L. Saunders

Bricks & Diamonds: The Best and Worst Sounding Albums of 2019

Bricks & Diamonds: The Best and Worst Sounding Albums of 2019

“In the tradition of the past Angry Metal-Fi end of year articles, some of the AMG team came together with a list of what we consider the best and worst sounding albums of 2019. Encouragingly, there were far more best-sounding albums on the shortlist than worst-sounding. Is this perhaps indicative of a subtle shift from extreme brickwalling in the broader metal market? We can only hope…” Bricks are for throwing.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Pantera – Far Beyond Driven

Yer Metal Is Olde: Pantera – Far Beyond Driven

“Few bands in the history of metal earn such massive amounts of acclaim and disdain across the broader metal community than Pantera. The Texan legends dominated the mainstream metal scene throughout the ’90s, after reinventing themselves from their questionable glam roots, developing into a testosterone-fueled juggernaut of thrash-based groove metal.” Driven to excess.

Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Chelsea Wolfe‘s respected and increasingly revered status within, and outside, the metal scene has steadily grown in recent years. From humble beginnings of her experimental goth-folk early works, to the enchanting Pain is Beauty, Wolfe really hit her stride on 2015’s eclectic masterwork, Abyss.” Birth is violence.

Car Bomb – Mordial [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Car Bomb – Mordial [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“New York’s Car Bomb have oddly escaped my radar, so I was stoked to finally become acquainted with the band on their blockbuster fourth LP, Mordial. Admittedly I’m less adventurous towards experimental, technical extreme metal than I used to be, but bands like the mighty The Dillinger Escape Plan, along with Burnt by the Sun, Uphill Battle and large portions of the early Willowtip roster are dear to my heart. Car Bomb‘s complex, abrasive blend of mathcore and choppy, groove-centric extreme metal is full of color as surprisingly penetrating hooks lend a vaguely accessible streak to otherwise challenging and uncompromising music.” Don’t cut the red wire.

Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings Review

Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings Review

“Back in 2015 I was taken off guard and enchanted by the superb sophomore album from Obsequiae, entitled Aria of Vernal Tombs, which marked a strong improvement over their impressive debut. Despite operating a bit outside my regular wheelhouse, the album’s raw blend of folky and medieval melodic black metal struck a chord that left me gobsmacked, gushing over the album’s elegant melodies, accomplished song-writing and earthy tones. Well finally the band have awoken from their slumber, returning to the ye olden days with another taut yet epic collection of melodic black metal tunes on their long awaited third album, The Palms of Sorrowed Kings.” Royal tidings.

Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race Review

Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race Review

“Blood Incantation‘s 2016 debut, Starspawn, catapulted the sci-fi loving Denver crew into underground stardom. The album’s ambitious fusion of progressive and psychedelic elements into a beefy old school death core was incredibly well executed, smartly written, and addictive to boot, marking Blood Incantation as kindred spirits with legends Morbid Angel and Demilich, along with modern trailblazers like Horrendous. Some three years later Blood Incantation‘s sophomore LP comes with a magnitude of hype and anticipation. Bottom line, Blood Incantation are considered a big fucking deal.” Mars needs metal.

Ade – Rise of the Empire Review

Ade – Rise of the Empire Review

“Further line-up changes have occurred in the intervening years, yet even with new members in tow, Ade‘s signature formula remains intact on their fourth LP, entitled Rise of the Empire. Comparisons to the legendary Nile are unavoidable and apt, yet also form a simplified analysis of a sound Ade can call their own. However, amidst more line-up fractures hampering the band, can Ade muster up the inspiration to deliver a knockout blow in the vein of past offerings?” Et tu, Ade?

Bölzer – Lese Majesty Review

Bölzer – Lese Majesty Review

“I kept the faith that Bölzer were able to deliver a knockout blow leading up to their 2016 debut LP, Hero. Unfortunately, the album left me feeling indifferent and frustrated due to inconsistent writing and questionable vocal choices, leaving scattered traces of brilliance hidden amidst the wreckage. Finally, Bölzer return on their own label and ready to unleash their sophomore LP, Lese Majesty. With increasingly diminishing returns defining their career thus far, can the dynamic duo reclaim the glory and shoot for the stars this time around?” More or Lese?

Vultur – Drowned in Gangrenous Blood Review

Vultur – Drowned in Gangrenous Blood Review

“The overflowing embarrassment of death metal riches of 2018 was always going to be tough to follow when 2019 rolled around. Not that the year has been lacking in quality death metal, but for the most part the genre hasn’t blown me away. Perhaps an unheralded act is capable of stealing the show as the year winds down. Enter Greece’s Vultur, set to unleash their sophomore album, Drowned in Gangrenous Blood.” Blood drunk.

Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile Review

Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile Review

Cannabis Corpse have gained impressive mileage from their death metal gimmick, mainly through striking a keen balance between their old school Floridian worship, crafty weed and death metal puns, and a blasting sense of fun and technical expertise integrated into their chunky, groove-laced brand of death. The experienced band follow-up 2017’s reliably solid Left Hand Pass on the cheekily titled homage to Cryptopsy‘s classic None So Vile album, here re-dubbed as Nug So Vile.” Smoke damage.