Review: IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT – “Abyssal Gods”

Abyssal Gods cover art

Imagine that the prehensile appendage of some unseen, Lovecraftian creature wraps around your ankles and pulls you through an interdimensional portal into a realm far worse than Hell. You are dragged, writhing in terror, through corridors of darkness where malformed beings grasp at and pick away at your flesh. This is a realm where your worse fears and anxieties are manifested and heightened. A place that acts as an intense fever dream of which there is no waking. A place where death is the only release from relentless psychological torture. This is where you are transported to while listening to Imperial Triumphant‘s Abyssal Gods. Through the use of mangled instrumentation, haunting atmospheres and a modern black metal foundation, this New York musical act creates one of the more unsettling and simultaneously awe-inspiring metal releases of the year. It’s an intensely claustrophobic record that only the most masochistic metal fans will enjoy.

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Review: LOCRIAN – “Infinite Dissolution”


Mankind’s inevitable extinction is not a foreign concept to heavy music artists. The mere idea of the human race ceasing to exist resonates profoundly within the metal and hardcore world. There are those who warn of the end of days and critique humanity, and there are those whose dissatisfaction with human beings instills a desire to accelerate the rate of the coming extinction. Either way, the concept is not a new one no matter how it is addressed. So what makes Locrian‘s Infinite Dissolution any different, other than the fact that is not strictly a “metal” album? The Chicago/Baltimore-based experimental trio’s approach to music attempts to revitalize an almost archaic concept and examine it with fresh eyes and ears. Locrian do not wish to preach to humankind about their self-destructive actions, nor do they wish to damn all of us on Earth either. Through multi-faceted compositions and non-linear narration, Infinite Dissolution urges the listener to reflect on the inevitability of the end; a bleak concept the band makes somber and beautiful simultaneously.

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Review: SPYLACOPA – “Parallels”

Parallels cover art

Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan, John LaMacchia of Candiria, Julie Christmas of Made Out of Babies and Jeff Caxide of Isis. Just the mere prospect of these musicians coming together would excite any fan of forward-thinking heavy music. In November of 2008, it happened with the first self-titled Spylacopa EP. The six-track release was commendable for deviating from the formulas of each of its members respective musical outlets in favor of something more accessible but no less heavy and catchy. A follow-up release was scheduled for 2011 but never came due to the passing of drummer Troy Young. Isis and Made Out of Babies broke up and Julie Christmas’ musical output stopped after her 2010 solo record, The Bad Wife, and her Coextinction Recordings release. Spylacopa was beginning to feel like a distant memory. But, not far into 2015, LaMacchia announces that the group’s long-delayed debut full-length will be released. Sure enough, March saw the unveiling of Parallels, a 40-minute tour de force of metallic eccentricity.     Continue reading

Review: ABSTRACTER – “Wound Empire”


Wound Empire cover art

The dust settles and the smoke clears as you crawl out from underneath the protection of a corroded vehicle. You search the polluted skies for any signs of approaching aircraft. The bombings have become more frequent and the city you once viewed with awe is now crumbled, decrepit and in ruins. As you put on your gas mask to avoid potential poisoning, the air raid sirens begin to signal another impending attack. But emitting from their speakers instead of the traditional siren sound is something more fitting. It is the sound of Abstracter‘s Wound Empire. The Apocalypse, the End of Days, World War III, a global nuclear assault, every potential world-ending scenario could be set to the tune of this Oakland-based quartet’s compositions. Through four lengthy opuses, Wound Empire paints a picture of dystopian life in which all hope is exhausted, and provides the soundtrack for the only instinct the inhabitants would have left; survival.

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