Twelve

100011101012
Innersphere – Omfalos Review

Innersphere – Omfalos Review

“So there I am, reading a book of poetry in the filth and muck of the Angry Metal Guy Promo Pit — totally minding my own business — when I overhear some kind of commotio. Raised voices, overblown guitar solos, agonized screaming, the whole nine yards. “Ah,” I think to myself. “Holdeneye did the 4.0 thing again.” I move to refocus on my book when I see something out of the corner of my eye: Innersphere. Omfalos. “Melodic death doom metal.” Pause for effect. Melodic… death… doom… metal. I try to wrap my head around the concept, and decide, with no chance remaining that I’m going to have the peaceful afternoon I’d planned for, to snatch up the album and leave, because, frankly, I need to know what exactly this thing is and how it works, because I’m telling you right now, there’s no way that’s a thing.” Face the thing that could just be.

Mastord – To Whom Bow Even the Trees Review

Mastord – To Whom Bow Even the Trees Review

“One of the best things about seeing the “progressive metal” sign rotting beside some long-forgotten deposit in the Promo Pit is how little that actually tells you about what’s going on with the album. As much as I have been frustrated with prog recently, I adore the genre for its boundless potential and ability to truly amaze, even when all other metal feels stagnant.” He who grabs the prog from the pit.

Keys of Orthanc – Of the Lineage of Kings Review

Keys of Orthanc – Of the Lineage of Kings Review

“The title track and introduction for Of the Lineage of Kings, the fourth full-length release from Canadian Lord-of-the-Rings-meets-black-metal fans Keys of Orthanc, amusingly, feels like the perfect theme music for me as I compose this introduction paragraph. For one thing, this review is late — I’m not sure I’ve ever penned a review quite so long after the album has already come out. Life, it gets in the way. And yet, I am determined — determined, against all odds, to overcome the aforementioned life and get news of Of the Lineage of Kings out to you, the reader.” What heroes do.

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

“The line that separates symphonic metal from pop metal is — well, it’s not really a line, is it? It’s hard to inject pop into your metal without diving headfirst into symphonic territory. Okay, let me try again. The Venn diagram that distinguishes between symphonic metal and pop metal leaves a lot open to interpretation.” Pop in a orchestra pit.

Völur – Death Cult [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Völur – Death Cult [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Völur is a thing that I too nearly missed this year. The Canadian folk/doom trio received a strong recommendation from Akerblogger some years ago, and returned this year to unleash their third full-length, Death Cult, upon the Angry Metal Masses this past November. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and the album was never picked up for review. Now I’m here to rectify the issue, because as far as doom metal goes, Death Cult is one of the best albums I’ve heard in some time.” Drinking the Kool-Aid.

Holy Mother – Face This Burn Review

Holy Mother – Face This Burn Review

“While I’m the last person who should be invoking a Kiss comparison, it’s definitely worthwhile to start by saying that Holy Mother bring to the table a similarly big sound — thunderous, catchy, fun, heavy rock. The riffs are mighty, the singing is heated, and occasionally Face This Burn slides into the downright catchy (not that it’s not disco or anything).” Yer Mom is sacred.

Miss Lava – Doom Machine Review

Miss Lava – Doom Machine Review

“I feel I should start this review off with a disclaimer: stoner rock is not my usual jam. Traditional heavy metal, sure. Doom metal, absolutely. Psychedelic rock, not so much. So when you mesh the three together, I can go either way with the results. Still, I was compelled to check out Doom Machine, the fourth full-length release from Portuguese rockers Miss Lava.” Why would anyone build a doom machine?

Old Growth – Mossweaver Review

Old Growth – Mossweaver Review

“Two reviews ago, I picked up my “last” review for the 2020 calendar year. Now, here I am, submitting my real last review for 2020 about as late as you can submit one, uncharacteristically content with my tardy contribution. I really did plan on being done a couple of weeks ago, but then I heard the first few seconds of Mossweaver and I knew I couldn’t let the year end without shining a spotlight on this one.” Moss peeping.

Gjoad – Samanōn Review

Gjoad – Samanōn Review

“Matching album art to musical concept is, I imagine, a challenging task for any artist or band to attempt. Two different artistic styles coming together in harmony is certainly a tough ask, but in this case, Gjoad have nailed it. The painting you see over there, by Franz Steinfeld, could not be a more accurate description of the Samanōn sound — which is a good thing, because it’s the primary reason I picked this one up to review. I wanted something primal, something powerful, and something ancient, and it seems to me that that’s exactly what this Austrian trio are going for on their debut release.” Sound packaging.

Árstíðir lífsins – Saga á tveim tungum II: Eigi fjǫll né firðir [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Árstíðir lífsins – Saga á tveim tungum II: Eigi fjǫll né firðir [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Árstíðir lífsins was perhaps my most joyous discovery of 2019. I’ve heard Norse-themed black metal done before, but never the way this trio does it. Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr confidently strode into my top ten for the year, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the followup record ever since.” Saga for the ages.