Holdeneye

When you wield the 4hammer, every album looks like a nail.
Grief Collector – En Delirium Review

Grief Collector – En Delirium Review

“I don’t consider myself to be a serious fan of doom metal because my love of the genre is fairly limited. So you may be surprised to see that I picked up En Delirium, the debut full-length from Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Grief Collector. Well, I’m a sucker for doom metal of the epic variety, so when I saw that former Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus, vocalist Rob Lowe was fronting this relatively new project, I snatched it up without hesitation, marveling that the release had passed through the Steel filter on its way into the promo bin as I did so. Add to that the satisfaction of knowing that I’d stolen some Minneapolis doom right out from under Cherd of Doom‘s nose, and I simply couldn’t wipe the dumb smile off my dumb face.” Where’s the grief?!

Hannes Grossmann – To Where the Light Retreats Review

Hannes Grossmann – To Where the Light Retreats Review

“I have a confession to make. I have a pathological aversion to bands named after people. Unless your name is Ozzy or Dio, I’m probably not going to listen to your album. Ok, I guess I love the solo stuff from Warrel Dane and Michael Romeo, but that’s it! I honestly can’t explain why, but I’ve just always thought that metal is a band’s genre. Anyways, I’ve said all that to immediately contradict myself.” What’s in a name?

Bloodbound – Creatures of the Dark Realm Review

Bloodbound – Creatures of the Dark Realm Review

“As Lord Protector of the Dark Angry Metal Realm, Steel Druhm is entitled to the right of primo promo. He can often be seen pushing his massive haul of pre-picked albums around the AMG office in a giant flaming wheelbarrow, its spiked wheel crushing the skulls of failed n00bs littered about the floor as it rolls. His dragon’s hoard of promos is so large that some inevitably fall to the ground, where sniveling peons like myself snatch them up for our own reviewing pleasure. So it goes with Bloodbound‘s newest release. In his 2019 review of the band’s eighth studio album, Rise of the Dragon Empire, Lord Steel recounted the transition that the band has made over the years, moving from a more traditional heavy metal sound to a syrupy-sweet Euro-infused iteration of power metal.” Fanbound glory.

Leach – Lovely Light of Life Review

Leach – Lovely Light of Life Review

“In one of my very first reviews after being officially added to the Angry Metal Guy staff, my plan to preemptively punish myself with metalcore was foiled by my inability to not like metalcore. Well, “metalcore” may be a bit of a misleading label when it comes to Leach, because 2019’s Hymns for the Hollow found them employing a sound that reminded me a lot of the groovy melodic death/thrash style currently employed by their fellow Swedes in The Crown and The Haunted. That “core” label probably gets leveled at these guys because their songs tend to have more of a commercial tinge and because vocalist Markus Wikander uses hardcore shouts that can veer into “screamy” territory at times. Long story short: Hymns of the Hollow won me over with its simple-but-effective formula. But follow-up Lovely Light of Life is finding me two years older and two years wiser, and there’s no way I’ll fall for Leach‘s charms again. Right?” Love, hate, and metalcore.

Crawling Manifest – Radical Absolution Review

Crawling Manifest – Radical Absolution Review

“I hate to admit it, but I laughed when I first saw the name Crawling Manifest. I immediately had images of babies presenting documentation of the dangerous cargo held within their diapers as they crawl from one location to another pop into my head, and once I saw those images, they were impossible to unsee. My apologies to the band for this, but the strange mind does what the strange mind will do. Radical Absolution is the sophomore record from these Maryland thrashers, coming by way of self-release.” The Manifest is destiny.

Seth – La Morsure du Christ Review

Seth – La Morsure du Christ Review

“For the second year in a row, a return-to-form album from a well-established black metal entity has somehow found its way into my greasy clutches. 2020 saw me covering …and Oceans and their phenomenal Cosmic World Mother, a record that presented itself after a long hiatus as an amalgamation of the band’s experimentation and growth through the years, while simultaneously capturing the spirit and style of the band’s origins. Well, change the year to 2021 and the band name to Seth, and that last sentence still works for the most part.” Seth and taxes.

The Plague – Within Death Review

The Plague – Within Death Review

“I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been spinning Black Breath‘s Sentenced to Life a lot recently. Maybe it was the epic face-kicking that I received from the recent Enforced release, but something made me seek out even more crossover bludgeonry by which to flagellate myself. Sentenced to Life saw the Seattle band blending crossover thrash with the rumbling HM-2 Swedish death metal of Entombed and Dismember, and the results were pretty glorious, earning the coveted 5.0 from my predecessor in unbridled optimism, Happy Metal Guy himself. Well, between this preparation and my recent Entombed kick following the passing of L.G. Petrov, I was primed to reach for the next buzzsaw promo I found. It sounds distasteful to say at a time like this, but bring on The Plague!” Get down with it.

Feanor – Power of the Chosen One Review

Feanor – Power of the Chosen One Review

“Much like the Wizard album I reviewed a couple of months ago, this promo was assigned to me by Lord Protector Steel Druhm himself. Not only that, but the Argentina-based Feanor shares vocalist Sven D’Anna with their Germanic brethren in Wizard. Wizard‘s latest was a fun and empowering romp through beer-soaked heavy metal lands, and given that my mental health has been under some strain lately due to work circumstances, I thought that some cheesy déjà vu might be just what the non-Grier doctor ordered. Let’s see if Feanor can put the metal in my head again.” Irresponsible power.

Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom Review

Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom Review

“I’ve given out a 4.0 or twenty-one in my time, but this is the first time that one of 4.0ldeneye‘s highly 4.0nored 4.0nies returns 4.0me for yet another s4.0t at glory. Just under two years ago, Portland, Oregon’s Bewitcher released Under the Witching Cross, their sinister sophomore platter of blackened speed metal tunes, and I still haven’t been able to locate my socks after the resulting off-blowing. That record was oozing with attitude, and every track was a killer. I was stoked to hear that the band had been picked up by Century Media for follow-up effort Cursed Be Thy Kingdom.” Cursed by great expectations.

Horndal – Lake Drinker Review

Horndal – Lake Drinker Review

“Art always has a theme, even if that theme is not having a theme. Consciously or unconsciously, the theme informs the art, and never the twain shall be separated. But sometimes the thematic elements of a piece of art transcend their medium, taking on a life all their own and looming so large that it can be difficult for a critic to properly evaluate the piece. I’ve found this to be the case with Swedish band Horndal. Named for the small industrial town where some of its members were born and raised, Horndal is the sound of a town lamenting its own demise. Their debut album Remains told the story of the closing of the local steel mill and of the devastating and dehumanizing aftermath for the citizens of Horndal, and sophomore record Lake Drinker tackles the struggles created when tech monstrosity Google purchased huge tracts of land near the town in order to build massive server facilities.” Home is where the hurt is.