Thus Spoke

Words of (questionable) wisdom
Vale of Pnath – Between the Worlds of Life and Death Review

Vale of Pnath – Between the Worlds of Life and Death Review

“When a band leaves a long time between releases, the questions of whether, how much, and in which direction their sound will have evolved hang portentously. Between the Worlds of Life and Death, Vale of Pnath’s third LP, comes almost eight full years after sophomore II, and five years after their last EP, Accursed. That latter release provided at least a clue to the direction the originally bonafide tech-death crew were set to go in, and Between the Worlds of Life and Death stays true to this promise.” Lift the Vale.

SYK – eartHFlesh Review

SYK – eartHFlesh Review

“Bereft of a lyric sheet or any promotional explanation, I’m unsure why SYK chose to spell the title of their fourth album like they have. eartHFlesh draws attention with more than its unusual spelling though, with a dark, provocative cover, and the fact that it marks the band’s signing with Season of Mist. The Italian collective have been steadily building on a groovy, quirky brand of progressive death metal, distinguished largely by the cleans of now ex-vocalist Dalila Kayros. With her gone, and the group pivoting to primarily unclean growls, and a further turn, if slight, towards the more extreme corners of the genre, a new form of SYK emerges for the first time. eartHFlesh is a critical turning point.” New flesh, new friends?

Ossilegium – The Gods Below Review

Ossilegium – The Gods Below Review

Ossilegium, “[o]ne of the best-kept secrets of Chicago’s metal scene,” are a duo hoping to come out of the crypt with panache, playing a brand of black(ened death) metal that hearkens back to decades past. No frills, all ferocity. Going for old-school means high expectations for catchiness and bite, if not intrigue.” Bring out your death.

Selbst – Despondency Chord Progressions Review

Selbst – Despondency Chord Progressions Review

“In the blurred-boundary world of black metal, Selbst is quite special. Possessing neither the cold grit, folk-leaning whimsicality, or vivacious bombast of European and Northern American variants, the Latin American influence instead lends their sound a lilting, layered musicality. It’s been clear from the project’s beginning that this music is both incredibly personal and a way of exploring the darker and more devastating of shared human experiences. This is more true than ever with third LP Despondency Chord Progressions.” Plucking heartstrings darkly.

Kvadrat – The Horrible Dissonance of Oblivion Review

Kvadrat – The Horrible Dissonance of Oblivion Review

“Back in June 2021, when my Instagram page was fresh-faced and non-AMG-affiliated, I reviewed Kvadrat’s EP Ψυχική Αποσύνθεση. Struck by its mesmerizing blend of atmospheric, dissonant death and black metal, I bemoaned its truncated length as I was sucked in by what I then described as “a gripping black hole of sound.” With the vividness of this experience having faded into a memory of “that really great Greek EP,” everything came flooding back upon receipt of a DM from the (sole) individual behind Kvadrat, Ivan Agakechagias, asking if I wanted to review his upcoming debut.” Greek tragedy.

Dödsrit – Nocturnal Will Review

Dödsrit – Nocturnal Will Review

“It’s not like I really need any convincing, but it’s great when an album comes along and reminds me that black metal is, in fact, fucking fantastic. 2023 was a comparatively dry year for the genre, especially as far as the more straightforward, unadorned variety was concerned. 2024 is already making up for it. Swedish/Dutch four-piece Dödsrit are one of the voices in the scene quietly but confidently proving how effective some no-frills (crust-adjacent) melodic black metal can be.” Black is the olde black.

Sacrificial Vein – Black Terror Genesis Review

Sacrificial Vein – Black Terror Genesis Review

“There’s that strain of black metal, straddling if not disregarding boundaries between atmospheric, post, melodic, dissonant, and second-wave, where the music, true to its occupying the less-mainstream corners of the genre, sits like a shadowy presence in peripheral vision—preoccupying itself not with Lovecraftian horrors, or overt, antagonistic portrayals of Satanism, but with terrors less far-fetched and obscure. An occultism of an introspective, existential bent, premised on the human mind. Sacrificial Vein, comprised of fragmented members of Nothingness, Aegaeon, and a mysterious JU, follow this dark trajectory.” Tapping some veins.

Slimelord – Chytridiomycosis Relinquished Review

Slimelord – Chytridiomycosis Relinquished Review

Slimelord employ a twisty, sticky kind of death metal, fusing the hallucinogenic swampiness of Worm or Tomb Mold, with the colder more surgical brutality of acts like Replicant or Asystole. Whether it drags itself along like a primordial monster or comes at you with flailing, slimy limbs at breakneck speed, Chytridiomycosis Relinquished is consistently bonkers and brutal.” Where the slime rule.