29 May 2017

Redrum: "Power Corrupts"

Unpolished gem of old school thrash from when the genre was on its way out of style
Redrum from Sacramento, CA, should by connoisseurs be considered a classic underground American thrash band. They only ever released a handful of demos of varying quality, but the main attraction here is their one full length album Power Corrupts, which was re-released in 2007 by Evil Legends with new artwork (and thank god for that, 'cause the old artwork was terrible and speaks of a limited budget).

26 May 2017

Astra: "The Black Chord"

Hyperbole aside, The Black Chord still stands as one of modern times' best prog rock albums, even 5 years on
Though arguably the decade of progressive rock was the 1970's, it's impressive to find that there are still being produced absolutely timeless and phenomenal prog rock albums 40 years on. San Diego's Astra is clearly Floydian in concept and execution, but there is so much more to their sound than a mere Pink Floyd clone.

22 May 2017

Sangus: "Vengeful Brutality"

No holds barred, no corners cut, just survival of the fittest
Holding high the tatteret banners of thrash-encrusted black metal are Sangus of Rhode Island, USA. Vengeful Brutality seems a fitting title for the kind of furious black metal ablaze with the naked flames of crust punk that we find under their moniker. But the intensity of the raw abrasions comes at the cost of the atmosphere often found inherent in black metal, gambling with the wholesomeness of the debut, often making it a cacophonous mess of blasting drums and hostile guitars.

19 May 2017

The Handsome Family: "Unseen"

In the absence of excellence, Unseen becomes almost ordinary
By 2016 the songwriting duo The Handsome Family have built quite a following on the merit of several albums. Their latest album, Unseen, doesn't seem to be about elaborating on their sound, and this shouldn't come as a surprise or even a prerequisite for a new Handsome Family album. Few do the style that the duo have hunkered down in better than they do, and so they keep it simple by staying within their comfort zone.

15 May 2017

Uroboros: "Misantropía & Blasfemia" / "Herejía & Exilio"

Cyclopean riffs with ultra dense payoff
Straight from Buenos Aires in Argentina comes a roar of thunder through a night as black as tar. This uproar from the underground goes by the name Uroboros, and right off the bat their debut duo of EPs make most other newcomers of the genre seem like taciturn murmurs in comparison.

12 May 2017

Devil: "To the Gallows"

Devil's got what most forget - Heart and substance!
With their latest opus, To the Gallows, Norway's Devil continue to go out on various classic heavy and doom metal tangents with their own inspirations laid bare for all to see. 70's hard rock and early heavy metal is the name of the game, and it's a game that Devil play exceptionally well.

8 May 2017

Non Opus Dei & Morowe: "Dziwki Dwie"

Impressive and different black metal from Poland, taking jabs at the inadequacies of the established scene
In the case of this split EP by Polish country-mates Non Opus Dei and Morowe there's a little more going on than the old "two bands getting together to release something" schtick. Non Opus Dei have been gracing Europe with several old school black metal albums since the late 90s, their sound representative for the time, if at times venturing further. Morowe, in the same manner, are a product of their times, only they are a much younger band. These guys are definitely not afraid of pushing the boundaries of black metal, and together these two groups represent old and new.

5 May 2017

Bonobo: "Migration"

Deeply personal compositions which should appeal to audiophiles and substance-freaks alike
Though Bonobo has already cemented his place among the greatest of chilled out electronica, he drives this placement home fifty times over with his newest opus, Migration. As if the works of Bonobo didn't already suggest it, the title of the newest album also suggest that this composer isn't keeping still when it comes to style and genre. Migration is simplistic yet swelling, not quite as fuzzy as, say, Black Sands, but he definitely keeps to his own general aesthetic, perhaps only more substantial and fine-tuned this time around.

1 May 2017

Rape On Mind: "Downwards"

Poland's worst export
Experimentation is the essence of progress, but experimentation with no goal in mind more often than not yields terrible results. While some are content with just fine tuning what has essentially been done before, that is something that Rape On Mind aren't about at all. Inducing a thought of "huh, I wonder where this is going", their Downwards album is definitely aiming to be different.