Category Archives: Music
Tuesday Teardown: Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage

“Astral Blood” off Celestial Lineage

Ok, so it’s been a while but what a perfect album to bring about the return of Tuesday Teardown!

I’m a hypocrite. When Oregon-based Wolves In the Throne Room released Black Cascade, their homage to the Cascade Mountains of their home state, I sang praises for weeks about it. Then I started to really listen to the album and after putting it on heavy rotation, I lost interest. Why? I still don’t know. Maybe because there were much better black metal releases that year, or because I felt like they were getting too much praise for too little work. Years later, I’m back into Black Cascade but I’ve yet to warm up to their Two Hunters EP. Again, I’m not exactly sure why.

This year, the whole metal industry has been salivating for the release of Celestial Lineage, the new Wolves album. People wondered what they’d cook up for this release and me being the cynical fuck that I tend to be when it comes to overhyped music, already had an idea what it would be like. Was I right? Kind of. Wolves makes such an effort to break up their music with angelic singing and other sounds, focusing on the composition more so, at least in my opinion, than on their actual music. Celestial Lineage has, in many ways, lived up to my preconceived opinion.

“Thuja Magus Imperium” begins with windchimes and a harmony sung by a women, straight out of Lord of the Rings. This creates a contrast that in my opinion, muddles the album as it morphs from this introduction to Wolves’ signature tremelo picking and distortion. And it’s like a beast escaped from a cage. This is a whole new Wolves. The writing has improved immensely, the drums, guitars and basslines are fucking sharp and before you know it, it’s a jam fest. Now if only this momentum would continue.

Check out more below!

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Oct 4, 2011 Comments are OFF
Tuesday Teardown: Byfrost – Of Death

“Of Death” off Of Death

Oh my fucking god. Ahhhhhhhh. Pardon my enthusiasm, let me turn this album off because I can’t even concentrate long enough to write this review. Byfrost‘s second full-length, Of Death kicks the fucking shit out of just about other thrash album of 2011. Remember back when you were a whipper snapper and you got your first intro to the Swedish tech death craze of the early 90’s? Think about At the Gates but blackened and with a much better production budget (and blast beats, oh god the blast beats!)

Rip open the top and chug down “May The Dead Rise”. This is what Immortal would sound like if they weren’t such huge fucking pussies. Gah! Chop their heads off. “Eye For An Eye” just hammers away for over 5 minutes. The blast beats arise out of the chasm and demons are let loose, ripping your soul to shreds as they dine on your finger tips. If you haven’t caught wind of how crisp and icy this album is by now, you’re an idiot. This shit is sharp. The band produced Of Death themselves with help from Enslaved’s producer, Herbrand Larsen. Usually high-production equals douchey show-boaters. Remember, I said this wasn’t Immortal. Byfrost is about as gnarly as you can get when it comes to blackened thrash. Their shit-kicking, FUCK YOU, attitude continues with “Buried Alive” where we’re bent over on madame guillotine herself and await execution.

Check out more of this review over at the Mishka Bloglin!

Jul 19, 2011 Comments are OFF
Tuesday Teardown: Judd Madden – Drown

Why it’s taken me this long to review the work of Judd Madden in a Tuesday Teardown post is beyond me. Drown is a part of a triptych of self-released albums from Melbourne-based musician Judd Madden. While it’s easy to call albums “ground breaking”, “monumental” and “epic”, Drown definitely hits all of those on the head with precision, especially when compared to the other albums in the series: Float and Waterfall. What makes this doom-ridden series so dynamic is that each of the albums are entirely different beasts. Drown makes up the most recent in the series of experimental albums and is by far my favorite. Featuring crushing riffs and menacing drums, Drown evokes a sensation that’s understood immediately.

In just 7 tracks, Judd brings the weight, totaling an hour of playing time. Doom metal ain’t that tough to nail down and yet, Judd Madden’s work is so effortless in achieving that classic sound that it really makes you wonder how smart he really is. “Path” and “Riptide” begin their reign of bass and riffage, raking in an impressive 14 minutes for the pair. Drown‘s sound is a familiar one. There’s obvious Sleep influence but it’s not as monotonous as Isis or Pelican can be. If I were to compare it’s sound to anything, it’d come in close with Flood. For a more experimental and softened tone, check out “Waterlung” with its ripping opening riff and cascading symbols. This classic sludge track echoes the days of Sabbath and Vitus.

Check out more below, including the entire album streaming for free!

