Eldritch Elitist

Undeath – It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave Review

Undeath – It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave Review

“I want to make one thing immediately clear: It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave fucking rocks. For several spins, however, it left me severely confused. I realized that Undeath was certain to evolve. While a retread of Lesions of a Different Kind would have been completely enjoyable, the band’s knack for effortlessly folding together countless influences of classic death metal, while also crafting an unmistakably distinct sound, meant that a retread would be disappointing by default. Indeed, Undeath’s slick, slimy grime continues to coat every riff and permeate the band’s compositional bedrock.” Slaves to the grave.

Bloodgate – Solace in Mourning Review

Bloodgate – Solace in Mourning Review

Blood. Gate. BLOOD. GATE. BLOOD! GATE! If that isn’t a band name perfectly tuned for chanting at live shows, I don’t know what is. Yet in the online world, Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bloodgate, now two LPs into their career, is a virtually non-hyped entity. Perhaps a reformulation of their blackened thrash approach will help in that respect. While 2018’s Ambush and Destroy was a tantalizingly melodic slab of Skeletonwitch worship, Solace in Mourning, despite its more contemplative title, adds a heap of death metal to the mix and feels decidedly more aggressive and unhinged for it.” Open the gates!

Lords of the Trident – The Offering Review

Lords of the Trident – The Offering Review

“I’ve said this in other reviews, but damn, it is really cool to see the US power metal scene thriving. Not that it matters much for someone like me, who lives in the middle of an un-tourable flyover state. Even so, it’s heartwarming to see people like me, who grew up asking “why doesn’t power metal have a scene in America?,” growing up to actually do something about it. The number of great USPM bands is so large now that it takes something special to stand out, and thus it took four LPs for Lords of the Trident to finally catch my attention in 2018 with Shadows From the Past.” A three-pronged attack.

Pillaging Villagers – Pillaging Villagers Review

Pillaging Villagers – Pillaging Villagers Review

“The metal scene has, for the last decade or so, been relatively stagnant in its progression. Though the genre thrives, large scale innovation has stalled. Deafheaven‘s Sunbather and the rise of djent and argent metal have made a sizable impact, but otherwise the genre looks much the same now as it did a decade ago. But evolution doesn’t need to result in revolution; it can be a small scale experiment that thrives on novelty, executed with a bold, focused vision. Something like, I dunno, the death-y and melodic thrash metal of Necropanther mashed up with the drunken joy of Dropkick Murphys. And that’s exactly what Pillaging Villagers is.” It takes a pillage…

Imperialist – Zenith Review

Imperialist – Zenith Review

“Some albums hit at just the right time, and Imperialist‘s debut was right on schedule. In 2018, the year I would personally call the weakest year for metal of my AMG tenure, Cipher was a commanding force of bullshit-negative black metal, and easily one of my most-listened-to records of that year despite its late release. So then… where was it on my list? Ah. Yes. Near the bottom of my honorable mentions, chucked there as an almost-afterthought.” Royal authority.

Mega Colossus – Riptime Review

Mega Colossus – Riptime Review

“You might be surprised to hear that even in a position of relative music authority, more than a handful of my recommendations fall flat. Case in point: Riptime. I’ve preached the virtues of this album more than a handful of times on Twitter to zero fanfare. My AMG colleagues, caught in the fever of the 2021 list season, essentially shrugged it off. Now here I am, in full clown makeup, writing a few hundred words to apparently nobody at all. And that’s okay, because even if it’s for my own amusement, there’s no other band I’d rather be writing about right now than Mega Colossus.” Mega ginormous.

Windfaerer – Breaths of Elder Dawns [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Windfaerer – Breaths of Elder Dawns [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“It is often difficult for me to know where to begin when writing about a record that resonates with me as deeply as Breaths of Elder Dawns. New Jersey’s Windfaerer swept me up so swiftly that I cannot even recall where I was first made aware of this record; the experience of listening to the album completely swallowed me.” Enjoy of deep breaths.

Edu Falaschi – Vera Cruz [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Edu Falaschi – Vera Cruz [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“I fucking love Angra. When I was first hired onto the AMG team, I even entertained the idea of adopting the handle of Angra Metal Guy, partly in retaliation to AMG Himself‘s review of Secret Garden. That piece is what convinced me to apply to this blog in the first place. I agree with a lot of the Guy‘s takes, but the notion that Secret Garden was an improvement over the band’s older material, which is infinitely more effervescent and charismatic, is borderline delusional. Now, with the opportunity to review Edu Falaschi‘s first solo outing of original material, I feel something close to vindication.” Cruzin’ to wictory.

Dessiderium – Aria Review

Dessiderium – Aria Review

“December is an exceptionally bad time to release any album. Between all the list compiling and TYMHM-ing that comes with the territory, I like to try to squeeze in a review or two for the “good enough” albums that find themselves caught out in the cold amid list season celebrations. Mind you, I don’t let them inside to partake, but I at least open the door just a crack to grant them a fleeting breath of celebratory warmth. For an album like Aria, this is an exceptionally disappointing fate. Had this been released even a few months prior, I feel that I would have had the time to digest this immense record to its fullest by list season.” Scrooged.

1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion – Bind Review

1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion – Bind Review

“Solo projects are somewhat fascinating to me. They offer a fresh perspective into what makes an artist tick yet, for whatever reason, are seldom ever as good as the musician’s root project. The obvious takeaway here is that a band is only as good as the sum of its parts, and isolating one of those parts is bound to result in a lesser product. What makes 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion an interesting case, then, is that the founder is already the primary compositional voice behind his greatest claim to fame. We are already acquainted with Peter Hraur’s vision; we have Lör. So what new wonders, then, can 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion offer.” Bone collector.