Reviews by Michael O'Brien


The Providence

By Michael O'Brien | 23 April, 2017

Even though I’ve been a fan of the style for quite a while now, I have to admit to feeling pretty burned out on the sludge/stoner doom genre these days. While there are definitely bands occupying this space that are doing interesting things,...

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By Michael O'Brien | 07 April, 2017

With a string of interesting albums being released over the year or so that I’ve been aware of their existence, I’m at the point where I pay attention to just about everything that Belgian label Consouling Sounds puts out these days, a...

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The Assassination of Julius Caesar

By Michael O'Brien | 04 April, 2017

Despite their longevity and their prolific nature, I have to admit that Ulver’s career has largely been a mystery to me over the years. Perhaps it's by virtue of the fact that I got in on the ground floor with them on 1995’s Bergta...

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Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light

By Michael O'Brien | 26 March, 2017

Ever since I was introduced to them via their second album, Reports from the Threshold of Death, back in 2011, I’ve loved the idea of Junius more than I’ve loved the reality of them. The band’s dreamy take on post-rock -...

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Drug Honkey

Cloak of Skies

By Michael O'Brien | 23 March, 2017

Before receiving this promo, if you'd told me that I'd be reviewing an album from a band named Drug Honkey, I would've laughed, but I can’t imagine I would’ve believed you. Here we are, though, and amusing name notwithstanding, Clo...

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And God Created Satan to Blame for His Mistakes

By Michael O'Brien | 27 February, 2017

Now here’s a band that I haven’t thought about for a long time. There was a period during the mid to late '90s where I was quite partial to the first few albums from Dutch death metal act, Altar, but like so many bands over the years, ...

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By Michael O'Brien | 23 February, 2017

I’ve been in a pretty unhappy relationship with technical death metal for quite a while now. From my perspective, it seems as though the overriding trend these days is for a lot of the bands in this sphere to occupy one of two extremes: the ...

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Hadal Maw


By Michael O'Brien | 08 February, 2017

Prior to receiving the promo for Olm, Hadal Maw’s second full length, I had a very conflicted and confused relationship with the Melbourne-based band. Based on previous experiences seeing them play live, I’d had positive feeli...

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Not for Music

By Michael O'Brien | 18 January, 2017

Belgium’s Emptiness are a hard band to satisfactorily categorise, being that they’ve evolved their sound rather drastically over the course of their now five full-length albums. From the black/death metal of their first two releases, t...

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Worm Ouroboros

What Graceless Dawn

By Michael O'Brien | 29 November, 2016

Of all of the diverse bands on Canadian label Profound Lore’s roster, San Francisco’s Worm Ouroboros are perhaps the band that embodies the extremity of that diversity the most.

Lead by Jessica Way (guitar, vocals) and Lorraine...

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II: The Mephisto Waltzes

By Michael O'Brien | 18 November, 2016

To say that I was not a fan of Devilment’s 2014 debut album, The Great and Secret Show, would be something of an understatement. It wasn’t for a lack of interest in it either, being that it featured Cradle of Filth’s Dan...

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Dim Days of Dolor

By Michael O'Brien | 14 November, 2016

I came into Sirenia’s eighth full length album, Dim Days of Dolor, consciously aware that I’m not really its target audience. This is a band that once straddled a line between symphonic metal and melodic death metal but has st...

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The Order of Things

By Michael O'Brien | 23 October, 2016

The Order of Things is an album I've been waiting for for a hell of a long time. Six years now, in fact.

Back in 2010 Sweden’s Suma released Ashes, which was and continues to be one of my all time favourite sludge/d...

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Forever and a Day

By Michael O'Brien | 04 October, 2016

I’ve long been a fan of Belgium’s Amenra, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I became aware of just how powerfully captivating they can be in their acoustic form. In addition to their excellent live album, Alive,...

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The Grey Eminence

By Michael O'Brien | 16 September, 2016

To say that Warfather’s 2014 debut, Orchestrating the Apocalypse, was a disappointment would be quite the understatement. With the exception of his vocal duties with Nader Sadek, it had been quite some time since (then) ex-Morbid An...

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Imperium Dekadenz

Dis Manibvs

By Michael O'Brien | 02 September, 2016

Over the couple of months I’ve spent with Imperium Dekadenz’s fifth full-length album, Dis Manibvs, - which also happens to be my first exposure to the band - I’ve had this nagging feeling of familiarity in the back of m...

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Iron Times

By Michael O'Brien | 22 August, 2016

I’d be amazed if anyone went into a new Vader recording expecting to be surprised by what they hear by this point. Aside from the fact that the band has been active for over 25 years, their output has also been incredibly consistent over tha...

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Disgusting Zombie Metal

By Michael O'Brien | 17 August, 2016

Crypt, who hail from Brisbane and who have recently reformed after 15-odd years away, released one of my favourite Australian demos in 1994 with Excruciating Agony which, at the time, was one of the heaviest things I’d ever heard an...

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Sanford Parker

Lash Back

By Michael O'Brien | 29 July, 2016

Well, this isn’t what I was expecting to hear at all.

I’ve been a fan of Parker’s work as a musician and a producer for a while now, and especially for his contributions in Minsk and Buried at Sea. His more recent program...

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Lord of War


By Michael O'Brien | 11 July, 2016

Just as there are labels out there like Flenser Records and Blood Music that I tend to be drawn to because of the kind of material they specialise in, there are also labels out there that I shy away from for the very same reason, and Unique Leader...

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