Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) Review

Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) Review

“It is the circle of life. The Lord taketh and the Lord giveth back. Not seven weeks ago I was slated to review the new Satan album, when it was ripped from my hands by our Ungracious Leader. I bit my tongue as long as I could, waiting for the right moment for revenge, and that moment has come! For here I am, coming out of nowhere to steal this new Evergrey album from his hairy mitts.” Evergrabby.

Predatory Light – Death and the Twilight Hours Review

Predatory Light – Death and the Twilight Hours Review

“Kyle Morgan gets around. The versatile guitar player features in Ash Borer, Superstition, Vanum and, most relevant here, Predatory Light. What stands out about each of the first three projects is the unique sound they bring to their respective sub-genres; whether the cavernous malevolence of The Irrespassable Gate, or the passionate intensity of Ageless Fire, there is a cutting edge to separate them from pretenders. So the somewhat milquetoast first album from Predatory Light, 2016’s Predatory Light, came as a bit of a surprise. Its somewhat formulaic combination of doom and black metal caught Mark Z. on a good day, but even he felt more innovation was required. Six years later, and Predatory Light are back with Death and the Twilight Hours.” Pale horse on the plague playground.

Luminous Vault – Animate the Emptiness Review

Luminous Vault – Animate the Emptiness Review

“Electronic elements and black metal is often met with disdain. Atonal EDM beats over blackened shenanigans make acts like Psyclon Nine and Mora Prokaza questionable, while the guitar-less synth overload of Golden Ashes and Wreche are often met with mixed reception. Perhaps more successfully, acts like Blut aus Nord and Dkharmakhaoz incorporate cold industrial flourishes to the raw guitar tone, creating an uncompromisingly obsidian sound. Electronic is divisive, but Luminous Vault does it right.” Electro-violence.

Master Boot Record – Personal Computer Review

Master Boot Record – Personal Computer Review

“For the three of you who haven’t yet encountered me gushing about Master Boot Record, here’s the summary. Decreasingly anonymous Italian musician Victor Love, inspired by classic 16-bit video game soundtracks and the harsh sound of a floppy drive stepper motor, synthesizes heavy metal. Despite sounding like a one-album novelty, Personal Computer is MBR‘s eighth full-length in seven years and they’re signed to Metal Blade.” Boots and scans.

Moon Tooth – Phototroph Review

Moon Tooth – Phototroph Review

“I wrote a gushing review of New York rockers Moon Tooth‘s supercharged 2019 sophomore album Crux, copping some flak amongst the readership in the process. Moon Tooth scratch the modern hard rock meets prog metal itch nicely, and third LP, Phototroph, comes with plenty of anticipation. The heavier rock stylings of their earlier material is smoothed over, squarely placing Moon Tooth in metal adjacent hard rock territory. And listeners not enamored with their previous work, especially Crux, will find nothing here to change their minds. I imagine the Moon Tooth fanbase will continue to swell and their profile rise, however, this will be a divisive effort amongst the AMG community.” Moon bite.

Mutilatred – Determined to Rot Review

Mutilatred – Determined to Rot Review

“In the ever-spewing world of brutal death metal, many bands push the boundaries of what low-IQ, shit-shoveling grooves can offer us—not Mutilatred though. These Toledo slam boys offer nothing more than what you would expect from the caveman school of death metal: riffs to keep the pit churning, skulls numbing, and hammers raising. When they hit the scene in 2015 with Dissecting Your Future, chug-junkies shotgunned the knuckle-dragging numbers like natty lights in the parking lot of a $5 show. In 2019, they also managed to squirt out a little EP—Ingested Filth—which helped load their tour-heavy existence with a few extra tunes. Then 2020 happened. Left to fester at home in a jar too small to contain their riffs, Determined to Rot represents the frothy, lid-bulging Mutilatred brew of a couple vile years.” Rot so fast.

Jungle Rot – A Call to Arms Review

Jungle Rot – A Call to Arms Review

“In the time of caveman death metal, Jungle Rot was a monkey. Since 1995 they’ve continued to bang out the most rudimentary death metal imaginable, perpetually aimed at that sickly sweet spot right between Obituary and meatheaded quasi-hardcore like Pro-Pain and Hatebreed. Eleventh album A Call to Arms is a rallying cry for those yet to see the value in their brand of low-brow, gym-friendly death with an IQ of 13.” Keep on rotting in the tree world.

Misery Index – Complete Control Review

Misery Index – Complete Control Review

“A no-frills, hardworking deathgrind unit, Misery Index remain a dependably vicious and gritty act some twenty-plus years into a stellar, yet arguably underappreciated career. While well known within extreme metal circles, Misery Index often escape the limelight, and despite forays into modern death metal territory, the uncompromising outfit continue embracing their punk, hardcore and grindy roots to powerful effect. Now some three years since they dropped the solid Rituals of Power, Misery Index unleash their seventh LP, entitled Complete Control.” Control issues.

Famyne – II: The Ground Below Review

Famyne – II: The Ground Below Review

“U.K.-based “modern” doom act Famyne evaded my metal detector with their eponymous 2018 debut. I might have missed their sophomore outing too, had I not been desperate for some doom when skulking through the fetid promo sump on a dark and dreary night. Thus, I approached II: The Ground Below without context or expectation, and what I heard befuddled me for a good while.” Uncommon grounds.

Katharos – Of Lineages Long Forgotten Review

Katharos – Of Lineages Long Forgotten Review

Of Lineages Long Forgotten seems a slightly ironic title for an album whose lineage is so clear to hear. Writ large across its near 50-minute run are the influence of Dimmu Borgir, particularly circa Death Cult Armageddon and In Sorte Diaboli, and Prometheus-era Emperor. This is no bad thing, however.” Of a long line of blackened kin.