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?
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Monday, March 13, 2017
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
I've been hearing about EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy, the latest release from French black metal outfit The Great Old Ones, from other metal bloggers and fans for what seems like forever. The hype around this album is real, and while I'd never heard of the band before catching an advance track for this album, I'm a sucker for hype when I know nothing about the band. So I decided to check it out and see if the hype was justified, or just a bunch of noise.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
No Clean Singing, which is what I did the other morning. There were quite a few great things that jumped out at me, but as you've no doubt surmised, the one that really caught my attention was an embed of the debut EP Unwilling by Sioux Falls, South Dakota band Tanakh. Tanakh features Nick Murphy on vocals and Michael Iverson on all the instruments, which would be impressive even if the music on Unwilling were half as good as it actually is. Being that it's actually pretty great, it's pretty mind-bendingly impressive.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Last year, the first annual Chicago Open Air Festival arrived, featuring mainstream metal bands like Rammstein, Disturbed, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, and Slipknot, alongside heralded underground bands like Carcass, Deafheaven, Gojira, and Meshuggah. It was an interesting and pretty decent - if unspectacular - mix of metal that a lot of folks have heard alongside bands that hover in more extreme territory. Also Hollywood Undead was there, which throws my perception of the whole thing off a bit. I didn't make it to the festival last year, but I did catch the sterling aftershow featuring Carcass and Deafheaven, which was excellent. Obviously a giant, open air metal festival in my backyard is something I want to support and attend, so I was eagerly awaiting news on this year's lineup. Last week, the festival organizers announced the lineup for the second iteration of the festival, to be held at Toyota Park in Bridgeview (just outside Chicago) July 14th-16th. Would the festival bring in more underground bands? Would early-2000s alt-metal continue to headline? Would 2017 be the year that puts COA alongside Maryland Death Fest or Southwest Terror Fest in the pantheon of American Metal Festivals?