Eldritch Elitist

Summoning the Lich – United in Chaos Review

Summoning the Lich – United in Chaos Review

“I’ve always felt like I sort of missed the boat on The Black Dahlia Murder. They were bursting onto the melodic death metal scene just as Amon Amarth was finding a wider audience with the now-classic With Oden On Our Side. I personally ended up falling down the Scandinavian melodeath rabbit hole, neglecting to pay attention to the American brand of melodeath that The Black Dahlia Murder was actively pioneering. In turn, I never fully appreciated the sound of the countless bands they’ve inspired; artists like Inferi are great for one-off listens, but nothing about that specific sound triggers compulsive returns. Summoning the Lich is built different.” Lich pins.

Thron – Pilgrim Review

Thron – Pilgrim Review

“Bands like Thron felt much more special to me as a fledgling member of the AMG staff back in early 2017. In those days, I was just happy to be covering something good. Thron‘s debut LP wasn’t just good; it was damn good, and the best record I had covered for this blog at the time I penned my review. Its follow-up, Abysmal, was nothing like its namesake. We unfortunately never received a promo for Abysmal, but it was a successful risk for the band, as they pivoted from pure meloblack to something more diverse and richly textured. As ironically great as Abysmal was, I am somewhat happy I never covered it in retrospect. Its successor, Pilgrim, is on an almost identical playing field.” Thron trend.

Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic Review

Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic Review

“Feats of sheer sonic escapism have defined much of my listening habits in the Covid era. The stronger an artist can nail a “larger than life” aesthetic in sound and concept, the better. My polyamorous affair with Bal-Sagoth and Galneryus has never burned brighter, while new favorites like Finsterforst have dominated my playlists. Immortal Guardian‘s debut Age of Revolution fits comfortably into a similarly overblown mold.” Topic blunder.

Undeath – Lesions of a Different Kind Review

Undeath – Lesions of a Different Kind Review

“Man, I was stoked to cover this record until this very moment. 2020 has been a tremendous year for death metal (if little else), and Undeath‘s Lesions of a Different Kind is one of my most anticipated records in the genre. And much to my surprise, it took only a minimal amount of pleas and poisoning to secure reviewing rights from the established death metal experts on staff. But… now what? How does one even sell a record like this, which so brashly speaks for itself? Not to mention one which has enough hype surrounding it that almost anyone with a reasonable interest in death metal has long since had their eyes on it.” Unbuzz.

Infera Bruo – Rites of the Nameless Review

Infera Bruo – Rites of the Nameless Review

“In 2018 I opened my review of Infera Bruo‘s Cerement by hailing its cover art as a perfect encapsulation of the record’s sound. Examining the artwork for its follow-up, Rites of the Nameless, I feel compelled to establish this practice as a tradition when reviewing Infera Bruo‘s albums. The depiction of roots coiled around a skull is striking; not so much because of the image itself, but rather that Rites of the Nameless feels like a conscious effort to connect more deeply with black metal’s roots.” Roots, nameless roots.

Cryptic Shift – Visitations from Enceladus Review

Cryptic Shift – Visitations from Enceladus Review

“While I’ve traditionally identified as a basic black metal bitch, my listening habits of late have hovered firmly above death metal territory. The art of the Big Dumb Riff has held absolute command of my Spotify search bar, and it’s all thanks to the diversity the genre pool has spawned in over three decades of evolution. Just as I finish my most recent round of dick flattening at the hands of something as unflinchingly savage as Black Curse, I know I can hop to the opposite end of the technical axis to enjoy similarly aggressive highs in a fresh context. Cryptic Shift‘s debut is about as far from something like Black Curse as you can imagine on the caveman riff spectrum, but those same thrills are all here.” Up Shift’s creek.

Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond Review

Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond Review

“Riffs are really fucking important. It’s my job around here to write an additional seven hundred-ish words on top of “riffs good” or “riffs bad,” but when it comes to metal music, riffcraft is always my priority. It’s only when the riffs fail to stand out that first impressions require a deeper dig; if the “what” of the music fails to satisfy, perhaps the “why” can provide some solace. And that’s where California’s Transcendence vexes me.” Vex Arcana.

Helion Prime – Question Everything Review

Helion Prime – Question Everything Review

“Revisiting Helion Prime‘s Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster in preparation for their new record was like listening to it for the first time all over again. Though no worse than I remembered, it is every bit as forgettable now as I had scribed in 2018, with the pain of its disappointment in 2020 only dulled by further proximity from the band’s stellar self-titled debut.” Pain, Prime, and power,

Scordatura – Mass Failure Review

Scordatura – Mass Failure Review

“Traditional death metal has, to my ears, endured more strongly than the base forms of other metal subgenres. Second wave idolizers have me regularly convinced that options for tremolo riffs dried up around the time Darkthrone released Panzerfaust, while modern practitioners of power metal infinitely scrawl tally marks on the tomb of Helloween‘s “Eagle Fly Free.” But something about classic death metal has proven impossibly recyclable; from Blood Incantation to Necrot, many of the best bands keep the style fresh by doing hardly anything new at all. Enter Scordatura, who do little to break this trend.” Failure is not an option.

Manticora – To Live to Kill to Live Review

Manticora – To Live to Kill to Live Review

“Where To Kill saw Manticora‘s established brand of Teutonic-inspired thrashing power metal trading measures with its burgeoning extreme metal aspirations, its successor finds the band integrating their new ideas near-seamlessly. This results in an array of wonderfully off-kilter compositions.” Live to win, to kill, and live, til you die.