Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Greetings to all of you people today! I hope you are having a great day. Let me just start off by saying that Novembers Doom is criminally underrated. For the past 30 years these gentlemen have been gradually evolving with such ease, without alienating their fanbase. Within these past 10 years, Novembers Doom have been taking a more progressive direction with each album, to their credit it's working and I'm happy to tell you that Nephilim Grove is a masterpiece and continues their evolution with new ideas but without sacrificing where they started.
The album begins on a strong note with the leadoff tracks "Petrichor" and "The Witness Marks, the former of which utilizes vocalist Paul Kuhr's ever-blossoming range. Guitarists Larry Roberts and Vito Marchese come out of the gate with a flurry of heavy, chunky riffs and then even it out with gorgeous melodies to accompany Mr. Kuhr during the chorus. Fantastic drum work from Gary Naples who compliments the heaviness with tasteful double-bass and fill work.
Written by: Bane Ov Silence
Usually when I think of places known for producing great black metal, I think of Scandinavia, particularly Norway, parts of the United States, and random countries in central Europe. Obviously, there are plenty of bands who are exceptions to this rule, but I think if you ask your average metal fan where their favorite black metal band is from, their answer will be one of the aforementioned places. Today however, we are talking about a band from a country not very well known for exporting music, much less black metal, 殞煞Vengeful Spectre, from China.
The first thing the listener will notice about 殞煞Vengeful Spectre is that they wear their Asian heritage on their sleeve. They have everything one would expect from a black metal band, such as tremolo picked riffs and blast beats, but they also set themselves apart by incorporating traditional Chinese instruments, making for an amazing mix of Asian folk music and traditional European black metal. The album sounds like a soundtrack to a gritty retelling of The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Every song invokes imagery of two massive armies clashing in an open field.
Written by: Bane Ov Silence
The Artisan Era is a label that has put out some of the best tech death releases of the past three years. Bands such as Equipoise, Mordant Rapture, and Aethereus have established themselves as some of the most interesting and talented groups in extreme metal today. That is why I had very high expectations for this Warforged release, particularly since the band has been working on this record for the past five years.
Sadly, when the first single came out, "We’ve Been Here Before," I realized that the album was probably going to be a disappointment. While the song has its high points, particularly the solo that reminds me of something Inferi would have written for Path of Apotheosis, it is mostly disappointing and forgettable. The piano interlude halfway through the song was unnecessary and broke all the song’s momentum. Most bands on The Artisan Era have very clear production, where every note and drum hit can be easily heard, which is why I was surprised that Warforged opted for a much more disorganized and chaotic mix. While this works for many other bands, it ends up muddying Warforged’s sound, and hinders certain aspects of this record.
Written by: Izzy
What does anxiety feel like to you? When your chest tightens up and breathing becomes heavy? Sweat dripping down your neck and your heart beating like a kick drum? Being paralyzed with fear, unable to move, your back becoming heavy and the air around you turning into a thick sludge you can barely drag yourself through? For me, it’s all of the above, because anxiety feels to me like how Body Void sounds.
This Californian drone-punk-sludge-metal-death-crust-doom-core trio creates some of the most viscerally disgusting and hideous sludge in existence, and I have loved them since the second I first heard them. I could go on for hours about my infatuation with their music. However, I would be remiss for not mentioning Keeper as well, despite my unfamiliarity with them. These Cali contemporaries provide the perfect companionship to Body Void here, and are one of the few bands with a comparable style, except with an extra blackened edge, partnering flawlessly with Body Void by adding their own flavour to the split.
Blood Red Victory is--praise the gods of battle above--the textbook definition of a grower. At initial listen, IRONFLAME seemed banal at best, a deliberate and unassuming second fiddle to literally any of Iron Maiden's more, well, banal moments. IRONFLAME, my early notes indicate, is to Snoke as Bruce Dickinson is to Palpatine--a fallible facsimile.
But I couldn't have been more wrong. While Blood Red Victory isn't a showstopping album by any means, it is, in fact, a delightfully astute and solid recreation of the trad metal sound. Despite listening a great many times over the past few weeks, I'm inclined to throw it on one more time. Or maybe two more times. Let’s just see where the day takes us, shall we?
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.