Carcharodon

King of the North(ish).
Until Rain – Season V Review

Until Rain – Season V Review

“Until Rain deal in progressive metal and have been doing so since 2009, with four full-length albums already under their belts prior to Season V. I confess, I am only familiar with their most recent release, 2017’s Inure, which offered up dark, moody prog, featuring heavy bass lines and, at times, even flirting with djent and blastbeats (see, for example, “This Solitude”). I didn’t love it but I certainly liked it and there is no question Until Rain showed some vision and genuine songcraft on it.” Who’ll stop the rain?

Floating Worlds – Battleship Oceania Review

Floating Worlds – Battleship Oceania Review

“Power metal is one of those genres that promises a lot but has a tendency to under deliver. Progressive power — prower? — metal promises more and delivers less often still. While the key constituents, including soaring guitars, prominent keyboards, bombastic drums, and faux-operatic vocals, are all welcome, the manner in which they are stitched together is often where it comes apart. Add to this the risks inherent in making a concept album and you have quite the heady mix.” Watership down.

Earth Messiah – Ouroboros Review

Earth Messiah – Ouroboros Review

“Gothenburg three-piece Earth Messiah are also going old school with their full-length debut Ouroboros. The Swedes’ downtuned, heavy stoner-rock sound is ripped straight out of the late 1990s and follows on from a solid two-track demo, Nocturnal Thoughtgrinder, which they put out in January 2018. A full cycle of the seasons (and a record deal with Argonauta Records) later, are Earth Messiah reborn or stuck living in the past?” Stones and time.

S.R.L. – Hic Sunt Leones Review

S.R.L. – Hic Sunt Leones Review

“Active since 1992, this is the Italian death-thrashers’ first release since 2013’s Unus et Viginti, an EP celebrating S.R.L.’s 21st year of activity and comprising several re-recorded tracks from their early years, as well two previously-unreleased numbers. Did the intervening five years allow S.R.L. to move forward or are they still stuck in their own past?” Lions!

Splendidula – Post Mortem Review

Splendidula – Post Mortem Review

“Coming from the Latin ‘splendidus’, ‘splendid’ is defined—by one (free) online dictionary that this n00b found, anyway—as an adjective meaning ‘magnificent; very impressive.’ Of what relevance is this to Post Mortem, the second album from Splendidula? Quite possibly none but having made the splendid-Splendidula link in my head, I got my hopes up.” Album autopsy.

Sons of Lazareth – Blue Skies Back to Gray Review

Sons of Lazareth – Blue Skies Back to Gray Review

“I don’t do well in the heat. This n00b is a strictly cold-weather creature. Despite this, I do very much enjoy stoner-desert rock. I’ve done so ever since I first encountered Kyuss’ seminal Welcome to Sky Valley. So imagine my excitement when the promo bin – manifesting in the ominous shape of Steel Druhm – threw me Blue Skies Back to Gray, the debut album from Italian stoners Sons of Lazareth.” Left to die.

Divine Ascension – The Uncovering Review

Divine Ascension – The Uncovering Review

“Australian progressive metallers Divine Ascension are back with their third album, The Uncovering. Apparently. To be honest, I was blissfully unaware they were here in the first place or that they’d gone anywhere. But this appears to be a failing on my part. Their previous outing, Liberator, saw them touring in support of genre stalwarts Stratovarius, as well as getting on the road with the inimitable Blind Guardian. Whilst I have something of a soft spot for both these bands, it is undeniable that their (extensive) back catalogs are patchy—although I won’t hear a word said against Blind Guardian’s Nightfall in Middle Earth—and I can’t help but query how much space there really is in what might be termed progressive-power metal.” Cover up, Buttercup.

Third Storm – The Grand Manifestation Review

Third Storm – The Grand Manifestation Review

“Despite originally forming in 1986, The Grand Manifestation is the first full-length offering from Swedish five-piece Third Storm. After just two years and a handful of shows, Third Storm’s original line-up disbanded. It was not until 2014 that founding member, Heval Bozarslan, gathered a new band around him, releasing the Taritiya Me EP a year later. “Despite its Mayhem-inspired cover and the howling winds and distant siren that open the EP, it is not a black metal offering. Some promising-sounding death groove is short-lived and gives way to medium-paced, funeral doom, which dominates most of the 25-minute runtime. Which Third Stormwould be on display on The Grand Manifestation—the anticipated black metal, the groove-laden death that made a brief cameo or the sludgy doom that predominated?” Precious metals sampler.