Jon Rosenboner is not writing the column this week, and it will instead be curated by your favorite pinch hitter, me. Unlike what your mommy and daddy told you after they separated, Rosie is in fact leaving because of something you did. Tweet pictures of dicks at him at as revenge. Tweet pictures of Christina Hendricks to me as thanks for writing this up.

—Richard Street-Jammer



Tombs - All Empires Fall (Relapse Records)

I’m about to piss off some people: “Deceiver” sounds like black 'n' roll era Satyricon. Now that’s a good thing and a compliment coming from me, but B’n’R Satyricon is not for the kvvl kids. “V” has a prominent clean vocal and no post-metal influence. Did Savage Gold have any post-metal parts? I went and skimmed it before finishing this post, and didn’t really hear any. Might be that Empires is a stylistic shift, then, but it’s pretty ferocious and I’m down that that.

Graves At Sea - The Curse That Is (Relapse Records)

Describing something as sludge metal usually communicates to me that the music is going to be bullshit, but this Graves At Sea album is pretty good! The whole thing is streaming on their Bandcamp page. Very harsh shrieking vocals, riffs and guitar tone that should appeal to Eyehategod fans, and good enough that we moved it up to Anticipated! I’m an open-minded man, you see. It’s taken the band forever to put out this, their debut full-length, but the wait seems to have paid off.

Krigsgrav - Waves Of Degradation (Bindrune Recordings)

Black metal’s stylistic expansion over the years is astounding if you stop and think about it. Krigsgrav play black metal, sure, but it’s not the thrashing scrape of early Bathory, it’s not a blasterpiece like Panzer Division Marduk, nor a trebly, melodic fuzzbomb like Nattens Madrigal. Based on the preview, Waves is similar to previous Krigsgrav efforts. When the music’s good, it’s mournful but compelling melodies with the occasional folk tinge played at midtempos. Acoustic guitar parts happen, as appropriate. Falls of Rauros, Wodensthrone, and certain Panopticon records are touchstones. I’m hopeful for this release, as Krigsgrav do the style about as well as anyone when they’re on their game. But for my money, they’ve never equaled The Carrion Fields.

Thunderstone - Apocalypse Again (AFM Records)

Whenever I write one of these UMRs, I hope there’s a promising power metal release to write about. This week, shit yeah Thunderstone! They’ve always played high energy, high speed power metal from the genre’s Running Wild branch. This new tune is excellent despite the chorus veering sharply into frilly-shirted Blind Guardian territory.

Melvins - Basses Loaded (Ipecac Recordings)

The album title sorta gives it away. Basses features a number of guest bassists, including Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), Trevor Dunn (Fantomas, Mr. Bungle), Steven McDonald (Off!, Redd Kross), and Krist Novoselic (Flipper, The No WTO Combo). We live in an era with way too much music, so I’ve never actually listened to the Melvins and can’t make a comparison to their voluminous back catalogue. Call me a poseur, but then again you’re not a Candysnatchers fan are you, fellow poseur?

I’ve never listened to Moonsorrow. Same story as with the Melvins, so much great music, you’re gonna miss some. But since Rosenthal’s out somewhere diddling himself, I gotta write this band up. The video is freaking sweet, but the song is not doing anything for me. Feel free to ignore my opinion, because Moonsorrow fans are fucking crazy about the band and sometimes the wisdom of the crowds really is that.

Embalmer - Emanations From The Crypt (Hells Headbangers)

This Embalmer is an on-again, off-again death metal band from Cleveland. Official release date is April 1, but don’t be fooled, the album is no-joke, high-aggression death metal. The scads of blast beats, low-tuned guitars being tremolo strummed at warp speed, and brutal death metal vox make this a punishing affair. The two tracks available on Bandcamp are exhausting; good thing the album is just 31 minutes long.



Very slow black/doom metal. One man band/project, with IV playing everything. He’s been in Nazxul, Perdition Oracle, Temple Nightside, and other stuff. Not my thing.

Kringa - Through The Flesh Of Ethereal Wombs (Daemon Worship Productions)

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Kringa - "Pearly Gates, Abhorrent Ascent"

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This EP has an occult/orthodox black metal styled title, but the music keeps reminding me of Darkthrone. Panzerfaust, maybe? Or a different band? I’m not sure, but I like what I’m hearing here.

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Novembre - "Bremen"

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It’s been almost a decade since Novembre’s last release, but they seem to be in fine form here. The beginning of “Bremen” has a strong Edge of Sanity vibe, the clean and calm midsection is redolent of when Opeth used to do that back in their melodeath days.

Death Fortress - Deathless March Of The Unyielding (Fallen Empire Records)

Nothing subtle going on here, just tightly played, uptempo black metal. I get a bit of a black and white album cover era Gorgoroth vibe off of this.

Bossk - Audio Noir (Deathwish Inc.)

Bossk has been around since the mid-2000s, releasing original material in dribs and drabs, but is now putting out their first full length. I would have sworn they were on Hydra Head back in the day, but nope. This LP more than doubles the number of songs they’ve officially released, and it follows roughly the same formula they’ve usually adhered to: clean instrumental portions followed by crushing heavy parts. Not a new or unique sound, but they do it exceptionally well.

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Irkallian Oracle - Apollyon (full album)

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Formless, structureless tremolo picking and blasting. Slow parts. Absence of melody. Irkallian Oracle’s debut did nothing for me, and neither does this album. The full album is up for streaming so you can listen to it, pretend to like it, and then leave some shrill comments below insulting my parentage and taste in music or whatever. The cover art’s pretty sweet, though.

Interment - Scent Of The Buried (Pulverised Records)

Interment play Sunlight Studios/HM-2 death metal. Dozens of similar style albums are released every year, and one or two are worth adding to your collection. The three streaming tracks currently available make the case that Scent might be one.