2021

Album Review: Atrium – “Constant Variables” 7.5/10 (Progressive Metal)

One of the major upsides of a solo project is that a lack of excessive cooks in the kitchen often allows for an especially high level of prolificity. That definitely seems to be the case for Atrium, the one-man project of Utah-based musician Vince Ochoa. According to Ochoa’s bandcamp, he released no less than six EPs in 2020 alone. This year though, he seems to have slowed down a little bit, with Constant Variables, out on May 7th, marking his first release of 2021. […]

2021

Album Review: Screaming Banshee – “Pierceive” 7/10 (Prog Death)

Let’s talk about the differences between string quartets and symphony orchestras. Yes, this is an album review for a death metal band. Just hear me out for a paragraph. In the classical music world, symphonies are the expressive zenith for composers. Think of Beethoven’s monumental symphonies and the massive works of Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. A wide range of instrumental colors and dynamics are available in the crafting of a symphony and one can make damn near any sound they want if they know what they’re doing. A string quartet on the other hand is but two violins, a viola, and a cello. A severely limited color palette compared to a symphony orchestra but ask any fan of Johannes Brahms and talk your ear off about how much music you can fit in a string quartet. Where a symphony is bombastic and emotionally over-the-top, a string quartet is often esoteric and rewards close listening to discover the music’s secrets.  […]

2021

Album Review: Victory Over the Sun – “Nowherer” 8.7/10 (Experimental Death)

This is something else. Victory Over the Sun is a solo project of a music genius named Vivian and she accomplishes a lot with this release. I won’t be able to do it justice, due to this person having an understanding of guitar and songwriting that I just do not possess, there are dimensions I can’t see here. I’ve been playing for 15 years and still suck so bad. From the bandcamp page: “written entirely in the 17 equal divisions of the octave (17EDO) tuning system, on guitars I refretted myself”. Ok, I don’t know what that does, but this album sounds so epic. […]

2021

Album Review: Becerus – “Homo Homini Brutus” 7/10 (Death Metal)

Quick, without thinking too deeply about it, what’s the complaint you most often hear from non-fans about extreme metal? For me, it’s this smartass gem, undoubtedly delivered in the most strident of whines: “You can’t even tell what they’re saying.” I’m pretty sure that the gentlemen of Becerus have heard that before, too, because this project exists pretty much to serve as the world’s most entertaining middle finger to that insufferable objection. […]

2021

Album Review: Valravne – “Some Kind of Vampire – Remastered” 10/10 (Black Metal)

I was pleasantly surprised to see Valravne’s name pop up in my inbox beside the title of a new album that is actually a remaster of an album I recently covered in my column (Join the Kvlt: Trve Qveer Black Metal). Before sitting down with it, I listened to the original version of Some Kind of Vampire again, just to make sure it was fresh in my mind before going on to review this new album. I feel it bears repeating how much I love Some Kind of Vampire. It’s dark, it’s haunting, and it opens up with a monologue by famous anti-drag queen David Hoyle aka The Divine David. It also should be noted that this remaster features tracks from the second in the series, Some Kind of Vampire II, which, of course, follows the similar eerie and brutal sounds as its predecessor, though perhaps with even more ferocity. […]

2021

Album Review: Dr Colossus – “I’m a Stupid Moron With an Ugly Face and A Big Butt and my Butt Smells and I Like to Kiss My Own Butt” 9/10 (Stoner Doom)

This is a big one for me, Dr Colossus have been my favorite Australian band since flooring me with The Dank in 2018. They combined good old Aussie stoner rock and stories told using The Simpsons. Fans of the show will have unlimited fun picking apart the references, I know I did with The Dank when I reviewed it. For this one, I’ll let the readers discover them for themselves since the band was cool enough to get me such an early listen of the album. Dr Colossus are back with a new LP, new merch and an Australian tour! […]

2021

Album Review: Tommy Concrete – “Hexenzirkel” 8.5/10 (Prog Metal)

Tommy is the kind of musician who keeps pushing themselves to create music that should be considered “interesting” and based on this new album, and his previous effort Unrelaxed 2 (which I reviewed), he absolutely achieves this with an extensive blending of genres and a unique personal outlook on music. Buckle in, this is a big album with big sounds, and can only be met with a big review where I no doubt relate to lyrics in ways they perhaps were not intended. […]