ALBUM REVIEW: Okkultokrati – La Ilden Lyse

Most reviews and articles concerning Norwegian dark hearts Okkultokrati seem to contain slightly differing classifications of the band’s sound. I’m no different: if you’re going to mould the likes of Motörhead, Emperor, and Sex Pistols into a ball of spewing hate, you’re playing Punk / Black ‘n’ Roll as far as I’m concerned. Anyone care? Of course not. More interesting is the decision of certain band members to change their stage names in a move that seems purely designed for new album La Ilden Lyse (Southern Lord Recordings), and which corresponds with a further evolution of the sextet’s direction. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Resent – Crosshairs

Everything in Canada is supposed to be nice, right? That Trudeau bloke’s boyish grin; the clean, crisp air; the way the natives go ‘Eh’ at the end of a sentence in a wonderfully endearing way. Tell that to Resent. The 2018 demo from the Victoria, British Columbia based quartet was one of the most frightening exercises in putrid Sludge I’d ever encountered, and new album Crosshairs (Dry Cough Records / Nerve Altar / Rope Or Guillotine) promises only to extend the suffering…

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Dreadnought – Emergence

When allied to a sonic experience the term ‘Dreadnought‘ usually alludes to a bruising encounter with little imagination or subtlety. Not so the Denver quartet bearing that name, whose brand of Prog Metal is an eclectic mix of the weird, heavy and profoundly charming, and which spans many genres of music. Continue reading

Inter Arma – Sulphur English

Despite third album Paradise Gallows (Relapse Records) establishing Virginian quintet Inter Arma as one of the World’s premier exponents of Harsh Progressive Metal, it’s nevertheless arguable as to whether or not the band remains in the shadow of 2014’s staggering opus The Cavern (Relapse Records). Fourth full-length Sulphur English (also Relapse), surely their most brutal yet, will lay such doubts to rest. Continue reading

Un / Coltsblood – Un / Coltsblood

When I heard about this particular collaboration, I swear a little bit of wee came out. Seattle’s Un is still reveling in the success of last year’s coruscating, moving Sentiment (Translation Loss Records), while Scouse / Scottish hybrid Coltsblood have laid waste to the UK Underground for the last five years. This split, therefore, promises to be a leveller on both sides of the Atlantic. Continue reading

Maestus – Deliquesce

It’s staggering that a city supposedly renowned for everything that is good in life produces such harrowing music in abundance. Maestus’ sophomore album Deliquesce (code666), the full-length extension to their 2017 demo of the same name, is the latest slab of darkness to emerge from Portland, Oregon, and it paints a picture of bleak desolation. Continue reading

Swallow The Sun – Lumina Aurea

As their legion of fans will attest to, Swallow The Sun is not your average Death-Doom band. The inventiveness and melancholy melodies lift the Finnish outfit to another plain and, after 2015’s lauded triple album Songs From the North, any release from the sextet is anticipated with a relish akin to hero-worship. Single Lumina Aurea, all fourteen minutes of it, is a precursor to next year’s album When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light (all Century Media) and, although not a track from that album, is an eerie, monumental aperitif – a gateway to the full product. Continue reading

Bast – Nanoångstrӧm

Four years ago, Bast’s Spectres (Burning World Records) hit the racks and quickly gained a reputation as one of the best British underground debuts of recent times. The world seemed to be the Blackened Sludge trio’s oyster yet, save for a smattering of gigs here and there, they seemed to vanish and earn mythical status in the process. Continue reading