Carcharodon

King of the North(ish).
Noltem – Illusions in the Wake Review

Noltem – Illusions in the Wake Review

“It’s an uncomfortable moment in a reviewer’s life when you stumble across some promo blurb from a band’s label or PR company that is actually right on the money. While I recognize it must be no easy life if your day job is relentlessly writing promo for bands, these mini-essays are normally so pumped full of hyperbole, so riddled with awkward phraseology and so glowing with praise that this band is the second coming of [insert relevant genre titan], that the write-ups are effectively useless as a guide to the band one is about to sonically ingest. Every now and again, however, the promo hits the nail on the head. Such was the case for Connecticut-based atmospheric black metal trio Noltem and its debut, Illusions in the Wake.” Good PR.

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

“Sometimes, the cover of an album is meaningless, you know, just a cliched picture of a skull or zombie or something to adorn the record sleeve. Sometimes, however, the artwork can tell you a lot, both about what to expect from a record and about the band behind it, which presumably signed off—or in a few cases even designed—the artwork in question. In the case of Tacoma, Washington’s Siren’s Rain and their self-released debut album, Rise Forth, the artwork triggered an all too familiar sinking feeling.” Graphic displays.

Snares of Sixes – MoonBladder Review

Snares of Sixes – MoonBladder Review

“Jason William Walton. By my count, this guy has been a part, or founder, of at least 24 bands, collaborations and projects. Most notably, of course, as bassist (and sometimes songwriter) for the much-missed Agalloch. Other entries in Walton’s bio include folk-doom outfit Dolven, the bonkers electronic oompah of Especially Likely Sloth and progressive melodeath band Sculptured. Walton strides across broad musical lands, arriving at Snares of Sixes, an experimental collective ‘assembled, arranged and constructed by him.” Constructed insanity.

Wraith – Undo the Chains Review

Wraith – Undo the Chains Review

Sometimes reviewers live with regrets. “Was I too hard on Wraith?” wondered reviewing machine Charcodadentron or whatever his fucking name is. “Do they still say mean things about me at band practice?” Fortunately, he’s had another shot to Undo the Chains of his self-doubt. Yeah, you know you want to read it.

Kadabra – Ultra Review

Kadabra – Ultra Review

“I used to listen to, and enjoy, heavy psych a lot. I’m beginning to wonder, however, whether the onset of mid-life (not yet a mid-life crisis, please note —emphasis on yet) may have biologically hindered my ability to enjoy the genre. I keep picking it up for review, perhaps in the hope of recapturing some younger version of myself, and steadily continue to dole out 2.0s or 2.5s. And while a low score a day, keeps the Angry Boss Ape away, it’s not very good for the soul, you know? So, I approached Spokane, Washington’s Kabadra more in hope, than expectation, of finding something for me.” Olde world problems.

Legions of the Night – Sorrow is the Cure Review

Legions of the Night – Sorrow is the Cure Review

“German power metal trio Legions of the Night was formed during the course of 2020, the obvious time in our history to assemble a group of people to collaborate closely on a new project. It brings together founding member Jens Faber, drummer Philipp Bock (both of Dawn of Destiny) and singer Henning Basse (ex-Metalium and Firewind, among others). That line-up, together with the fact that their debut includes a cover of Savatage‘s “Sirens,” might give you some sense of what to expect from this album.” Power of the Legions of the Night are calling.

Vaelmyst – Secrypts of the Egochasm Review

Vaelmyst – Secrypts of the Egochasm Review

“Melodic death metal is a genre I want to like more than I actually do. Describe it to me and, on paper, I should love it. Not a death metal fan but desperately wanting to be so that I can hang out with cool kids Kronos and Ferrous Beuller, dialling up the melodic quotient should be just the ticket. While there are, of course, bands like Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium, that I love, I find that melodic death metal is a genre plagued by mediocrity.” Melo-ego and super-death.