Staff Infections – April 2021

Alright, friends, we’ve managed, thankfully, to go a month without losing a prominent metal figure, and the weather has been pretty decent, so I guess we’ll have to find something else to talk about.  Here’s some potential topics of discussion:

  • What the fuck do you think goes through someone’s head when they decide to buy a Honda Ridgeline?
  • I know Gene and Paul haven’t come off as all that cool in the last thirty or forty years, and the band has been running on fumes, but, form a strictly musical standpoint, for a decade or so, was not Kiss a spectacular hard rock band? Were they deep? No, but Neither is AC/DC or Venom, and I still enjoy the shit out of both. Did Kiss write a shitload of memorable, rocking tunes with great riffs and hooks? I think so. What say you?
  • El Capitan did a wonderful Diamonds & Rust feature on Celtic Frost’s ground-breaking third album, Into the Pandemonium, and it got me to thinking about how conservative I am when it comes to metal. I am extremely skeptical of bands making significant changes to their established style. It’s not that I think change is necessarily bad, but, in practice, in metal, it too often results in music that is less heavy, less metal and less good. Now, I could go either way on Into the Pandemonium; some of the experimentation certainly yielded interesting results, but some of it makes me cringe. Where do you stand on band’s making dramatic changes in their sound? Do you tend to embrace them or dismiss them?

Feel free to address any or none of these points in the comments.  Now, let’s see what we’ve been listening to in this joint.

After a month without any commonality in listening habits, I’m pleased to say we actually have an album of the month this time around. In fact, we have two albums of the month because there was a tie for first place. However, before we get to the winners, let us acknowledge our first runner-up, Moral Collapse’s self-titled debut. If you’re into brutal tech-death and brutal saxophones, our man Spencer has all the salacious details on Moral Collapse right here. As for our winners, they couldn’t be much different: epic traditional / power metal from France, in the form of Herzel’s Le dernier rampart and vicious death-thrash from deep in the heart of Texas, in the form of Steal Bearing Hand’s  Slay in HellCap and Zach have you covered on each release respectively.

Be sure to share your own playlist in the comments, and enjoy the staff-curated Spotify playlist below. Until next month, friends, stay safe and, and, as my mother used to say, go outside and get the germs blown off you.

    • Zach Duvall
      Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – CARNAGE
      Warrior Path – The Mad King
      Herzel – Le Dernier Rempart
      Greyhawk – Keepers of the Flame
      Heavens Gate – Livin’ in Hysteria
      Demolition Hammer – Tortured Existence
    • Captain
      Revenant – Prophecies of a Dying World
      Deus Vult – Look Upon Your Master – The Demo Anthology
      Citadelle – Citadelle EP
      The Evpatoria Report – Golevka
      Charles Lloyd & the Marvels – Tone Poem
      Suss – Promise
    • Andrew Edmunds
      Warrior Soul – Drugs, God, And The New Republic
      Obituary – Cause Of Death
      Cheap Trick – Out To Get You! Live 1977
      Exhumed – Gore Metal
      Def Leppard – High N Dry
      Cryptic Shift – Visitations From Enceladus
    • Lone Watie
      Greenleaf – Discography
      Herzel – Le Dernier Rempart
      Deceased… – Supernatural Addiction
      Kombynat Robotron – -270°C
      Antony Kalugin – Stellar Gardener
      King Crimson – Larks’ Tongues in Aspic
    • Ryan Tysinger
      Obsolete – Animate//Isolate
      Universally Estranged – Reared Up In Spectral Predation
      Herzel – Le Dernier Rempart
      Witchtit – Intoxicating Lethargy
      Moral Collapse – Moral Collapse
      Megadeth – All four of their albums
    • Spencer Hotz
      Moral Collapse – Moral Collapse
      Spellforger – Upholders of Evil
      Steel Bearing Hand – Slay in Hell
      Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Oz
      Altered Dead – Returned to Life
      Between the Buried and Me – Automata I & II
    • Danhammer Obstkrieg
      Sevendust – Sevendust
      Sevendust – Animosity
      Opeth – Blackwater Park
      Steel Bearing Hand – Slay in Hell
      Miguel Zenon & Luis Perdomo – El Arte Bolero
      Pupil Slicer – Mirrors
    • Madman
      dArtagnan – Feuer & Flamme
      Jasun Tipton – The Dream to Fly
      Rob Zombie – The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy
      Fudge Tunnel – The Complicated Futility of Ignorance
      Rush – Counterparts
      Roxy Music – Avalon
    • Jeremy Morse
      Steel Bearing Hand – Slay In Hell
      Cannibal Corpse – Bloodthirst
      Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race
      Billy Joe Shaver – Unshaven: Live at Smith’s Olde Bar
      Asphyx – Necroceros
      Impaled – Death After Life

Posted by Jeremy Morse

Riffs or GTFO.

