themes are what Nahab excel at. Continue reading

Riff Theory #1 – Thantifaxath – The Bright White Nothing at the End of the Tunnel

Author: Bloodshot Grub

Title: Riff Theory #1 – Thantifaxath

Song: The Bright White Nothing at the End of the Tunnel

Album: Sacred White Noise

(Ed: A new feature we’re trialing, most likely paired with tues/thurs reviews. Feedback welcome!)

Listening to metal and playing music have always gone together in my life. It wasn’t long after I first heard Dream Theater’s Images and Words that I decided I wanted to be a drummer, and that was the beginning of a lifetime of musical study that resulted in, among other things, me becoming a huge music theory nerd. So here’s a place for me to pay tribute to and nerd out about metal’s great riffs, past and present. Welcome to Riff Theory. Continue reading

Heimdalls Wacht – Ut De Grute Olle Tied (Deel Twee) – Land Der Nebel

Author: Crono

Artist: Heimdalls Wacht

Album: Ut De Graute Olle Tied (Deel Twee) – Land Der Nebel

Label: Heidens Hart Records

 

Heimdalls Wacht is a pagan black metal band from Germany that has been around for many years, with sixth full length releases and a few other smaller releases. I haven’t had the chance to look too far back into the catalogue, so I have no clue how this album compares to their other material. To get right to the point, this album is amazing! Continue reading

My Dying Bride – Feel the Misery (2015)

Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: My Dying Bride

Album: Feel The Misery

Label: Peaceville Records

My Dying Bride is a band often accused of laying their drama and melancholy on a little thick for many people’s sensibilities. But earlier this year, vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe’s father passed away. And when this year’s release Feel the Misery opens with the track And My Father Left Forever, only a heartless man could disregard the singer’s sorrow as forced or contrived. Continue reading

Shroud of the Heretic – Unorthodox Equilibrium (2015)

Author: Arvind

Band: Shroud of the Heretic

Album: Unorthodox Equilibrium

Label: Iron Bonehead

One of the chief criticisms of cavernous, subterranean death metal is that it tends to blur into walls of aimless sound. There’s a tendency among bands of this oeuvre to assume that a lack of interesting song structure can be masked with noise, murky production, or ambience. I’m happy to say that Shroud of the Heretic navigate around these pitfalls excellently, and create an abyssic death metal record that pull no punches while still making room for a few touches of ritualistic mysticism. Shroud of the Heretic’s last effort, Revelations in Alchemy was a less patient affair, though no less full of swirling blastbeats and cavernous production. Continue reading