Lokasenna

Psychotool – Rotten Paradise Review

Psychotool – Rotten Paradise Review

“Coming off a short hiatus from this fetid cesspit exalted hall, I find myself digging through the promo bin for something familiar, something to kickstart the ol’ critical faculties. Black metal? Nah, wrong weather. Doom? Certainly rainy enough to fit, but nah. Melodeath it is then!” Something is rotten in…paradise??

Lords of Chaos Movie Review

Lords of Chaos Movie Review

“Based on ‘truth, lies, and what actually happened,’ Lords of Chaos paints the story of the life and times (and deaths) in the tale of Mayhem founder and black metal legend Euronymous. It’s an ugly story, as most of our readers know, but gripping all the same, and Jonas Åkerlund (ex-Bathory) and his team tell it deftly.” Life as black art.

Stonecast – I Earther Review

Stonecast – I Earther Review

“Genre can be a weird thing. Ultimately, it’s just a set of signposts, so on occasion you can end up with an album that fits one genre while drawing influences from another. Usually, this is a sign of a new subgenre forming, at least if others come along to rip off borrow from the album in question. Take France’s Stonecast and their third album, I Earther, for instance. Despite drawing extensively from the power metal scene, and mostly Europower at that, they’ve crafted a solid, no frills heavy metal record. Is it a game-changer? Well, no, but is it worth checking out regardless?” Stones of many sizes.

Rock Goddess – This Time Review

Rock Goddess – This Time Review

“As one of those obnoxious feminists, it’s always bugged me how much of a boys’ club the metal scene can be. It’s much less so among the fans, for sure, but be honest with yourself: excluding the legions of cut-rate symphonic metal acts and battalions of woman-fronted acts in other subgenres, how many prominent non-vocalist musicians can you name of the top of your head that are women? So any time I find a band with women, or better yet, one that’s all women, that’s a sure way to perk my ears for a listen or three. Even better is what we have here; Rock Goddess is a band from back in original NWOBHM era.” The time is late.

Pounder – Uncivilized Review

Pounder – Uncivilized Review

“Sometimes, rarely, there is value in a stupid band name, the kind of band name that causes one to double-take, think “surely not,” and pry open the battered, stained crate in the promo bin, if only for more information. So it is with Pounder, side project of Exhumed and Gruesome‘s Matt Harvey, Carcass newcomer Tom Draper, and Nausea’s Alejandro Corredor. Despite the death metal pedigrees of the musicians, that dreadful name telegraphs everything you need to know about what to expect: brainless, cheesy, and oh so 80s.” Death to the 80s!

Down to the Bunker – Misery Review

Down to the Bunker – Misery Review

“There are a few genres that tend to be whipping boys in reviewer circles, hard as we might try to weed out such partisanship. Alt-metal in particular tends to be somewhat divisive, with kvlt types eschewing it as mainstream hackery, and more refined types likewise eschewing it as lowbrow idiocy. Yet others like myself, due to the diffuse nature of the subgenre and its near-universal tendency to approach metal from outside rather than from preexisting archetypes, find it difficult to frame both aesthetically and critically; it also doesn’t help that like with its distant cousins, nu metal and post-grunge, the quality control is often poor at best.” Misery seeks company.

Herod – Sombre Dessein Review

Herod – Sombre Dessein Review

“Real talk: most of the time the intros for these things are the hardest part. Grueling, even. This is probably obvious, given how often they’re rambling and off-topic, but it’s the truth. It’s even harder when resounding apathy is the limit of what one can muster after a week of listening to something, and that’s where I am. The band, Herod, has got some talent, and are looking to make their mark with debut record Sombre Dessein, but the result is very mixed, unfortunately. A Swiss quartet of death/sludge progsters should be pretty engaging, at least in theory, so what went wrong here?” Rutting.

Blue Hummingbird on the Left – Atl Tlachinolli Review

Blue Hummingbird on the Left – Atl Tlachinolli Review

“Blue Hummingbird is a quartet of musicians billing themselves as the War Chapter (natch) of LA music collective Black Twilight Circle, a darling bunch of indigenous-blooded Hispanic musicians dedicated to speaking evil truth to power, in this case the colonialism that so decimated their ancestors’ cultures. Fucking shit up along the way is obviously a plus. However, where other members of BTC have released albums, Blue Hummingbird have released only an EP and contributions to splits across a near-decade career, all to substantial buzz.” Fire birds.

Epitimia – Thread Review

Epitimia – Thread Review

“There are few things that pair with black metal quite like dark ambient, but one of them is folk music. This goes double for the somber folk music of the more frigid Slavic regions. While tried and (sometimes) true acts like Drudkh are around, they aren’t the only stalwart Slavs to play in this sandbox. Enter Russian hybrid act Epitimia, fielding a formula mixing folk, dark ambient, and black metal for four albums now. Like many Russian bands, they smartly write only in their mother tongue (always a positive in my book). But at Angry Metal Guy Headquarters, lyrics are only a small slice in the rankings.” Pull the Thread and see what happens.

Secret Rule – The 7 Endless Review

Secret Rule – The 7 Endless Review

“There’s a category of music you don’t see much outside certain nerd circles, that of the “filk song,” or fan-fiction-as-music, even in a genre of music as intrinsically nerdy as metal. Oh, sure, you can rattle off a number of prominent examples, even excluding edge cases like Symphony X’s Paradise Lost. Hell, a sizable chunk of Blind Guardian‘s output falls firmly in this camp. But overall, it’s not as big a thing as you might expect, especially on the poppier side of the genre. So imagine my surprise when, slogging through the wasteland of the promo bin, I discover an album by a band billing themselves under “melodic metal,” written around Neil Gaiman’s classic The Sandman.” Nerds unite.