Monday, March 19, 2018

Eagle Twin - The Thundering Heard

Since their debut full-length The Unkindness of Crows in 2009, Eagle Twin has quietly been one of my favorite bands.  ...Crows was like nothing I had ever heard when it came out; the band's shamanistic take on doom is weird and adventurous in a way that too little music is.  That weirdness was somehow pushed even further on The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale, the band's 2012 follow up, resulting in an album that still rewards listens with the discovery of something new.  Now, six years later, Eagle Twin has returned with The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn); after such a lengthy slumber, can Eagle Twin muster the same thundering weirdness that made them so hypnotically intoxicating?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Neolithic - Cult of Ignorance EP/The Elephant Parallax - Loam & Sky

I guess right off the bat it would be good to tell you that there really isn't any through-line between the two releases I'm reviewing today.  Both are EPs, sure, and I had never heard of either band before listening to these two albums, but outside of that, the music contained within these EPs couldn't be more different.  But the Durfette and I just moved from Chicago to Idaho, and I've found myself going back and forth between these two releases while unpacking and building compost bins, so I decided to review them together.  The Elephant Parallax is a progressive trio out of LA, and Loam & Sky is their third release following a demo and EP.  Neolithic is a death metal/hardcore quintet out of Baltimore.  Different coasts, different sounds, similar amazing listening experiences... let's do this shit!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Judas Priest - Firepower

The following is my personal journey with Judas Priest from beginning of fandom to today. I found the path toward Firepower to be a therapeutic journey seeing as Judas Priest is one of the bands most responsible for who I am as a music listener today. So here goes nothing.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Conjurer - Mire

The "post-" genre seems to have taken on a life of it's own in the past few years.  When I began listening to metal intently over a decade ago, it felt like "post-metal" was reserved for living legends Neurosis and ISIS (RIP), and then "post-hardcore" was bandied about for bands like Thrice and Thursday.  Now? It seems like everything new is getting "post-"ed.  It feels like a catch-all of sorts, as though when a band has a sound that doesn't fit neatly into a predefined genre, it becomes "post-whatever genre."  I bring this up because in listening to and reviewing Mire, the debut full-length by the UK's Conjurer, I am incredibly tempted to label the band post-something, and I feel that doing so would take away from the magnificence of this album.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Exclusive Interview - Tommy Rogers (Between the Buried and Me)

Today marks the release of Between the Buried and Me's eighth studio album, Automata I. As is reflected in our review of it that was posted earlier this week, Automata is an exclamation point on an already decorated career. With this new release, the band remains steadfast in their pattern of never staying in one place stylistically. Amidst all of the new album buzz, I was lucky enough to catch a few words with lead vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Rogers.

Read the interview after the break!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Between the Buried and Me - Automata I

 In the world of contemporary progressive metal, there are few names bigger than Between the Buried and Me. Ever since 2005's Alaska, the band's sound has continued to evolve by pushing itself into more ambitious directions. Their previous effort, Coma Ecliptic, took a more operatic approach, forcing more of their experimental quirkiness to the forefront. And while it was an enjoyable listen, it doesn't hold a candle to the material from Colors through Future Sequence. With Coma not having delivered a track that could stand toe to toe with the likes of "White Walls", "Swim to the Moon", or "Silent Flight Parliament", my expectations for the band's material moving forward were certainly tempered. By taking the hard-hitting elements of their earlier material and weaving it together with the discernable effort to not remain pidgeon-holed, Automata's first half acts as a bridging of two very distinct phases of their career.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Visigoth - Conqueror's Oath

Salt Lake City's Visigoth hit the metal scene hard with their debut The Revenant King back in 2015. It was chock full of love for bands that deem themselves epic in the scale of their music, whether it be Cirith Ungol, Brocas Helm, Slough Feg, and even a cover of Manilla Road's 'Necropolis' to boot, the only track to clock in under the 5 minute mark. 2018 sees the band back with a renowned fervor with Conqueror's Oath. How does the sophomore album set up for the band?

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Atlas Moth - Coma Noir

Chicago-natives The Atlas Moth have always had a special place within my rotation of music that I choose to listen to. Unlike the vast majority of other bands, I don't listen to The Atlas Moth because I want to cure an itch for x-genre specific stylings. Rather, I listen to the band because I'm in a need of something that grooves but also leaves plenty of room for my mind to wander and even relax. Combining elements of stoner metal and psychedelia, their music is certainly layered, but never so-much so that it's overwhelming. Quite the contrary, The Atlas Moth harness a sound that is heavy-hitting but even more so sedative. The band's latest effort, Coma Noir, manages to keep this allure in-tact while also embracing more of a straightforward metal approach to the songwriting. No strangers to change, The Atlas Moth's sound continues to evolve into a new yet comfortable direction with their Prosthetic Records debut.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Eye of Solitude / Marche Funébre - Split

I used to not be too big on splits.  I think that 's because I thought I wasn't getting enough music; usually a track or two from each band adds up to around 20 minutes, and I tend to want more, because I am a greedy American.  Lately though, I've been coming around, helped by some longer splits; there was the fantastic CHRCH/Fister split from last year, in addition to this year's Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard/Slomatics release TotemsGiving splits - or at least doomy splits - a chance was beginning to pay off!  So obviously when the new split from Eye of Solitude and Marche Funébre hit the ol' Töp inbox, I was going to check it out.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Tribulation - Down Below

I don't think "fitting" is the right word, but I find it humorous that in my Top Albums of 2017 list, I mentioned how Tribulation hadn't fully clicked with me while praising the latest album from Cloak. And now for my first review of 2018, I'm here getting to ready to gush about how on board I am with Tribulation. It's a strange world we live in, but that's what keeps things interesting, right? Anywho, Tribulation's latest endeavor, Down Below, is bringing in the new year in a big way. The band's rock sensibilities shine through with gravelly vocals casting an eerie ambiance over the otherwise upbeat and spirited guitar rhythms and riffs. Even though they are accurate descriptors, "black n' roll" and "goth-rock" are terms that are being used too liberally and make it easy to look past what Tribulation has achieved with Down Below.