As a pseudo-medieval Village inhabited by a motley crew of slumbering (albeit highfalutin) peasants, we've dealt with a lot of absurd challenges. And, to our credit, we've survived ‘em all--quite handily, I might add. Feudal serfdom? A non-issue: we deposed that sucker years ago. Blatantly nonexistent sewer system? At this point we can't smell, and we're certifiably immune to any plague these rats have to offer. Loot-thirsty marauders from the north? They leave us alone now; last time they attempted an assault, we armored up, threw on some Sabaton, and slaughtered their strongest warriors with ease.
But here’s something we have yet to deal with: Orcs. Y’know, the brutish and (typically) malevolent beasts of lore. Two be-tusked specimens have emerged from their slime-ridden dens, and, much to our amused curiosity, are currently sniffing around our hastily constructed barricade. They’ve killed some chickens, but beyond that, they seem...uncharacteristically friendly. This may be a terrible mistake, but let’s let them in, shall we? If we perish this fateful day, so be it.
Fresh off the hunt, Capt. Graves smelled blood. He seems to like this one, which is always a relief. In any case, we're glad as always to have him back in his scrivener garb. - Ed.
Written by: Capt. Graves
It's been a while since I've stepped foot in the Village. I took myself on a mountainous retreat, staying away from humans as much as possible. Fortunately I was made for this type of apocalyptic survival measures. It reminds me of being back home on Tumulus, I couldn't be in a better position if I tried. I've had the pleasure of listening to some amazing backwoods Maine black metal, and it fucking delivers.
Here we have Feral. They haven't released an album since 2017, so I've been anxiously waiting for Circle Trap Kill to be bestowed upon the land. This is no frills black metal, they come out of the gate RIPPING. I can't get over the long intros in most black metal releases, but this one does nothing of the sort. Feral has caught my attention, and damn am I excited to have listened to this album at least 4 times since it's release yesterday.
Here's one of those reviews that has sat, half-completed, for an embarrassingly long time. The catalyst for completion? A lyric analysis that CHNNLR posted over on Instagram for the second single released under this project moniker. As stated there, “In Dreams”--the track in question--focuses on the “forms and stages” of clinical depression or anxiety, and how they “can debilitate and take over someone’s mind and body.” Like the artist, I am not diagnosed with these demons, but the person I love most in this world has routinely lived in the midst of a “waking nightmare” (as he astutely puts it) due to machinations of the mind: chemical, situational, or otherwise. Depression and anxiety are legitimate diseases with legitimate implications, and, as CHNNLR states, treatment is a necessity: “Don’t ignore the signs, and don’t just think things will get better. Reach out, connect, check in.” And, given the current state of affairs out there: now more than ever.
Taking a card from the band in question’s deck, we’re jumping over the typical long-winded intro you’ve undoubtedly come to expect ‘round these parts. Today it’s straight into the fray as we fire up another rotation of Restructure the Molded Mind, the third effort from Bay Area death thrashers Hemotoxin. Let's pulverize a blood vessel or two, shall we?
Hemotoxin's approach recalls a wide variety of bands from the primordial days of thrash-infused death metal--the era where experimentation into increasingly violent and technical territory represented, for good reason, the heights of innovation. Instrumentally, they hit (with a varying degree of accuracy) that vague point on the thrash metal timeline right after Death came a-knocking.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
What is horror? Is it the monsters under your bed, or is it really just imagination. If that is the case then what if we could manifest our own fears and horror into a physical representation of that. ÆVANGELIST would be just that. Since 2010, the prolific Matron Thorn has written, composed, and authored the material for ÆVANGELIST, and has crafted new ways of manifesting horror and the otherworldy into a singular band. Sure, you could say this is black metal, death metal, avant-garde metal, etc., but it's so much more terrifying and horrific than your typical "dissonant black metal" band...or any music, for that matter.
Nightmarecatcher is the 8th full-length album from ÆVANGELIST, and marks a self-described rebirth of the band, and I'm inclined to agree.
Written by: Heavy Grinder
What do you do when a band makes music you like but has a name you don’t particularly care for?
You fucking get over it.
