Witch’s Heart – The Harrowing

Harrows Hymn is actually a pretty damn cool industrial black ambient piece, and the desolate beauty is a surprisingly pleasant to listen to psychedelic, quiet, sludgly black metalish track. Unfortunately the rest of the album is boring, mindlessly repetitive industrial sludge noise that tries to make itself out to be experimental and satanic. It’s an interesting take on blackened sludge, but interesting does not equate to good every time.


5.5/10

https://witchsheart.bandcamp.com/album/the-harrowing

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.


6.25/10

https://lionsjawbone.bandcamp.com/album/mongrels-light

Shortstacks 3/1/2016

The second ever batch of shortstacks has a bit of a drop at the top in terms of quality, but the same overall value across all the ratings. Yesterday we had one album crack the recommended tag, if just barely, in Eissturm’s The Oak, while the remaining two meddled in the average to bad category. Today we have two albums who have merit, but don’t quite reach that level, and two that are just… really bad. One of which being the second worst album I’ve rated this year. I guess that’s quality in itself, isn’t it? I mean, why else read the shitty rated albums if you don’t simply want to feel better about your own failed musical endeavors? Well don’t worry, we have that for you today. Without further adieu, here are today’s 4 horsemen of the mediocrepocalypse.


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Witch’s Heart – The Crvshing Waves of Silence Wash Over My Wretched Soul

Well this certainly is spooky. I’m not sure how good it is, but it’s a hard listen. Witch’s Hearts create a really unique sound of combining droning sludge guitar tones with heavy and dark industrial synths and noises. It utilizes these disfigured blackened “vocals” (???) along with blast beats to create a terrifying musical sight to behold. At first it’s really a cool experience, opening up with these angelic choirs combining with darkness the rest of the influences hold. Unfortunately, the album gets old pretty damn fast. I love dark industrial stuff, but I can only take so much of one droning overall sound per track. There just isn’t the variety here to keep me interested. There’s potential for good stuff, these guys just need to figure it out.

6/10


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Nova Serpens – Oculto en las sombras

Not bad. Generic, but not bad. Once the novelty of “Mexican power metal band that sings in spanish” wears off, there isn’t really much substance here worth mentioning. Standard stuff that’s done pretty well for what it is, but doesn’t break any mold in terms of the larger scale. I will say that the vocals are actually quite good, having a bit deeper range than most other power metal bands while still maintaining quality. That said, everything else here is something that’s been done before, and been done better.

6/10


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Avitas – Pioneers

Complete mess of an album with equally messy song titles and production job. Everything sounds chaotic in all the wrong ways, like the band just doesn’t know how to write a song. When it isn’t just a mess, it’s just one riff over and over again over some incredibly insipid lyrics (which are mostly bigoted, but there’s reasons beyond that why they’re bad). It’s a real shame it isn’t anywhere near as good as the cover art, because I was pretty excited to listen to this based just on that. Awful album that is to be avoided.

2.5/10


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Panoptitron – Swansong

Imagine Dream Theater, if they never got a record deal. If they never even left their garage. Having been disappointed in not getting attention, they go for a lofi-black metal aesthetic while still being a prog band. So what you get is some of the worst quality production jobs you’ll hear in a non black or death metal record, coupled with copious amounts of awful quality midis and drum machines, resulting in climaxes that have the extremely mediocre vocalist singing his guts out while nothing but midi horns and empty synth drums back him up. Swansong gives approximately the same feeling as watching a severely autistic child try to play the recorder. You feel a mixture of audible pain, immense sadness, trying empathy, and just a tiny but of happiness because you know that despite their poor results, they’re trying their best. This record is why you give your friends constructive criticism rather than just blindly praising their work. Because otherwise they never realize how shitty what they’re doing is, and go on to make albums like this, which is actually part 4 in a series of concept albums. So please, criticize your friends. It can save a life.

1.25/10

Shining – International Blackjazz Society ALBUM REVIEW

This is essentially buttrock with loopy saxophones. The jazz that is in this album consists of erratic wailing on the sax, while surrounded by rolling drums and crashing symbols, creating a chaotic storm that would be perfect as an intro to a jazz influenced metal track… but not to whatever the hell comes afterwards. Despite being called the International Blackjazz Society, there is very little black, or jazz in this album in the slightest. Instead you get a sorry excuse for an Industrial / jazz mashup that ends up sounding more like if new Metallica tried to do Industrial metal. Make no mistake, this album is a cash grab, there’s no doubt about it. If you sought this looking for any semblance of quality, you’ll be pleasantly greeted with one of the least intelligently crafted major albums this year.
“Don’t tell me what to say, I’ll always disobey”
Give me a fucking break.


0.75/10