Review: Uada – Devoid of Light Jul26

Review: Uada – Devoid of Light

This year hasn’t been exactly a banner year for black metal, especially anything coming out of here in the States. Sure, Cobalt dropped a two-album bombshell back in March, and then there was Oak Pantheon‘s stellar release a few weeks after that too, but all in all, it’s been mostly slim pickings. However, there is one USBM record this year that as been making a lot of underground waves ever since it was released back in April, and that album is Uada‘s full-length debut aptly named Devoid of Light. If hailing from Portland has you thinking that Uada is just another bunch of tree hugging hippies who happen to dabble...

What About The Wax? Jul22

What About The Wax?

Since Alex thoroughly broke down the excellent new versions of Agalloch’s Pale Folklore, The Mantle, and Ashes Against The Grain remastered by Colin Marston, I thought I should cover the analog versions for those that may be curious. Starting with Pale, the album was first released on vinyl in the North American region in 2005 by Profound Lore (PFL 012). There were 400 copies of the double LP pressed on blue, an ultra limited, 40 copy white version, and an unobtanium, 60 copy limited wooden box set hand numbered by John Haughm himself, with the vinyl on white/blue splatter. Since all of these are impossible or near impossible to buy today,...

A Celebration for Dynamics… Jul18

A Celebration for Dynamics…

Agalloch was one of the most popular bands in the world that no one has ever heard of. In fact, they were the paragon of underground success, building an extremely loyal fanbase over the years through a mix of touring and word of mouth yet never compromising their artistry in the process. Ironically, despite the fact that they were generally considered a black metal band by most, in reality they were really more of a post-rock outfit who employed black metal as one of many sonic veneers that included doom and neofolk as well. It was a big part of their charm; they were heavy but not overtly so, always exuding a certain level of gravitas in...

The Myth And Reality Of Mastering Jul15

The Myth And Reality Of Mastering

A little while back, Pitchfork posted an article written by Jordan Kisner about the “dark art” of mastering music. Unusually, the article lead with a brief overview of what went wrong with the production of Death Magnetic, or rather, what fans perceived had gone wrong. This is unusual because when most conventional outlets talk about mastering, the first rule of the Loudness War is you don’t talk about the Loudness War. Unfortunately, that’s where the positives generally end. After a cursory explanation of what mastering is, the article gets to this gem: The mastering engineers I spoke to for this story kept using the same phrase when...

Review: Henry Audio USB DAC 128 MKII Jul08

Review: Henry Audio USB DAC 128 MKII

Introduction Truth be told, the entry level, sub $300 desktop DAC market is not something I normally pay a lot of attention to. At this price level, engineers are usually so constrained by cost controls that there just isn’t a lot of room left to differentiate one product from another, especially when dealer margins and overhead have to be factored in. Most of these DACs just don’t offer enough of a sound quality benefit over products like the LH Geek Out or AudioQuest Dragonfly series to really be worth the sacrifice in portability. However, at Metal-Fi, we definitely have a soft spot in our otherwise black metal hearts for rule breakers...

Review: Audeze SINE and EL-8 Headphones Jul06

Review: Audeze SINE and EL-8 Headphones

Introduction When I recently reviewed Audeze’s new flagship, the LCD-4, I kinda, sorta knew that my review would mostly fall on deaf ears. I mean let’s all be honest now. Not too many people are in the market for a four thousand dollar pair of headphones – audiophile or not. And the truth is Audeze is quite aware of that fact too, which is why that’s not the only headphone they make. In fact, over the last few years, Audeze has introduced a number of products outside of their critically acclaimed LCD line. In 2015, Audeze introduced the EL-8, a planar magnetic that combined BMW Designworks aesthetics with their...