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Vril Jӓger – Vril Jӓger

Among the more outlandish conspiracy theories out there is the Hollow Earth theory and how the governments of the world are hiding the existence of an advanced civilization that dwells deep within the Earth. Such a thing seems far-fetched, but it is quite popular among UFO fanatics. Of the Wand & the Moon’s Kim Larsen and Die Weisse Rose’s Thomas Bøjden have formed a project, called Vril Jӓger, which explores this very topic. As expected, it is just as supernatural and disquieting as the subject matter implies. (more…)

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Yele Solma – Bokor

A few years ago I had ordered an album by Basque folk black metal band Ilbeltz off the French Antiiq Records label. Included was a pamphlet that featured more of their releases. Among them was an act called Yele Solma, which purported to play a form of voodoo-inspired African dark ambient. That description alone warranted a listen from me; however, unfortunately I forgot to follow up on the project until remembering them recently and discovering that their only album, Bokor, was now on Bandcamp. It became immediately apparent that it was a mistake on my part to not have sought this release out sooner. (more…)

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Abbath – Abbath

Abbath is an amusing man and a legend in the black metal scene. While he made his name in Immortal, he was recently kicked out of that band for his antics and has gone on to release his first solo self titled album. While not vastly different from Immortal’s most recent effort All Shall Fall, I find Abbath’s introductory solo effort a solid and groovy album that is easily accessible.

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Korn – The Serenity of Suffering

Bands frequently claim their new album will be their heaviest, but how often is this actually true? The same claims were made for Korn’s twelfth full-length studio album, The Serenity of Suffering, by guitarist Brian “Head” Welch. Korn has long been among the pioneers of the much criticized genre of nu-metal, with their first handful of albums as classics to that era. However, the years that coincided with Welch’s absence brought forth some very up-and-down material, yet with his return, Korn has seen a return to form of sorts. The Serenity of Suffering cranks up the intensity and continues this trend of redemption, but with certain limitations. (more…)

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Cesar Saez – Perdido

Over the summer I was able to see Adan & Xavi y los Imanes, a project of Adan Jodorowsky, live at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles. Among the openers was Cesar Saez, an upcoming singer-songwriter in the Latino scene in LA. Although showing inexperience in live presentation, Cesar Saez and his Viajeros put on quite an impressive show that seemed to win over the crowd. Playing what he terms as indie bolero, I knew that this was an artist that warranted my attention as I later eagerly awaited the release of his debut EP, Perdido. (more…)

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ColdWorld – Autumn

Eight years. That is the length of time that has passed awaiting the successor to Melancholie²–the stellar debut of ColdWorld, the atmospheric black metal project of Georg Bӧrner. The inherent danger of such a time lapse is the prospect of being forgotten; however, with Autumn—an album that is more than worth the wait–ColdWorld erases all doubts and reestablishes their place within depressive atmospheric black metal. (more…)

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InMune – Universal

Sophomore albums, particularly after stellar debuts, are often the bane of an artist’s discography due in part to the difficulty in meeting newfound high-expectations. In the case of Spanish hard rock/alternative metal band InMune, no such worries are necessary here. The band’s second full-length, Universal, is for the most part the equal of its predecessor Ilumíname. It is another marvelous display of crunchy guitar riffs, pounding drums, and melodic vocals all contained within standard song structures in a powerful, yet straightforward release. (more…)

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Sôber – Vulcano

The leaders of the Spanish hard rock/alternative metal scene, Sôber, continue to school their peers on how this genre ought to be done. After a six year hiatus, during which splitting into Skizoo and Savia, Sôber release their third post-hiatus album—8th overall—titled Vulcano—one that makes up for the lethargic Letargo and one of the finest of their 20+ year career. Vulcano is 54 minutes of crunchy guitars riffs, soaring vocals, and all that you would want from an alternative metal album. (more…)

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40 Watt Sun – Wider Than The Sky

It has been 5 years since we’ve heard from Patrick Walker and the band 40 Watt Sun. When I heard that Wider Than The Sky would be released, I was ecstatic. Ever since hearing their first album as well as his work in Warning I was eager to hear some more up-to-date music from Walker. Wider Than The Sky was released and fulfilled those expectations. I may even go as far to say that this album could very well end up being my top album of 2016.

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Rome – The Hyperion Machine

The well of inspiration can only withstand pumping out an album per year for so long. There must surely come a point where there is a stumble and the goal of pushing boundaries is not quite achieved. Jerome Reuter’s music project, Rome, has been able to maintain an annual high quality output for a decade, but here I find, for the first time, with The Hyperion Machine a Rome album that comes off as lackluster. (more…)

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