ALBUM REVIEW: The Otolith – Folium Limina


 

My first encounter with SubRosa’s music was back in 2016 as an eighteen year-old who had just gotten a headstart into music journalism, just right after they released For This We Fought the Battle of Ages. That 2016 release was especially remarkable for my eighteen year-old self, because, apart from its droning resonance in a form of menacing atmospheric doom that would drive the listeners into a solemn state of enchantment, the album was also inspired by Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, a Russia-bound dystopian novel that portrays a state ravaged by modern-day authoritative surveillance; an uncanny prediction towards the terror of the Stalinist regime in real life. The theme and inspiration of the said SubRosa album just instantly ignited the politically conscious side in me at the time.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Dystopian Future Movies – War of the Ether


 

Metal in its various forms has a reasonably long-standing practice of making concept albums based on historical events, and the latest album from Dystopian Future Movies, War of the Ether (Septaphonic Records) continues that trend with what is almost certainly the most intense musical experience I have ever had.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Stake – Love, Death and Decay


 

The concepts and the all too real, bleak experiences of mental hardships and loss of loved ones will be well known to many people and additionally to many people we know. For Stake, these have been the fuel for the band since their inception (previously under the Steak Number Eight moniker), a vehicle for vocalist/guitarist Brent Vanneste’s grief and anxiety.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Mr. Phylzzz – Cancel Culture Club


With a band name so obscure it’s like they don’t want to be found, a mocking album title and featuring a musical parody of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Mr. Phylzzz (pronounced “Mr Flies”) demonstrate on their latest album Cancel Culture Club (Amphetamine Reptile Records), that they aren’t taking anything too seriously.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Crippled Black Pheonix – Benefyre


 

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.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Sigh – Shiki


 

Four years after previous studio outing, Heir To Despair (Candlelight), Japanese avant-garde black metal act Sigh switch record labels once again and return with twelfth full length album Shiki (Peaceville). In their native language, the title translates into many different things such as ceremony, colour and motivation but the main themes present here are “four seasons” and “time to die”. A concept derived from a traditional Japanese poem, frontman Mirai Kawashima takes an existential approach to the seasons, watching cherry blossoms (a symbol of Spring) in full bloom while going through the Autumnal stage of his life with Winter just around the corner.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Sarattma – Escape Velocity


 

Escape Velocity (Nefarious Industries) is the debut album from Philidelphia, Pennsylvania-based instrumental duo Sarattma, and follows their debut Inner Spaces EP released in 2017. Featuring Mellowdeath and ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre drummer Sara Neidorf and Cleric guitarist Matt Hollenberg, their music is highly experimental with a distinct edge of tripped-out psychedelia, and is uniquely impressive! Continue reading


ALBUM RE-ISSUES BOXSET REVIEW: Voivod – Forgotten In Space


 

One of the most influential thrash metal acts of the eighties, progressive Canadians Voivod have never been content with sitting back and churning out the same record over and over again. A constant desire for change and reinvention has meant the quartet from Jonquière, Quebec has had to endure much unnecessary and often ludicrous pigeon-holing over the years. Post-Thrash. Punk. Speed. Proto-Industrial. Avant-Garde. Progressive. And even Nuclear Metal (whatever that is).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Imperial Triumphant – Spirit of Ecstasy


When the death metal scene blew up in the early nineties, it was exciting to watch fresh new blood delivering a much-needed kick up the backside to many lethargic established acts. However, with little room for growth and proliferation of bands all covering the same ground, stagnation, and panic soon set in. Just as their predecessors had found, forward-thinking and experimentation were often frowned upon while the alternative was perceived as merely playing safe or laziness. It was survival of the fittest in a catch-22 situation and the fans were a fickle and unforgiving judge.

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