The most impressive thing about Shade Empire’s new album Sunholy (Candlelight Records) is the range of dynamics it incorporates. However, if you need this to be a Black Metal album you might need to go hunt down the new Taake album or wait for Mayhem’s album to drop, but if you are open to metal that is melodic and offers a great deal of sonic colors then hear me out…
Most of the world is oblivious to the fact nuclear war is closer to reality now than it was during the Cold War. Thus the increasing need for music that taps into the subconscious to remind us of the grim future looming. 3TEETH’s fourth album “EndEx” (Century Media) has all the End Times anxiety you want. The Los Angeles-based band remains consistent in their sonic vision. They work off of industrial strength grooves to pump the lifeblood of their sound to these songs.
Let’s be straight up: Final Gasp’sdebut Mourning Moon (Relapsev Records) is a great album, but going into this we need to be clear in what we expect from it. The album cover, and marketing hype around this album makes you think it’s the second coming of Type O Negative. This is not the case. They draw inspiration from one of my favorite eras of punk rock…the mid eighties. This is when bands like T.S.O.L. and Die Kruzen took a darker turn in a more shadowy direction.
A live album by New Model Army was not expected, but I’ll take it. They have pushed the boundaries of punk since 1980, and this album is another example of how they outgrew the punk label. How many punk bands bring an orchestra with them? New Model Army was never just a three-chord band bashing things out with youthful recklessness; thoughtful songwriting and darker dynamics have always been a part of who they are. This album makes perfect sense given the breadth of their work, as it’s not the first time strings have played a role in their songs.
2023 continues to prove itself as a year of strong death metal as Horrendous drops their fifth album Ontological Mysterium (Season of Mist) and the Philly headbangers might have the year’s best death metal album on their hands, perhaps a bold statement given the fine releases the year has seen from the likes of Obituary, Frozen Soul, Creeping Death, Cattle Decapitation and Outer Heaven.
Incantation is one of the most influential death metal bands of all time. This legacy rests on the shoulders of guitarist John McEntee, who is the sole original member. To his credit, McEntee has been playing with the rest of the band long enough to build the kind of chemistry to make this feel like Incantation even in the absence of Craig Pillard, who went on to form Disma.
If I was to make a list of my top ten bands to emerge over the past decade REZN would certainly be on this list. Back in February, they released Solace which proved to be an excellent slab of doom-gaze. I wasn’t expecting something else from them this year, but they are dropping this collaboration, Silent Futures (Blues Funeral Recordings) with Mexico City’s Vinnum Sabbathi.
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 →
It seems live albums are making a comeback. A slew of metal bands are releasing live albums in the coming months, perhaps in response to the ever-rising price of concerts these days. Add Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats to the list of live albums dropping this summer, though their release takes you back in time. Continue reading →
Perhaps the noticeable increase in crossover thrash coming out this year is intended to fill the void left by bands like Power Trip and Slayer. Rather than jump on this bandwagon, British thrashers Evile are slowing things down on The Unknown (Napalm Records) to focus on songwriting.