Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Arc (2016)


Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Agoraphobic Nosebleed

Album: Arc

Label: Relapse Records



The first time I heard Salome’s landmark album Terminal, I was working a graveyard shift for a security company, driving around the city in the biting cold of January listening to metal on the company car’s shitty sound system. I was still fairly new to sludge and what I had heard focused a great deal on the thickness of the sound, guitars downtuned and multitracked and sent through fuzz and distortion pedals, delays and reverbs, and probably several simultaneous tube amps and cabinets. Terminal, in contrast, was bone dry. One guitar, minimal effects, no bass, drums, and Katherine Katz, whom I had heard before on Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s Agorapocalypse. The sparseness of the production combined with the relentlessly punishing and nihilistic music was unlike anything I had heard before, and over the years it became one of my favorite albums. Having only a few years prior come out of the bleakest period in my life, one characterized by addiction and severe mental illness, the album’s emotional tenor, however bleak, was very comforting. Continue reading

Lycus – Chasms (2016)


Author: Crono

Artist: Lycus

Album: Chasms

Label: Relapse Records



Fans of funeral doom rejoice! Lycus is back to grace us with another epic chapter in their Book of Doom. For those that do not know, Lycus is a Californian funeral doom band with only one previous LP, although they ramped up with a couple of demos. However, their lack of history should not discourage you, because Tempest was hailed as one of the ultimate funeral doom albums of 2013 and caught the attention of many considering it was a debut. Three years later and the next album has finally dropped, reserved for the beginning of 2016 rather than late 2015. Continue reading

Hooded Menace – Darkness Drips Forth (2015)


Author: Goldensundown

Band: Hooded Menace

Album: Darkness Drips Forth

Label: Relapse Records


Hooded Menace are a Finnish 4 piece, sitting firmly in the horror infused death/doom region of metal, using the crushing atmosphere and unearthly sounds of the genre fusion to evoke images of the undead, curses and other classic horror iconography. Darkness Drips Forth is the 4th studio album – and 14th piece of material – that Hooded Menace have dropped and with this release they have taken their horror infused sound and slowed it down further, spreading 40 minutes of crushing death/doom over 4 long tracks, and damn does it work out. Continue reading

Christian Mistress – To Your Death (2015)

Author: Dave

Band: Christian Mistress

Album: To Your Death

Label: Relapse Records

Christian Mistress is a more recent heavy metal band that started in 2009 and have recently put out their third full-length album, To Your Death. And if you’ve ever heard their earlier stuff, you know that this album has a lot to live up to. If you aren’t familiar with them , Christian Mistress play classic-style low- to mid-tempo heavy metal with a lead vocalist (Christine Davis) who sings with the raw energy and tone of Leather Leone, but with a delivery that is a bit more refined. Continue reading

Hope Drone – Cloak of Ash (2015)

Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Hope Drone

Album: Cloak of Ash

Label: Relapse Records

The name Hope Drone may sound like Deafheaven by way of Sunn O))), but what we have instead is yet another atmospheric black metal album. If I sound less than enthusiastic, it’s because that is an accurate reflection of my feelings towards the subgenre at the moment. It seems a new one crosses my radar every few days, and atmospheric music is not something I see as being especially surplus tolerant, especially not late in the summer when the monsoon has passed and the skies are clear and bright every day. And with almost 80 minutes of atmospheric black metal ahead of me on this release, I was expecting something of an ordeal, but Hope Drone won me over. Continue reading

Gruesome – Savage Land (2015)

Artist: Gruesome

Album: Savage Land

Label: Relapse Records

It’s interesting that for a band as well regarded and well known within the early death metal scene as Death is, that there are very little straight up Death worship and imitator bands, especially considering the number of bands hitting that early thrashy death metal that Death and Possessed were spewing out in the late 80’s. However, Gruesome, a project fronted by Exhumed’s Matt Harvey, aims to monopolise on this hole with Savage Land, a set of 8 tracks (over 35 minutes) mimicking Death’s Scream Bloody Gore and, mostly, Leprosy albums. Continue reading