Author Archive

Nightbringer – Hierophany of the Open Grave

I love the idea that there’s such a thing as “traditional black metal”. I like the idea that tortuous tritone riffing, compulsive blast beating and hell-rasping-reports from various levels of Hell can now be wrapped in such a cuddly honorific as “traditional”. I mean, “traditional” is a word I associate with folk music, with things […]

Septicflesh – The Great Mass

Well, it sure is big. And some metal people, you know, they like big ones. And Greeks, well, it almost goes without saying. They have this entire history of bigness. And now they have The Great Mass. Even though Septicflesh have been giving us really good big ones for a while, with 2008’s Communion flirting with great, they’re sometimes even […]

Augury – Concealed (reissue)

The important thing to remember is that there’s no such thing as progressive metal, rock, jazz or anything. You’re more likely to find something truly ‘progressive’ in anything by Janelle Monáe than anything by Opeth. Reason: ‘progressive’ is a just another genre, which means its hellbound to laws and rules, like any other genre. So now that we’ve got that out […]

Kryoburn – Three Years Eclipsed

The dis on the ‘net is that Kryoburn are Fear Factory clones and so much for them. Well, I just want to say this is really unfair.  Kryoburn are Fear Factory clones that clone a whole mess of other bands as well, okay? Now that that’s cleared up, what separates this New Mexico band’s brand of industrialized metal from […]

Silent Stream of Godless Elegy – Návaz

It seems so easy. Take some folk, mix it with some metal, add some tribal-this, some ethno-that, heat until fused and ta-da!–awesomeness. But as Finntroll, Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow or even the relatively rougher Eluveitie prove in endless genre-mix soufflés, things usually collapse under the weight of whimsy, uneven beauty/beasting, or heavy-pretense (yes, I’m thinking of the new Agalloch‘s tendency to meander, or Swan‘s pointlessly […]

The Great Fashion War of 2010

Lots going on. Iceland and Ireland in economic ruin. Haiti in rubble. Israel’s right-wing regime kicking around a new World War. And nearly half the U.S. digging an anti-queer Barbie doll and would-be president who shoots animal snuff films.

Put in context, anything going on in metal may seem like small beans. But still, we have our subculture, and the big story—what I’m calling The Great Metal Fashion War of 2010 because I can—is no less lacking in cultural hysteria. It isn’t a war-war, of course, more a metaphor thing. Except when it kind of isn’t.

Otargos – No God, No Satan

The first time I heard Otargos was their blackened death metal waltz “Hexameron” that apropos of nothing turns into this stripper-friendly fuck-me groove featuring what sounds like a sampled philosophy lecture. Okay, fine. Maybe you’re just cooler than me. Maybe you’ve already been into and tired of the whole blackened death-metal, stripper-friendly, fuck-me groove/philosophy-lecture craze. […]

Mosfet – Sickness of Memory

In most thrashy melo-death combos, vocalists are dumped in mid-tour for other dudes, and nobody, band or audiences, notices. Not so with Mosfet. As of Sickness of Memory, the most memorable item on hand is  their singer. Go figure. Anyway, he’s a dude somewhat tersely named Phil. This Phil, he’s all about  the cool death metal swagger, […]

Korn – Korn III: Remember Who You Are

Today we offer you a thorough look at Korn’s―yes, Korn’s―latest album ‘Korn III: Remember Who You Are’. Have we gone insane? Is our belief in Heavy Metal faltering? Lack of judgment? Are the recent heat waves to be blamed? Or perhaps, just perhaps, we actually have something worthwhile to say? See for yourself!

The Wounded Kings – The Shadow Over Atlantis

As the savvy consumer of modern doom will expect, The Wounded Kings‘ The Shadow Over Atlantis offers a miserablist stew of downtempo post-Sabbath and Electric Wizardisms, here with a dash of the vast ‘n gloomy Cinemascope soundscapes of Year of No Light. But repeat listens reveal a relentless darkness and design here courtesy huge-ass masses […]