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Zola Jesus – Taiga

October 23rd, 2014
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The Taiga Sheds Its Stripes

Electronic ambient music doesn’t get much more pop than Zola Jesus, the nom de stage of Nika Roza Danilova. Since her 2009 debut, The Spoils, she has mixed the aforementioned elements with goth, classical and industrial meanderings. On each album, she has become more focused and less experimental. Her latest LP, Taiga, may be her most accessible release to date, and it will be up to her fans to determine if that’s a good or bad thing. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews

Dominhate – Towards the Light

October 9th, 2014
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Light Within the Darkness

Hailing from Pordenone, Italy, Dominhate attempts to innovate within a genre that defies innovation. With their debut LP, Towards the Light, this death metal four-piece mixes up tempo changes, melodies and vocal rhythms in a way that sets them apart from their brethren. They do not pretend to cross over into any other genres, though, which will ensure they do not alienate any potential fans coming their way expecting to be aurally assaulted. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews

My Brightest Diamond – This is My Hand

October 1st, 2014
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…My Very Heavy Hand

Once in a while, you come across music that is so non-categorizable that you can’t form an opinion. You can’t say you don’t like it or that it’s without merit, but at the same time you can’t say you want to listen to it again. My Brighest Diamond is such an act. Shara Worden mixes chamber music, prog rock, operatic stylings and cabaret into one baffling blur of sounds. On her fifth album, This is My Hand, this kitchen-sink delivery continues, and the experience is dictated wholly by the listener’s expectations and mood. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews

Hod – Book of the Worm

September 20th, 2014
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Honoring Obsequious Derivations, Perhaps?

First and foremost, Hod would like you to know that their name is not an initialism. It is not H.O.D. It’s Hod. It doesn’t stand for anything. The same cannot be said for this San Antonio five-piece grindcore metal band. They stand for the anyone who is not afraid to take their metal to the most extreme. They stand for anyone who is willing to look beyond macabre lyrics and uncover the frivolity within. Their second full-length, Book of the Worm, does not break new ground or provide a compelling reason to listen, but it is a solid collection of fast, loud, screaming metal. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews

Accept – Blind Rage

August 27th, 2014
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Meaty, Juicy Goodness

Accept is to heavy metal what Friendly’s is to fine dining. While it’s nice to enjoy a meal prepared with care and skill, sometimes you just want a fucking hamburger. Germany’s original headbangers have been presenting the same menu for nearly 35 years, and while it’s reasonable to push it aside in favor of more flavorful options, the comfortable and steady will always have customers. Their latest, Blind Rage, is another eleven songs of fist-pounding, flag-waving arena rock, delivered without irony or apology. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews

Darkest Hour – Darkest Hour

August 16th, 2014
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See the Light

When an album starts off with a screech that you can’t tell if it’s an instrument or a voice, you know you’re in for something mind-melting. However, the simple fact that DC metalcore heroes Darkest Hour chose to self-title their eighth album hints that they may have been attempting a sonic rebirth (see: Metallica, 1991). When they signed to Sumerian Records last year, they saw it as a good time to expand their sound, with the help of producer Tyler Larson. The end result may both lose and attract fans. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews

Mark Lanegan Band – No Bells on Sunday EP

August 12th, 2014
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Peak-a-boo!

A decade prior to the breakup of Screaming Trees in 2000, Mark Lanegan started releasing his crooner-soul-rock under his own name, working album by album to hone his skills and his voice and find the perfect match for both. As he approaches fifty years of age and prepares for the release of his ninth solo record, Phantom Radio in the fall, he is giving 1,500 fans a taste with the vinyl-only five-song EP, No Bells on Sunday, and it appears as though he may have overshot his target. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews , ,

Monomyth – Saturnalia Regalia!

August 6th, 2014
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The Hero Stays Put

These four boys from Nova Scotia know exactly what they are trying to do on their debut LP, Saturnalia Regalia!. Monomyth is all about the hooks, the height and the happy. The melodies are catchy as heck, the guitars are unapologetically treble-y and echo-y and the overall feeling from these eight songs is positivity. Even as the songs veer from the pocket of pop to the realm of psych-metal, they retain a Turtles-esque ’60s-gleefulness. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews

Lazer/Wulf – The Beast of Left and Right

July 31st, 2014
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Butchering at its Best

It’s difficult to appreciate how the “experimental” moniker is often affixed to other descriptors of the Athens, GA three-piece rock band, Lazer/Wulf, with a cursory listen. On the first pass, they can be written off as thrash, hard-doom, or speed-fusion metal. But when you key on some of the sonic expressions produced on their latest LP, The Beast of Left and Right, you have to conclude that there is more than meets the ear with this chiefly instrumental band. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews

Big Deal – Sakura EP

July 18th, 2014
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Bigger, Better Deals Await Them

Big Deal’s vocalist Kacey Underwood is as California as it gets. With her Michelle Phillips’ beauty and her sweet and lazy voice, one can imagine that not a day went by in the recording studio where fresh flowers weren’t nearby. A few years ago,  she trekked to London where she teamed up with Alice Costelloe and formed the edgy, indie-shoegaze band Big Deal. They released two LPs, but on their newest four-song offering Sakura they appear to have found their focus. Read more…

By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews