Devil To Pay – A Bend Through Space and Time

Decent, not amazing. The tribute to lemmy song was pretty great lyrically (at least in an amusing way), but nothing else about the album even ventured above “it’s alright”. I honestly think the cover is the best part about that. How do you hate giant alien tits, in any context?


Gilded Lily – Mongrel’s Light

Ok, but nothing great. The industrial influences are just not nearly as pronounced as they should be I feel. It’s got this weird sound combination of dirty and slightly melodic that doesn’t quite come together well. It’s also just way too short, i think an added 10 minutes with like an 8 minute track or something would’ve been great. As is nothing is memorable enough to stick at all. I didn’t grow tired of it at least, the sound was unique enough to warrant some of my attention. Just not unique enough for me to give it ALL of my attention.


Lord of War – Suffer

Surprisingly decent techy deathcore. The breakdowns are generally not too obnoxious (with the exception of Carbon Based Genocide), and some of the chug riffs are not bad. I like that much of the technicality isn’t just sweeping, there is some actual riffing. The extremely edgy “kill all humans, alien lifeforms rule the world” theme is executed on a high school level of authenticity, but it’s deathcore, what do you expect? It’s not amazing, but I’ll take what I can get in a genre this deprived on anything remotely resembling quality.


Baptism – The Devil’s Fire

Man this feels good. I’m reviewing a black metal album that isn’t post-black, blackgaze, orthodox black metal, or caverncore. This is black metal the way it was meant to be played. And I have to give a shoutout to Baptism for doing it the right way for all these years. They’ve managed to put out decent material while staying somewhat underground for years now, and never succumbing to the black metal memes that all the other bands do. So big props for that.

That only gets you so far however. The Devil’s Fire is decent, but really nothing spectacular to write home about. Baptism creates this blend of traditional black, melodic black, and even atmospheric black metal that does a bit of each but none extremely well. I feel like the only part of the album that really made me excited was towards the end of Satananda, where there are these clean vocals that make me think of a wise sage, singing about how he longs for when times were simpler, and black metal was not seen as a fashion accessory.

Other than that however, there isn’t much worth talking about. Nothing in particular stands out about this album, so other than the bonus points for going against the grain by staying true to their roots, I can’t really give this record a remarkable score. It’s a relatively nice listen, but nothing beyond that.


Cobalt – Slow Forever

You know like when you’re about to hook up with a nice 8/10 chick at a party? And like she’s not a super model but she has all the parts of someone you can get with. And then you get a bit frisky, you’re about to go at it, and then like you can’t get it up. Like there’s this beautiful chick in front of you, all naked, which should make your dick fucking cement. But nothing happens. For some reason, you can’t get it up. That’s this album to me. I love Neurosis-style hard atmo sludge, and I love black metal. So you would think this thing would be a slam dunk for me, right? Well no, not really. Throughout the whole 80 minute endeavor I felt like there was a distinct lack of variety, the only break coming with Breathe, a 2 minute, folkish acoustic guitar track, which I felt this album needed much more of. Besides CD 1 being mostly atmo sludge and CD 2 being mostly black metal (though both CDs have elements of both), I thought that there just wasn’t enough creative content other than “muh atmosphere and hardness” to justify a full album’s worth of music, let alone basically 2. It’s perfectly nice to listen to, but nothing so supremely great that I need to fuck this album right now. I really wanted to like this record a lot, but I ultimately couldn’t get more than a half-chub out of it.


Orbit Culture – Rasen

It’s pretty much impossible to make melo death, groove metal, and a touch of djent to come together into an outstanding work of music. But bless their hearts these guys try. The odds are so stacked against them that they don’t succeed in making this album anything more than listenable, but I’m giving them some bonus points for effort. For free on bandcamp cancer metal, this is pretty dang good.