Listenable Records

Zaum – Divination Review

Zaum – Divination Review

“I saw Divination, the third full-length by New Brunswick trio Zaum, and noticed the album’s description as “atmospheric doom metal.” Seeing as how no one else grabbed it, I lunged towards it all cat-like. Problem was, Mr. Elitist reviewed their prior album, 2016’s Eidolon, and wasn’t all that impressed by it. Normally, we don’t grab promos by bands reviewed by other writers here, but he didn’t fight me for it whatsoever. That’s never a good sign.” It’s a trap, get an ax.

Crisix – Against the Odds Review

Crisix – Against the Odds Review

“While I like many of the rethrash bands currently in the scene (Warbringer, Power Trip, Reign of Fury—to name a few), few bands have the energy and in-your-face attitude of the original scene. Spain’s Crisix don’t appear to write the hefty stuff, with smirks on their faces and whoopie cushions under their asses, but these guys can fuck shit up. Two years ago, these sonsabitches fell from the sky and roundhouse-kicked me in the nuts. And now they’re back to sac-tap me once more with Against the Odds.” Tapping the (main) vein.

The Golden Grass – Absolutely Review

The Golden Grass – Absolutely Review

“I love that title. Absolutely. It’s so charming. So affirmative. The Golden Grass, too, which sounds like a chip off the old rural-prog block made famous by the likes of Jethro Tull (though with a more obvious weed connotation). But despite strong ’60s and ’70s rock influences, Tull this is not. Hailing from Brooklyn, Absolutely represents the third full-length release by these chaps. Is it good? Absolu… well, partly.” Grass or pass?

Black Wizard – Livin’ Oblivion Review

Black Wizard – Livin’ Oblivion Review

“I’m not, nor have I ever been, a stoner. This has more to do with the fact that lil’ Eldritch wasn’t cool enough in school to have friends who smoked weed than it does with any particular disdain for marijuana’s effects, and as a result, I’ve never really understood the appeal of stoner rock/metal. I have a great appreciation for traditional doom bands that can mold slow ‘n’ low sounds into something emotionally compelling, but the stoner approach is typically too lethargic and lacking in proper melody for me to embrace as a relatively straight edge bystander. Bearing this stance in mind, know that you, dear reader, may derive significantly more mileage out of Black Wizard’s fourth LP, Livin’ Oblivion, than myself.” Of weeds not done.

Crescent – The Order of Amenti Review

Crescent – The Order of Amenti Review

“Some pain will last. In particular, those most formative of musical memories, the marriage of experience and DNA. Realm of Chaos and Consuming Impulse were the first to school me on how hard death metal could hit, and while Pierced From Within taught a lesson in climactic brutality, it was In Their Darkened Shrines that embodied the extravagance of extremity. These three tenets are what I champion in truly great death metal and, thanks to the latter, what can clumsily be described as “eastern” chord progressions have appealed to me ever since. Egypt’s very own Crescent know my needs, and their second album, The Order of Amenti, seeks to deliver just that.” Pyramid schemes.

King Witch – Under the Mountain Review

King Witch – Under the Mountain Review

“Thanks to a job that requires me to travel frequently, I spend an inordinate amount of time on trains. This allows me ample opportunity to sample whatever promo delight I happen to be attached to, but it also affords said artist a particular challenge – namely, can you draw my attention from the hell that is public transport. Between the droves of marauding spawn tearing up and down the aisle and the fuck-knuckle proudly standing in the middle of everything with his fucking bicycle, sweet riffs are all that separate the general public and an omni-directional wave of misanthropy, and Scotland’s King Witch have them.” Riffs over humanity.

Night Viper – Exterminator Review

Night Viper – Exterminator Review

“Somewhere in an alternate universe exists a blog dubbed “Happy Metal Guy” which exclusively runs reviews of throwback traditional metal albums. This must be true, because enough records of this sort make their way into our promo bay – where the majority are subsequently ignored – to make such a website a reality. I think so many of these records are glossed over by AMG staff because, by their very nature, innovation is the least of their priorities, and most aren’t solid enough to make up for the lack of originality.” Escape from Dimension HMG.

Izegrim – The Ferryman’s End Review

Izegrim – The Ferryman’s End Review

“For those new to Izegrim, it only takes a few descriptive words to describe these Dutch metallers. What if I described the vocalist as a blonde woman with raspy, deathy vox? What if I categorized their sound as melodeath with thrashy breakdowns? What if I described their mission as causing inner-ear damage and venue deconstruction?” I know what you’re thinking: NIGHTWISH!

Crisix – From Blue to Black Review

Crisix – From Blue to Black Review

“When “Spain” and “thrash” are mentioned in the same breath, I immediately think of Angelus Apatrida. While they kind of lost me with their newer stuff, their first two albums (especially sophomore release, Give ‘Em War) are essentials. The mold is a familiar one for fans of Testament, Death Angel, Exodus, and Megadeth, but those first two albums deliver. However, a couple weeks ago my definition of Spanish thrash metal changed forever when Crisix appeared in my inbox.” That sounds promising!