Thursday, June 25, 2020

Lamb of God - Lamb of God

Long-running Richmond collective Lamb of God return with their 8th album proper and their first major lineup change to date as they are now without founding drummer Chris Adler. As the metal scene started to pick back up in the United States in the early '00s, Lamb of God emerged as one of the most important bands in what some have considered to be the NWOAHM (New Wave of American Heavy Metal) alongside contemporaries like Shadows Fall and Unearth, but as time has moved forward Lamb of God are still extremely relevant in comparison to the latter two. In 2020, Lamb of God is likely as popular as ever and fans have eagerly awaited another volume to their 20 year career.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Exclusive Interview - Jamie Saint Merat (Ulcerate)

Crafting their unique, dissonant brand for nearly 20 years, Ulcerate should be considered a crucial member of extreme death metal's vanguard. Weaving melody throughout a chaotic blend of cavernous growls, spastic guitars, and dizzying drum-work is a monumental task, but one that the band's latest release, Stare Into Death and Be Still, accomplishes flawlessly. I was fortunate enough to be able to talk to drummer Jamie Saint Merat about the new album, his personal influences, and reflections on the band's history. I understand that this type of death metal doesn't resonate with everyone, but I cannot emphasize enough how, at the very least, this is a drummer who's among the best in his craft and one that you'll want to follow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Elder - Omens

Elder is one of those bands that, if you ask a dozen people do describe their sound, will bring you a dozen potentially different answers built around the same few buzz words: "Psychedelic."  "Stoner."  "Prog."  "Rock."  "Metal."  Part of that has to do with how the band has tweaked and changed their sound over nine releases spanning fourteen years; perhaps more instrumental to those varied answers is the way they continue to incorporate where they've been with where they're going.  Each Elder album weaves and swirls in ways that are at once unexpected and comfortably familiar.  Omens, the band's fifth full-length album which drops this Friday, continues that trend with glorious aplomb.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Durf's Playlist: Roadtrip Edition

This past Saturday, I drove from Middleton, Idaho, to Little America, Wyoming, to get a dog.  It was a 940 mile round trip.  It took me thirteen and a half hours.  During that time, I listened to a lot of things, which I will now tell you about.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Trivium - What the Dead Men Say

I will forever long for the feeling of hearing Ascendancy for the first time again as much any other metal fan whose "gateway years" coincided with the metalcore boom of the early-mid 2000s, but what has kept me a Trivium fan for the long haul is how their sound has continued to evolve with each album. Ember to Inferno through Shogun saw the band flex their heavier, thrash-laden muscles while more accessible hooks and melodies were explored during the In Waves through Silence in the Snow years. While my preferences lean more towards the former rather than the latter, the release of 2017's The Sin and the Sentence was a watershed moment not only for the band but also for me fully realizing that the best version of Trivium is when all these elements, and their extremes, come together. What the Dead Men Say, the band's ninth full-length album, continues where The Sin and the Sentence left off; offering a slew of heavy hitting, dexterous guitar riffs accompanied by captivating drum-work, heavy screams, and lush vocal melodies.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Ulcerate - Stare Into Death and Be Still

They've been around long enough that it's easy to take them for granted, but New Zealand's Ulcerate is truly in a league of their own. Ever since their debut in the early 2000s, the band has been an ever-evolving force in crafting a brand of death metal that is, to be succinct, extreme. The beauty of the band's extremity, however, is that it can be appreciated and digested in different ways. Whether you're searching for unrelentingly varied barrages of drums and guitars or a dissonance carrying a palpable bleakness equally serene as it is somber, there's something here for a wide variety of death metal fans. The band's sixth album, Stare Into Death and Be Still, not only carries on with this formula but presents it in the most impressive way since 2011's seminal The Destroyers of All.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Just Fuck It

First things first: I hope that wherever this post finds you, you are alone (or with your significant other or family in your home), and that you are safe, and that you are healthy.  I can't remember a time like this; maybe it was my youth, but I don't remember such wide-sweeping panic happening after 9/11.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Best of 2019 Playlist on Spotify

Still catching up on the unholy goodness that 2019 had to offer? We're here to help. If you have yet to view any of our year-end lists, and have no intention of doing so, we've compiled our favorite tracks from each of the albums that made the cut onto a Spotify playlist.

You can get to that playlist using this link.

If you want to know the playlist but for some reason don't want to follow that link above, then read on after the break!