Cormorant – Earth Diver Apr18

Cormorant – Earth Diver

Between their incredible cover art, fascinating lyrical subject matter, and unique sense of progressiveness, Cormorant have been just one of those bands that is simply too hard to not fall in love with. Their 2009 debut, Metazoa, was a sensational record, masterfully blending elements from the likes of Primordial, Enslaved, Agalloch, and even a little Iron Maiden. Their follow up, 2011′s Dwellings, though admittedly a bit unwieldy at times, still contained enough progressive magic to put it over the top, landing first place honors on numerous year end lists. But just as Cormorant was about to step into the limelight, their...

Pantera – Cowboys From Hell

Classic Wax is a recurring series covering exceptionally great sounding metal releases on vinyl. As all of these albums are classics, our usual music and sound scores are superfluous. Dynamic range measurements are still provided for reference. Pantera has one of the stranger histories in metal. Their “first” album is actually the band’s fifth full-length release, but over the years their early work got swept under the rug and eventually disappeared from general metal consciousness. The reason for that is simple – the legendary Texas badasses started out playing glam metal, which is a bit uncomfortable. Back in 1981, Pantera was...

Record Store Day 2014 Apr16

Record Store Day 2014

Every third Saturday in April is Record Store Day (RSD), a worldwide celebration of independent record stores and the largish black donuts of wax they sell. Now in its eighth year, RSD is bigger than ever, with hundreds of artist appearances, live shows, and parties to commemorate the day. There is even an official book. And looking back, a big part of RSD’s success can be directly attributed to the metal community’s continued support of the Hallmark holiday since its inception in 2007. In fact, the first RSD ambassadors (unofficially) were none other than Metallica, who invited a few hundred fans to the Bay Area’s largest...

Triptykon – Melana Chasmata Apr15

Triptykon – Melana Chasmata

The bitter end of institutional metal bands like Switzerland’s Celtic Frost can lead to promising new starts, and that’s certainly been the case with vocalist and guitarist Tom “G. Warrior” Fischer’s new band, Triptykon. Celtic Frost’s 1985 album To Mega Therion was a massive influence on a huge number of bands in a variety of genres, from Gorgoroth to Nirvana. In fact, after operating briefly under the name Blitzkrieg, Sweden’s Therion went so far as to take their name from the album. 1987’s Into The Pandemonium was a decent if not necessarily spectacular follow up, but after that, the band’s penchant for genre exploring would lead...

The Geeks Are Back In Town Apr11

The Geeks Are Back In Town

Following the launch of the Geek Out USB DAC and the massively successful Indiegogo campaign for the Geek Pulse desktop DAC, the folks at Light Harmonic have returned with yet another new product called the Geek Wave, and a new campaign, this time targeting smartphone music listeners. Battery powered portable headphone amps that can be used with phones or music players are nothing new, but what separates the Geek Wave from those types of devices is that it’s also both a DAC and an external hard drive. The way it used to work is that you would connect your amp to your MP3 player or phone’s relatively low quality headphone jack...

Thorns – Thorns Apr09

Thorns – Thorns

Forgotten Legends is an ongoing series where we look back on those extraordinary yet often overlooked albums that are essential to any serious metal collection. They can be of any format, released at any time. As always, a dynamic range measurement is provided for reference. On August 10, 1993, Snorre “Blackthorn” Ruch drove Varg Vikernes to Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth’s apartment in Oslo, where shortly thereafter, a heated exchange between Vikernes and Aarseth ensued resulting in Vikernes brutally stabbing Aarseth to death. Vikernes was subsequently sentenced to 21 years in prison almost a year later. Ruch on...