AURAL DEVASTATION is a regular column about heavy rock music. This month, Cloudkicker streams his ninth record, Subsume, Jesu returns with a new track, plus songs from Doomriders and the supergroups Mutoid Man (members of Cave In and Converge) and Black God (members of Coliseum and Young Widows).
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Cloudkicker - "Subsume"

Ben Sharp, who creates under the moniker Cloudkicker, has been blasting the instrumental music scene to pieces since he started releasing music back in 2007. Everything is written, recorded, mixed and mastered at his home in Columbus, Ohio, and like the true lover of music Sharp is, all of his releases are streamed for free online. Physical copies exist, and if you love Cloudkicker’s jams enough. you can always pay Sharp for his efforts as well -- and money should definitely be thrown his way for his prog-metal influenced take on instrumental music. His ninth (!!!) release since 2007, Subsume is streaming on his Bandcamp page, with a limited vinyl run scheduled for sometime in the early Fall. Do yourself a favor and hop on this wagon. It is well worth the ride.  

Jesu - "Homesick"

Jesu, the brainchild of metal God Justin Broadrick, is back out with a new album soon, and it seems like it has been quite some time since his last. Every Day I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came has the appropriate long-ass title befitting of any post-metal album, and as the first track "Homesick" shows, Broadrick has gone with a more guitar-oriented approach this time. Granted, is about as thrilling as watching paint drip off a wall and slowly dry into chips, but don’t let that deter you. Any Jesu release is well worth the effort to soak in, and as fall approaches, the soundtrack for the season has arrived with it.

As a staff, we all have our own unique musical tastes. Sometimes those tastes overlap stylistically and sometimes they veer off into strange directions galore. Below are our top album lists of 2012, separated by writer and summed up with genre tags. Vivian Hua - dance, electronic, indie, funk, metal Judy Nelson - dance, electronic, indie, pop, psychedelic, soul Ryan Pangilinan - pop, soul, pop-punk, punk Peter Woodburn - electronic, hardcore, metal, instrumental
   

Aural Devastation is a regular column about heavy music. Here are some favorites from 2012, beginning with relatively structured songs and descending into the chaotic.   Baroness - "EULA" from Yellow & Green + ENTIRE RECORD STREAM As the last song on the Yellow Album, "EULA" had...

AURAL DEVASTATION is a regular column about heavy music. Today, Converge reasserts their importance, and Pig Destroyer get covertly political, arguably. +++ FULL POST + AURAL DEVASTATION COLUMNS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

Converge

Few bands have remained as relevant and impossible to duplicate as the Massachusetts based metalcore kings Converge. Ignoring the insane impact that each member of the band has had in all aspects of the music industry -- from record label owning and producing to cover designing and playing in every band possible -- it isn't a very far stretch to call Converge one of the more important heavy bands to exist in the past 20 years. All We Love We Leave is the perfect example of Converge's ability to develop something new while still maintaining the familiarity of the whole assault of sound. See full post for tour dates.

 

Acid Tiger have something to strut, for sure. Their self-titled debut, featuring Ben Koller from Converge on the drums, is a psychedelic mind trick -- equal parts funky riffs, southern rock, and progressive rock all jumbled together in a mind-bogglingly cohesive fashion. The album effortlessly...

Boy, was I fooled. Nails album, Unsilent Death, comes with two pieces of name dropping: Kurt Ballou and Todd Jones. Recorded by Ballou at God City Studios, Nails also features Jones (ex-Terror) on guitars and vocals. The ex-Terror tag prepped me for some more tough...

Reviewing a Converge album is kind of odd. Whereas I've always kind of liked the band, I've never even begun to understand the insane amount of adulation their fans and most critics bestow upon them. I quite literally know people that think these guys are...