There’s gotta be a start to every trajectory of a soul-crushing sonic chronicle. The Liverpool-based post-sludge metal overlords Mairu had just started embarking on their subliminal journey through their debut LP entitled Sol Cultus (Trepanation Recordings).
Distortion and volume alone do not equate to heavy. Heaviness is the feeling these sounds invoke. Sonic alchemy can be oppressive, horrifying, depressing, creepy or somehow unsettling; Gateway finds themselves touching on all of these feelings on their new album Galgeendood (Transcending Obscurity Records). Belgium is not at the top of my list when it comes to places I might expect this kind of subterranean death doom to emerge from, but here we are. This album is the follow-up to Robert Van Oyen’s 2015 debut, under the Gateway moniker.Continue reading →
In late 2020, Foretoken warned the entire world of one thing: the Virginia Beach-based duo is on a mission to completely shake up the status quo. Three years later, Triumphs (Prosthetic Records) is proof positive the mission is so far a smashing success.
It is an often overlooked but undeniable fact that up to the present day, Katatonia is on a phenomenal creative run; arguably one of the best in Metal music, in general. Since 2006’s The Great Cold Distance (and arguably even before this), Katatonia have been consistently put out near classics up to 2016’s excellent The Fall Of Hearts, with even 2020’s hiatus ending City Burials (all Peaceville) standing shoulder to shoulder with such works. Firmly returned from a brief absence, 2023 sees the band’s second album since this return, on a new label home for the first time in their career.
A core facet of the human experience is that of compelling, powerful emotions. About how within our busy lives, halting for a moment can bring with it overwhelming feelings; positive or negative, and perhaps even ultimately unexpected. How such moments can highlight your headspace more than you even realised until you have that reprieve? It is this mindset that South Africa’s Constellatia are perfectly suited to with the latest release Magisterial Romance (Season of Mist) serving a worthy soundtrack to a reflective pause.
Nuclear Blast Records have been on somewhat of a roll recently, releasing big new albums from the likes of Machine Head, Soulfly, and Behemoth in recent weeks. But one of their lesser-known bands Irist certainly deserve some attention, and their new EP Gloria (Nuclear Blast) is the first new music they’ve released since their debut album Order Of The Mind arrived in 2020.
Banefyre (Season of Mist) is the twelfth album from Crippled Black Phoenix, the category-defying collective centred around Justin Greaves, a former doom metal drummer (for bands such as Electric Wizard and Iron Monkey) turned multi-instrumentalist songwriter. The current studio lineup of the band has Greaves joined by longstanding vocalist Belinda Kordic, plus more recent recruits Helen Stanley (keys, synths, trumpet), Andy Taylor (guitars), and new second vocalist and third guitarist Joel Segerstedt.
Satyricon & Munch (Napalm Records) is the coming together of two icons of Oslo, Norway – the visuals of artist Edvard Munch inform a new piece of music by black metal veterans Satyricon. With the music inspired by — and presented as part of — a new exhibition at Oslo’s MUNCH museum, this 56-minute recording of new material exists also independent of its visual counterpart. If expecting a full-on black metal album, approach with caution; for those ready for an atmospheric, instrumental journey, this dark trip may be worthy of your time.
Kardashev are a progressive death metal band out of the blazing desert land of Tempe, Arizona. Their sophomore full length, Liminal Rite (Metal Blade), is an epic journey overflowing with atmosphere, beauty and bone crunching, head rattling metal. One moment you find yourself in a tranquil trance, the next your ears are pulverized with viciously biting brutality. Continue reading →