Furia – Nocel Nov19

Furia – Nocel

Over the last few decades, Poland’s extreme underground has been a challenging place for black metal to flourish. Part of the reason stems from the fact that the country’s early extreme metal roots are mired with its NSBM affiliation, with acts like Graveland and Veles gaining notoriety more so for their politics than their riffs back in the early 90s. Couple that with the country’s strict anti-religion laws, it’s no wonder that black metal doesn’t exactly thrive compared to their NATO allies. Yet despite all that, bands like Mgla and Cultes des Ghoules still manage to deliver some of the finest black metal...

Trouble – Psalm 9

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. When one find themselves in a conversation about doom, typically bands like Black Sabbath, Candlemass, St. Vitus, and Electric Wizard get bantered about as the genre’s main leading staples. And rightfully so too, since if you are old enough to vote and reading this, then you probably own at least one record from one of these bands. But if you had to name the top...

Tidal WAV Hits US Shores Oct30

Tidal WAV Hits US Shores

We first talked about WiMP’s new lossless streaming service last year, which at the time was limited to the UK and parts of Western Europe. Rival Qobuz has similar geographical limitations, and recent money problems have put a considerable damper on their expansion plans. Lossless streaming in the US is now a reality though, thanks to a rebrand of the WiMP service under the new name Tidal. The service costs $20/mo, with an available seven day trial, and promises access to 25 million tracks in lossless quality – provided you use the the Chrome web client. As with WiMP, the desktop client is currently limited to lossy formats only, and...

Horrendous – Ecdysis Oct20

Horrendous – Ecdysis

I’ve come to the conclusion that when reviewers label a band “retro,” there is a certain stigma that comes along with it. Partly because the label intrinsically implies derivation, and partly because I think there is a tendency for bands to use the “retro” classification as a way to lend credence to the music whether or not it’s actually been earned. I suspect this may be the main reason why Horrendous’ terrific 2012 debut, The Chills, fell on relatively deaf ears, despite garnering widespread critical acclaim and even earning a spot on a few notable year end lists. Enter Ecdysis, Horrendous’...

Schiit On Vinyl Oct10

Schiit On Vinyl

The guys at Schiit Audio have been trying to reach a new generation of audiophiles with their products, which has meant eschewing the kind of massive, megabuck products that make the covers of Stereophile and The Absolute Sound in favor of compact, low cost components focused around the way the majority of people listen to music these days – on headphones. While it’s still a niche, more and more people are also choosing to listen to vinyl, in fact it’s the only physical music format showing any growth at all. Schiit has taken notice, and with the Mani, they aim to shake up the market for Phono preamps in much the same way that the...

Pale Communion High-Res Smackdown Oct07

Pale Communion High-Res Smackdown

Let’s all be honest with each other, Opeth’s latest release, Pale Communion, is not even remotely a metal record. Sure, there are a few metal bits sprinkled here and there, but at the end of the day, Mikael Akerfeldt and Co. are still squarely stuck in the mid-70s, where bands like Jethro Tull, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd reigned supreme. Yet despite its lack of death growls, there is also no denying that Pale Communion is indelibly Opeth though, incorporating all of the band’s signature elements ranging from lush Damnation style lullabies to those sinister sounding Blackwater Park grooves. It’s all right there on...