Holdeneye

When you wield the 4hammer, every album looks like a nail.
Darkened – The Black Winter Review

Darkened – The Black Winter Review

“Everybody misses Bolt Thrower. Ask any death metal fan what band they’d want to resurrect for one last platter of greatness, and I bet the British bruisers would be near the top of the list, alongside Death itself. There’s just something about Bolt Thrower‘s trance-inducing grooves that speaks to the violent beast hidden within each and every one of us, and the band name’s is still sprayed across death metal reviews like so much machine-gun fire whenever a burly tremolo rears its head—and this is nearly two decades after their last album saw the light of day. No one has been able to completely fill the void left in Bolt Thrower‘s absence.” Tanks for the memories.

Wachenfeldt – Faustian Reawakening Review

Wachenfeldt – Faustian Reawakening Review

“Just over three years ago, I lost my damn mind over Wachenfeldt‘s debut album The Interpreter. I gushed so mightily over its symphonic, thrashened, blackened death metal that hazardous material mitigation crews are still working around the clock to clean up the contamination. That record executed its dark mission so well that it eventually became my Album ‘o the Year for 2019, so if I said that its successor was my most anticipated album of 2022, it would be a gargantuan understatement.” Fanboys awaken.

Miseration – Black Miracles and Dark Wonders Review

Miseration – Black Miracles and Dark Wonders Review

“When it comes to versatile metal vocalists, few people pop into my head faster than Christian Älvestam. I loved his work with Scar Symmetry, and I followed his career after his departure. I was overjoyed when he joined Jani Stefanović (Renascent and DivineFire) in both Solution .45 and Miseration, and I especially enjoyed the latter’s output. Miseration‘s 2006 debut Your Demons – Their Angels didn’t stray too far from Älvestam’s work in Scar Symmetry, opting for a highly melodic death metal sound and utilizing both death vocals and clean singing. I lost track of these guys after that, and I was utterly shocked—and delighted—to find that they were going to be releasing their fourth record here in 2022.” Misery love melodeath.

Misfire – Sympathy for the Ignorant Review

Misfire – Sympathy for the Ignorant Review

Sympathy for the Ignorant is ten tracks and 38 minutes of groove-centric thrash metal. Misfire‘s sound walks the line between pure thrash and crossover and really doesn’t care which side of the line you want it to stage-dive into. I hear similarities to some of the big-name crossover bands like Enforced and Power Trip.” Thrash til dive.

Nightfell – Never Comes the Storm Review

Nightfell – Never Comes the Storm Review

“In a recent review, I described the death/doom sound of Grand Harvest using a variety of band comparisons. One of our lovely readers soon brought up one I meant to include but somehow left out: Portland’s Nightfell. Mere days later, Nightfell‘s Instagram account became active after an extended hiatus, teasing some artwork and the date “4.1.22.” Then lo and behold, they sneakily self-released their fourth full-length album on that very date. Nightfell‘s Bolt Thrower-gone-atmospheric sound crushed me on 2019’s A Sanity Deranged, and if I’d known a follow-up was coming, it would have been one of my most-anticipated releases of this year. Alas, the dudes in Nightfell robbed me of that sweet, sweet anticipation with their surprise album. Well, two can play that game. Behold! Here’s my surprise review!” Owning the night.

End Boss – They Seek My Head Review

End Boss – They Seek My Head Review

“I’m not gonna lie, I grabbed this one based on the band name alone. While I don’t consider myself to be a hardcore gamer, I’ve still played enough to have the name End Boss give me an immediate feeling of nostalgic mental arousal. The name makes me want to head to the nearest merchant to stock up on healing potions, buffing elixirs, and specialty arrows before listening. But who am I kidding? I’m lazy. You know perfectly well that I Instacarted the hell out of that shit.” All your head are belong to us.

Grand Harvest – Consummatum Est Review

Grand Harvest – Consummatum Est Review

“Ostensibly labeled as “death-doom,” Grand Harvest plays a powerful mixture of styles that includes but transcends such a label. Each of the record’s eight proper tracks displays its own unique personality while still fitting nicely within the band’s core sound. Combining the rhythmic barbarism of Bolt Thrower or Asphyx with the introspective atmospheric black metal of a band like Eneferens, Grand Harvest is able to convey their esoteric message while covering a wide swath of emotional territory.” Harvesting of sorrows

Flames of Fire – Flames of Fire Review

Flames of Fire – Flames of Fire Review

“If you’re a fan of Narnia or DivineFire, you’ll get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you listen to Flames of Fire. These guys play power metal with chunky guitars and big choruses showcasing the gritty, yet beautiful Dio-esque vocals of Liljegren, and it’s a sound that I fell head-over-heels for on DivineFire‘s 2006 album Into a New Dimension—still one of the heaviest power metal albums I’ve ever heard to this day. But where DivineFire displayed obvious overlap with Stefanović’s extreme metal background, Andersson’s compositions for Flames of Fire stay closer to standard heavy/power metal fare.” Are there other kinds of flames?

Sanhedrin – Lights On Review

Sanhedrin – Lights On Review

“I am wholly unfamiliar with Sanhedrin the band aside from remembering that I almost reviewed their 2019 album The Poisoner but ended up not doing so for some reason I can no longer remember. Apparently, the album impressed many, earning Sanhedrin a place on Metal Blade’s roster. This time around, I was bound and determined to not let these New Yorkers slip through my fingers again, so now you get to watch as Judge Holdy hands out his verdict on the band’s third full-length, Lights On. All rise!” Judge not, lest you be judged.