Natalie Zed

Abyssal – Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius  Review

Abyssal – Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius Review

“The latin phrase “Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” comes from an incident in the early 13th century known as the Massacre at Béziers. The ironically named Pope Innocent II had declared a crusade against those he identified as heretics in Northern France, and the first town his assembled force attacked was the well-fortified town of Béziers. As the siege developed, it became a massacre, with more disciplined soldiers losing control of the mercenaries in the force who massacred the people, pillaged the town and ultimately burned it to the ground. The Massacre at Béziers has become emblematic of religion gone mad, persecution in its most extreme and dangerous incarnation, not just for the degree of the bloodshed, but for its indiscriminate-ness.” This is late, but also good. Nat knows her black metal!

Winterstorm – Cathyron Review

Winterstorm – Cathyron Review

“So here’s my thing with a lot of power metal, the key part of the genre that sits at the crux of my relationship to it: the success of any particular album relies so heavily on the listener’s ability to completely invest in it. Like the suspended disbelief that allows film audiences to sink unquestioningly into the universe a particular movie occupies, so each power metal album must create its own mini-universe, of fucking epicness, and convince the listener that it is worth abandoning reason for the duration of the album.” I don’t know about you, but I love me some fucking epicness! If you feel the same, read on!

Nebelung – Palingenesis Review

Nebelung – Palingenesis Review

“I grew up in the woods. My parents’ house was located just outside of town, set back just a little from the highway, and there was a stretch of woodlot on one side of the house that stretched almost half a kilometre. I’d play there, read there, climb the trees and bury treasure in the soft, mossy dirt. Behind the house were some farmer’s fields — corn, soybeans — and behind there, more woods and lakes. I spent much of my time pleasantly lost, surrounded by bugs and dirt and the green and a blue arch of sky; I had a recurring dream (I think) of walking out my back door and into the woods at night, surrounded by dancing lights, and losing track of which were fireflies and which were stars. Listening to dark folk project Nebelung‘s latest release, Palingenesis, is the closest I have felt to those dreams, and that time in my life, in years.” The beauty in this darkness took Natalie back to some happy childhood memories. How cool is that?

Abyssous – …Smouldering Review

Abyssous – …Smouldering Review

“Hailing from the Saxony region of Germany, death metallers Abyssous first appeared on the scene with a sodden, bone-breaking crunch with 2012’s …Smouldering demo. The raw, cavernous quality of those tracks attracted the attention of Iron Bonehead Productions, who have released the demo as a full-length with the addition of two new tracks. The LP version of …Smouldering is every bit as dank as the original release, but the additional tracks do more than pad out the length of the record. There is a sense of a more complete narrative arc and a fuller musical construction that improves the album as a whole.” Old school death is plenty good, but when you add in some old timey Morgoth influence, then it deserves real attention!

Wisdom – Marching for Liberty Review

Wisdom – Marching for Liberty Review

“Hungarian power metal sages Wisdom continue to spin the tale of the adventures of the mysterious figure “Wiseman” on their third full-length album Marching for Liberty. The Budapest-based quintet favor power metal at its most grand and bombastic, in the style of Rhapsody of Fire and Dragonforce, with the symphonic leanings of Nightwish or Stratovarius. Those who favor an understated or reserved interpretation of power metal should look elsewhere, as Marching For Liberty is an example of the genre with hyper-drive engines fully engaged.” Hyper-driving power metal sounds pretty okay, if you’re into that kind of thing. Read and find out what Natalie thinks about it.

Mumakil – Flies Will Starve Review

Mumakil – Flies Will Starve Review

“Swiss grindcore legion Mumakil take their name from the gigantic, elephant-like creatures that appear in the Lord of the Rings novels. Also known as Oliphaunts (as the Hobbits of middle-earth refer to them) these 6-tusked monstrosities come from the jungles of Far Harad and are often ridden into battle, covered in armour and even more spikes, by the Haradrim. They are just as magical, and just as terrible, as dragons. It is from these beasts that Mumakil draw their name, and from their lineage hope to extract a sense of heaviness, ferocity, and steer trampling power. Their third full-length, Flies Will Starve, certainly plays like a stampede. At just over thirty-five minutes, this record is composed of twenty-four tracks that do their absolutely best to crush and grind the listener underfoot.” AMG has never been accussed of reviewing too much grindcore, so here’s Natalie with some grindcore, from Switzerland no less!

Eldkraft – Shaman Review

Eldkraft – Shaman Review

Shaman is the debut album from Sweden’s Eldkraft, a group who attempt to unite the ancient and mystic with the epic and contemporary. Their conceptual influences are Norse mythology and pagan rituals, especially those concerned with transition, growth and spiritual journeys. Their sound, however, does not have the folksy old-fashioned quality that one might expect; instead, they have gone for modern production and complex instrumentation that makes them sound considerably more grand and expansive than one would expect from a three-piece. This combines to make Shaman a strong and sometimes startling debut.” Join Natalie Zed as she goes on a journey of discovery with Eldkraft‘s debut, Shaman.

Satan – Life Sentence Review

Satan – Life Sentence Review

“For a lot of bands, the album title Life Sentence would be a clever moniker, a reference to the penal system with the potential for lots of imprisonment imagery, but it might not say anything significant about the band’s core identity. For Satan, Life Sentence effectively portrays every band member’s relationship to heavy metal. Satan were founded in Newcastle, U.K. In 1979 and were instrumental in establishing the movement that has come to be known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Though they languished in obscurity for much of their early career, their style, which exhibited aspects of very early thrash and speed metal, would go on to help define both genres.” Old timers Satan are back with more court themed metal. Put on your lawsuit and check your briefs as Natalie serves as judge and jury.

Arckanum – Fenris Kindir Review

Arckanum – Fenris Kindir Review

Fenris Kindir is the eight full-length album from Swedish black metal solo project Arckanum, active since 1992. Sole member Shamaatae (Johan Lahger) is responsible for the vocals, all the instruments, and the entire conceptual framework of the band, which is founded on the idea of Chaos-Gnostic ideology rather than traditional pagan or Judeo-Christian ideas. Shamaatae is also the author of several books of occult literature, some under the pseudonym Vexior, which explore in depth many of the same ideas that form the structure of Arckanum‘s albums.” Natalie always finds the obscure black metal chestnuts, and here’s another one. How about a raw, primal dose of Norse-themed ugliness? You better appreciate it since Odin gave his eye for you!