Vinyl Follow Up: In The Woods… – Pure

While I don’t worship at the altar of Omnio, I’ve long been an In The Woods… fan, and I was very pleased to see the band finally release a successor to 1999’s excellent Strange In Stereo with last year’s Pure. In The Woods… morphed over time from a black metal band through progressive and on to a mix of avant garde and the rather nebulous “dark metal” tag used for otherwise difficult to categorize music blending elements of gothic and doom metal, without really falling into either camp. Dark metal is probably the best descriptor for Pure, which is a much more conventional album than its not so immediate predecessor. If you were expecting...

Vinyl Follow Up: Katatonia – The Fall Of Hearts

I’m sure everyone has their favorite Katatonia album. For me, it’s 2006’s The Great Cold Distance that reigns above all others, with both album tracks like “Soil’s Song” and “July,” as well as B-sides “Unfurl,” “Code Against The Code,” and “Dissolving Bonds,” remaining not just some of my all time favorite Katatonia songs, but favorite songs full stop. I would also say that the latter are superior to any of the tracks on Night Is The New Day (That’s not saying much. -Alex). Happily, the band rebounded after that disappointment in 2012 with Dead End Kings, but I think it is this year’s release, The Fall Of Hearts, that is their...

Vinyl Follow Up: In Mourning – Afterglow

  In Mourning’s superb 2008 debut album Shrouded Divine instantly made me a fan, and was a nice kick in the ass for a Swedish metal scene that had gotten rather stale by that point. The album weaved together progressive and melodeath cues quite well, with standout tracks like “Amnesia,” and “Past October Skies (The Black Lodge Revisited)” demanding repeated listens. The band returned two years later with Monolith, which while perhaps a bit more simplistic and straightforward than its predecessor, was still a very enjoyable melodic death romp nevertheless. I eagerly awaited In Mourning’s third release, The Weight Of Oceans, and then,...

Black Future Vinyl Follow Up May13

Black Future Vinyl Follow Up

Five years after Outer Isolation, Arizona’s Vektor have finally returned with their latest, Terminal Redux. I imagine Alex will have something to say about this album and how good it is before too long (Oh I will. -Alex), but in the meantime, I thought it might be a good idea to go back to the beginning and take a look at the vinyl release of the band’s 2009 debut, Black Future. For those not already in the know, Vektor weaves some ‘80s thrash influences (particularly Voivod) together with more modern technical progressivism. Guitarist and vocalist David DiSanto’s blackened wails are coupled with interesting and fairly unique sonic...

The Zodiac Sessions Vinyl Follow Up Apr09

The Zodiac Sessions Vinyl Follow Up

I normally try to keep my vinyl follow up articles at least somewhat timely, so you’ll have to forgive me for the extreme tardiness of this one. I’ve been a fan of San Francisco’s retro doom masters Orchid ever since I heard their 2011 full length debut, Capricorn. However, only recently did I discover that Nuclear Blast decided to reissue Capricorn together with the band’s 2009 EP Through The Devil’s Doorway on a CD digipack called The Zodiac Sessions, with new cover art by the band’s vocalist Theo Mindell, and new mastering for both. In addition to the CD, both Capricorn and Devil’s Doorway were also reissued on vinyl as a gatefold...

Dystopia Vinyl Follow Up Feb22

Dystopia Vinyl Follow Up

According to Alex, Megadeth’s latest opus is a stunning return to form, their best since Youthanasia. In my humble opinion, it’s a solid effort, certainly far superior to the disaster that preceded it, but I think it’s only about equal in quality to The System Has Failed and United Abominations. For the record, I really liked UA, and hated Endgame, so take that for what you will. While I think the album overall is kind of everything Megadeth post 2000 thrown into a blender, and of course lyrically awful (Jingoism? Yeah, we got jingoism) I certainly have to respect the considerable talents of new lead guitarist Kiko Loureiro, who proves just...

Level 3 Vinyl Follow Up Mar31

Level 3 Vinyl Follow Up

I enjoyed Last Chance To Reason’s 2013 release, Level 3, so much that I rated it my album of the year. Since I already covered the album in my full review, I won’t rehash too much here. Suffice to say that if you haven’t heard it, Level 3 is nothing like the band’s previous work. For some that may be a turn off, but for me, somebody who has pretty much zero interest in math/dethcore, Level 3 was a revelation, equaling or surpassing some of the finest modern progressive metal released in the last several years. The album’s blend of hard charging riffs, blistering solos, atmospheric synths, and expertly done clean vocals is simply exquisite....

Subterranean Masquerade – The Great Bazaar Feb19

Subterranean Masquerade – The Great Bazaar

I’ve been struggling to find an album from this year’s crop of new releases that’s been able to hold my interest through repeated listens, but with The Great Bazaar, the latest after a very long ten year wait from Subterranean Masquerade, I think I’ve finally hit on something. The band’s first official release back in 2004 was a mostly acoustic EP called Temporary Psychotic State, with Paul Khur of November’s Doom and Jason William Walton of Agalloch joining founding guitarist Tomer Pink. A year after Psychotic State, the band, again featuring Khur along with bassist Jake DePolitte and a cavalcade of guest musicians, released Suspended...

The Devil’s Resolve Vinyl Follow Up Feb13

The Devil’s Resolve Vinyl Follow Up

I had originally planned to cover the vinyl version of Barren Earth’s The Devil’s Resolve after it first appeared in my Top 10 list of 2012, but for whatever reason, it fell through the cracks. With the band now back in the news though thanks to a jump to Century Media, new vocalist Jón Aldará taking over for Mikko Kotamäki, and a new album due later this year, I thought now is as good of time as any to talk about one of the standout progressive releases of 2012. For those not already in the know, Barren Earth was formed when a group of Finnish metal all-stars with former or on-going stints in Kreator, Moonsorrow, Amorphis, and Swallow The...