Neck of the Woods have a campy band name that seems more apt for a pop country act positioning themselves as the band next door. You know, the one you want to have a beer with and eat fried chicken or whatever. I don’t remember being particularly moved when Sacha Dunable crooned about ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ on Blood from a Stone; a perfect example of why in Metal, idioms and folksy phrases should be used sparingly or avoided.
But we’ll just assume there is something very Metal going on in those woods or there is some profound hidden meaning to the name that eludes my simple mind.
I just took a trip down the winding stairs of our scriptorium and braved the wretch’d outdoors. The reason for my madness? A brief visit to the Village apothecary, where I decidedly did not panic-buy their entire stock. It was a remarkably brief expedition; hardly worth putting on a jacket. But for those few moments outside my dusty sanctuary, the palpable tension--and I don’t mean to alarm you here--was quite high. Rightfully so.
Needless to say, I’m happy to be cloistered back at my desk with my speakers roaring loud ‘n’ proud. Monster Skull have wormed their way back into rotation for what seems the hundredth time, and now seems a prime time to chat about why I like their latest EP--the ominously entitled Visions of the Horrible and Strange--so damn much. If you too are in need of some upbeat jubilance in these troubled times, this Washingtonian duo has you covered.
To be frank, I approached Four Dimensional Flesh with immense trepidation. Brutal death metal and/or slam aren’t exactly locales I find myself frequenting with any kind of regularity--if I pass through, it’s usually a lone track in the midst of an otherwise innocuous playlist. While the dedication to slammin’ riffs and woodpecker-on-a-hot-tin-roof percussive fills are certainly attractive bedfellows, the trademark drainpipe gutturals and resonance chamber bree-brees really ain’t this scribes cup o’ vox.
And yet here we are, plumbing the gurgling pipes with a grim sense of glee. Why? Because Afterbirth, much like Wormhole, strives to make slam interesting. And it is this quality that remains Four Dimensional Flesh’s greatest strength amongst strengths.
RoadRash. The name alone strongly reeks of a certain sonic quality: mustachioed, leatherclad, whiskey-sodden, and imbued with a lifetime of chainsmok’d cheap cigars. You either know what I’m talkin’ about, or you have never experienced (or imagined) the adrenal rush associated with drag racing a Mad Maxian jalopy down the uncivilized highway, sparks flying from the torn bumper’s ungainly contact with the sunbaked pavement, booze churning though your veins and Motorhead bootlegs blaring through busted speakers. Y’know, that particular (and relatable) fantasy.
Self-reported “Canadian speed metal marauders” RoadRash are raw speed metal at its most straightforward, most belligerent, and, frankly, most fun. Think Excited. Think Razor. If you’re still with me, think Warhead, or Living Death, or Iron Angel. Whiplash with sleezier vocals and more references to driving fast. In other words, RoadRash (and now you, presumably,) are familiar indeed with the grimy lineup of speed metal royalty. This 2-track EP exudes a gloriously infectious devil-may-care ‘tude--and when it comes to speed metal, if you ain’t got that, you ain’t got shit.
Here I am, quill clenched betwixt my inksplatttered teeth as I clamber into the tub. Advent Varic's Tumulus tumbles, rapidly and raucously, into my earholes. Perfectly on cue, blood pours from my nostrils as the sky burns. In other words: all is not well. Sorry, I mean: all is well. Fuck.
Why the tub? Two reasons. Firstly, as a clear Side A/Side B concept album, this beast offers a duo of twenty minute tracks, constructed and delivered as a single blackened stoner symphony. My attention span lasts about as long as this fragile soap bubble before me, so I'm admittedly out of my comfort zone. Secondly, it's damn comfortable, and if I'm going to witness the world collapse into inferno, I might as well do so from here, where the fires of civilization's demise will prevent this bathwater from going lukewarm. For those of you not privy to the expanded universe of Advent Varic lore, here's the gist: these extraterrestrial marauders were birthed from the muck of the titular far-flung world of Tumulus, and have since wrecked havoc across the universe on a cosmic mission of destruction at the bidding of the Godlike entity known as Varic. Our beloved homeworld is, alas, the next link in their chain of brutalistic annihilation. Concept albums live and die by the strength and flexibility of their narrative, and here, Advent Varic have given themselves ample room to experiment. Let's see where that takes us.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!