Holdeneye

When you wield the 4hammer, every album looks like a nail.
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.

In Aphelion – Moribund Review

In Aphelion – Moribund Review

“I’ve declared my undying love for Necrophobic (or Necrop4.0bic, as I affectionately refer to them) in the past, and I’ve described how their melodic blackened death sound was what paved the way for my burgeoning love of black metal. Mark of the Necrogram and “Tsar Bomba” left an indelible, five-pointed mark upon me, and I was absolutely delighted when follow-up Dawn of the Damned ended up being just as great or better. Between those two albums, I fell head over heels for the guitar playing of Johan Bergebäck and Sebastian Ramstedt, and I even went so far as to describe Necrophobic’s music as “blackened Judas Priest,” mostly because of that duo’s ability to infuse the band’s sound with classic heavy metal swagger. So you can imagine the violence of my excitement when I discovered that Bergebäck and Ramstedt had joined forces with Cryptosis drummer Marco Prij to form a pure black metal project named In Aphelion.” Are you Moribund?

Deathhammer – Electric Warfare Review

Deathhammer – Electric Warfare Review

“Norway’s Deathhammer probably need no introduction as they’ve achieved some notoriety by releasing a string of full-lengths, demos, EPs, and splits—with some form of release almost every single year—since their formation back in 2005. My personal experience with the band is fairly limited, but I do own 2015’s Evil Power and consider it to be a good-to-very good example of the early, chaotic thrash sound. I skipped 2018’s Chained to Hell despite its stellar artwork, but let’s see what Deathhammer sounds like in 2022.” Hammer will hurt them.

Venator – Echoes From the Gutter Review

Venator – Echoes From the Gutter Review

Echoes From the Gutter finds Venator expanding upon the classic sound they established on the well-executed and well-received 2020 Paradiser EP, a sound that finds them worshipping with reverent fervor before the alter of the deities of early 80s British and American heavy metal. When I listen to these guys, I hear Defenders-era Judas Priest mixed with Jag Panzer, Angel Witch, and Omen; their songs are undeniably heavy and irresistibly catchy.” Hello from the metal gutter.

Guild of Others – Guild of Others Review

Guild of Others – Guild of Others Review

“Too many bands today make progressive music for the sake of being progressive, prioritizing meandering exploration over songcraft, and this is akin to a chef filling a bowl with flavorful seasonings and serving it as a full meal. Guild of Others seem intent on dishing out hearty meals seasoned with proggy goodness, their promo even going so far as to quote prolific music critic Martin Popoff, who is supposed to have said, “Guild of Others accomplish the near impossible, and that’s make progressive metal that is accessible.” Let’s see if there is any truth to these words, or if they’re merely promospeak.” Guild to last.