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Tales from Bandcamp: Belfry by Messa


a2246686038_10From the opening drone and Om track to the closing acoustic folk song I can totally say I have not been enthralled with such a shattering doom album since Pallbearer’s latest outing. Messa have crafted a monumental debut overflowing with suffocating atmospheres and bluesy doom thunder topped off with sultry female vocals that will hypnotize you as they invoke demons to consume your flesh.

Mixing the droniness of Sunn O))) with the psychedelic edge of bands like Subrosa and the bluesy occult punch of The Devil’s Blood or Blood Ceremony, each song is nothing short of completely engaging. Whether it’s the slow burn of “Babalon”, the Freebird-freakout of “Hour of the Wolf”, the doom-clarinet jam on “Blood”, or the driving riffing on “New Horns” there is always some trick up Messa’s sleeve to draw you even deeper into their rituals. Even the ambient interludes are inspiriting. Little touches like the crackle and hiss of vinyl punctuate how much care went into this record.

If you have any love for doom metal in your veins (of course you do!) you need to go to Messa. Our Father who art in doom, Messa be thy name. Thy riffs come, thy will be done. On Earth as is in Inferno.

As usual, listen, force your friends to listen, force your enemies to listen, give the band money, support music and shit. Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Tales From Bandcamp: In Pieces by Oak Pantheon


a2504124681_10Some years ago I remember checking out an album by Oak Pantheon (2012’s From a Whisper), digging it enough to buy it, and then it kinda got lost among the mountain of mp3s on my player. Basically, it was a good album, but not memorable enough to really solidify itself in my consciousness. The band name stuck more with me than the music. Luckily, remembering the band name and associating it with something pretty quality I clicked on the preview for the new album, In Pieces, over at Bandcamp and an hour later left with more than just a killer band name fixed in my head.

Crafting an absolutely enthralling collection music, Oak Pantheon have delivered one of the most engaging atmospheric black metal albums I’ve heard to date.  Each track strikes balance between hypnotizing and ferocious, Earthly and astral.  Twists and turns that flow seamlessly rock you into a meditative state like laying back on a boat on an isolated sea. This album is a journey; a journey that will leave one changed. Outstanding instrumental performances to boot!

If you dig on bands like Vattnet Viskar, The Atlas Moth, Panopticon, and Agalloch, In Pieces is a must. If you just love well crafted music regardless of genre, this is a must. It will be a serious album of the year contender for me! Go give it a listen and a purchase if you enjoy it! Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Tales From Bandcamp: Abbath by Abbath


a4109216292_10Brandishing one of the most iconic faces in metal, black metal’s resident jester has left (or was forced out) his original band Immortal and is taking a stab at the thing as a solo artist.  Honestly, upon hearing this, I’d be hard pressed to not say he was already a solo artist during his days with Immortal.  His eponymous solo debut is basically a continuation of the frozen land of Blashyrkh.  So, if you love Immortal, you will love Abbath’s solo work.  In fact, while it doesn’t really push any boundaries, this is some of his most solid work to date.  Sick riffs, blistering speed, and snarling vocals.  What’s not to love?  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Tales from Bandcamp: Autumn Eternal by Panopticon


a2881869020_10I know I’ve gone radio silent the past month due to a mixture of work and writing burnout.  However not at least dropping a few words about the latest from one of my favorite artists would be a pretty terrible thing.

Autumn Eternal displays Panopticon’s knack for creating stunning folk/black metal with majestic atmospheres realized to a level I’ve yet hear from the one-man band.  Incorporating things like choral vocals and keys, a heavier focus on melodies, and a slight scale back on the bluegrass elements makes this album a very fluid, well-crafted affair.  Each track carries its own personality and the small bump up in sound quality does help the record brandish more of a punch.  And as usual, Austin Lunn’s lyrics are absolutely beautiful.

Maybe I’ll return at some point to write up a full review, but until then, don’t hesitate a moment in giving Autumn Eternal a listen/purchase.  Enjoy!!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Tales from Bandcamp: M by Myrkur


a2196000438_10Since I received the promo for the debut record from Myrkur I believe I have hit a record for the amount of times I have written and then deleted my review.  This is by far from saying that there is little to say about the album.  In fact, there are lots to say about this groundbreaking record.  I just didn’t want to fall into cliché over-emphasizing that the record is a one-Woman project nor under-emphasize a solid female voice in black metal.  I didn’t want to beat the dead horse of picking on the kvlt elitists I’ve seen saying not such nice things about any black metal that isn’t Mayhem or Burzum (and then pretty much becoming no better than the elitists themselves).  I also didn’t play into Myrkur’s image which forgoes sexuality but delivers some much-needed femininity because it kept turning into a diatribe for a more balanced female voice in metal and that would be better left as a separate rambling and not a review.  I wanted to say how much I love the shamanistic and ethereal nature of M but that kept becoming a love letter to the finer facets of modern black metal and over-emphasizing Garm from Ulver’s involvement in the creation of the record.  I wanted to quote one of my favorite The Big Lebowski lines, the one where Maude talks about ‘vagina’, but it just felt hammy.  I would have liked to touch upon some of the alien and almost Lovecraftian nature of the heavier moments but just wasn’t able to clearly get my point across.

