Dear Hollow

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

“I was tentative about taking this album. I was familiar with Groza‘s debut Unified in Void from 2018, granting it a casual listen and making that “not bad” Obama Rage Comic face from 2012. If one peruses the Metallum profile of these Germans, you’ll be graced with the shocking sight of a whopping 0% average review score from three reviews. Why, you ask? Probably because — and maybe this is obvious given the act’s name and a certain Polish full-length debut — Groza sounds a hell of a lot like Mgła. That’s unfair, awarding no merit to an album simply because it imitates another. I mean, if fans cancelled every act that sounded like Transilvanian Hunger, we’d have no black metal left.” The end of influence?

Moon Reaper – Descent Review

Moon Reaper – Descent Review

“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a genre stickler at heart. I find a lot of comfort knowing where to fit every release that comes across my doorstep, so when acts swoop in to challenge that, I’m simultaneously uneasy and intrigued. There are plenty of folks that fall into this category but perhaps the most intriguing has been the UK act Conjurer. I’ve seen these lads described as everything from Swallow the Sun-esque death/doom, Cult of Luna-worshiping post-metal/sludge, to the blackened doom of Thou. 2018’s Mire is a landmark in its own right, and as we anxiously await its followup, we find newcomers Moon Reaper, definitely fans of Conjurer.” Genre reaping.

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie is a German black metal band from Hesse, and no newcomer to the scene, having released five full-lengths, a split, an EP, and a compilation since 2005. Perhaps “avant garde” is a tag given to bands that are just difficult to pinpoint, as these guys employ a kitchen sink of influences and guest vocalists in their aural assault in sixth full-length Metamorphosis.” Kafkanated.

Vouna – Atropos Review

Vouna – Atropos Review

Vouna was one of my first reviews here at AMG. While I certainly feel dated by the release of Atropos, it also allows me time to reflect. Sole member Yianna Bekris has undoubtedly honed her craft, and I’d like to think that I have as well, even as the morale-boosting beatings continue and the terrifying ape-in-charge keeps staring at me from the dark corner over there. An associate of Wolves in the Throne Room‘s Weaver brothers, Bekris took me completely off-guard with Vouna‘s self-titled debut in 2018, an effort dubbed “funeral doom” but was anything but the bellowing subterranean lurching we’ve come to know and love. Atropos offers a huge step forward, adding a healthy dose of obscurity and an unrelentingly bleak atmosphere to sink your teeth into.” Bleak houses.

Elderblood – Achrony Review

Elderblood – Achrony Review

“Blasphemy and the rejection of religion is not a new thing to black metal at all, but geography does play a part. As Diabolus in Muzaka mentioned in his review for Elderblood‘s Messiah, there’s something distinctly Polish about these Ukrainians. Christianity, especially the heavily ritualized flavor of Eastern Orthodox, runs deep in Slavic heritage – especially considering the virtual elimination of traditional Slavic religion at the hands of Christian tyrants. Nergal’s continuing rejection of Polish theocratic movements, Batushka‘s use of Russian Orthodoxy, and Elderblood‘s latest album cover have all shown the region’s unflinching hate. With these Ukrainians, you can expect vitriol and blasphemy in the fullest measure.” Burning faith.

Anthropophagus Depravity – Apocalypto Review

Anthropophagus Depravity – Apocalypto Review

Anthropophagus Depravity is a brutal death metal quintet from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and 2021’s Apocalypto is their debut. While undoubtedly committed to bludgeoning listeners over the head with gore-splattered riffs, tar-thick grooves, and hell-scraping gutturals, Apocalypto is also dedicated to Mayan civilization and its emphasis of human sacrifice.” Sacrifices must be made.

Noctambulist – The Barren Form Review

Noctambulist – The Barren Form Review

Noctambulist is a blackened death metal band from Denver. Their 2019 debut album Atmospheres of Desolation was an interesting and twisty take on the brutal arts, aptly reflecting its name through an onslaught of vicious vocals, shredding riffs, and relentless percussion, through a contemplative dissonant melodic template. According to the illustrious Kronos, it still needed to hone its songwriting and set out on its own non-Ulcerate-ordained path.” Form and friction.

Irae – Dangerovs Magick Zpells from the Mesziah of Death Review

Irae – Dangerovs Magick Zpells from the Mesziah of Death Review

“Getting dibs on albums is pretty rad when there’s a cool band with a new release I forgot about: a mini-Christmas in the otherwise lifeless dregs of the promo bin. That was my initial thought when I saw Portugal’s Irae new release. Last year’s Lurking in the Depths, while not terribly original, was a jolly fun batch o’ blackened tunes. It blended raw-ish tendencies with a healthy dose of groove for a subtle and consistent listen that perhaps held more promise than delivered but was good enough for my heart to leap at the newest installment. Does Dangerovs Magick Zpells from the Mesziah of Death deliver?” Dangerovs toyvs.

The Day of the Beast – Indisputably Carnivorous Review

The Day of the Beast – Indisputably Carnivorous Review

“The almighty riff. While I’m not entirely convinced of its importance, masochists like Diabolus in Muzaka and Ferrous Beuller spend their days raking the dregs of the Skull Pit’s outer limits in the vain hopes of discovering it laying amid the rusty needles of tech-death or beneath the gore and grime of OSDM, only to return empty-handed and receive yet another beating from the all-knowing ape. While the foundation of countless styles of metal, it’s a frail thing, as its weak implementation or absence can violently derail a song or an album. Worshipers of the almighty and ever-elusive riff, does The Day of the Beast succeed or will they crash and burn with the hordes of Nifelheim-copycats?” Nice to eat you.

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.