Entering the Underground #12: Obsolete’s High Speed Death/Thrash Will Never Die Out

As with many of the bands I cover in this column, Obsolete play a sort of music that’s both regressive with roots in the ‘80s and ‘90s but that’s very much out of fashion. In this case, they play a rarified sort of technical death/thrash that calls back to the old greats – Atheist, Cynic, Death, andContinue reading “Entering the Underground #12: Obsolete’s High Speed Death/Thrash Will Never Die Out”

“Bursting Church”: Stress Angel’s Violence Boils Over (Early Album Stream)

The unhinged and unbound have always been a part of metal, slinking in the shadows behind the mainstream to maintain their uncompromising vision of armageddon at all costs. In 1980 it was Venom. In 1987 it was Sadistik Exekution. Today Stress Angel carry on a storied history of maniac butchery with their brand of frantic, all-chains-broken thrashingContinue reading ““Bursting Church”: Stress Angel’s Violence Boils Over (Early Album Stream)”

Wheel’s Classic, Potent Doom Has Been “Preserved in Time” (Interview)

Born in Germany around fifteen years ago as “Ethereal Sleep,” Wheel has been bringing doom and gloom to the world through several minor trends in the genre and have lived to see both the genre’s lowest and highest points in popularity. Across that decade and a half they have put out three albums, with theContinue reading “Wheel’s Classic, Potent Doom Has Been “Preserved in Time” (Interview)”

Wizard Doom: Olórin Plummets “Through Shadow and Flame” (Early Album Stream)

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of doom is “slow:” Moving slowly, writing slowly, songs with dragging tempos, and so on. Hailing from Illinois, Olórin exemplify this and are to some extent the antithesis of their doomy labelmates Purification from Portland, who have rapidly put out three albums since forming in 2018Continue reading “Wizard Doom: Olórin Plummets “Through Shadow and Flame” (Early Album Stream)”

35 Years of Midnight: Reflecting on Candlemass’s Genre-Defining Classic “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” (Interview with Leif Edling)

Outside of the mighty Black Sabbath, there is no single band more impactful on doom metal than Candlemass, and no album more important than their debut Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. While they were not the first band to play slow, Black Sabbath-influenced metal, Candlemass perfected it, coining the term for the genre itself in the process. Read theContinue reading “35 Years of Midnight: Reflecting on Candlemass’s Genre-Defining Classic “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” (Interview with Leif Edling)”

Entering the Underground #10: White Magician’s Mesmerizing Heavy Metal

White Magician is undoubtedly one of the most special and interesting active bands in the blurry sphere that includes both hard-rocking heavy metal and metallic hard rock. Regressive almost to a fault, the band offers insight into an alternate timeline in which bands like UFO or Blue Öyster Cult happily swapped ideas with Mercyful Fate andContinue reading “Entering the Underground #10: White Magician’s Mesmerizing Heavy Metal”

Heavy Metal Everlasting: An Interview with Howie Bentley of Cauldron Born and Briton Rites

As we talked about with Mike Scalzi the other week, the 1990s were a low point in the history of heavy metal. It was nearly dead, with only isolated bands still playing it in the United States, most of them unaware of anyone else doing it. One of the most-decimated styles was the musically impressiveContinue reading “Heavy Metal Everlasting: An Interview with Howie Bentley of Cauldron Born and Briton Rites”

“Churches Without Saints” and Metal Without End: Desaster’s Black/Thrash Reign Continues (Interview)

It’s a rare band that starts off extreme, gets a chance to keep it going on a big label, and retains the things that made them special in the first place across the years. It’s even less common when you go all the way back to the beginning, to the earliest days of extreme metal;Continue reading ““Churches Without Saints” and Metal Without End: Desaster’s Black/Thrash Reign Continues (Interview)”

Entering the Underground #9: Blazon Rite Forges Brazen Heavy Metal

Not all paths lead to the same destination. Despite a gamut of bands and a relatively limited span of years as the primary influence for an entire genre, heavy metal has managed to cover an amazing amount of sonic ground, and even albums that on paper tick a lot of the same boxes as less-talentedContinue reading “Entering the Underground #9: Blazon Rite Forges Brazen Heavy Metal”