Reviews Reviews Reviews

"Defective Epitaph terminates with the ambient dirge “Unblessed Be.” It is mid-way into this track that you’ll be struck with the surreal, sinking feeling that Xasthur has slowly led you down a long, dark corridor towards an unknown room (the room with the noose from his press photograph?). Defective Epitaph is the suffocating sound of that descent into darkness. Bang your head metal? This is bag your head metal."- Metal Kult

"On Defective Epitaph, Xasthur's sonic palette adds acoustic drums and cello. Conner's drumming ranges from wobbly to functional, but the sound is more important. The room ambience of live drums adds depth; the booming reverb on "Oration of Ruin" brings to mind a severely hungover John Bonham. The drum machine on previous recordings had its own tinny, futile charm, but the human element much better suits Xasthur's mission. A minute and a half into "Malignant Prophecy," the drums adopt a double bass tattoo, but it's buried in the mix, a weakly crepitating heartbeat. This is the antithesis of metal's typical hypermasculinity; for all the breast-beating about death, the other side turns out to be a lonely, miserable place. "-Stylus

"Further exposing these arrangements as ambient dream-pop, where texture and mood are favoured to structure, the alternates fade out with little heartbeat at all. With the funereal pulse and cool synths to guide your trance-like state, Why Are We Not Perfect is a half-hour of chilly electro-touched rock that prepares us for winter." - SCQ Reviews

"Grindcore is dead. At least that's what you'd believe from looking at the garbage that passes for it these days. The Locust are a joke, Pig Destroyer is essentially a death metal band now. Who does that leave us with? Daughters? Kill me now. But, there is hope. From the ashes of greatness comes something with the speed and complexity of early '90s grind acts."- two one five

"With drummer Rick Smith and bassist Jonathan Nuñez, they've created the triumphant Meanderthal. The album is--thanks to an uncanny melding of Helmet and the Melvins--quite simply one of the most refreshing and satisfying metal releases of the year. Riffs of gorgeous sludge are layered upon each other to create a lush, hypnotic and almost pop-catchy monument of heavy rock."- Tucson Weekly
"Cave In are turning into the Wu-Tang Clan of indie rock: The amount of solo, side and affiliated projects on top of their already prolific main project has started to reach epic levels. What's noteworthy about this isn't necessarily the quantity of the output so much as how good everything is. Steve Brodsky has released several solo records in the past, all encompassing different moods. On The Black Ribbon Award, Brodsky may have obscured his name because this sounds like his last solo record on drugs (and definitely not uppers). The lo-fi recording combined with long spells of guitar effects make for an eerie atmosphere encasing otherwise rather poppy, Kinks-aping jams into a dark and mysterious mood that sounds more like some of Tom Waits' more esoteric efforts. The thing is, it works. The album demands beginning-to-end playing, and the recording simulates the warmness of an old turntable. The only thing that might help this record is a chorus of howling coyotes"- Alternative Press

"This past March Clouds hit SXSW promoting the release of their album "We Are Above You" on Hydra Head Records. As always, the four day music fest an onslaught of music from around the worlds, as well as a showcase of fans' willingness to flock to Texas to see their favorite, or soon to be favorite bands. SXSW may swell the population of Austin by about ten times, but according to Jim, the vibe is really the same that weekend as on any given Monday night."- Gapers Block

"Before anyone scoffs: I don’t require radio singles, from this band or any other, but Night Terror suffers a bit from "one giant song" syndrome, which is another way of saying, "This song is good, but gets a bit old after thirty minutes and ninety different sections, only about twelve of which stand out." Only the intro track, the busy riffing of "Big Spider," and the devastating fuzz-bass in "Paraphrase" really reach out and grab me, and all three of those are arguably the most "riffy" moments of anything on hand. (In its best moments, "Paraphrase" is especially powerful)"- Metal Review

Vocalist/guitarist Ben Verellen holds down the role of showing you the ugliness of the chaos within the sludgy guitars and razor-sharp lyrics. Conversely, co-vocalist and bassist Dana James bring in the comfort and solace needed after the beating. Some bands that use two singers taking turns at the mic don't gel for the most part with the listener. Not with Helms Alee. The two vocalists and their respective places in each song, bring a balance to the music which make it both grotesque and beautiful at the same time."-Mammoth Press

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