Sinistrous Diabolus: Total Doom//Desecration.

Sinistrous Diabolus: Total Doom//Desecration. Twenty years. That’s how long we’ve waited for Sinistrous Diabolus’s debut full-length, Total Doom//Desecration. Back in 1993 the Christchurch, New Zealand-based band released Opus One, a three-song cassette that has long been recognized as one of Australasia’s most influential extreme metal demos. Opus One was reissued recently by Dark Descent and Goat Gear (selling out immediately),... Read More

Shallow Grave — S/T

Shallow Grave – S/T New Zealand has a twisted heart filled with endless wrath and frustration. That’s ably reflected in the country’s most ill-omened metal, and the self-titled debut from Shallow Grave captures that anger and unease flawlessly. The Auckland-based four-piece amplifies the malevolence that skulks beneath the façade of society in an unsettling, premonitory form—and does so with a substantial amount of spiteful exuberance. All... Read More

Arc of Ascent—The Higher Key

Arc of Ascent—The Higher Key Space-rockers Hawkwind don’t get enough credit for helping to imbue the psychedelic spectrum of metal with a distinct accent. Lyrics from the band’s ’74 release, Hall of the Mountain Grill, (“We’re astral-planing, floating free / On our continuum frequency / Spacing out, we’re spacing in …”) underscore the mantra of mind-bending metal to this day. That same searching tenor... Read More

Stone Angels—Within the Witch

Stone Angels—Within the Witch We all lean on music in troubled times. And I think we can all agree that heavy metal provides the perfect forum to vent life’s frustrations. But it’s one thing to listen to music as a means of escape; it’s a whole other scenario to create music as a means to understand the legacy of unforeseen tragedy. Stone Angels are from Christchurch, New Zealand, a city that was left devastated by two huge earthquakes—with... Read More

Atriarch—Forever the End

Crawling out of Portland with their debut album Forever the End, Atriarch envelope you in a claustrophobic mix of über-grinding doom, bewitching atmospheres and icy black metal remoteness. Drawing rave reviews from all quarters, and even a nod from the Melvins’ Buzz Osborne, Atriarch’s debut is a first-rate slab of ill-tempered noise and a fine lesson in what can be achieved when the dismal totality of ritualistic and esoterically inclined... Read More

Meth Drinker—S/T

There are two kinds of sludge metal. There’s the one that evokes a certain Southern charm with its whiskey sippin,’ thunderclouds-a-gathering, sweaty clubs and down-home big fat riffs. And then there’s the other type—the obnoxious one. The one that conjures up images of broken glass, rubbish-strewn wastelands, dirty needles, infected leg sores, rotting teeth and very unhealthy co-dependent relationships. Meth Drinker plays the latter kind.... Read More

Tombs—Path of Totality

Waves of corpulent riffs, understated gothic splendor and a fair amount of post-metal escapism greets you on Path of Totality, the sophomore album from New York trio Tombs. It’s a sagacious, intricate release—Tombs have taken those disparate elements and influences that defined their debut, Winter Hours, honed their already imposing songwriting prowess, and released an album that is intensely corrosive, yet has a tantalizingly delicate heart. Tombs... Read More

YOB – Atma

  And so returneth the mesmerizing doom outfit Yob with Atma, their second album for pioneering Canadian label Profound Lore. Their first, The Great Cessation, was released in 2009 after they reformed following several years of inactivity. Cessation deservedly sat atop plenty of best-of lists for that year and was a mammoth, hypnotizing album, a very welcome slab of churning dirges and sweeping riffs that curved towards the darkly contemplative... Read More