2.5

Church of Void – Dead Rising Review

Church of Void – Dead Rising Review

Church of Void is a young upstart Finnish doom band, but they like to bill themselves as the spearhead of the “new wave of traditional heavy doom metal.” While that might be putting the cart before the dead horse quite a bit for an obscure band, I admire their hyperbole and moxie. Featuring former members of Battlelore and Horna, they play a slightly amorphous style of doom that skips between 70s Sabbath worshipping acts like Orchid and Hour of 13, modern doom like Katatonia and even stoner rock like Monster Magnet.” Can a young band lead the way in a style so old and gnarly? Steel Druhm is also old and gnarly so we asked him.

Annihilator – Feast Review

Annihilator – Feast Review

“Anyone who read my review of Annihilator‘s malformed 2010 outing knows I’ve met my fair share of frustration and disappointment at their diabolical hands. For those who missed that ill-tempered screed, I lamented how they’ve made a career out of underperforming and steadfastly refusing to live up to the potential promised by their Alice in Hell debut. Hell, you can’t even look to them to turn out consistently decent albums, as more than a few have been bad. The thing that galls me most, is that almost every album has one or two tracks that hint at what founder/guitar-wizard Jeff Waters is capable of.” Can these once ragin’ Canadian thrashers finally get things back on track with Feast? If so, Steel Druhm’s Annihilator abuse may finally come to a middle.

Impiety – The Impious Crusade Review

Impiety – The Impious Crusade Review

“Oh, look: Yet another short release from quasi-Singaporean blackened death metal squad Impiety. In fact, it’s their sixth EP. Happy Metal Guy doesn’t know if these goat-obsessed militants are just too darned impatient to accumulate enough material to release as full-length albums or overly-attention-seeking dudes who can’t stand not having people talking about and spreading their music around on social media platforms every half a year or so.” Happy Metal Guy tangles with Impiety and their artwork once again. The safe money is on Impiety.

All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature Review

All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature Review

“I suppose incorporating sludge and black metal into hardcore punk is the logical way to bring it to even more intense heights, all the while making it delectably filthy to those who like their metal abrasive, raw and covered in grit. Of all the bands to catch wind of this style, All Pigs Must Die have been in the forefront with a couple of really great releases under their belt – their short and sweet self-titled EP along with their more ambitious and equally impressive debut album, God is War. Both releases are absolutely furious, pummeling you with the huge, fast riffs reminiscent of grindcore and hardcore punk in one of the most in-your-face and take-no-prisoners approaches in recent memory.” How does the latest piece of filth from All Pigs Must Die hold up against their earlier works? Join Noctus and find out!

Chthonic – Bú-Tik Review

Chthonic – Bú-Tik Review

“While first wetting my feet with black metal I came across Chthonic‘s 9th Empyrean, Relentless Recurrence and Seediq Bale albums. I felt a distinct pull towards their use of traditional instruments, their dramatic, aggressive, melodic sound and their bleak, nihilistic undercurrent and for a fair while their screams gripped my attention. Eventually though I felt the inevitable allure for darker and uglier and sank deeper and into the blackness discovering Nattefrost, Carpathian Forest, Shining (Swedish), 1349, Marduk and so on and to be honest I got distracted and I guess I just forgot about Chthonic….” Will Madam X have a happy reunion with the once beloved Chthonic or has absence made the heart grow bitter? So much drama!

I Killed Everyone – Necrospire Review

I Killed Everyone – Necrospire Review

“Part of the description that accompanied the promotional material for this Chicago deathcore quintet’s debut full-length album is as follows: ‘Unlike most bands of their genre, I Killed Everyone is influenced by classic death metal bands from the 90’s such as Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, and Morbid Angel. The band incorporates many of these influences to form a unique sound of modern deathcore with undeniable classic death metal overtones.’ Needless to say, Happy Metal Guy scoffed at these words and nearly choked to death on his alphabet soup. Is there really a need to say that so-and-so deathcore band is influenced by the classic death metal bands Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel? Duh!” Happy Metal Guy isn’t a big fan of promo kit language, but does he like deathcore? He just might be crazy enough to say yes.

Lycus – Tempest Review

Lycus – Tempest Review

“Question: Where on earth is the good doom metal this year? No, seriously. The last few years have all been such strong years for doom and this year simply isn’t stepping up to the mark. With the new Moss album being the equivalent of someone taking a shit in the bong, and the new My Dying Bride being good but pretty passable, it’s pretty depressing to think that they’re the two most prominent releases this year…” Noctus wants some good doom and feels he hasn’t been getting his fair share in 2013. Can Lycus give him what he needs or will he continue to feel neglected?

Darkane – The Sinister Supremacy Review

Darkane – The Sinister Supremacy Review

Darkane is a band is that has been somewhat overlooked over their fifteen plus year career despite some solid output. Born in the second wave of Swedish melodic death metal, they were strongly influenced by the likes of At the Gates, Dark Tranquility and Soilwork. They made their bones crafting, thrashy, technically impressive death with plenty of melody and references to the “Gothenburg sound” and albums like Rusted Angel, Expanding Senses and Layers of Lies were enjoyably intense assaults on the listener full of vicious riffs and harsh vocals, all sugar-coated with slick, technical prowess. Unfortunately for the band, their birth more or less coincided with the explosion of metalcore bands equally influenced by the Swedish melo-death sound and Darkane quickly got lost amid a sea of crappy core.” Can these melo-death mongrels re-establish themselves after a five year hiatus or is it too little too late in a genre that has began to dry up?

Teloch Vovin – I Review

Teloch Vovin – I Review

“You know that scene in The Midnight Meat Train, just after the butcher’s death, the one where the conductor introduces Leon to those unholy reptilian creatures that live beneath New York City? Or maybe you’ll better remember it as the scene where Leon’s tongue is ripped straight from his mouth and he’s told, you’re it, you’re the next butcher! When I think of Teloch Vovin, that’s the first place my mind travels to. They’re also from the seedy underbelly of New York.” Madam X seems enthralled with New York’s seedy underworld… could it have been the lure of sacrificial blood that drew her, or was Teloch Vovin‘s sticky, murky black metal the attraction? Maybe it was the smell of garbage and falafel.

Angels of Babylon – Thundergod Review

Angels of Babylon – Thundergod Review

“During my tenure at AMG Industries, I’ve made my opinion on super groups well known. For those who missed that memo (and shame on you), I’ve found that whenever various and sundry artists collaborate on some highfalutin side project, the results are often a mixed bag and prone to being weak and/or tepid. Even worse is when third or fourth tier artists get together to form pseudo-super groups. Angels of Babylon is one such minor league collective, featuring the likes of Kenny “Rhino” Earl (ex-Manowar, ex-Holy Hell), Steve Handel (Seventh Calling, Protest) and Diego Valdez (Skiltron, Helker). If you just thought “Who? Who? What? Who?’, I’m right there with you.” Okay, so we have a third tier project band. That doesn’t mean they can’t write some godly tunes, does it? Pack a lunch as Steel Druhm takes you cherry picking.