Black Cilice – Esoteric Atavism Review

Black Cilice – Esoteric Atavism Review

“In a niche genre known for being insular and impenetrable, Portugal’s Black Cilice is quite a big deal. Somehow, this ultra lo-fi, raw black metal project has found a degree of cross-over success, featuring in popular non-metal sites (not that you should be reading anything other than AMG) and appearing on the playlists of ironic hipsters. For music this primal and uncompromising, that’s no mean feat. It shows that despite doing everything possible to alienate listeners, there is something compelling and interesting here that forces people to pay attention. Now Black Cilice is back with another platter of murky goodness..”Cilice in the mist.

Animalize – Meat We’re Made Of Review

Animalize – Meat We’re Made Of Review

“Heavy metal. Trad metal. Dad metal. It all boils down to the same thing, really: galloping guitars, soaring vocals, a dose of cheese (don’t forget to take your Lactaid, old timer!) and enough triumphant riffs to get those creaky, arthritic bones a’janglin’. So it was with nagging nostalgia that I  picked up Meat We’re Made Of, the first full-length from France’s Animalize, a group who traffic in a form of classic heavy metal firmly entrenched in the 70s and 80s.” Meat is the message.

Thūn – II Review

Thūn – II Review

“This is quite the rabbit hole I’ve gone down. It started with Monsterworks back in 2018 (and again in 2020). Then I hitched a ride on a Bull Elephant, in 2019 and 2020. Not one to rest on my laurels, I then enjoyed deeply of some Thūn, on their debut last year. What do these three bands have in common? Members, for one thing, and exuberant, over-the-top delivery of bizarre tales. Here on Thūn‘s second album, aptly titled II.” Thūn(der) on the tundra.

Milking the Goatmachine – Nach uns die Grindflut Review

Milking the Goatmachine – Nach uns die Grindflut Review

“It’s late summer; baby goat season has come and passed. The now-adolescent herd will face culling and sorting for important caprine tasks: males will live to the next season for breeding within the herd or sold to other herds, and viable females will stick around for production of milk, which can serve as liquid for cheeses or in cosmetics. Potentially some goats who are neither fit for breeding nor milking will go up for sale as pets or sent to farms who raise goats for food production. Milking the Goatmachine is an atypical pair of goats though; they never made it to feed or breed. These German-born cloven-hoofed heathens escaped the goat-industrial complex to persevere as guardians of galvanized riffs, embodying the spirit of one heavy metal’s most celebrated animal icons.” Goatshake.

Protector – Excessive Outburst of Depravity Review

Protector – Excessive Outburst of Depravity Review

“The same week I meet Flames for the very first time I’m also tasked with reviewing Germany’s long-running thrash/death act Protector. Formed way the Hell back in 1986, they’ve been seasoning the obese for decades with a style that grabs equally from thrash and proto-death metal. If you imagine Morbid Saint smashed into a thick romesco with Kryptos and Sodom, you have the basic idea of what Protector is aiming for.” Protector or tormentor?

Ironflame – Where Madness Dwells Review

Ironflame – Where Madness Dwells Review

“About two and a half years ago, I covered Blood Red Victory, the third full-length album from Ironflame, and I nearly dropped the 4.0hammer™ on it. That record had some incredible traditional anthems on it, and the chorus of “Honor Bound” still runs through my head every so often—usually when I’m forced to deal with a commitment that I regret making. The Ohio-based Ironflame is the brainchild of one Andrew D’Cagna, an artist probably best known for his work as a drummer in blackened bands like Nechochwen and Obsequiae, but this project reveals that D’Cagna’s abilities cannot be contained to just one instrument or just one style of music. When I reviewed Blood Red Victory, I felt like D’Cagna was on the verge of true greatness, and I’m happy to report that follow-up Where Madness Dwells proves that, as usual, I was right.” Iron evens the score.

Am Himmel – As Eternal as the Starless Kingdom of Sorrow Review

Am Himmel – As Eternal as the Starless Kingdom of Sorrow Review

“Metal, and black metal-adjacent styles in particular, has traditionally tended towards the chthonic over the celestial in its imagery. But Am Himmel (“In the Sky”) choose to base their horror in the heavenly rather than the hellish. Their music purports to express, it seems, the eternal divine separation in “starless” metaphysical voids. It could be a project born out of piety or heresy. In either case, the import of existential terror is evident.” Heaven as Hell.

Greg Puciato – Mirrorcell Review

Greg Puciato – Mirrorcell Review

“Greg Puciato staved off the post-Dillinger blues by diving headlong into a raft of existing and new musical endeavors. Whether it be mainstream metal supergroup Killer Be Killed, electro project The Black Queen, lending a helping hand on Jerry Cantrell‘s recent solo album, or pursuing his versatile musical realms under his own name. Puciato’s 2020 debut, Child Soldier: Creator of God, marked an ambitious, sprawling start to his solo career.” Expanding the plans.