Jean-Luc Ricard

Madder Mortem – Red in Tooth and Claw Review

Madder Mortem – Red in Tooth and Claw Review

“I was going to begin this review by referring to Madder Mortem as one of Norway’s best kept secrets, but I had no idea if that were true. It’s hard to judge how well-known a metal band is outside of one’s own group of heavy metal compadres, which is probably why I’m so often surprised by the billing of certain acts at certain German festivals (Feuerschwanz, anyone?).” Now featuring a popularity contest!

Iron Fire – Among the Dead Review

Iron Fire – Among the Dead Review

“Formed at the turn of the millennium and billed in their promo material as “Denmark’s best-selling power metal band,” Iron Fire have consistently put out strong records with distinctive characters. 2014’s Voyage of the Damned was perhaps their darkest album to date, sounding like a cross between Dark Tranquility and Kamelot, but with more balls. Since then the band has seen some personnel changes: original drummer Gunnar Olsen has returned to the fold, and they’re now operating as a three-piece. What does this mean for new record Among the Dead?” Big in Denmark!

Deny the Cross – Alpha Ghoul Review

Deny the Cross – Alpha Ghoul Review

“Readers au fait with the -core end of the extreme music spectrum will likely be familiar with Spazz and Black Army Jacket, the members of whom would go on to form our current review subjects. But for those of you that prefer Iced Earth to Infest, these names probably don’t mean much. While grindcore was close enough to metal to appeal to both the short and the long-haired, its musical cousin powerviolence remained firmly within the hardcore punk tradition. I owe Deny the Cross thanks for forcing me to expand my musical horizons further punkwards so that I can actually review them within some sort of meaningful context.” Feel the power (and the violence).

Pseudo/Sentai – Enter the Sentai Review

Pseudo/Sentai – Enter the Sentai Review

“The Super Sentai are a team of superheroes who protect planet Earth from the relentless onslaught of assorted evil beings while sporting tight, really tight, brightly colored, super tight costumes. Though you might not have heard of the Super Sentai despite their essential work, I assume you know of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, who are their Western counterparts.” Go go Super Sentai!

Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts Review

Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts Review

“You might consider a band to be losing momentum when they go four years without releasing any original music, yet Katatonia‘s profile has risen since 2012’s Dead End Kings. With two live albums as well as Dethrowned and Uncrowned – a mellow reworking of Dead End Kings – under their collective belt since then, they’ve managed to keep their name in the press despite a lack of new material. If any band deserves this continued level of recognition and praise it’s Katatonia.” Praise to the sad boys!

Sleep of Monsters – Poison Garden Review

Sleep of Monsters – Poison Garden Review

“Despite picking up plenty of positive press for their debut Produces Reason a couple of years ago (including a glowing review from yours truly), Sleep of Monsters don’t seem to have penetrated far into the metal public’s collective consciousness. Comprising former members of underrated Finnish goth rockers Babylon Whores, overrated Finnish goth rockers HIM, and a host of other decorated musicians, Sleep of Monsters go beyond the narrow confines inhabited by the aforementioned acts, incorporating all manner of different musical ideas into their remarkably coherent overall sound.” Don’t sleep on these monsters.

Cardinals Folly – Holocaust of Ecstasy and Freedom Review

Cardinals Folly – Holocaust of Ecstasy and Freedom Review

“It seems like only yesterday I was writing clichés sitting on a balcony overlooking the idyllic Okinawan sea, sweat streaming down my balls, and Cardinals Folly’s second album blaring from my headphones as I tackled my first Angry Metal Guy review. But of course it wasn’t yesterday, it was nearly two years ago, and since then much has changed.” Not all of it for the better.

Braindamage – The Downfall Review

Braindamage – The Downfall Review

“I know this Belgian dude who acts as my barometer for judging a band’s obscurity. The man’s knowledge of all things metal never ceases to amaze me. Whether it’s the newest grindcore band from Kuala Lumpur or a NWOBHM act that only ever released a live demo, he’ll have heard of them and, provided they aren’t too kvlt for social media, have “liked” them on Facebook. So when I look at a band page and don’t see his name on their fan list, it’s usually because they are so fresh you can suck their nuts.” We do not advocate nut suckery.

Horrified – Of Despair Review

Horrified – Of Despair Review

“Newcastle (upon Tyne [UK]) based Horrified released their debut about a year and a half ago, and the AMG staff collectively shrugged. A throwback death metal record with some neat riffs and an authentic sound, it lacked in both originality and execution, and was summarily dismissed by yours truly. But wise old man of the AMG staff, Al Kikuras saw something in the band, a certain rough charm and attitude that’s missing in the majority of retro-death.” Al knows retro-death.