Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ghost - Meliora

When previously unknown and enticingly anonymous Ghost debuted in 2010 with the critically lauded Opus Eponymous, the heady idea of artistic progression was evident from the word Satan. The rhythmic hooks, confidently creepy vocals and firm reimagining of vintage hard rock blended seamlessly with the on-the-nose satire evident in each verse and chorus. The incorporation of keys, organs and subtle choral elements smoothed the edges. It was the feeling of it all, however, that made Opus the most confounding hit of that calendar year. Nobody could figure it out, and yet the joke was an inclusive one. It was the artistic equivalent of diverting the attention of your judgmental grandparents, who sort of once listened to Blue Oyster Cult and Jimi Hendrix, away from your black t-shirt with an upside down crucifix by telling them you understood the 70s better than them.

Fast forward five years. Ghost have released their third full-length Meliora, and now, for the first time, the joke of infernal comedy is on us, and it is wonderful.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Eric Schnee (Organ Dealer)

Heavy metal is alive and well in the state of New Jersey; take for example Northern New Jersey's Organ Dealer. Their vicious deathgrind takes the listener and slams their face into the pavement. Luckily their drummer Eric Schnee did no such thing to me on the pavement across the street from their recent show at The Clash Bar in Clifton, NJ. Being the nice dude that he is we talked about the influence of Jon Chang on his style and subsequent band they played in, the New Jersey scene and just metal in general. Have a listen to the calm before the storm.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Brutally Short #2: Sadistic Ritual, Undergang, Chelsea Wolfe, Hope Drone, Organ Dealer

Reviews for Brutally Short #2:

Sadistic Ritual - Edge of the Knife (Unspeakable Axe)
Undergang - Døden Læger Alle Sår (Dark Descent)
Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss (Sargent House)
Hope Drone- Cloak of Ash (Relapse)
Organ Dealer - Visceral Infection (Horror Pain Gore Death)

Check out the reviews after the break!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Steve Von Till (Neurosis)

The other night, Mick and I were able to sit down with Steve Von Till, singer and guitarist for music legends Neurosis.  It's been a few days, but I still can't fully comprehend that this interview actually happened; Neurosis needs no introduction around these parts, and for my money they are the most influential band in heavy music over the past 30 years they've been a band.  We spoke with Steve about the band's longevity, how they manage to continually produce consistently excellent material, and some changes he would make to elementary curriculum if given the chance.  Check it out below, and be sure to catch Neurosis on their current US Tour, their first major tour in the country since the turn of the century.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Lychgate - An Antidote For The Glass Pill

Black metal can be an enigmatic beast; from it's Norwegian origins to USBM to anywhere else in the world, it varies from band to band and continent to continent. Enter the UK's Lychgate and their 2nd full length, An Antidote For The Glass Pill; a thoroughly horrifying album in the best way possible. Organs are a major piece to this quintet's sound and they at times can sound like a more mysterious Mr. Bungle. The overarching atmosphere is that of say playing some of the original Resident Evil games without a strategy guide; never knowing what lurks around the corner.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Brutally Short #1: King Giant, Bearstorm, Khemmis, Valkyrie, Dreadnought

(image by our buried alive intern)
This is the inaugural post of our "Brutally Short" column. Our hands certainly aren't clean of producing them, but we know reading long-winded reviews can be tedious. In an effort to not let so many albums slip through the cracks, "Brutally Short" will deliver around five reviews or so of albums our staff has been recently listening to.

Reviews for Brutally Short #1:

King Giant - Black Ocean Waves
Bearstorm - Americanus
Khemmis - Absolution
Valkrie - Shadows
Dreadnought - Bridging Realms

Check out the reviews after the break!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Josh Weaver (Royal Thunder)

Monday night saw the official start of summer, and for my money, that means two things: softball, and bar patios.  While we didn't get any swings in, this Monday did see Mick and I venture out to the patio of Chicago's Beat Kitchen, where we spent some patio time with Josh Weaver, guitarist for the white-hot band Royal Thunder.  The band's sophomore LP Crooked Doors came out earlier this year, and is a genre-defying medley of damn near all the tropes that make metal and rock great.  We talked to Josh about Royal Thunder's sound, his writing process, and an indie band called Nirvana he listened to in his youth.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Takaakira 'Taka' Goto (Mono)

Last Thursday, I was fortunate enough to sit down and talk with Taka Goto, founding member of the legendary Japanese instrumental outfit Mono.  We chatted about the current tour, Taka's view on what inspires Mono's sound, and some of his favorite metal bands.  On a side note, if you have never seen Mono live then please rectify that ASAP.  The band's performance was full of energy and emotion that was captivating on an unprecedented level.

Check out the interview after the break!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Steve Jansson (Crypt Sermon, Unrest, Trenchrot)

I talked with Steve Jansson from Crypt Sermon about epic doom metal, Dio worship, and the press reaction to their debut LP Out of The Garden. I also spoke with him about recent exploits with death metal band Trenchrot and grindcore band Unrest.

More with Steve after the jump.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tempel - The Moon Lit Our Path

Nearly three years ago, we received a bandcamp link from a two-man instrumental act called Temple. Self-identified in their description as "instrumental black metal," I was immediately intrigued. While this seemed like a descriptor that would have surely been placed on the metal blogoshpere's carousel of sub-genres already, I couldn't quite place a band that completely fit that label.  Thankfully for my ears, I decided to check out their debut album On The Steps of the Temple (reviewed by Durf here). In the wake of the positive response to the album, the band got picked up by Prosthetic Records, changed their name ever so slightly to Tempel, and have now released a second offering for us to enjoy.  Improving upon the formula from their first album, The Moon Lit Our Path showcases Tempel taking the trademarks of black metal and weaving them into atmospheric elements, soaring guitar solos, anthemic riffs, and unrelenting beats.  What results is a soundscape that is foreboding, serene, and full of heavy energy all at the same time.