Eldritch Elitist

IATT – Nomenclature Review

IATT – Nomenclature Review

IATT—FKA I Am the Trireme, the one-time recipients of an AMG 1.0—is a band I hoped would capitalize on my renewed craving for a smarter kind of blackened death metal. Much of Nomenclature certainly qualifies as prog—and as such, scratches that particular itch—but like the best music in the style, it is great music first, progressive music second. Through theatrical songwriting and melodic grandeur, IATT has assured that their second record is a deeply captivating experience.” You can call this a comeback.

Bones – Diseased Review

Bones – Diseased Review

“Everybody knows a local band like Chicago’s Bones. If you attend small scale metal shows in your vicinity with any sort of regularity, you know them well: a groove oriented death metal band, often fresh off work, that seems to open every show regardless of whether they fit the bill. This results in often hilarious pairings, including my recent bewilderment at Kansas City’s death/doomsters Pulchra Morte opening for Gloryhammer of all bands. Bones is the very embodiment of that same working class energy, but as they fall under the eclectic umbrella of Transcending Obscurity, curveballs are to be expected.” Boning it in.

Eclipser – Pathos Review

Eclipser – Pathos Review

“For those who are also aspiring black metal musicians, pigeonholing a specific sound must require diligent compromise so as not to spread oneself too thin. Unless, of course, you come from Canada and go by the moniker of Eclipser, whose only compromise is in the amount of disc space they’ve saved with their debut LP, Pathos.” Grow stronger, not longer.

Agenda – Apocalyptic Wasteland Blues Review

Agenda – Apocalyptic Wasteland Blues Review

“Crust is the only category of punk that’s ever successfully lured me into its slime-stained grip, and that isn’t just because it’s a close cousin of metal. I find comfort in its narrow scope; the reliance on d-beat, drunken harsh vocals, and melodic chord progressions played in ceaseless triplets make for beautifully simple and reliably satisfying tropes. Listening to any new crust album is like a visit from an old friend, except that friend is every crust act to ever exist, and they all smell equally.” Stench agendas.

Elvenking – Reader of the Runes – Divination Review

Elvenking – Reader of the Runes – Divination Review

“While checking out a music video for one of the lead singles to Elvenking‘s latest record, Reader of the Runes – Divination, I stumbled across a comment that deeply resonated with me. To paraphrase: “This is pretty good, but I still feel like a Pagan Manifesto widow.” It’s rare for a band to drop their best album seventeen years and eight LPs in their career, but 2014’s The Pagan Manifesto was precisely that.” Everything’s runed.

Superterrestrial – The Void that Exists Review

Superterrestrial – The Void that Exists Review

“Writing fresh introductions for black metal reviews becomes exponentially more difficult with each new attempt. Case in point: I have already written this entire review, sans introduction, because I had no clue how to introduce Superterrestrial. Like many modern underground dwellers, they revel in secrecy. Not only are the band members’ roles undisclosed, but information on The Void that Exists available online at the time of this writing is so scarce that Metal Archives has mistakenly categorized it as a two-track EP.” Mystery + apathy = Mapathy.

NorthTale – Welcome to Paradise Review

NorthTale – Welcome to Paradise Review

“I’d like to think that AMG writers listen to an album many more times than the average music critic before penning a review. We all own records that grew on us exponentially, whether through casual or critical listening, and we know full well that it’s impossible to decipher the full scope of a work upon first exposure. Except, of course, for the times where that’s totally possible. From the very first notes of NorthTale‘s debut, their mission statement of resurrecting power metal’s glory days is laid plain, with multiple rotations failing to unearth compositional complexity or deeper motives.” Power outage.

Botis – Grand Abominations Album Premiere and Review

Botis – Grand Abominations Album Premiere and Review

“Usually when we review albums, our readers have only our flimsy prose to rely on in order to make an informed purchase. Sure, we’ll embed a Bandcamp single or music video into the review in almost all cases, but those pre-release tracks are typically selected in order to quickly hook the listener, rather than to give a broad overview of the record in question. So then, what we’re doing with Grand Abominations, the debut LP of Philadelphia black/prog/thrash metal act Botis, is a bit of a treat: you not only get to endure my flimsy prose, but you also have the opportunity to explore the entire record ahead of its release.” Grand expectations.

Rogga Johansson – Entrance to the Otherwhere Review

Rogga Johansson – Entrance to the Otherwhere Review

“Whatever happened to melodic death metal? No, I don’t mean power metal with harsh vocals, as the term’s modern connotation entails. I’m talking about classic, knuckle-dragging death metal riffage, paired with somber, melodic atmosphere; the sort explored by Edge of Sanity, Tales from the Thousand Lakes-era Amorphis, and others during the 90’s. It’s a specific concoction that fell out of popularity as the genre pushed ever onward down increasingly brutal and complex avenues. And yet, Rogga remembers.”Rogga! Rogga!

Freternia – The Gathering Review

Freternia – The Gathering Review

“Of all the bands that flooded the European power metal scene in the late 90’s and early 00’s, Sweden’s Freternia is certainly one of them. I’m not so much apathetic towards them as I am unfamiliar; I followed countless power metal bands in the previous decade, and while I’ve long known of Freternia‘s existence, I never got around to adding them to my rotation. In retrospect, they were a solid early example of Blind Guardian worship, and one that may have tapped into some serious potential, had they not fizzled out in 2002 after only two albums. When several members of Freternia formed Cromonic a few years back, I had thought that the latter band would serve as the former’s replacement, so I was a bit surprised when Freternia‘s comeback album, The Gathering, surfaced in the promo sump.” Join the Freternity.