  1. Honestly can’t believe no one is giving this Ruins of Beverast a listen, it’s super solid. He’s got that perfectly deft touch when it comes to experimentation and using the weapons already firmly in the arsenal


    1. Hasn’t made a great impression on several of us. General consensus is that it starts really strong then gets a little lost.


      1. Oh man, that’s really surprising! Anchoress In Furs—Polar Hiss Hysteria—Deserts To Bind and Defeat feels like that back half carries plenty of weight. I can’t disagree that the front half is pretty slick though. Oh well, more for me


  2. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
    Scorpions – Lonesome Crow
    Morbus Chron – Sweven
    Emma Ruth Rundle – Marked for Death
    Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar
    Pretty Maids – Red, Hot & Heavy


  3. Gut – Disciples of Smut
    Hideous Divinity – Simulacrum
    Prong – Prove You Wrong
    Cro-mags – Alpha Omega
    Cro-mags – Near Death Experience
    Nuclear Assault – Game Over
    Ulver – Childhood’s End


  4. Hell f++++n’ yeah!! Both Gene’s and Paul’s voices continue to thrill me in dozens of great tunes, Goin’ Blind and Just A Boy being but just two examples of them.


  5. Sleep – Dopesmoker
    Amenra – Mass IIII
    Iron Maiden – Powerslave
    Inter Arma – Sky Burial
    Portal – Swarth
    Emperor – In the Nightside Eclipse
    Mare Cognitum – Solar Paroxysm

    In terms of a band doing something different, I’m really not sure. I tend to think style changes are better understood in hindsight than in the moment. If I find myself coming back to a particular album by a band, then I think their change pays off. Mastodon is one band I think has benefitted from their change in sound. I’m hard-pressed to think of many others, though that might say more about the bands I listen to than about the question.


    1. I dig the subtle changes Deftones have gone through. I don’t dig Danzig’s. I don’t dig much NIN’s. I hate Beck’s. and I love what Axl accomplished in Chinese Democracy


      1. I’d argue that the transition from Pretty Hate Machine to The Downward Spiral was a positive change for NIN. I even liked the changes on The Fragile and With Teeth, though Year Zero on not so much.

        Other ones I can think of –
        Everything The Beatles did from the mid-60s on.
        Pink Floyd’s gradual shift from psychadelic rock to prog rock.
        Meshuggah losing the thrash metal and pretty much inventing djent.
        Neurosis switching from hardcore punk to post metal.
        Tool going away from alt metal into something way more elaborate.
        Intronaut switching to a “cleaner” sound.
        Cynic wholly abandoning any semblance of death metal.
        While I personally prefer their 80s output, Metallica’s switch to arena rock in the 90s suited them well, with them putting out a bunch of killer tracks.


  6. Lunar Shadow – Wish to Leave
    Nightfall – At Night We Prey
    Dvne – Etemen Aenka
    Wheel (FI) – Resident Human
    Sur Austru – Obarsie
    Stortregn – Impermanence
    Reverend Bizarre – In the Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend


  7. I think Enslaved has made a dramatic change with their latest album and it is not for the better. This was the biggest metal disappointment of 2020 for me. Of course, Enslaved have always evolved their sound. They have never stood still in terms of style and their evolution has always worked for me. But the latest album shifts things too far away in the wrong direction. (Partly its the sudden prominence of meandering keyboards that wrecks things for me).

    The Drowning – The Radiant Dark
    Proscription – Conduit
    Seth – The Howling Spirit
    Katavasia – Magnus Venator
    Xenobiotic – Mordrake
    Question – Reflections of the Void
    Fornicus – Suphuric Omnipotence
    Abnormality – Sociopathic Constructs
    Ominous Ruin – Amidst Voices that Echo in Stone


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