There was a lot I have to say, but lack of an angle I could commit to and some writer’s block just made me say fuck it.  However, a record this good should not go unrecognized regardless of my difficulty in writing up a review nor did I want to spend so much time on something and not produce anything.  So I decided to just shoot some words from the hip and post it up as one of my ever-so-famous Tales From Bandcamp posts to let you readers out there an opportunity to discover this great entry into the pantheon of black metal.  Give it a listen, share it with your friends, toss some money at the artist, and let us know what you thought.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Roundtable Review: A Tunnel to Eden by Alustrium


a1122127405_10Album: A Tunnel to Eden

Artist: Alustrium

Location: United States

Label: Self-Released

Genre: Progressive Death Metal

Release Date: July 24th, 2015

Songs: 11

Length: 1 hour 13 minutes

Studio Albums: An Absence of Clarity (2011)

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Tales from Bandcamp: Isolate by Mesarthrim


a0820628059_10One modern trend I will probably never tire of is the astral themed black metal records.  Agalloch with The Serpent and the Sphere, Vattnet Viskar with Settler, Krallice with Years Past Matter, and so on.  It seems that each time a trippy post black metal album uses the stars as inspiration an album its scope and berth are as wide as the glittering sea above us.  Keep the Astral Metal coming please.

Catching my eye on the Bandcamp homepage with a beautiful photo taken by the Hubble Telescope I was easily compelled click to preview Isolate by Australian band Mesarthrim.  What I did not expect was that it would cut so heavily into my Ghost listening time; an album I’ve been frothing at the mouth for and was released today.

Dear Astreria! This album is outright phenomenal.  Heavy doses of reverby keyboard notes and major keys give the music such a triumphant sound that is as big as its subject matter.  There’s that overwhelming sense of positivity that you get from power metal but without all the cheese, superfluousness, and…. ummm.. well, power metal.  Nearly every moment here is just so uplifting.  The ambient moments are equally relaxing and introspective and add so much to the ponderous nature of the songs.  They perfectly compliment the mystical nature of the core of black metal.

This is a monumental album and should be given some love and attention asap.  Best part is the band is only asking for a single dollar for this beast.  You really can’t go wrong taking a chance here.  This album will transport you to a far away place, give you peace, and when you return you will be a happier person.  As always, tell all your friends about the music if you like it and let us know what you though in the comments.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Tales from Bandcamp: The Mist Bearer by A Diadem of Dead Stars


a0970717836_10Feeling the need to zone out and relax these days?  Then check out this neat instrumental atmospheric folk metal record The Mist Bearer.  Taking cues from the nature themed sections of bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, Soar, and Agalloch this one man band from Vólos, Greece writes ethereal compositions that personify they majesty of the rolling mountains and lush land that surrounds his homeland.  The lack of vocals, bar some hypnotic chanting, really drive the relaxation factor of this record into zen territories.  It also makes me want to finally get around to visiting Greece.

As always, dig in your couch or the back seat of your car and toss this man some change (he’s only asking €0.50), share with your friends, and let us know what you thought.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Tales From Bandcamp: Obelisk by Goya


a4167963514_10A handful of years back Goya’s album 777 kicked my fuzzy stoner metal loving ass all over the place.  Hazy vocals, dissonant guitars, laid back drums, and crunchy grooves man.  So you’d be correct if you said I was looking forward to checking out Goya’s follow-up.  And here we are with Obelisk and Goya knocks it out of the park again.

This time we get a band that has taken a genre that can very quickly get stale and boring and livened it up with just enough bong rips to entertain us who no longer habitually partake in the inhalation of the sacred herb but still like the dank smell (and the occasional J).  Tighter and more varied songwriting hypnotize and captivate and big tripped-out, bluesy guitar solos and punchy drums add a beautiful contrast to the lazy drone of the riffs.  This is one hell of a trip into a well-crafted, surreal soundscape and shouldn’t be overlooked by any fan of the stoner rock/metal genre.

You know the drill, give the record a listen, dig in your couch for spare change, give the band money, tell your friends how much Goya kicks ass, drop us a comment or something, go about your busy day.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!