Cruz Del Sur

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

“U.K.’s Dark Forest has been cranking out high quality music since 2009, with a very interesting blend of Euro-power, traditional heavy metal and just enough folk elements to give them a slightly unique sound. Albums like The Awakening and 2016s Beyond the Veil were very good, teetering on the cusp of greatness, borrowing from NWoBHM legends like Iron Maiden while also dipping into the slick songcraft of Avantasia and prime Sonata Arctica. Their compositional and storytelling acumen improved with each release and I just knew they had a truly big release in them dying to burst free.” Really good wood.

Death the Leveller – II Review

Death the Leveller – II Review

“Every now and then you stumble across a young band and find yourself in the presence of enormous potential. Sometimes that potential is on full display and impossible to miss, and sometimes it’s partially concealed behind flaws or kinks yet to be worked out. My experience with the promo for II by Ireland’s Death the Leveller has been an odd combination of both these scenarios.” Irish eyes are crying.

Terminus – A Single Point of Light Review

Terminus – A Single Point of Light Review

“I haven’t gotten my hands on much trve metal of late beyond the massive overdose administered by Atlantean Kodex in September. That was enough to keep me sacking and pillaging like a berserk Vandal for months, but a booster shot of trveness is never a bad thing. Northern Ireland’s epic heavy metal act Terminus is set to deliver such an inoculation this week with their sophomore release A Single Point of Light.” Light the torches.

Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity Review

Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity Review

“In Sindarin, Tolkien’s fictional language of the Elves, the volcano has two nicknames. One of them is Amon Amarth, “mountain of fate.” That band, of course, didn’t write about dragons or dwarves or rings, but vikings and Norse mythology. The subject of today’s investigation bears the other nickname for Mount Doom: Orodruin, “fiery mountain.” And the subject of their Candlemassian doom metal? Death and the human condition.” Doom as a destination.

Ogre – Thrice as Strong Review

Ogre – Thrice as Strong Review

“When you see an album cover like this (painted by the drummer, no less), and a slogan that goes “In a doomed world, they must remain Thrice as Strong,” well, who wouldn’t grab this from the promo sump? Everyone but me, it seems. I’d never heard of Ogre before, despite these Portland, Maine doomsters having been around for twenty years now. It’s a great name for a band, though, and I love their use of the word “Thrice.”” Thrice pudding.

The Neptune Power Federation – Memoirs of a Rat Queen Review

The Neptune Power Federation – Memoirs of a Rat Queen Review

“What a good story needs first and foremost is interesting characters though, and The Neptune Power Federation get that. Their vocalist, Imperial Priestess Screaming Loz Sutch, assumes the mantle of a time-travelling space witch for their fourth album, Memoirs of a Rat Queen. 70s space rock that mixes Heart with Hawkwind and AC/DC, a sexy vengeful bombshell on the mic, and a story scattered from the French revolution to boning in a parking lot; what could possibly go wrong here?” Aqua(lung) metal.

Ravensire – A Stone Engraved in Red Review

Ravensire – A Stone Engraved in Red Review

“Ancient armies will clash. Muscle, sweat, bone and blood will meet gleaming steel. Once tranquil fields will be littered with tattered banners and fallen heroes. This is Ravensire‘s world and we just fight in it. Hailing from Portugal, they’re an epic heavy metal band through and through, taking inspiration from all the best swords (Doomsword, Ironsword), the Viking ethos of Bathory‘s Hammerheart era, and of course, the loin beclothed he-men of Manowar.” Stone beats Steel.

The Lord Weird Slough Feg – New Organon Review

The Lord Weird Slough Feg – New Organon Review

“Led by frontman Mike Scalzi, Slough Feg have been delivering Celtic-tinged, surprisingly academic trad metal for longer than most of you have been alive. New Organon is the band’s first release since 2014’s Digital Resistance, and perhaps more significantly, marks the return of the Lord Weird prefix to their name after a 15-year absence. This strongly hints at (and the band’s bio confirms) a return to the style of the band’s Twilight of the Idols/Down Among the Deadmen era of the early ’00s—a bold claim, considering both the passage of time and the changes to their lineup since then.” Feg party.

Smoulder – Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring Review

Smoulder – Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring Review

“I’ve made it no secret that I don’t love doom metal so much as respect it from a sizable distance, but certain acts have been known to prompt genuine affection. My criteria for good doom is admittedly opaque, with my two favorite albums of this decade residing in opposite ends of the genre’s sonic spectrum, but I think it boils down to a general feeling of genuineness. If you’re going to fuck around with pretentious atmospherics against a backdrop of flaccid, groove-less riffs, you’ll get no respect from me. It’s really all about the heart, with ingenuity being secondary to pure fun and overflowing emotion. And that’s where Toronto, Ontario’s Smoulder, and the excellently titled Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring, come in.” Smoke signals.