Album Review: Salvaticus – Hidden Manna

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on 10/24/2014 by bjl3xy

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Label: Self-released
Release Date: 5/16/14

Every now and then, a band comes along and raises the bar a little bit higher. With the release of Hidden Manna, Salvaticus may have set a new standard for independently produced black metal. While the name is Latin for “savage,” the music is anything but. Fundamentally, this is atmospheric black metal, but more aggressive than what’s typical of the style. It is melodic in essence, but heavy when it wants to be. Crisp while maintaining a desirable level of rawness. In short, what we have here is an album that spans a broad range, carefully arranged such that nothing is over saturated.

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Demo Review: LVTHN – Adversarialism

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on 10/20/2014 by bjl3xy

Label(s): Fallen Empire Records, Amor Fati & Ordo MCM
Release Date: 4/2/14

From the opening notes of Adversarialism, it’s obvious that this two track demo is yet another attempt to release a “True Norwegian” style album in the 21st century. Many try and few succeed, as bands like LVTHN are faced with the impossible task of creating something that’s both genuine and original in 2014. Most end up sounding like Burzum/Darkthrone copycats and unfortunately, this release is no exception. The repetitive, hypnotic guitars and clipped vocals were brilliant when Varg executed them 18 years ago on Filosofem, but every subsequent clone diminishes the effect.

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EP Review: Under The Church – S/T

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on 10/17/2014 by Al Necro

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Label: Pulverised Records
Release Date: 6/16/14

From Sweden with love. I love Swedeath like any true death metal fan should. Under the Church is a young band from Edsbyn, Sweden, and the band’s latest release for Pulverised Records is the subject of my careful examination.

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Album Review: Pig Heart Transplant – For Mass Consumption

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 10/15/2014 by skitslicker

Label(s): 20 Buck Spin & Iron Lung Records
Release Date: 9/2/14

Jon Kortland has been busy man. Between this massive bit of headfuckery from Pig Heart Transplant and his ‘day job’ in Iron Lung, which released the Savagery 7” within a few weeks of each other, it’s like a holiday for folks who revel in his (and Jensen Ward’s) brand of highly unmarketable music. For Mass Consumption weaves early industrial, powerviolence, harsh noise and a bit of good old-fashioned soundtrack scoring into a nightmare. A nightmare in 44 second increments.

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Album Review: Vanhelgd – Relics of Sulphur Salvation

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , on 10/07/2014 by Al Necro

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Label: 20 Buck Spin
Release Date: 5/27/14

Vanhelgd returns with its third album, Relics of Sulphur Salvation, after the release of the band’s well received 2011 sophomore outing, Church of Death.

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Album Review: Hooded Menace / Loss – A View from the Rope

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on 10/02/2014 by burymeinsmoke88

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Label: Doomentia Records
Release Date: 5/9/2014

Since my last review of Hooded Menace‘s Labrinyth of Carrion Breeze EP was really my introduction to the group, I’ve gone back and listened to its entire body of work. Suffice to say, the band is one of my favorite new discoveries. The Finnish group has a sense of sheer immensity in its music that some groups could only dream of attaining, the grim and desolate tone of its work, and how it’s peppered with beautiful, haunting passages makes it that much harder to resist, and I failed miserably from the very beginning. Going back through the band’s catalog, some of my favorite tracks come off of its split albums, like “Abode of the Grotesque” from its split with Asphyx. This time being paired up with one of Nashville’s very finest, Loss, the combination of funeral and death doom metal is perfect, with one despair- filled track leading into a another that manages to be even more bleak and depressing. Though many bands come and go that play these forms of doom metal, these two are shining examples of how to do it correctly, even if they’re shining from beneath a veil of coffin dust.

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Album Review: Symptom – Caverns of Katabasis

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , on 09/30/2014 by Al Necro
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Label(s): Craneo Negro Records & Parasitic Records
Release Date: 2/21/14

Caverns of Katabasis presents as a rather compelling album title from Portland, Oregon doom/death metallers Symptom. Beyond the catchy band name is a concept conveyed with the appropriate music played, like the soundtrack of a ritual in a dark and dingy cave.

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Album Review: Wolvhammer – Clawing Into Black Sun

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , on 09/25/2014 by bjl3xy

Label: Profound Lore
Release Date: 7/8/14

Atmospheric black metal. Rock ’n’ roll. Clawing Into Black Sun, the third album by Wolvhammer rides the line between a melodic style of black metal and classic hard rock. The 2014 release resembles legendary Satyricon more than black ‘n’ rollers Kvelertak, in more ways than one. From the start, vocalist Adam Clemans belches out tortured screams reminiscent of none other than Satyr himself. Bleak lyrics are layered over old school riffs, all driven by solid drumming underneath. There isn’t anything exceptional about individual performances, but the band fits together very nicely and it cohesion is apparent. The mix is fairly standard, with everything audible except the bass.

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Analog Inquisition: Thom Wasluck (Planning For Burial)

Posted in Features, Interviews with tags , , , , , on 09/23/2014 by an_tiarna_dubh

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Why do you love cassettes and vinyl? Do you prefer one over the other?

When I first got into music in the early 90s cassettes were still a very popular format. I learned a lot about album sequencing from them to the point where I still format my non-cassette releases in the terms of an A side / B side because it’s how I enjoy listening to music. I got into vinyl later on and I fell in love with it for the same reason but with the added bonus of a larger area for artwork. I’m not a tone snob/audiofile at all. I enjoy the degradation of sound that comes from a worn cassette and I also like hearing the surface noise on an LP.

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