GardensTale

Will be destroying crappy nu-metal and praising crappy prog until the sky dies.
King Buffalo – The Burden of Restlessness Review

King Buffalo – The Burden of Restlessness Review

“As a web developer, short release cycles are second nature. We iterate over our code, and ideally, every cycle it comes out a little better, a little more complete. When it comes to albums, on the other hand, short release cycles make me wary. Genius takes time, as the idiom goes, and though there’s certainly been genius albums scratched out in a hurry and turds that baked for decades, it seems to hold up in a general sort of way. Now New York stoner trio King Buffalo has decided to release three albums in the span of a year, while immediate predecessor Dead Star is but a year old. The gorgeous album art for the first of the hat-trick only assuages my fears a small amount. Is The Burden of Restlessness rushed? Does it drag?” Whiiiiplaaaash.

The Vicious Head Society – Extinction Level Event Review

The Vicious Head Society – Extinction Level Event Review

“I’ve had a few occasions now where I stumbled upon a promo in the never-ending heap and was beset by a vague sense of recognition. I’ll set out on a search through our vast archives, swearing I’ve read a review of this band or that, until I finally find the record in question, only to discover that the author of the review was, in a twist of truly Shyamalanic proportions, myself. This was not the case, however, for The Vicious Head Society, whom I still remember well as one of the most nonsensical names for a band I’ve had to cast judgement upon.” Extinction level head.

Illusory – Crimson Wreath Review

Illusory – Crimson Wreath Review

“Oh boy. There’s a crying child on the cover. If there’s one thing I’ve learned when it comes to metal covers, it’s that a crying child on the cover means serious business. Because really, who grabs an album with a weeping toddler off the shelf to liven up a party? Sociopaths, that’s who! So, after this introduction to my grab bag result of the week, what kind of seriousness is this Illusory? Well, the band’s been around for almost 30 years, but until less than a decade ago it was still known as The Ivory Tower and released a whole one album.” In a time-out.

Poverty’s No Crime – A Secret To Hide Review

Poverty’s No Crime – A Secret To Hide Review

Poverty’s No Crime plays a very archetypal brand of progressive metal as developed in the mid-80’s by other genre veterans such as Fates Warning and 90s acts like Dream Theater. This means expansive songs that still hold on to classic verse-chorus structures, recognizable riffs and melodic leads, but allow for a lot of exploration upon the motifs within these tracks.” Operation: Povertycrime.

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever Review

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever Review

“Let me preface this review with a bite-size Contrite Metal Guy: I overrated Subterranean Masquerade‘s last album, Vagabond, by half a point. While it’s still a damn cool album, with a great sense of adventure and exploration, it was also a bit unfocused and unbalanced, a shortcoming of which I failed to make note at the time. Alas, I am only human, and as the first underground band I discovered all on my own back in 2005, this band has a special place in my heart.” Cave raves.

Stone Healer – Conquistador Review

Stone Healer – Conquistador Review

“The central thesis forming Stone Healer’s impressive debut is this: how does one cross-breed the warm fuzz of stoner with the cold lacerations of black metal? The answer is manifold and not easily summarized. The songwriting is absolutely wild, frequently thriving upon a nightmare train-of-thought flow, flying from reflective melancholy to gnawing discordance and back.” Black desert voyage.

Miasma Theory – Miasma Theory Review

Miasma Theory – Miasma Theory Review

“Hey, remember Zach Randall? Not only did this super cool dude found badass off-kilter epic doom outfit Northern Crown, he even participated in the very important and worthwhile interview series on mental health right on this here blog. Zachary is practically a member of the family at this point, so I couldn’t let his little side project Miasma Theory go unnoticed. It’s a relatable project too, because just like all of us, most of the band members have not been in a room together, instead using the power of the internet to tune in from around the globe.” Doom from a distance.

Fragmentum – Masters of Perplexity Review

Fragmentum – Masters of Perplexity Review

Fragmentum want to be famous so bad. By the beard of Johan Hegg, they want to be famous so bad. On top of their own homepage with the hip and cool .zone domain, the promo package includes a list of no less than 9 social media and related pages, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Bandcamp, Bandsintown, Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple freaking Music. The package also has the very stylish modern (and generic) band logo in 4 different formats and no less than 11 pictures of the 3 man band (5 of the band, 2 of each band member individually. The promo text, which is so masturbatory it may as well have been handwritten in man-brine, speaks of “a well known Belgian diverging metal band,” trying to squeeze the formation into the genesis of a new subgenre, whatever the hell ‘diverging metal’ is supposed to be. So the trio has everything it needs for its break into metal stardom, right?” Vexed and perplexed.

The Lion’s Daughter – Skin Show Review

The Lion’s Daughter – Skin Show Review

“Do you all miss Mark Z? I do, too. The poor bastard is eyeball deep in educational files and folders and here I am, cosplaying him in a misguided attempt to bring forth some of his essence. Two previous The Lion’s Daughter albums our dear slutgöatwitchvomitfuckerlörd reviewed, each scraping together very respectable scores and candid praise, but the burden now befalls me to continue the Big Z’s legacy concerning the St. Louis weirdos, a burden I declared to shoulder enthusiastically. Yet the promo for Skin Show gave pause.” Skinned to win?

The Quill – Earthrise Review

The Quill – Earthrise Review

“Man, what a milestone for The Quill. Not a lot of bands, even many of legendary status, survive long enough to see the release of their 10th album, but here we are. Not that I can say I’ve been following the band since its inception. For one, I wasn’t born yet in 1986. For two, my first brush with the band was their last release, Born From Fire, which I reviewed all the way back in 2017. At the time, I much enjoyed their style of straightforward proto-metal, but more than an hour of this style is a lot for any band, especially when a portion of it is spent on subpar material. Have the Swedes hired an editor this iteration, or are we going into overtime once more?” Dad patrol.