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Jul 12, 2011 Comments are OFF
Tuesday Teardown: Ritual Music and Books (MEL_Metal)

Melbourne ain’t exactly the sunny, surfer bro city you’d expect it to be. Where there are foreboding skies, there will be metal. This week for Tuesday Teardown, I thought I’d give you a look at the premiere metal music and book shop in Melbourne, Ritual Music and Books.

So yesterday, a local reader named Dylan hit me up asking how I’d feel about featuring Ritual for Tuesday Teardown. Sure enough, I was stoked to see a grassroots record store and was eager to check out what people were digging here.

Check out more from my special edition of Tuesday Teardown below!

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Jun 7, 2011 Comments are OFF
Tuesday Teardown: Book of Black Earth – The Cold Testament

“Weight of the World” off The Cold Testament

I was beginning to wonder about Book of Black Earth. Especially with frontman TJ Cowgill’s new found love for Satanic Folk and Actual Pain’s success as a clothing label. But we all know that metal is eternal and the newest album from Book of Black Earth, The Cold Testament is living proof. The band is back with its fast-paced and brutal approach to metal. It’s not exactly black, death or power metal and yet it speaks clearly to fans across all genres.

Check out more of my Tuesday Teardown featuring The Cold Testament below!

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May 31, 2011 Comments are OFF
Tuesday Teardown: Bongripper – Sex Tape/Snuff Film 7″

“Sex Tape” off Sex Tape/Snuff Film 7″

It’s Tuesday Teardown and this one will make you break your chain in a furious sprint!

All hail the mighty motherfucking BONGRIPPER. The Chicago four-piece has been wrecking speakers and houses for so long that any other band with BONG in their name must drink their bong water. When this band releases an album, much less a 7″, marijuana plants worldwide bud up and release a pheromone that entices pot smokers and riff-heads to spark one up!

Sex Tape/Snuff Film picks up right where the god dammed juggernaut Satan Worshipping Doom left off last year. Expect the gravity defying riffs to crunch your speakers and Beelzebub himself to grace your opium den with pentagrams and naked whores. Put on “Sex Tape” and daze the fuck out. As the first riffs drop, the sky rumbles and walls collapse as the heaviness sets in, obliterating everything in its path. BOOM!

Check out the rest of this review at the Mishka Bloglin!

May 24, 2011 Comments are OFF
Tuesday Teardown: Krallice – Diotima

“Inhume” from Diotima

NYC black metal and I don’t get along too well, unless it’s Krallice. Over the years, Krallice has been honing their sound and after two successful albums, Krallice and Dimensional Bleedthrough, the band has created a great album entitled Diotima.

Where do I begin with their sound? The initial track, “_” sounds much like their earlier work: tremelo picking, blast beats and endless loops of chaotic bliss but there’s something different now. In Diotima, the lead singer’s vocals have begun to take dominance over the tracks. But it’s not the typical black metal vocal stylings, they’re more akin to death metal and they compliment the fast-paced chaotic sound perfectly. There’s a power behind the music now and the dainty presence their music has had in previous albums is now irrelevant.

Just listen to “Inhume” for a key example, it’s fucking kick-ass! Same goes for “The Clearing”, another quasi-artsy composition that would normally be too shoe-gazey for my taste but the vocals just balance it all out. The title track “Diotima” is a bit slower and more epic than the other tracks. One slight critique of Diotima is the way most of the songs begin. They all start with the same reverb but the beast that lies sleeping is about to awaken.

Check out the rest of this review over at the Mishka Bloglin!

May 10, 2011 Comments are OFF
Tuesday Teardown: Indian – Guiltless


“The Fate Before Fate” from Guiltless

Here I was, thinking to myself that there needed to be an album in 2011 that gave Richmond-based Cough a run for their money. A few hours later and I came across the new album from Chicago’s Indian. This is one of the first 2011 albums that I see making through the metal masses and sticking around for years to come. As their first album on Relapse and forth in their collection, Guiltless delivers on all fronts.

The guys have come a long way since their 2008 album, Slights and Abuse / The Sycophant. Their sound is bigger and the production kicks ass. Not to mention the anger that was evident in Slights and Abuse / The Sycophant has been sharpened and honed for a much more impactful delivery. The twisted vocal stylings of Dylan O’Toole bring their sound to new, emotional lows in ways that I can’t even come close to describing. While the wretched sounds are heavy, they do lack that refinement that other doom acts posses after years of playing. Don’t look to Guiltless for a modern-day Burning Witch or Electric Wizard, these guys have a different tinge to their music.

Check out the rest of this review at the Mishka Bloglin!

Apr 26, 2011 Comments are OFF