On his sixth full-length, The Darkness at the Edge of Dawn (Avantgarde), The Howling Void has crafted an album that makes the most effective use of its runtime and rarely featuring a note out of place. I think we can chalk that up to Howling Void being the singular doom vision of Ryan Wilson, hence the number of LPs within just a decade of existence. Continue reading
Informing me that a band features the talents of Fall Out Boy drummer Andy Hurley probably isn’t the best way to sell me on their album, but I’m glad I swallowed my ignorance. I mean, you should’ve told me that Hurley is super talented and that he’s flanked by members of Cursed, Catharsis and Earth Crisis in SECT. Combine those mega-powers with uber-producer Kurt Ballou and the fabled GodCity Studios and you’ve got a hell of a blast of Entombed-core in No Cure for Death (Southern Lord).
I’m not one for subgenres. I mean, I understand why they exist and how they appear to explain why Exodus sounds differently from Sleep all while still operating under the Heavy Metal umbrella, but I think we’re too preoccupied with the minutiae of the subgenres; we’re too busy defending the merits of our style against the perceived weaknesses of the others. That’s why it very refreshing to attempt to make sense of the sounds on Calligram’s Askesis (Basick). Continue reading
Cloak is a good band. How’s that for the most obvious statement ever? Cloak is a very good band, especially considering that they’ve only been a unit since 2013. I know bands in the New England area that have been active for over 10 years and haven’t whiffed at a recording contract, let alone an international one. That’s why I have a bone to pick, albeit minor, with Cloak’s debut LP To Venomous Depths (Season of Mist). Continue reading
What keeps Converge in the race these days? I don’t mean that as a slight or implying that they’ve lost a step, quite the opposite. More than 20 years into the game and each studio album have been tasked with following up the obelisk that came before it. We’re finally getting The Dusk in Us (Epitaph) five years after their last release. Am I disappointed? Hell no. Not everyone is in the business of following up All We Love We Leave Behind, or Axe to Fall before that. Continue reading
You must respect any band that lives up to their moniker. Imagine being an impressionable metallic youth raiding the local record store and picking up albums from acts known as Poison and Slaughter. Seems metal enough, but then you get home only to realize the swindle and that those tapes were as hard as the Pillsbury Doughboy. When you listen to Hostage Animal (Southern Lord) by All Pigs Must Die, you don’t have that problem. Continue reading
Amenra’s Mass VI (Neurot Recordings)… the type of album you spin on the record player for the misanthrope who found Deafheaven’s Sunbather (Deathwish Inc) to be too cheery and saccharine. The type of upbeat fellow whose balanced breakfast consists of piping-hot black coffee and two Marlboro reds. He’s lots of fun at parties, and by party, I mean the dive-bar where he pounds Guinness and quotes Nietzsche. Yeah, Mass VI is a motherfucker of the highest command. Continue reading