Blasted Heath – Vela Review

Blasted Heath – Vela Review

“All is not well at the edge of the cosmos. Some of us look to the heavens and see a frontier, a blank page for all mankind to fill with the best of ourselves. Others, like the black thrash cosmonauts of Blasted Heath, can only widen their eyes in horror at the vast and indifferent expanse. This foursome may hail from Indianapolis, but their first transmission Vela sounds like a broadcast from a far corner of the galaxy. The message? No one is living long or prospering out here, the ship’s AI is starting to get cheeky, and we’ve lost contact with the colonists on LV-426.” Space madness.

The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost Review

The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost Review

“Longtime readers of the AMG Diaries will know my opinions regarding so-called “supergroups.” All too often these star-studded vanity vehicles promise much and deliver little, generally falling way short of anything truly super. With this jaded but entirely realistic worldview, I approached the debut from The Halo Effect, the project composed of Dark Tranquillity‘s Mikael Stanne and four former members of In Flames. That lineup makes The Halo Effect a supergroup for Swedish melodeth purposes if nothing else, and on Days of the Lost, they largely stick to what they know best, dropping an album’s worth of material that sits roughly halfway between the members’ main acts.” Heroes and halos.

Aronious – Irkalla Review

Aronious – Irkalla Review

“Well, this could have been awkward. In trying to research this week’s subject, I had become increasingly puzzled as to why I couldn’t find much on them. Nothing on AMG itself; nothing on Metal Archives, nothing on Facebook and so on. It turns out there had been a fluff up in the AMG Engine Room, meaning that the band’s name was misspelled in the promo sump. Once this snafu came to light, it also revealed that Aronious is not, in fact, new to AMG and it would seem I have unwittingly stolen reviewing rights from no lesser death metal scribe than Kronos.” Deathly strife.

Shuriken Cadaveric Entwinement – Constructing the Cataclysm Review

Shuriken Cadaveric Entwinement – Constructing the Cataclysm Review

“Let’s address the elephant in the dojo right away: Shuriken Cadaveric Entwinement is a stupid name. It’s one of hundreds in a long and not very proud line of uninspired, overly wordy death metal band names. I’m all for cool ninja stuff – my tattered Octagon DVD is a prized possession – but how does a shuriken even entwine someone? It doesn’t make sense. Still, my track record proves I’m attracted to bands with questionable names. The album art is cool, and I really wanted the music to match. Name and art aside, the band plays your typical classic style of balls to the bloody walls death metal.” Samurwhy?

Parasite Inc. – Cyan Night Dreams Review

Parasite Inc. – Cyan Night Dreams Review

Parasite Inc. is one of those bands that I want to fall deeply in love with, but I have no idea why anymore. This inexplicable yearning for that special spark with this German quartet no doubt owes its existence partially to the group’s super-fun debut, Time Tears Down. Since then, Parasite Inc. rapidly declined into cheesy, stale melodic metal that made me cringe more often than not. I had hoped that Cyan Night Dreams, the band’s third full length, might be the start of their redemption arc.” Hopes and dreams (and parasites).

Tomb of Finland – Across the Barren Fields Review

Tomb of Finland – Across the Barren Fields Review

“As I inch closer to hitting a full decade of writing for Angry Metal Guy Industries, Ltd., I like going back and revisiting bands I reviewed before, normally in hopeful anticipation of new material. Not only is it because of morbid curiosity in seeing any progress, but this is kinda-sorta like watching a child grow older before your eyes. You want what’s best for them. In 2015, I reviewed Below the Green, the debut album from Tom of… TOMB. TOMB of Finland. Sorry. That “b” is important, kiddos.” Look at this photograph!

Aerdryk – Met De Drietand Op Mijn Huid Review

Aerdryk – Met De Drietand Op Mijn Huid Review

“The mighty founder of this blog once famously said, “Atmoblack is just 2 riffs drawn out over 60 minutes with some reverb and synths.” Those of us who are fans pushed back, at the risk of a considerable tongue-lashing. “But it’s about the atmosphere, see? Riffs are not the be-all and end-all. Mother nature is a vibe not a riff.” The matter was never resolved, but after the bruising back-and-forth, both sides retreated to lick their wounds. It was with this in mind that I approached the debut album from Dutch band Aerdryk, Met De Drietand Op Mijn Huid (With the Trident on My Skin).” Atmoblech.

Psycroptic – Divine Council Review

Psycroptic – Divine Council Review

“Though they arrived too late to take part in the birth of tech-death in the 1990s, Tasmania’s Psycroptic made a big mark on the genre just after the turn of the century, and by now they’re something of a legacy act. Eight albums in, Psycroptic have managed to retain their core sound, wrapped around Joe Haley’s long, eclectic riffs, for more than 20 years. The band augmented that thrashy tech death with gospel choirs for their most recent record, As the Kingdom Drowns, nearly escaping the debt of expectation set by the classic The Scepter of the Ancients back in 2003. Four years later, Divine Council nods towards the Kingdom, but doesn’t rely on past successes to make its mark.” Psy-ops.

Carrion Vael – Abhorrent Obsessions Review

Carrion Vael – Abhorrent Obsessions Review

“What I like about their sound is the mix of The Black Dahlia Murder burliness with the relentless speed and riff changes of Mors Principium Est. Both albums run a similar course, but the sophomore release, God Killer, started dabbling with more technicality and subtle At the Gates vibes. You’ll even find some clean vocals rearing their ugly head on ‘Psalm of Lies.’ With an obvious desire to explore and expand their sound, one can only guess where this year’s Abhorrent Obsessions will take them. And, believe you me, it was not what you’d expect.” Carrion my wayward sons.