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: Hierophant – Death Siege


Blending together subgenres of metal to further push the boundaries of heavy music is not an uncommon practice these days. Hierophant, while starting off as mostly a blackened sludge metal group, is more recently focused on mixing the extremes of black metal and death metal. Their fifth release, Death Siege (Season of Mist), continues this signature for the Italian foursome.

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EP REVIEW: END – Cult Leader – Gather and Mourn


 

It is one thing to put together a memorable album, but to do so in the form of a split with multiple bands recording tracks for the album takes quite a vision. On many occasions, labelmates will end up putting out splits, or perhaps just friends in the scene. For END and Cult Leader, this match-up feels as natural as salt and pepper. In thirteen minutes (two songs per band), Gather & Mourn (Deathwish Inc/Closed Casket Activities) puts forth so much energy and aggression, no wonder only four tracks could fit.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Wolfheart – King Of The North


 

Finland is a country known for their long, cold winters. Wolfheart is a band that captures their nation’s wild and wonderous weather in their dramatic and dynamically dark sound. The group’s appropriately named debut record, Winterborn came out in 2013 and they have consistently been conveying the majestic magic of Suomi ever since. Now this four piece is getting ready to release their sixth full-length, King of the North (Napalm Records) where they dive even deeper into sharing stories about their country’s lore and land. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Heilung – Drif


 

Experimental folk collective Heilung (which means Healing in German) rather aptly describes their sound as amplified history; they’ve often taken inspiration for their music from ancient texts and documents. Old world instrumentation and techniques, coupled with ancient texts form the basis of their rituals.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Dreadnought – The Endless


There is something mystifying about records that are able to mix beautiful melodies and soundscapes with the aggressive signature of a metal band. Dreadnought has been doing this for a decade now and has released its fifth collection entitled The Endless (Profound Lore). The mix of progressive song structures, jazz, and classical elements, and elegantly placed influences of black and doom metal really tie the band’s sound together. The album is deceptively forty-plus minutes long as listeners will surely lose themselves in the midst of this one.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Becoming The Archetype – Children Of The Great Extinction


 

It has been a decade since we last received an album from the Southern act Becoming the Archetype. This Georgia-based band is known for their unconventional methods of banging out heavy riffs while proclaiming a positive message. Their last release, I AM was well received with its proggy frills and edgy tech cadences. They gained some attention for their unique ways, so it was a pity when they pressed the pause button in 2013. After taking an indefinite hiatus and going through another lineup change, the boys are now back with their sixth full-length record, Children of the Great Extinction (Solid State Records). Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Conan – Evidence of Immortality


For years, Conan has shaped themselves into one of the heaviest bands on the planet. With their fifth release, Evidence of Immortality (Napalm Records), they maintain sole possession of that throne with their enemies’ heads at their feet. While the “caveman battle doom” pioneers have their own sound, they continue to push their own boundaries of their older releases ever so slightly to keep everyone coming back for more. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Liminal Shroud – All Virtues Ablaze


 

Over the years I have slowly come around to liking more black metal projects, but none do more justice than those that focus on the atmosphere that brings you on a journey. British Columbia’s own Liminal Shroud does just this on their second full-length, All Virtues Ablaze (Willowtip Records). In just under forty minutes (across only four tracks), this album will be sure to be part of many conversations towards the end of the year.Continue reading