Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination Review

Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination Review

“Like many of you, I’ve spent significant time over the years wandering musical paths far from our beloved metallic bae. In some cases, this has made me something of an amateur expert, as in the rangy field of Americana. In others, I’ve invested enough time as not to be a tourist, but not enough to be considered a deep diver. This is the case with Afrobeat. I’ve passed many hours with the father of the genre, Fela Kuti—easy enough given his song lengths—and with compilations like the incredible Nigeria 70 box set. I’ve also enjoyed the work of revivalists such as Brooklyn, New York’s Antibalas, so when I stumbled across Here Lies Man in the promo pit, a side project of Antibalas members infusing Afrobeat with Sabbathian riffs, I snapped it up greedily.” Don’t be grabby.

Intellect Devourer – Demons of the Skull [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Intellect Devourer – Demons of the Skull [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Here’s a heartwarming tale of perseverance in the Aussie death metal underground. Intellect Devourer formed way back in 1991, and after releasing a couple of demos, enduring splits, hiatuses and reformations, finally recorded their full-length debut, entitled Demons of the Skull, in 2020. Featuring members from various other bands, including Mournful Congregation and StarGazer, Intellect Devourer bring a wealth of battle hardened experience into an inspired batch of old school technical death songs.” Mind monsters.

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“2020 provided plenty of quality metal releases, but only a scant few of those which tickled my fancy fall into the “progressive metal” category. Of those, we missed two that deserve mention. The first is Cellar Vessel‘s immense slab of Xanthrochroided symphonic prog-death, entitled Vein Beneath the Soil. The second—and, obviously, more preferred, since I’m writing about it—is UK quartet Luna’s Call‘s sophomore epic Void.” When the void calls…

Red Cain – Kindred: Act II Review

Red Cain – Kindred: Act II Review

“Maybe you thought I was joking when I claimed the mantle of weeniedom. I do sometimes joke, after all. But now you are coming to realize that Red Cain is not a death metal band. They’re not even a black metal band. Look them up, I’ll wait. Look at the tags down there. Oh, and the score. Yeah, see, it says power metal. You know why it says that? It could be that I’m a big weenie now.” Cain and the Weenies.

Holy Mother – Face This Burn Review

Holy Mother – Face This Burn Review

“While I’m the last person who should be invoking a Kiss comparison, it’s definitely worthwhile to start by saying that Holy Mother bring to the table a similarly big sound — thunderous, catchy, fun, heavy rock. The riffs are mighty, the singing is heated, and occasionally Face This Burn slides into the downright catchy (not that it’s not disco or anything).” Yer Mom is sacred.

Mamaleek – Come & See [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Mamaleek – Come & See [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Mamaleek‘s experimental fluidity has been bubbling beneath the surface since 2008. Not a lot is known about the two brothers who have channeled many genres through the Mamaleek moniker. Come & See is their seventh full-length and another chapter in their difficult-to-place story. If you asked me about this record a few months ago I would have huffed, puffed and dismissed it as a work of directionless cross-genre experimentation. After revisiting the record last month, however, I was struck by how coherent and engrossing it was as a whole.” Experiments in sound.

Therion – Leviathan Review

Therion – Leviathan Review

“If forced to describe my relationship with Therion over the past 30 years, I would have to call it “complicated.” I was there at the start when they were a simplistic but enjoyable doom death band. I watched with interest as they slowly integrated opera and symphonic orchestration, making them one of the most unique extreme metal acts of the 90s. They had ups and downs over the decades that followed, with the lowest moment coming on 2018s 3-hour, triple album rock opera atrocity, Beloved Antichrist. Now Therion is back with their 17th album, Leviathan.” Opulence as pestilence.

Aethyrick – Apotheosis Review

Aethyrick – Apotheosis Review

“As reviewers, we’ve been indoctrinated to inhale this sound and ask for seconds. This is born partially from two decades of Scandi feet-kissing, but also from a formula that, begrudging as I am to admit, often works quite well. It falls to Apotheosis to prove Aethyrick on their merits and not merely by their company. As you might expect, separating the two is trickier than it sounds.” Standing on the shoulders of monsters.

Giants, Dwarfs and Black Holes – Everwill Review

Giants, Dwarfs and Black Holes – Everwill Review

“Look, I’m gonna keep this fairly brief and there is a simple reason for this: I picked up the debut from Germany’s Giants, Dwarfs and Black Holes to replace another promo that I dropped, after discovering that album was a reissue. I did no prior research on GDaBH, simply grabbing the first free thing with a similar release date and only later discovered THIS IS ALSO A FUCKING REISSUE!” Ever-issues.

Ellende – Triebe Review

Ellende – Triebe Review

“Can art be updated? Once released, is a piece of art fixed forever, like chiseled stone? Or fluid, like the hobo wine in the AMG office dispenser? If an artist or musician takes an existing work, and makes changes, have they created an entirely separate piece, or merely created their preferred version? Austrian black metal band, Ellende, raises these questions with its latest (shhhhh) EP, Triebe.” Disastrous moments in filtration.