Album Review: Human Bodies – No Life

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , on 03/15/2015 by Al Necro

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Label: Caligari Records
Release Date: 12/16/14

Whoa! Human Bodies No Life is over before you say, “I can’t wait to play it again!” I didn’t realize punk meets black metal meets mindfuck can be so addictive. Praiseworthy from first second to last, No Life could be my earliest album of the year candidate.

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Album Review: Horrendous – Ecdysis

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on 02/16/2015 by Al Necro

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Label: Dark Descent Records
Release Date: 10/4/14

To most metal fans, Horrendous doesn’t need an introduction. Dark Descent Records released its debut album, The Chills, many years ago to resounding approval. The Chills was on the forefront of the new wave of old-school death metal movement, around the time tech and modern death metal were in their death throes. It’s taken many years for Horrendous to release its much anticipated follow-up, Ecdysis, and it has been well worth the wait. Horrendous are back, and this album avoids any sophomore slump.

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Album Review: Grey Aura – Waerachtighe beschryvinghe van drie seylagien, ter werelt noyt soo vreemt ghehoort

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on 01/25/2015 by bjl3xy

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Label: Blood Music
Release Date: 11/10/14

Waerachtighe beschryvinghe van drie seylagien, ter werelt noyt soo vreemt ghehoort is my first experience with Dutch black metal. I have no idea what the title means. I don’t understand a single word of lyrics or samples used in each track. The recent debut by Netherland’s Grey Aura might be the most interesting black metal release of the year. It is a conceptual album that tells the tale of Willem Barentsz, a Dutch navigator on a journey through the Arctic. While the band is billed as an avantgarde act, the album is not experimental in the musical sense, but a compositional one. The story is told through a combination of atmospheric black metal and theater, occasionally splicing dramatic performances written by the band to drive the narrative.

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Al Necro’s 2014 Year End List

Posted in Features with tags , , , , , on 01/15/2015 by Al Necro

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A-listers not welcome!

2014 saw a lot of shape-shifters, genre benders and the like. Some bands stayed true to their roots, while others took the daring plunge into transmutation. While it would have been bold to feature bands that didn’t make it on everyone else’s EOY lists, I have to support the bands I feel deserve that distinction the most. Most bands mentioned here are available for stream, so listen to each one and support the bands you fall in love with. I cover a great deal of underground acts, so this here list will feature bands big and small. Without further ado is my take on some of the most impressive albums I’ve heard in 2014, in no chronological order:

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Pablo Asensi’s 2014 Year End List

Posted in Features with tags , , on 01/10/2015 by pabsensi

With some very notable exceptions (like Behemoth’s The Satanist or Artificial Brain’s Labyrinth Constellation), 2014 has been in my opinion kind of rough for metal music in general. However, 2014 has seen lots of shifts in the way listeners conceive and consume this art form for the better.

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Patrick Hasson’s Year End List

Posted in Features with tags , , on 01/05/2015 by an_tiarna_dubh

5. Grst – Plague Seed (Glossolalia Records)
Probably the most straightforward release on here. Grst follows up its “let’s make everyone jizz themselves by covering Weakling” turn on Fire Therein with one of the best representations of USBM to be released in the past few years. A balance between atmosphere and production, song content and technicality, and melody and aggression.

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Peter’s Year End List

Posted in Features with tags , on 01/03/2015 by an_tiarna_dubh

2014 has been a splendid year for Summoning Spirits, not only did I launch Summoning Spirits but I was flooded with review requests and submissions since its inception. It’s been an pleasure to speak and work with so many bands, labels, publicists and fans. My writing staff, without them this wouldn’t be here today. I look forward to what 2015 brings. Thanks for the support.

Now on to my year end list. It’s been tough to narrow it down to just 15 pieces of work. I’ve thought long and hard about this, but these have stuck with me the most. 2014 was filled with an exceptional amount of releases and proof that analog formats are alive and well. In no chronological order:

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Kenneth Parker’s Year End List

Posted in Features with tags , on 01/02/2015 by kormdaeonthoth

Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere (Profound Lore Records)
The fifth album from a band that has never released a bad album, and I don’t give a fuck what anyone has to say or write. The dark metal gods return with the saturnine and refined blackened fervor that has always characterized their work, yet now mustering a bloom of inspirations that few bands are capable of maintaining five albums into their corpus. 

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Ethan V’s Year End List

Posted in Features with tags , , , , , , on 12/27/2014 by analogwinter

2014 was a pretty awesome year for music, and there were a bunch of other releases that I thought were fantastic, however, these are my top ten. Some of it’s metal, a lot of it’s not, but here it is:

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Buck’s Five Great Cassette Releases from 2014

Posted in Features with tags , , on 12/26/2014 by skitslicker

Here’s another year-end list. Metal geek Superbowl. These aren’t necessarily five of my favorite releases of the year, nor are they necessarily my favorite cassette releases of the year. I wanted to do something a bit different. By referring to the background of Summoning Spirits and its admirable goal of preserving the analog along with the brilliant cassette-based work of our “boss,” I decided to switch things up and present a handful of cassettes that were either under-appreciated or just plain breathtaking. I also actually have in my hands, in my collection. I’m not just talking shit from whatever half-assed digital file a publicist gave to me for free. The rise of dead media in general makes what we do in the larger world somewhat affordable and tangible. There is no such thing as an irrelevant format in my head, any delivery method available to spread these ideas and these sounds is spectacular and deserves to be revered. I’m working under the assumption that these releases are sold out, since they’re very small runs, but please track these down by any means you can – physically would be ideal, but digitally is totally worthwhile.
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