|banner image courtesy of CvltNation|
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
|photo credit : Invisible Oranges|
Monday, April 24, 2017
As I was perusing the ol' Töp inbox the other day, looking for promos, I came across a band described as an "exploratory sludge/math metal trio." Suffice it to say my trousers became a smidge tighter at that combination of words, and so I downloaded the debut album from Salt Lake City's The Ditch and the Delta, Hives in Decline. Was my semi-chub, brought on by musically erotic thoughts of an Eagle Twin/Dillinger Escape Plan sex scene, brought to full mast? Or would I be left with doomy blue balls?
Thursday, April 20, 2017
For a band that's only been around for six or so years, Godhunter sure has been busy. In addition to their stellar debut full-length City of Dust, they've put out six EPs, splits, or collaborations, each of which has seen their brand of sludge pulled and tweaked in different directions. Their newest album, Codex Narco, continues that pattern, but with another, bigger twist: after a 2015 tour, a few members of the band left amicably, leaving guitarist/vocalist David Rodgers, drummer Andy Kratzenberg, and keyboardist Matthew Davis in the band. Rather than find new members to flesh out a lineup, the trio invited musicians from other bands to play on Codex Narco. There's no point in burying the lede; the result is a really cool album that's rooted in Godhunter's traditional sludge sound, while still charging forward.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Friday, March 31, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Mastodon is a band that needs no introduction; they are on the shortlist of bands that have influenced and defined the genre thus far in the 21st Century. Since their crushing debut Remission in 2002, the quartet has released five more albums, including back-to-back-to-back classics in Leviathan, Blood Mountain, and Crack the Skye, before falling back to earth and releasing two intermittently enjoyable, but really only ok to good albums in The Hunter and Once More 'Round the Sun. Mastodon's rapid ascent to the top of Critical Reception Mountain early in their career has only made their two-album slide all the more questioned: Were they trying to be more accessible and get a radio hit? Were they burnt out? Does Brent Hinds really hate playing in a metal band? Did they really just fluke their way into three All-Time albums? Fair or not, their seventh album, Emperor of Sand, feels like a make or break album for the band, one that will either return them to metal prominence as a great band, or seal their fate as a good band that had a transcendent six years once. So, you know, no pressure.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
By now, all metal fans know the story: Agalloch broke up last year, due to a schism between singer/guitarist John Haughm and the rest of the band. Don Anderson, Jason Walton, and Aesop Dekker joined up with Aaron John Gregory (of the late, great Giant Squid) to form Khôrada. Jon Haughm teamed with drummer Trevor Matthews and guitarist Stephen Parker to create Pillorian - an adjective defined as "of, or relating to, scorn and condemnation." Good thing there's nothing to read too deeply into there. It isn't - well, shouldn't be - a competition between the two bands, but it's naive to think that if one band succeeds while the other flounders, the successful band will be hailed as the victors of the Agalloch break up. While that is a silly way to look at it, we can finally start the actual conversation: Pillorian's debut album Obsidian Arc was released last Friday. Is it a worthy follow up to one of the most acclaimed American black metal bands of the 21st Century? Or is it merely a celestial effigy of what once was?