Maddog

Angry dog from an angry blog
Serpentent – Mother of Light Review

Serpentent – Mother of Light Review

“If all you want is raw riffs, skull-crushing rhythms, or dissonant aggression, you’ve come to the wrong place. Serpentent’s debut full-length Mother of Light flirts casually with distorted guitars and heavier percussion, but there’s no metal to be found here. The brainchild of Seattle multi-instrumentalist Anne K. O’Neill, Serpentent plays minimalist dark folk music built around O’Neill’s emotive vocals and acoustic guitars. Spring 2022 has set a high bar for folky non-metal around these parts, with Urferd releasing an intricate slab of Nordic folk and Darkher continuing to set the standard for introspective doom. Mother of Light doesn’t quite reach those lofty heights, but it’s a pleasant surprise in a crowded genre.” Snake charming.

Haunter – Discarnate Ails Review

Haunter – Discarnate Ails Review

“I first heard of San Antonio’s Haunter during my brief stint in the Discord server. The discordant blackened death of 2019’s Sacramental Death Qualia caught my ears immediately. It struck the difficult balance of exploring tortuous harmonies and building an unsettling atmosphere while keeping me rapt. Dissonance tends to alienate me more often than it attracts me, but Haunter occupies a thin middle ground of bands like Ulcerate and Sunless that inject a digestible dose of dissonance while still supplying compelling melodies to latch onto.” Haunting the Alamo.

Blood Torrent – Void Universe Review

Blood Torrent – Void Universe Review

“I miss the 1980s. There’s a special place in my heart for bands that foreshadowed the development of extreme metal while keeping one foot firmly planted in their thrash or NWoBHM roots, like Sodom, Venom, and Slayer. German first-wave black metal enthusiasts Blood Torrent agree. We get lots of promos that cite early-90s second-wave bands as influences, but it’s rarer that albums purport to revive their mid-80s ancestors.” Blood and olde treasure.

Heltekvad – Morgenrødens Helvedesherre Review

Heltekvad – Morgenrødens Helvedesherre Review

Heltekvad is a Danish three-piece fronted by Ole Luk of Afsky and Solbrud fame, flanked by two Afsky live musicians with a resume spanning Sunken and Morild. (Do I have your attention?) The band members’ atmospheric black metal repertoire has received its share of praise around these parts. But in contrast with the icy and evocative atmosphere of their past work, Heltekvad promises “heroic-sounding melodies” and “truly medieval soundscapes” on their debut Morgenrødens Helvedesherre.” Fevdal fvkk.

Kryptograf – The Eldorado Spell Review

Kryptograf – The Eldorado Spell Review

“With that album cover, you know exactly what you’re getting. You’ve heard it before – a bunch of musicians who smoked one too many joints in high school, and then one too many joints in college, and decided to share their boundless love for early Black Sabbath with the world. Norwegian four-piece Kryptograf is relatively new to the overcrowded stoner rock scene, but they made a splash with their self-titled 2020 debut, which melded vintage doom, hard rock, and psychedelic jams.” Loving the leaf.

Venom Prison – Erebos Review

Venom Prison – Erebos Review

“In the three years since their sophomore release Samsara, Venom Prison has experienced a meteoric rise to fame. Samsara captured the hearts of both underground metal aficionados and non-sociopaths, by infusing high-energy brutal death metal with a healthy dose of slamming hardcore. Venom Prison’s unrelenting sound earned them a deal with Century Media, and Erebos brings the band to a crossroads as their major label debut.” Prisoner of expectations.

Descent – Order of Chaos Review

Descent – Order of Chaos Review

“If Australia is trying to kill you, then Descent is the club with which it bludgeons its victims. The Brisbane five-piece burst onto the scene in 2018 with Towers of Grandiosity, which worshipped at the altar of the most primitive old-school death metal. But Towers rested too heavily on its Neanderthal influences, failing to make a mark amidst stiff competition from down-under brethren like Faceless Burial, The Plague, and Earth Rot. Descent’s latest attack, Order of Chaos aims to outshine the OSDM riffraff by incorporating weapons from neighboring genres into the band’s arsenal, in defiant response to our review (I assume).” Murder Land.

CMPT – Krv i Pepeo Review

CMPT – Krv i Pepeo Review

CMPT (“Death”) is an anonymous black metal project from an unspecified Balkan nation. (The band smartly chose their name based on visual similarity to the Cyrillic “смрт,” instead of transliterating the giggle-inducing pronunciation “smrt.”) Krv i Pepeo (“Blood and Ash”) is their debut full-length, impressively being released on Osmose Productions.” Death and bread lines.