Church of Misery – And Then There Were None… (Rise Above, 2016)

If there is one metal subgenre that’s become oversaturated in the past five years, it’s doom.  It often seems like there’s a doom band born every minute and with each new generation we get farther and farther away from Black Sabbath in favor of plodding non-riffs pumped out by guitarists that think tuning down and piling on the distortion is somehow an acceptable substitute for substance, and rhythm sections that wouldn’t know how to swing if their lives depended on it.

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WWE Roadblock: Previews, Predictions and Wishful Thinking

The prelude to this year’s Wrestlemania hasn’t been a particularly exciting journey.  With the exception of Triple H vs. Roman Reigns, the matches haven’t exactly been built up well (this seems to be the trend w/ WWE’s booking the past few years) not to mention the fact that the card as a whole doesn’t exactly scream “biggest pro wrestling event in history.”

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Serial Butcher – Brute Force Lobotomy (Unique Leader, 2015)

I damn near passed on checking out Serial Butcher.  On the surface, everything about the band’s second album Brute Force Lobotomy, from the title to the cover art, screams run-of-the-mill brutal death metal. But if there’s one thing that listening to metal for all these years has taught me, it’s that the old cliche about not judging a book by its cover is usually true, and such is the case with Serial Butcher. Indeed, the Belgians play brutal death metal, but their sound is anything but ordinary.

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Behold Darkness – Unholy Filth (Psalm 88, 2016) & Behold Darkness / IT – split (Psalm 88, 2015)

Early last year, I discovered Psalm 88, an offshoot of Berkeley, CA-based cassette label Acephale Winter Productions.  While all of the sub-label’s initial batch of wares were impressive in their own right, the one that impressed me the most was Behold Darkness’ I, a gripping nineteen minutes of frozen-soul black metal that was easily the most complete sounding of the four releases reviewed.  Indeed, it was a recording I found myself continuing to revisit on the regular, which is really saying something when one considers how often I burn out on the music I choose to review due to the sheer number of repeat listens involved.

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Pro Wrestling ist Krieg: Redux

I’ve been watching professional wrestling (or wrasslin’ as my grandpa called it) since I was old enough to understand what was happening on TV.  In many ways, I think the “sport” may have had a hand in preparing me for heavy metal when I got older.  If you think about it, there are a lot of similarities between the worlds of wrestling and heavy metal.  Both are rife with drama, theatricallity, posturing, machismo and the desire to create a world and persona outside the doldrums of our everyday existences.  There are also visual similarities; hell, sometimes it’s even difficult to tell the wrestlers apart from the metal musicians…
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