El Cuervo

I'm not deliberately contrary.
Claymorean – Eulogy for the Gods Review

Claymorean – Eulogy for the Gods Review

“Serbia isn’t a big hitter for metal. Controversial movies perhaps. A geographically-unlikely affinity for basketball. Even war crimes in the early 90s. Yet despite a lack of internationally recognized metal acts, it clearly has a love for the trvest, classic metal of the 80s. Claymorean’s fifth full-length album entitled Eulogy for the Gods was written as an homage to Mark ‘The Shark’ Shelton of Manilla Road, to Virgin Steele and to the 80s generally.” Hail, hail to 80s.

Nunslaughter – Red Is the Color of Ripping Death Review

Nunslaughter – Red Is the Color of Ripping Death Review

“And now the subject of today’s review: Nunslaughter. They’ve peddled their wares from Pennsylvania and Ohio since 1987, offering a fusion of the earliest death metal with later punk. Only 4 full records have occupied the intervening years, though they literally have dozens of other EPs, splits and live albums. 2021 brings with it their fifth full-length entitled Red Is the Color of Ripping Death, and their first release of this type in 7 years.” Nuns on the run.

Killing – Face the Madness Review

Killing – Face the Madness Review

“Sometimes you simply have to judge a book by its cover. That cover in this case? Brightly colored, hand-drawn depictions of violence. If, like me, you immediately thought that Face the Madness by Killing was an 80s or 90s extreme metal album then you would be absolutely correct. And with the one sheet’s proud boast that it is “probably the best Danish thrash metal record since Excursion Demise by Invocator and By Inheritance from Artillery,” these Danes certainly don’t lack confidence.” Killing with confidence.

Inhuman Architects – Paradoxus Review

Inhuman Architects – Paradoxus Review

“You know when you’re struggling to write a meaningful introduction? When you can’t generate anything amusing out of a band’s name (Inhuman Architects) or anything insightful from their album title (Paradoxus), or anything significant from their home country which features a few bands of note but isn’t noted for its metal pedigree (Portugal)? When the artwork is the generic pink/purple/blue collage of death metal’s derivative genres? Or even comment on the fact that such album is their debut release, save for a solitary single? And you don’t even feel excited enough to tease (whether misleadingly or… leadingly?) that there’s something unique or exciting to describe? Yeah. I hate when that happens.” Brutalists.

Fell Harvest – Pale Light in a Dying World Review

Fell Harvest – Pale Light in a Dying World Review

“There was once a time when doom metal was one of my preferred sub-genres of metal. My favorite bands entranced me with big riffs, meaty production and despondent power. But I’ve fallen out of love; vast swathes of the scene is content with mediocrity, with backwards-looking blandness. It’s not as ear-screechingly terrible as the worst of black metal, nor as laughably amateurish as power or folk metal can be. It’s just mostly boring and I found it hard to connect with new bands. It’s been a few years and I recognized within myself that it was high-time I dipped my toes back in. Why not do so with a debut, self-released album called Pale Light in a Dying World by Wyoming’s Fell Harvest.” Bummer crop.

Sundrowned – Become Ethereal Review

Sundrowned – Become Ethereal Review

“Promising despondent black metal from the rainy coasts of Norway (and perhaps deriving their name from Møl?), Sundrowned and their badass name caught my eye in the promo pool. Influences including Alcest and Deafheaven indicated that this was to be Norwegian black metal of a type you may not expect, and the album’s title Become Ethereal accentuated my post-rock suspicions.” Lost in the ether.

Winter Eternal – Land of Darkness

Winter Eternal – Land of Darkness

“Greek black metal is a well-established scene in one of metal’s most extreme subgenres, and for me personally, none more so than Winter Eternal. Although they may have relocated from Attica to Scotland, I’m still happy to bundle 2019’s Realm of the Bleeding Shadows with that enclave given its excellence. It was a low-key release which now sits in my top 5 melodic black metal records of the 2010s. Its key qualities include its crisp tone, strong melodies and brevity which it wrapped into a compelling package which almost seems over before it’s begun. Clearly the band was unhappy with just realms, so they’re now branching out into a Land of Darkness. Is this a land you should visit?” Dark tourism.

VOLA – Witness Review

VOLA – Witness Review

“Three high quality releases is the threshold. The point at which a band stops being an exciting upstart and starts being a respected part of their community. I previously enjoyed 2015’s Inmazes and loved 2018’s Applause of a Distant Crowd. VOLA’s unique brand of poppy, electronic, progressive metal put them at the forefront of the modern prog scene and now 2021 is seeing the release of their third album called Witness. It firmly establishes them as one of the most inventive and enjoyable bands in the scene and I’m delighted to publish a positive report on their progress.” Witness more applause.

Grave Miasma – Abyss of Wrathful Deities Review

Grave Miasma – Abyss of Wrathful Deities Review

“It scares me to say this but it’s been 5 entire years since the last Grave Miasma release. Almost everything in my life has changed since that point and I would like to think (perhaps naively) that I’m better now than I was then. I respected and enjoyed 2016’s Endless Pilgrimage which offered 30 minutes of brutal but atmospheric music across a mini-LP, but with only one prior full-length and a handful of EPs across nearly 20 years, does Abyss of Wrathful Deities find Grave Miasma able to make the same comment about themselves?” Malaise in the grave.