El Cuervo

I'm not deliberately contrary.
Pallbearer – Forgotten Days Review

Pallbearer – Forgotten Days Review

“Spear-heading the surge of American doom metal in the 2010s, Arkansas’s Pallbearer were the saddest and slowest of the cohort which also includes the likes of Khemmis and Spirit Adrift. With a simmering melancholy and towering doom-laden riffs, they were simultaneously the most traditional but most fresh of these acts. 2017’s Heartless saw them leaning into progressive territory (and copping them the ‘Progbearer’ nickname) as it strove for expansive soundscapes and used dynamic song-writing. 2020 has been an especially sad year which would seemingly provide plenty of days to be forgotten; how fares Forgotten Days in this context?” Pall of shame.

Hellripper – The Affair of the Poisons Review

Hellripper – The Affair of the Poisons Review

“Despite enjoying metal my whole life, I used to struggle with thrash beyond the biggest names. I found it bland, chugging and neanderthalic. 2017 was a watershed time for my enjoyment of the thrashing style, and part of that watershed was Coagulating Darkness by Hellripper. Bridging black, speed and thrash, James McBain’s solo project did what so many others (including the ‘classics’) previously had not and opened the doors to the genre. Though I never got round to a write-up, it’s one of the premium speedy albums of the 2010s and Hellripper shot up my list of favorite bands.” Return of the Ripper.

Uada – Djinn Review

Uada – Djinn Review

Uada have captured the hearts of many fans searching for plenty of melody with their fury or Mgła without the controversy. I was (and remain) a huge fan of the tight, energetic debut, but 2018’s Cult of a Dying Sun left me colder. I felt that the band were going through the motions, which concerned me given it was but a sophomore release. Take the essential formula of these two albums, ladle on more melody and add a few pinches of Mgła controversy and you have Djinn.” Djinn and juice.

Regardless of Me – Black Flowers Blossom Review

Regardless of Me – Black Flowers Blossom Review

“Six years into this gig, and I still largely choose albums from the promo pool by name and/or genre tag. While I like to review a diverse array of sub-genres, it’s tough for me to not pick the low hanging fruit of obscure tags. The prospect of “trance metal” was an enticing one indeed, and it was from this that I selected Italy’s Regardless of Me.” No regard.

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

“Off the back of 2017’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar and the Ulver Primer which we ran a few weeks ago, 2020 has bequeathed unto us a new full-length title from Norway’s Ulver. Flowers of Evil sits in an unusual place as successor to the most poppy Ulver release, an album which I underrated at the time but have come to love. Rarely simple and never expected, Ulver has built a career out of subverting expectations and always pushing into new territories. How does such a band follow the most accessible album of their story?” Just look at the flowers.

Ages – Uncrown Review

Ages – Uncrown Review

“There’s something distinct, and distinctly satisfying, about the mid-90s surge of Scandinavian melodic death and melodic black metal. When the likes of Emperor, Sacramentum and Dissection were changing the face of metal they were precocious kids with precise and warped visions of what they wanted darkness and evil to sound like. I feel an oxymoronic cold warmth when hearing bands which fit this sound. Many bear the torch but few get so high as those early pioneers.” Heavy is the crown of ice and darkness.

Stillbirth – Revive the Throne Review

Stillbirth – Revive the Throne Review

“Boasting one of the fattest rosters of death metal and its derivative sub-genres, Unique Leader Records stands out as one of the most single-minded purveyors of metal in existence. Following such numbers, I frequently find gaps in my knowledge within such a roster. Enter Germany’s Stillbirth and their sixth full-length entitled Revive the Throne. Despite this number of releases spanning back to 2003, they’re not a band who have previously featured in the thousands of bands reviewed at this website.” Throne saw is ready!

Lionheart – The Reality of Miracles Review

Lionheart – The Reality of Miracles Review

“Let’s roll the clock back six years. It was September 2014, and the name El Cuervo was but a Spanish noun and nascent writer in the Angry Metal Guy world. The Editors™ mandated Skyscraper’s Elevation on said writer, a charming and catchy, if somewhat toothless, AOR record. Their impressive crooner, named Lee Small, struck said writer to a sufficient extent as to bother Googling his other projects. It was later discovered that he was fronting a long-defunct-but-then-revived hair rock band called Lionheart, whose 1984 release called Hot Tonight is well worth the time of any fans of men in leotards.” Tight bloomers, rock boomers.

Poltergeist – Feather of Truth

Poltergeist – Feather of Truth

“Switzerland’s Poltergeist are a better-established band than I had initially realized. Sitting pretty with 4 previous albums spreading back to 1989, they benefit from a degree of metal legitimacy, having produced music in the same decade in which thrash metal came into existence. Following a 23-year hiatus, their 2016 comeback suitably impressed the prior AMG reviewer with their tasteful references to many of their better-known 80s contemporaries. 2020 sees their fifth full-length unveiled and it’s called Feather of Truth. Ghost ticklers.

Hail Spirit Noir – Eden in Reverse Review

Hail Spirit Noir – Eden in Reverse Review

“I’m enjoying that I’m now able to look back at the 2010s with retrospect. In all my personal affairs, life developments, and the end of my formal education. But in particular, musically. I can now definitively make sweeping statements like ‘Sleep at the Edge of the Earth is the best record of the decade,’ and ‘there was a better decade of music from 1971-1975 than across 2010-2019.’ But, and pertinently to this review, I can also state that ‘Hail Spirit Noir (HSN) is one of the most creative metal bands which became active during the teenies.’” Hail teen spirit.