Holdeneye

When you wield the 4hammer, every album looks like a nail.
Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine is the brainchild of classically-trained Toronto musician Ric Galvez. The self-titled record finds Galvez handling the entire creative process and all of the performances with the exception of the drums. Known primarily as a lead guitarist in the Toronto scene, Galvez was excited about the opportunity to indulge in a solo project. But old habits die hard, and Malice Divine glistens like a guitar fan’s wet dream. Galvez combines the melodic blackened death sounds of Necrophobic and Dissection with the emotive soloing and progressive song structures of Death and the technical majesty of Wintersun.” Malice in Meloblackland.

Paranorm – Empyrean Review

Paranorm – Empyrean Review

“This may be their debut full-length, but Uppsala’s Paranorm are no spring chickens in the thrash game. According to legend — and the band’s social media accounts — Paranorm was formed by three high school friends on a hot summer night in 2007 to the sound of Megadeth‘s Rust in Peace blasting from the stereo. After an initial run of a demo and a couple EPs, the band has been quiet for the last seven years. What could they possibly have been doing during such a long break from writing? If Empyrean is any indication, they spent the time searching for, discovering, and studying some powerful relic that confers ancient, arcane knowledge of the five magics of metal mastery, because this record is a progressive thrash metal monster.” Paranormal ratings.

Humanity’s Last Breath – Välde Review

Humanity’s Last Breath – Välde Review

“Just about a year and a half ago, I shocked the world by covering Humanity’s Last Breath‘s sophomore record, Abyssal. Djenty deathcore is not normally in my wheelhouse, but every once in a while, I get a craving for something über heavy. I really liked a lot of what I heard on Abyssal. Humanity’s Last Breath paint horrific scenes using an crushingly bleak sonic palette, and when things clicked on Abyssal, it shook the very ground. But as much as I loved most of what the band did on that record, it felt like it could have used some trimming to sharpen the impact. When I heard that followup Välde was scheduled for a February release, it immediately landed a spot on my most-anticipated albums of 2021 list.” Next to last breath.

Dead Exaltation – Despondent Review

Dead Exaltation – Despondent Review

“Technical death metal is one of those “hit or miss” genres for me. While I find the intricate rhythms and minigun note delivery intoxicating at times, I still require the style’s purveyors to provide that thing for which I look in all of my metal endeavors: the almighty riff. Genre legends Cryptopsy shred like no other, but they undergird their sound with a buttload of groove, and modern technical titans Archspire and Cytotoxin make sure to riff just as hard as they noodle. While I generally don’t love overly gore-themed releases due to the nature of my work, the pickings were fairly slim for this week. So I took a chance and picked up Despondent, the debut release from India’s Dead Exaltation, nasty artwork and all.” Technical butchery.

Wizard – Metal in My Head Review

Wizard – Metal in My Head Review

“I’m not quite sure how this is possible, but I didn’t know that Germany’s Wizard even existed until Steel Druhm mandated that I clear my schedule for this week to review the band’s 12th studio album, Metal in My Head. I mean, they play exactly the kind of ball-busting, artery-clogging cheese metal that originally enticed me to emerge from my primordial metalcore soup and set me on my way to becoming a full-fledged trve metal organism.” Head cheese.

Pounder – Breaking the World Review

Pounder – Breaking the World Review

Pounder‘s 2019 debut Uncivilized was covered here by Lokasenna, and since he seems to have quietly and non-suspiciously disappeared, Steel Druhm has seen fit to assign follow-up Breaking the World to yours truly. I have no illusions about why Steel has done this. It’s obvious that he believes I will end up crucifying myself before the commentariat, either by being unable to resist making unsavory jokes about the band’s name, or by going into full Skelator mode by lavishing praise upon yet another heavy metal album with questionable vocals.” Pounding the world.

Demoniac – So It Goes Review

Demoniac – So It Goes Review

“While Fatal Visions saw Inculter producing exemplary thrash without altering the formula used by many of the genre’s legendary bands, the promo for So It Goes promises that Demoniac is about to take me down “all sorts of wild ‘n’ weird paths.” Now call me old-fashioned, but I don’t usually get excited about “experimental” things when it comes to my metal. So when I pressed play on So It Goes, I did so with more than a few reservations, wondering if I’d be able to appreciate the journey I was about to take.” Strange highways.

Bloodletter – Funeral Hymns Review

Bloodletter – Funeral Hymns Review

“This is year two of Covid and we’re still discovering new ways in which the pandemic is altering the way we live. For instance, we’ve received multiple 2021 promos for Funeral Hymns, the sophomore release from Chicago thrash metal band Bloodletter, but Metal Archives and Bandcamp say it was released in September of 2020. I’m sure we will have more situations like this in the next couple of months. In fact, my review for next week is in the exact same boat. Not knowing who to trust, I’ve decided to trust the only person that I can trust: yours truly.” Blood can’t be dated.

Wombbath – Tales of Madness Review

Wombbath – Tales of Madness Review

“Heeeere’s Jonny! Again! I’m not sure how many albums Jonny Pettersson has released in 2020, but this is the third I’ve covered, and the second by his Wombbath project. The band released the sprawling, mostly compelling, Choirs of the Fallen back in March and have since signed with Transcending Obscurity Records. Not wanting to wait to see where this new partnership might take them, Jonny and co. are releasing Tales of Madness, a collection of several rerecorded demo tracks from the band’s pre-Jonny past.” Womb service.