Doom_et_Al

Nattverd – Vandring Review

Nattverd – Vandring Review

“It’s hard to think of an example of the third part of a trilogy being the best. Return of the Jedi? No way. Return of the King? Nope. Spider-Man 3? The Matrix Revolutions? Godfather Part III? It seems like the concluding chapter of these epic sagas never quite lives up to what preceded it. Just over a year ago, I reviewed Norwegian black metal band Nattverd’s sophomore album, Styggdom. Man, it had an awesome cover. The music, however, while maintaining a wonderfully oppressive atmosphere, simply dragged at times. It was too long, with too few actual riffs to sink your teeth into. Nattverd are now back, and have declared that their latest album, Vandring, is the concluding chapter in a trilogy that began with the EP Skuggen, with Styggdom forming the middle section. Considering my somewhat underwhelming response to Styggdom, expectations for Vandring to buck the trilogy trend were low.” Third time’s the harm.

Ninkharsag – The Dread March of Solemn Gods Review

Ninkharsag – The Dread March of Solemn Gods Review

“Do you like second-wave black metal? Yes? How much are we talking here? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being Emperor, and 1 being Viscount Deathspasm’s underground project, Endless Decembres ov Joyless Apathy, where would you say your enjoyment falls? Go on, close your eyes and come up with a number. I’ll wait. Ok, got it? If it’s between 8 and 10, read on! This sophomore album by the UK’s Ninkharsag is gonna be right up your frigid alley. Between 6 and 7? This might be your thing depending on the strength of the second-wave itch that needs to be scratched. Proceed with caution. 6 or below? Probably not your vibe, I’m afraid.” Dread marches and pedestrian ambitions.

Spectral Lore – Ετερόφωτος Review

Spectral Lore – Ετερόφωτος Review

“It’s no secret that I was a huge admirer of the 2020 Spectral Lore / Mare Cognitum split, Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine. Like an elaborate dance, the ethereal material from Spectral Lore waltzed perfectly with the more grounded, riff-driven focus of Mare Cognitum. I was fascinated to see how each band would follow this with their respective solo albums. Mare Cognitum clearly incorporated the introspective, mournful influence of Spectral Lore to great effect on Solar Paroxysm. The question was how Spectral Lore mastermind, the Greek Ayloss, would approach his latest collection, Ετερόφωτος.” Tales from the basement (sub-floor lore).

Pathfinders – Ares Vallis Review

Pathfinders – Ares Vallis Review

Pathfinders’ sound is a robotic casing of groove metal which houses a metalcore rover that it uses to explore expansive concepts of the infinite. The metalcore tag can be a poisonous one in these parts, so let’s be clear straight off the bat: Pathfinders is more Killswitch Engage and less Zao. More djent and less prog. This is your high-school chewing-gum metalcore, back when Linkin Park seemed edgy. This will be deal-breaker for some, and if you are one of those folks who can’t stand the sound, I bid you farewell and Godspeed as you take the escape pod on your journey to the next review.” Explore-core.

Mānbryne – Heilsweg: O udrece ciala i tulaczce duszy Review

Mānbryne – Heilsweg: O udrece ciala i tulaczce duszy Review

“The reason many debut albums sound so good, the theory goes, is that the composer has been creating and honing these songs (at least in their head) their whole life. What the songs lack in finesse, they make up for with creativity and fresh energy. It’s why hardcore fans of many bands prefer their earlier output, before an established groove was settled into. What happens, though, when you have the shaggy exuberance of a fresh and gifted songwriter, combined with the talents of more experienced heads to hone and polish the rougher edges? Mānbryne answers that question with Heilsweg: O udrece ciala i tulaczce duszy.” Marinating in Mānbryne.

Wheel – Preserved in Time Review

Wheel – Preserved in Time Review

“Metal ebbs and flows. Sub-genres within metal ebb and flow. A few years ago, with Khemmis and Pallbearer leading the charge, it appeared we were entering a golden age of doom which honored its classic and heavy roots, while adopting a progressive sensibility. Sadly, Pallbearer veered into hard-rock territory, Khemmis went very prog, and suddenly, the cupboard seemed bare. Sure, Fvneral Fvkk made a classic, but it was the exception rather than the rule. Doom is not going anywhere, of course, and stoner doom bands are more common than Holdeneye 4.0s, but over the past few years, it’s played a supporting role to its black and death metal cousins. Well, Wheel (not to be confused with their identically named prog counterparts, reviewed recently) is here to remind you of the glorious, thunderous, epic power of classic doom.” Doom wheeling.

Lebensnacht – The Realm Beyond Review

Lebensnacht – The Realm Beyond Review

The Realm Beyond is the second album from Germany’s Lebensnacht, a German duo, which has been active since 2008. They specialize in mid-paced, atmospheric BM, with a heavy emphasis on ethereal synthesizers, like early Wolves in the Throne Room or Lustre. This is all mashed together in an incredibly raw and harsh mix. Where Lebensnacht differs from many other bands is the strong depressive black metal element that pervades its work, providing an ominous air to the music.” Birds in the Mud Room.

Sarkrista – Sworn to Profound Heresy Review

Sarkrista – Sworn to Profound Heresy Review

“No one likes to be misled. Money is tight, we have bills to pay, so we all wanna know what we’re spending our precious cash on. When you see an album entitled “Sworn to Profound Heresy,” with a cover featuring malevolent-looking priests surrounding a burning church, you probably think you know what’s in store. When those clouds of billowing smoke feature an image of the dark lord, and the band is named after a church sexton, you might think that this was some satanic, second wave-worshipping black metal, probably from a bunch of European veterans. Well… you’d be absolutely right!” Maximum Satan.

Kankar – Dunkle Millennia Review

Kankar – Dunkle Millennia Review

““Nuclear hot riffs.” A commenter recently wrote beneath another review that the way black metal in 2021 is shaping up, to even begin to stand out, bands need to bring some serious, “nuclear hot,” riffage to the table. They weren’t wrong. We can ramble on all day about clever technical flourishes, dissonant chords, and foreboding atmospheres, but when all is said and done, we metalheads respect the almighty riff. The riff is the period that concludes a sentence, the punch to the jaw at the end of a fight, the incontrovertible law that even Steel bows down before. So what if I told you that a German duo had managed to jam more riffs into its debut release than many other bands in their entire careers?”” Fooked with a Kankar.

Yer Metal is Olde: Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire

Yer Metal is Olde: Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire

“1996 represented a challenging year for Rage Against the Machine. It was 4 years after their incendiary debut, Rage Against the Machine, had deftly combined metal and rap, and before nu metal was considered the leper of metal genres. There were already clear creative differences within the band, with front man Zack de la Rocha occasionally at odds with his band-mates. Whereas the songs for Rage had developed organically and spontaneously, the follow-up, Evil Empire, was proving to be a much more labored affair, taking over 2 years to write and perform.” Against empires forlorn.