Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of the Merciless

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In a year chocked full of releases from heavyweight New Orleans bands, Goatwhore further escalates the extreme music situation with the volatile Constricting Rage of the Merciless, an undoubted contender for one of the best albums that marches under the banner of the cloven hoof this year. Six full lengths in, the band continues to deliver straight forward death metal with their usual brand of blackened ferocity that fits naturally within the existing genre, but with a consistency that is anything but common.

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Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestite

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Wolves in the Throne Room have been pushing boundaries since their early demos in 2004 and 2005. Their particular brand of black metal was sprawling and epic. From the beginning, the goal of the band has been to convey the soul of the Pacific Northwest of the United States. With the release of Celestite, a companion album to 2011’s Celestial Lineage, they’re stepping into new territory that continues to capture the spirit of the mountainous Washington landscape. It also may alienate long-standing fans of their earlier work.

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Mournful Congregation – The Concrescence of The Sophia

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On their new effort, The Concrescence of The Sophia, Australia’s Mournful Congregation takes funereal doom to new and unsanctioned heights across the shadowy span of just two songs. Rolling in like the night tide of a dead alkaline ocean, the thirty minutes of this mini album engulf the warmth of the day and leave the listener with naught but the tenebrous ruminations given life by the resulting gloom.

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GOG – S/T

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It’s a rare and beautiful thing when sound has the ability to completely overcome a person and put the core of the self on mute. In those moments it is almost as if the brain suddenly gains the ability to regurgitate all that you are. In those brief minutes all judgments and preconceived notions about yourself are vomited out from within and purged from the system. After that level of mental cleansing, nothing is left but the flesh. The noises that are projected from the stomach of the latest GOG record do just that. Every track on the album plays mind games with the psyche. If you open yourself up and let the noise flood you, you’ll come back recharged when you get to the other side.

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BAT – Primitive Age

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When it comes to side projects, I always fear the worst. They’re usually just a carbon copy of the main band and very little effort goes into being creative. All right, that might be a gross generalization. I have my reasons and I’m sure some of you might agree. The side project and mixing of members has been happening as long as I can remember. Ponder this – what if the side project is better than the main band? Heaven forbid, am I right?

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