Carcharodon

King of the North(ish).
Neck of the Woods – The Annex of Ire Review

Neck of the Woods – The Annex of Ire Review

“Do you ever have that feeling of listening to an album and feeling that it’s somehow better than you’re giving it credit for? Or, as GardensTale put it to me, the feeling that “I’m probably just not good enough for the album”? That’s how I felt about the second full-length from Vancouver’s Neck of the Woods, until about 4pm today.” You’re good enough and people like you.

Fós – Rinne mé iarraidh Review

Fós – Rinne mé iarraidh Review

“Prior to this review, you could have jotted down what I knew about sean-nós singing on the back of a postage stamp and still had most of the stamp free for other notes. Still, we are where we all are and probably only Fós, a collaboration between Irish singer Orla Cadden Patel and multi-instrumentalist Fionn Murray, have much right to feel aggrieved. Sean-nós turns out to be a traditional form of Irish singing. Typically unaccompanied, the singing is highly ornamented in terms of melodic style and the lyrics often deal in laments and tales of historic events. That description does not, perhaps, suggest it as the obvious partner for electronica-driven drone but then, as I always try to explain to non-metal friends and colleagues who ask (and usually regret doing so), one of the things I love about metal is its seemingly endless ability to blend genres and influences.” Luck o’ the Irish.

Canis Dirus – Independence to the Beast Review

Canis Dirus – Independence to the Beast Review

“Our sharky hero runs, surgically-repaired legs pumping, swag clutched to his chest. He doesn’t look back. He doesn’t need to. He knows what’s chasing him: a velveteen puppet and a number that is two times six. Eventually, lungs heaving, he sinks down behind a dumpster to study his haul… This, dear reader, is a more a less accurate depiction of what it takes to successfully smuggle something tagged as ‘black folk metal’ out of the promo sump and how I come to be reviewing Minnesotan duo Canis Dirus‘ third full-length, Independence to the Beast.” Free beasts and folk thieves.

RED\\SHIFT – Grow.Decay.Transform. Review

RED\\SHIFT – Grow.Decay.Transform. Review

“There’s a statement in the promo blurb that a “catastrophically drunk dive-bar patron” once described Minnesotan trio RED\\SHIFT as being like “Mastodon mugging King Crimson in a back alley on New Year’s Eve.” There was also mention of wolves with swords for arms.” The right to arm wolves.

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

“Sometimes, vocals — however good they may be — detract, or at least distract, from really listening to the moods the music is conjuring. This is how I feel about, for example, the instrumental records that accompany releases from The Ocean — while I typically listen to the full version, every now and again I will put on the instrumental version and float away. While West Virginia’s Seven Planets are a very different beast from that Berlin-based collective, their brand of instrumental rock, rooted in blues and groove, also aims to carry you away.” Seven paths to Uranus.

Mondo Generator – Fuck It Review

Mondo Generator – Fuck It Review

“It’s hard to say why I grabbed Mondo Generator’s subtly titled Fuck It from the promo bin but, if you’re putting me on the spot, I think excitement probably got the better of me. Not, I should be clear, excitement because I love Mondo Generator – I do not – but simply the excitement of seeing a band I had actually heard of, which had not already been snapped up by one of the nimbler reviewers. The brainchild of Nick Oliveri – and sometimes also known as Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator – of Kyuss, Dwarves and Queens of the Stone Age fame (among others), Mondo Generator has been around for quite a while.” Bad attitude.

Lucifuge – The One Great Curse Review

Lucifuge – The One Great Curse Review

“If you are thinking that Lucifuge’s choices of band logo and cover art — not just on this record but on previous outings too — point towards them being fans of the old black metal guard of Venom, Celtic Frost, and Bathory, you’re spot on. And these tastes are reflected, to a significant degree, in the music, too.” Olden evils.

Necrowretch – The Ones from Hell Review

Necrowretch – The Ones from Hell Review

“I tend to steer clear of death metal as a genre. There are two principal reasons for this. First, I don’t really like death metal – the unrelenting nature of the music, coupled with the dying frog vocals, just doesn’t do it for me. Second – and as a function of the first – I don’t know much about it. But, if you stick a ‘blackened’ tag in front of ‘death metal,’ shit, I guess I’ll give it a go. So, French stalwarts Necrowretch, I hope you feel suitably honored by the amateur treatment your fourth full-length, The Ones from Hell, is about to receive.” Death for dummies.

Dominia – The Withering of the Rose Review

Dominia – The Withering of the Rose Review

The Withering is the follow-up to 2017’s Stabat Mater, which represented another slab of heavy gothic metal in Dominia’s catalog, as violins and keys did battle with harsh vocals and doomy riffs. Does the latest offering from Dominia see further growth or, well, a withering on the vine?” Roses are dead.