Reviews
Pet Slimmers Of The Year - Fragments Of Uniforms

I am always on the lookout for unique and ambitious post metal and Fragments Of Uniforms is a terrific addition for my post/sludge/atmospheric metal collection. The genre has become a bit stagnant lately, not to say there hasn't been quality releases, but it seems the music follows the same formula over and over and is afraid to take any chances.

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Posted: 24.10.2014 by tea[m]ster | Comments (4)

Reviews
Falloch - This Island, Our Funeral

Scottish band Falloch have finally released their sophomore album, three years after their highly decorated debut Where Distant Spirits Remain. Main song writer and vocalist Andy Marshall left the band during this period, the void filled with a trio of capable musicians and a new sound. A straight-forward and desensitized atmospheric approach takes the place of most of the "gazy" and folk metal elements. I love the band's new direction and This Island, Our Funeral is an impressive piece of music that will hold its own against the Dustwalker's and The Serpent & the Sphere's of the genre.

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Posted: 24.10.2014 by tea[m]ster | Comments (1)

Reviews
Nero Di Marte - Derivae

Sometimes it's difficult to discern what is truly progressive in metal. This is providing we all have preconceived notions of what it means for artists to push at the identifiable territorial boundaries of music that are more familiar to us, and facilitate sounds external to generic confines. The prospect of a band finding themselves located somewhere between Gojira, Tool and Ulcerate is something I could never have anticipated. Yet Nero Di Marte leave listeners in anticipation with each careful note, echoing technicalities throughout primordially death metal perpetuating atmosphere and flowing forms of sound hitherto uncharted. Exploration persists in Derivae.

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Posted: 23.10.2014 by R'Vannith | Comments (7)

Reviews
Devin Townsend - Z²

Uh oh, Apothecary is reviewing a prog album. Hold onto your undergarments, ladies and gentlemen, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

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Posted: 22.10.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (34)

Reviews
Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter

Last time Slipknot released a studio album, they still served as one of my primary conduits to the metal scene. As I am no longer 14, Slipknot's angst-and-unorthodox-percussion-heavy brand of nu/alt metal lacks the same gravitas it once had, but I still enjoy Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses and Slipknot from time to time. You might call me a bit of a lapsed fan, but I'm enough of one to give .5: The Gray Chapter a fighting chance.

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Posted: 22.10.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (10)

Reviews
Elysian Blaze - Blood Geometry

Passion. I suppose that's what it's all about with these one man black metal bands: pure, unadulterated, single-minded passion. Something about the isolation from the main networks of black metal and the larger society as a whole impacts the artistic vision and strength of these bands in simply magnificent ways. It's been 6 years since Elysian Blaze main man Mutatiis has dropped an album, but right away with his 2012 offering, he shows us he hasn't merely been twiddling his thumbs all that time. The result of the past decade's creative dedication has spawned Blood Geometry, an over two hour, double disc magnum opus of all the trademarks Mutatiis has become known for that also, indeed, takes such techniques to new heights.

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Posted: 21.10.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (25)

Reviews
Process Of Guilt - Process Of Guilt / Rorcal [Split]

Rorcal and Process Of Guilt: two bands, full of anguish and grit, each hot on the heels of a well-received testament to the catastrophic potential of black noise. They have come together, grinding like the massive tectonic plates of unnatural noise, to unleash an excellent split EP of dread-filled coldness.

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Posted: 21.10.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (2)

Reviews
Fluxious - Nucleus Accumbens Diseases

Fluxious's début album Why So Serious? was a bit of an acquired taste and, with all its flaws and virtues, it turned out to be an either love or hate affair for some. Mixing jazz and metal, it was not a seamless blend of the two genres but had a sort of dichotomy going. Its appeal lied in contrasting patterns of both worlds that manifested itself in song structures, vocal lines as well as the overall feeling. The follow-up to this début is something I've been eagerly expecting for a while now.

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Posted: 20.10.2014 by Ivor | Comments (2)

Reviews
Kong - Stern

Kong are extremely good at delivering music that is restless and unsettling. If you're an impressionable sort, a driver that gets nervous and twitchy at the wheel of a car in a rush hour, Kong is not a good choice of background music. It will surely make you even more anxious and jumpy. It's the sort of music that just doesn't let itself be enjoyed sitting tight.

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Posted: 20.10.2014 by Ivor | Comments (5)

Reviews
Rigor Mortis - Slaves To The Grave

Reviewing the posthumous opus ultimus of a recently-deceased artist imposes the unique burden of simultaneously preventing the unfortunate circumstances from coloring any objective sentiments about the work itself and remaining sensitive to the situation. While of course we believe in subjective reviews here, and some albums are best understood in the context of their creator's demise (Woods Of Ypres's Woods V), more often than not death intensifies hero worship. Rigor Mortis require no special treatment; not only does Slaves To The Grave deliver well enough on its own, it is a fitting swan song and testament to the brilliance of both Rigor Mortis and the late Mike Scaccia.

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Posted: 19.10.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
Vesania - Deus Ex Machina

Recently signed to Metal Blade Records and after a drought of seven long years, the Polish symphonic blackmetalers Vesania are on the verge of releasing Deus Ex Machina, their fourth full-length album in seventeen some years of existence. Was the long wait worth it though?

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Posted: 18.10.2014 by D.T. Metal | Comments (1)

Reviews
Vanir - The Glorious Dead

Fans, purists, didacts, and passers-by with too much time on their hands love a good argument about which bands might accurately be labeled "Viking metal" (as if it were a real genre). With their blend of death, black, and folk metal, the Danish Vanir probably have a better shot at the title than most.

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Posted: 18.10.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
Lunatic Soul - Walking On A Flashlight Beam

This is what I need. Music designed for introverts. With such a minimalist sound, every intonation becomes important. You listen carefully.

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Posted: 17.10.2014 by Introspekrieg | Comments (8)

Reviews
The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

This album sounds as if it were recorded in a daze - but was it the visionary purple haziness of a mystical psychedelic journey, the perception-altering horror of a satanic ritual, or the low-fidelity first fumblings of a young and raw band? Perhaps all three.

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Posted: 16.10.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
Stone Division - Six Indifferent Places

Holy Nickelback, Batman. This is going to be a bumpy ride. Right off the bat we're greeted with the latest hard rock singer to stamp his best James Hetfield impersonation over four minutes of riff. It's like listening to an audition for the next Godsmack.

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Posted: 16.10.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
Atriarch - An Unending Pathway

Within the realm of blackened doom, less really does seem to be more often times. Surprisingly limited in its scope, even after pioneers such as Dolorian and Katatonia burst onto the scene in the 90s, this style nonetheless has always felt like one where quality > quantity, and its small amount of practitioners always appear to be dealing out blows at a considerably high end of the spectrum. Relatively new on the scene are the Americans of Atriarch, and they're proving this idea true yet again with their third album, quite possibly the peak of their career.

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Posted: 15.10.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (0)

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