Heavy Metal Adam’s Quarterly Report – Q1 2018

Cover photo credit:  Craig Reid

Each quarter, Adam reviews some of the albums that stand out to him from the previous 3 months. There are no rankings, there is no order… only a collection of great music that you are hopefully not missing out on.

Altars of Grief – Iris

Doom metal in the vein of Woods of Ypres from Saskatchewan, Altars of Grief’s sophomore full-length album Iris tells the tragic story of the disconnected relationship between a father and his dying daughter. Melodic and melancholic, Iris will stand as one of the better doom albums of the year.

 

The Atlas Moth – Coma Noir

With each album that Chicago’s The Atlas Moth releases, they further refine their intricate and layered sound. Whether it’s through epic soundscapes underneath crushing riffs, or their contrasting vocal styles (Stavros Giannopoulos’s screeching vocals work wonderfully with David Kush’s controlled, hypnotizing tones), The Atlas Moth continue to put out consistently great releases.

 

Augury – Illusive Golden Age

It’s been nine years since Augury’s last release, yet they picked up right where they left off with 2009’s Fragmentary Evidence. Highlighted by the bass wizardry of Dominic “Forest” Lapointe, Augury continue in the tradition of Quebecois technical death metal with a science-fiction slant. Dense, but flowing, Illusive Golden Age is a sensory overload – but in the best way possible.

 

Oceans of Slumber – The Banished Heart

Loss, heartache and darkness and hope – The Banished Heart is an emotional journey told masterfully through the voice of vocalist Cammie Gilbert. Elements of doom and progressive metal are broken up with interludes that give the listener some much needed time to reflect and regroup. Beautiful and haunting, The Banished Heart is a challenging, yet rewarding listen.

 

Panopticon – The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness

The description of this album on the Bandcamp page is very apt:

This is the full two disk, 2 hour long album sequenced as one long record, as it was meant to be heard. Please don’t listen to the album on your laptop speakers, it will sound like shit. Give it a shot on a long hike or by a fire with headphones.

Half black-metal, half Americana-folk, this double album is full of a variety of atmospheres, yet still consistent in sound enough to sound like a complete piece. Panopticon mastermind Austin Lunn includes banjo, lap steel, mandolin, harmonica, accordion and more – giving the diverse sound to American black metal like only he can.

 

Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology

Interdimensional space slug wars and punny track names? What more could you want? However, Esoteric Malacology has much more depth than that. Within the technical, progressive death metal lies both lyrical and musical depth that shouldn’t be overlooked. The comparisons between other worlds and beings and the current climate of exclusion and otherness couldn’t be more fitting.

 

Smoulder – The Sword Woman

If you’re a fan of epic doom metal in the vein of Candlemass and Reverend Bizarre, you won’t want to miss the debut EP from Canadian/American act Smoulder. Vocalist Sarah Ann brings The Sword Woman to life with an unforgettable performance, leaving me wanting more after an all-too-brief 20-minute, 3-track release.

 

Vile Creature – Cast of Static & Smoke

“Anti-oppressive, queer, vegan doom” duo Vile Creature return with their third release, Cast of Static & Smoke, a crushing 4-track, 40+ minute dystopian tale of oppressed machines and their struggle for self-awareness and freedom.

 

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Adam has been a photographer for Hellbound since day 1 and also has a hand in the technical aspects of running the site.