Burzum – Fallen

It is cliché to say that the post-incarceration Burzum albums suck. It’s also cliché to say that it’s cliché. Whatever. I really don’t care to write about Fallen, but I refuse to consider this album properly approached until I have some words published about it. Fallen is the second album (eighth overall) released by Varg Vikernes following…

Forgotten Tomb – … And Don’t Deliver Us from Evil

Italian quartet Forgotten Tomb started off as one of the better depressive black metal bands in the scene with releases such as Springtime Depression and Songs to Leave, proof that soul-crushing music need not be buried under static and synthesizers. In 2011, the band signed to French label Agonia Records1 and released Under Saturn Retrograde,…

William Basinski – The Disintegration Loops [Live]

The point of William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops is to elicit the sublime beauty of things that fall apart. The New York City artist’s collection of ambient music that captures the process of a cassette’s deterioration as its music is transferred to digital medium is one the most haunting, poignant, and memorable ambient works of…

Ulver – Vargnatt [Demo]

Although Nattens Madrigal – Aate Hymne til Ulven i Manden has been immortalized in black metal history with the myth of being recorded in a forest due to its extremely low fidelity production, it’s actually Vargnatt that holds such a distinction. Recorded in Norway’s Trollforest in 1993 when all of the band members were still teenagers,1…

Metallica – Load

What the fuck is this dad-rock post-grunge bullshit that’s disguising itself as a heavy metal band? Is that blood and semen mixed together on the cover; am I supposed to feel “hardcore” or whatever the kids say when I see that? Did James Hetfield just say I need to be down with the sickness –…

Ildjarn – Forest Poetry

Ildjarn is a mainstay of Norwegian black metal. Founder and sole member Vidar Våer started the project in 1991, following the break-up of blackened death metal band Thou Shalt Suffer.1 Forest Poetry is an hour-long exercise in the ultimate brutality of black metal: extremely lo-fi production that makes Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger look like Pink Floyd’s…

The Green River Burial – Blight [EP]

Why do I have this? I really hope that I didn’t pay money for this. The Green River Burial is a band that demonstrates why “metalcore” is a pejorative. There are two singers: one with a decent high-pitched scream akin to fellow Deutschlanders Heaven Shall Burn, and another with a hackneyed deathcore growl that probably has…

Thumpers – Galore

Galore starts of fantastically. The clap-along percussion and twinkling production of “Marvel” makes for a gorgeous track that elicits the best of indie pop ebullience. “Dancing’s Done” graduates to stomp-along, and even has a cute guitar solo along Thumpers’ motor-mouth singing. Then it explodes into a fucking catastrophe of indie clichés and ostentatious lyrics divorced…