ALBUM REVIEW: Grief Symposium – …In The Absence of Light


What was the first bit of heavy music you ever heard in your life? Did you level up, gaining mana from the ear-peeling riffs and shouts? Lovers of extreme metal surely have had experiences like this in their lives, where their entire world is tossed upside-down a new band, or a clutch of new demos from an emerging scene. This is how my ears felt hearing Grief Symposium, with a new take on the Death / Doom sub-genre with their debut, …In The Absence of Light (Church Road Records). Although mysterious and secretive, they did not set out to reinvent extreme music, but rather invent themselves, and a sound that should echo for a long time.

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Lamb of God’s “Wrath” Turns Ten Years Old


As the chaotic decade of the aughts was closing down, metal’s upper echelon of bands was never in better hands. Few bands embodied the changing of the guard like Richmond Virginia’s Lamb of God who ushered in the decade with New American Gospel (Prosthetic) after famously changing their name from Burn The Priest and really reset the bar of possibility for modern, popular metal bands. The upper tier of genre greats were struggling to find themselves, so along with other leaders of the era such as Mastodon, Gojira, Amon Amarth, and Machine Head, LoG spearheaded a new generation. The five albums (and one live album/DVD) the band put down in ten years really each marked their own distinct high point for the band. Wrath (Epic/Roadrunner) arrived with fanfare and expectations higher than ever. Three years after the slickly produced Sacrament, the band was craving the rawer, more direct approach of their earlier albums and went with producer Josh Wilbur at the helm. Of course, their musicianship was never higher and lyrically the album would touch on timeless themes of American politics, religion, fear-mongering, desperation, anger at systematic injustice, addiction, and self-analysis. Continue reading