Orphan Donor – Unraveled Review

Orphan Donor – Unraveled Review

“Sometimes, the promo sump can be an overwhelming place. A bit like an oversized car trunk sale, there’s a huge amount of scary junk that you know you don’t want (but recognize you’ll end up leaving with at least some of) and a few frustratingly well hidden gems. The trick is how to spot those gems. Sometimes though, one simply does not have the time and you have to trust your luck and grab the first thing that catches your eye. One such visit led me to the sophomore outing by Allentown, Pennsylvania-based two piece Orphan Donor, which spoke to me because of the combination of a grindcore tag and the unexpected accompanying note that it would appeal to fans of Isis.” Garage flail.

Helloween – Helloween Review

Helloween – Helloween Review

Helloween gets 97.543% of the credit for creating what we now think of as the Euro-power metal sound. Led by the high-pitched wailing of Kai Hansen, their Walls of Jericho debut was a nonstop rush of speed and irresistible hooks, and Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I was less speedy but far more polished and majestic, featuring the vocal power of a young Michael Kiske. When it was announced that BOTH long absent frontmen would be returning to Helloween to join current frontman Andi Deris for a new album, I felt conflicted.” He should have squashed his expectations.

Demon Incarnate – Leaves of Zaqqum Review

Demon Incarnate – Leaves of Zaqqum Review

“For two weeks in a row, I found promos that claim Candlemass as a major influence, and I simply had to have them. Last week saw me positively handling former Candlemass vocalist Rob Lowe’s new project Grief Collector, so I was hoping to ride that slow, bludgeoning wave into this week as I tackle the groovy doom of Germany’s Demon Incarnate.” Break out the grief blower.

Ossaert – Pelgrimsoord Review

Ossaert – Pelgrimsoord Review

Ossaert is an anonymous duo from the Dutch city of Zwolle, which they describe as “indoctrinated.” This is foreshadowing in that the duo, spearheaded by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter P., specializes in a breed of black metal not unlike the many confused faces of Batushka. Utilizing cold, ruthless second-wave black metal run through the dark lens of religion, they balance blasphemy with a spiraling feeling of madness.” Religion as brutality.

Moanhand – Present Serpent Review

Moanhand – Present Serpent Review

“Try as I might, it’s hard to break out of patterns that take months, if not years, to craft and make a template out of. I still put actual milk in my coffee and not that oily Coffeemate bullshit. My breakfast omelets will always have cheddar cheese, bacon, and enough garlic to anger vampires. Above all, I like my doom metal to be… doom metal. Heavy. Oppressive. Mournful. That said, sometimes a little deviation can work wonders, and Roman Filatov, chief songwriter and solo proprietor of Moanhand, is seeking to woo the masses over with his creative take on a classic sound using a wide swath of influences.” Snake’s take.

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt sound pretty much exactly as you’d expect based solely on this album art. Falling somewhere in the center of a Venn diagram split between atmospheric black metal, symphonic folk-ish metal, and dungeonsynth, By the Waters of Awakening offers an experience that not only relaxes and soothes, but also evokes a desire for bone-chilling winter to return forthwith. Tambourines, flutes, strings, trumpets and French horns, and glistening synths decorate a light dusting of blackened frost across a wondrous landscape of mournful melodies and heartfelt verses. This is not an album for headbanging.” Serenity now!

Passéisme – Eminence Review

Passéisme – Eminence Review

“We here at AMG are fans of all things French. We like croissants with our espressos in the morning. Ratatouille, souffles, bisques, and of course — when budget allows — French wine, all tickle our collective fancy. While nibbling and slurping delicately on these delights, we also like the odd spot of French black metal to help with digestion. Those of us of the particularly cultivated variety enjoy ov French medieval black metal, admittedly a niche-within-a-niche, but wacky enough to scratch a particular itch when it arises. So imagine my delight when the very French-sounding Passéisme crossed my desk with their debut album, the French-sounding-when-you-say-it-with-a-French-accent-in-your-head, Eminence. Then imagine my surprise when I discovered these guys are actually Russian, formed in 2019, from Nivhny Novgorod.” Rasputin Ratatouille?

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

“When Rimfrost disbanded after their magnificent Expedition: Darkness, I thought I’d never get to review something from them again. What’s this gotta do with Rimfrost? You’re about to find out. After Rimfrost parted ways, drummer Throllv and bassist Khratos joined forces to create new music under the moniker Son of Sam. But what is Son of Sam? Is it the next phase of Rimfrost‘s sound? Will they dig deeper than ever to top Expedition: Darkness? Or, is this something else?” The monster next door.