EP REVIEW: Skeleton – Ordainment of Divinity


While preparing their planned full-length for the end of this year, Skeleton has surprised us with the EP Ordainment of Divinity on 20 Buck Spin. This 12 minutes demo comes straight from the catacombs to fulfill your ears with dusty and viscid aggressiveness immersed on a Lo-fi production that is undoubtedly instigating us for a ‘nuclear bomb’ record.Continue reading


EP REVIEW: Of Mice And Men – Timeless


Relentless Metalcore prodigies Of Mice & Men have been through the wringer with their share of lineup changes, so a lockdown surely isn’t enough to break the united strength they have built. Conversely, it has only fed their resolve as they announce their plan for an EP trilogy, the first one titled Timeless. Prioritizing quality over quantity, Timeless (Sharptone Records)places Metalcore’s simpler times in a new context by using its nostalgic facets to tell a story we can all relate to today.

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EP REVIEW: Riddlebreak – Architeuthis


 

It is bands like Riddlebreak that make it a shame there aren’t more descriptive titles for genres. Architeuthis may be early on the South African six-piece’s discography, but its ingenuity attests to their clear identity. Whether or not you think Metalcore is dead, prepare for a journey where you will witness its reincarnation into something far more elaborate.

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EP REVIEW: Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle – The Helm of Sorrow


Having established a successful collaboration with 2020″s May Our Chambers Be Full (Sacred Bones Records, review here), Thou & Emma Ruth Rundle flesh things out further with The Helm Of Sorrow (Sacred Bones Records). The four songs on this EP are more or less cut from the same cloth. A blend of Sludge, Grunge, and Shoegaze serves as a stylistic backdrop for the dynamic synthesis and occasional clashes between Rundle’s harrowing restraint and Thou’s distorted violence.

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EP REVIEW: Mother Of Graves – In Somber Dreams


Based out of Indianapolis and featuring a who’s who of veterans from such bands as Obscene, Harakiri, and Bulletwolf, Mother Of Graves makes a strong first impression with their debut EP. The group’s melodic approach to Death/Doom makes no bones about the influence from Paradise Lost and Katatonia, mixing the former’s mournful leads with the latter’s mid-tempo pacing. One can also detect traces of Novembers Doom in the vocals and Dan Swano’s signature touches on the mastering.

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EP REVIEW: High Command – Everlasting Torment


Formed in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2016, five-piece thrash outfit High Command follow up their 2017 debut full length Beyond the Wall of Desolation with digitally released single Everlasting Torment(both Southern Lord).Continue reading


EP REVIEW: Carcass – Despicable – Nuclear Blast Records


Over thirty years ago, England’s own Carcass came to the scene and shared their glorification of grind and gore. The unhinged and manic sound they conjured found an audience and quickly gained popularity, along with their contemporaries Napalm Death and Godflesh. The surge of the extreme had its time in the sun, but after their 10 year hiatus, Carcass came back in a slightly different mood. In 2013, the group took their well-known viciousness and molded it in with more melody on their sixth full-length, Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast). They married Grindcore and Melodic Death Metal on that record which got a lot of attention and reminded everyone why these guys are such an original act. After seven years, the band is back again with their EP, Despicable (Nuclear Blast). In just four songs, Carcass takes their significant union of sounds and exemplifies them with new levels of pandemonium. Continue reading


EP REVIEW: Four Stroke Baron – Monoqueen


When I first heard Four Stroke Baron, I had no idea they were going to be one of my favorite finds of the year. “What kind of a name is that?” I thought, bracing for the worst. Man, was I floored by what I found. A pummeling barrage of progressive metal with crushing riffs and a blazing 1980’s synth crescendos that just don’t quit, yet really lit my fire was the vocals. Bucking the metal cliche of trying to come off as heavy and bröötal as possible, vocalist Kirk Witt delivers powerful lyrics in a meek and almost anxious style that puts you on edge and adds a sense of forlorn urgency to many of the tracks.

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EP REVIEW: Midnight Dice – Hypnotized – Underground Power Records


Coming off a self-titled demo in 2019, Midnight Dice’s first EP, Hypnotized(Underground Power Records/Hoove Child Records), sees the Chicagoans continuing to build their momentum. Comparisons to the musicians’ previous band Satan’s Hallow remain inevitable as Hypnotized rides on a similarly anthemic Classic Metal style. However, there are also developments that show the band beginning to carve out a more distinct identity.Continue reading


SPLIT RELEASE: Shrieking / Puddleglum Split


2020 has already been a busy year for San Diego electronic darkheart Shrieking. Debut album Let the Galaxy Burn (Self-Release) was released in January; a single, Truth About Demons (Self-Release) appeared at the beginning of May, and is closely followed by this Split (Self-Release) with St. Louis Dungeon Synth project Puddleglum. It’s a curious and enticing prospect, enhanced by both bands weighing in with a healthy representation of the material.Continue reading