Napalm Records

Satyricon – Deep Calleth upon Deep Review

Satyricon – Deep Calleth upon Deep Review

“Looking back on the past few years of black metal history, I’m hard pressed to think of a bigger middle finger to genre elitists than Satyricon’s self-titling of their hugely divisive 2013 album. I consider myself a Satyricon apologist, but it’s considerably more monumental as a symbolic statement than one of sheer quality; if the ties between the band’s legendary initial trilogy of records and their modern material hadn’t yet been fully severed, the act of attaching no name but their own to such a minimalist and decidedly un-black metal affair certainly did the job. Yet going into Deep Calleth upon Deep four years on, my attention wasn’t divided by that particular affair.” A poke deeper in the eye of the kvlt.

End of Green – Void Estate Review

End of Green – Void Estate Review

“Sadness. A quintessentially unpleasant emotion we go out of our way to avoid in this brief, meaningless slog we call life. Why then is it such an essential element in music, you ask? Because as intrinsically flawed creatures, humans love to revel in melancholy and pain. We do it when already saddled with crippling plights, and we seek it out even when times are good. We just get an undeniable and perverse pleasure from diving into the darkness for short periods of miserable introspection. Germany’s End of Green has been serving the depression tourism market since 1996, and Void Estate is their ninth platter of uber-sadboy goth metal.” Get your void on.

Dawn of Disease – Ascension Gate Review

Dawn of Disease – Ascension Gate Review

“Who says being generic is a bad thing? Loads of people love mashed potatoes. Applebee’s makes millions off of Stockholm syndrome victims everyday. Ed Sheeran gets universal radio play despite being the musical equivalent of 160 pounds of Applebee’s mashed potatoes. Eons ago, before departing for the Undying Lands, Happy Metal Guy dropped the G-bomb a whopping seven times to describe German melodeath act Dawn of Disease.” We can’t all be trailblazers.

Vintersorg – Till Fjälls del II Review

Vintersorg – Till Fjälls del II Review

Till Fjälls (“To the Mountains”) marked the début of Sweden’s Vintersorg and thus began one of the better melodic black and folk metal bands around. Though their music phased out the folk influences and replaced them with even more melody, Till Fjälls del II is a definitive statement that they still care about folksy stimuli. Cast your eyes over the rather excellent artwork. Do you see the mountains, the trees, the snow, the Northern fucking Lights? I think you’ll agree that they definitely still care about nature and shit.” Just call him “the Natural.”

Unleash the Archers – Apex Review

Unleash the Archers – Apex Review

“I’ve gotten a lot of shit from the AMG staff ever since I reviewed Unleash the Archers‘ 2015 release, Time Stands Still. Though I had plenty of complaints about that record, I couldn’t put it down. And they all knew it. After the album released, I listened to it for the rest of the year… and the rest of 2016… and even to this day. I will be the first to admit I find the band’s songwriting a tad absurd and packed to the brim with nacho cheese. But, that never kept me from enjoying their music. And now the time has come for me to endure more punishment at the hands of the crew. But, this time, the staff will have accept that I’m right.” Restrain the Doctor.

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus is a Canadian melodic power band that first came onto my radar in 2012 with their self-titled debut. Fronted by the actually-legally-named Kobra Paige, the band’s third LP, Prevail I, is on Napalm Records, after releasing the debut on Spinefarm, and 2014’s High Priestess on Titan Music. Prevail I is, apparently, the first of two albums which will be released in quick succession, and it’s being marketed as produced by the guy who produced Amaranthe‘s records, with a debut single squarely marketed at people who like Delain. Since the band’s debut was a solid power metal album, this strategy raises a question for me: three full-lengths (and three labels) into this whole experiment of being named Kobra, how’s the whole thing going?” That’s a very personal question.

Alestorm – No Grave but the Sea Review

Alestorm – No Grave but the Sea Review

“In an administrative oversight that’s a combination of letting the lunatics run the asylum, a fat kid choose his diet in a chocolate factory, and an AA experiment where everyone is told to drink themselves sober, our trusted leaders at AMG have, for some reason that will forever remain in the abyss of the unknown, decided it was a good idea to let yours truly review Alestorm’s latest.” The sound of a writing position opening.

Hate – Tremendum Review

Hate – Tremendum Review

“I typically like to treat albums as self-contained works. Music evolves with the artist; any band will tell you that a given record is a time capsule chronicling a band’s creative impulses at a given point, and that, ideally, it should not be beholden to prior albums. Yet certain works regarded as important transitional pieces may not be appreciated as such until years later.” Does that language worry you?

Life of Agony – A Place Where There’s No More Pain Review

Life of Agony – A Place Where There’s No More Pain Review

“A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with friend and former Angry Metal Guy colleague Jordan Campbell about how influential bands of the 90s have changed significantly, and usually for the worse. While we disagreed on some aspects, we both agreed that Life of Agony had the strangest career arc out of all of them.” Strange journey, still in progress.