ali helnwein - pterodactyl

Ali Helnwein: Pterodactyl (2017)

My first cassette review!  Supposedly this $25 Wikoo portable cassette player has Mega Bass™ and that weird warping noise I heard five minutes into “Side A” of Pterodactyl, the odds and ends compilation from composer Ali Helnwein was part of the charm!  I’m kidding (a little bit); I know there are much better cassette players out there that probably do this tape a lot more justice than my rinky-dink player is, but I can still see the nostalgic charm of the wonderful uniformity of the cassettes, and the music – regardless of media type or file size – is fantastic, a collection of unused film cues and smaller pieces that highlight the whimsical and intimate genius of Helnwein’s music.  Continue reading “Ali Helnwein: Pterodactyl (2017)”

Alcest: Écailles de lune (2010)

Considering how much I love music, the memories I can remember around the first time I heard something are few and far between.  Maybe it’s age, my poor addled brain taken up with too many other bits to properly remember where I was the first time I heard a band.  Point being, I can’t recall the exact moment I first heard Alcest, but I can recall the exact feeling I had, because it hits every time I put on Écailles de luneContinue reading “Alcest: Écailles de lune (2010)”

agalloch - the serpent and the sphere

Agalloch: The Serpent and the Sphere (2014)

Looking back now, even if the band knew The Serpent and the Sphere was going to be the final Agalloch album I don’t think they could have crafted a more full expression of what the band encompassed as a sonic entity.  Rich and cold, bursting with full and lushly sculpted songs, it returns the band to its roots even as it points to how far the band pushed the limits of what you could do with a clear vision and unique perspective on how Black, neofolk, and post/progressive metal can blend while maintaining a singular identity.  Continue reading “Agalloch: The Serpent and the Sphere (2014)”

acephalix - decreation

Acephalix: Decreation (2017)

Acephalix sifts through the filth and muck of old school death metal by carving out their own crossroads where Autopsy meets Entombed and the Swedish HM-2 brigade.  Decreation has a bit more groove and swing in its pockets than you would expect though, and opener “Upon This Alter,” despite having all the requisite guitar squeals and borderline unintelligible grunting pops with a killer hook in its chorus.  Continue reading “Acephalix: Decreation (2017)”