3.0

Skálmöld – Með vættum Review

Skálmöld – Með vættum Review

“I dislike ‘Viking metal’ as a descriptor. It’s a vague term which alludes to lyrical content above the music itself. It can entail black or folk metal-derived darkness (Bathory), epic doom (Atlantean Kodex), raucous melodeath (Amon Amarth), and even power metal (Týr). Iceland’s Skálmöld falls somewhere between Amon Amarth‘s melodeath and the galloping triple-axe attack of Iron Maiden, stopping off at black metal for its raw tone and dabbling in doom for its long songs. See, wasn’t that easier than just ‘Viking metal’?” It is easier, but then Wotan will smite us.

Poison Idea – Kings Of Punk Review

Poison Idea – Kings Of Punk Review

The phrase “underrated” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s a pretty apt description for legendary Oregon punks Poison Idea. These guys somehow never got the respect or notoriety that their contemporaries did, despite having their songs covered by everyone from Turbonegro to Machine Head to Pantera (yes, that fucking song from The Crow). Led by larger-than-life frontman Jerry A. and equally huge guitarist Pig Champion, PI were a force to be reckoned with, both musically and physically (legend has it that the band weighed over 1,300 lbs. at the height of their substance abuse days). Here’s a weighty slice of classic hardcore for you, re-released with many bells unt whistles. Mr. Fisting rubs the belly and tells us what kind of sounds to expect from this seminal punk crew.

Watain – The Wild Hunt Review

Watain – The Wild Hunt Review

“Alright, so unless you live under a rock, by now you MUST have an inkling that Watain have carved another notch to their bullet belts with their fifth studio release — The Wild Hunt. This attractively adorned album (depicting the spoils of a lengthy musical journey) hit the shelves a few days back with all the usual hype and aggrandizement one would expect of a Watain album, released through their own label His Master’s Noise (under the umbrella of Century Media Records). Following on from their well received opus of 2010 (check out how Angry Metal Guy weighed in on Lawless Darkness here), The Wild Hunt sees Watain beefing up their orthodox brand of black metal, showing the middle finger to the dictators of the world and borrowing from a feast of decidedly odd influences. So what of it, have these gents from Sweden’s Uppsala, who cite the influence of Bathory and Dissection among others, delivered the goods.” Madam X breaks down the new Watain record The Wild Hunt. What does she think? The world may never know!

The Ruins of Beverast – Blood Vaults Review

The Ruins of Beverast – Blood Vaults Review

“Here’s something I was really looking forward to! The Ruins of Beverast is a one man solo project from Alexander von Meilenwald, the former drummer of Nagelfar and sometimes drummer in Verdunkeln. Since the Unlock the Shrine debut, Meilenwald has taken his core blackened doom/death sound and increasingly melded it with grim atmospherics, odd, creepy-as-fuck ritual chanting and eerie church music to attain a type of epic horror movie music intended to unsettle and disturb the listener. Each subsequent release dug itself deeper into this construct or terror and unleashed longer, more drawn-out examples of the style, and while the music is the very height of “acquired taste”, it has a terribly compelling power that draws one back.” Do you like really long, creepy blackened doom with tons of occult elements? Who doesn’t, right? Join Steel Druhm as he discusses witches, witch burning, women’s rights and song length.

Vista Chino – Peace Review

Vista Chino – Peace Review

“No, this isn’t the title of the second Palmsszzzzzzzz record. Vista Chino is the mercifully rechristened Kyuss Lives! (A moniker so abysmal that even something like Kinda Kyuss would’ve been an acceptable alternative.) John Garcia and Brant Bjork’s resuscitated baby now has a name befitting something classier than a casino-circuit cabaret act, and they’ve got eyes on reclaiming the long-abdicated stoner / desert rock throne. 2013 is becoming the year of comeback records: Gorguts, Carcass, and now Kyuss. Well, kinda ,
Kyuss.” There’s a special sandy place in many hearts for the desert rock of classic Kyuss. Can the members of that seminal act recapture the magic with the awfully named Vista Chino? Jordan Campbell reports from Sky Valley.

Nekrogoblikon – Power Review

Nekrogoblikon – Power Review

“I’m finding it tough to grasp the fact that it’s been two years since Los Angeles, CA’s Nekrogoblikon released Stench. While being one of the silliest, over-the-top albums I picked up in 2011, it was packed with just the right level of gore, disembowelment, blood and great folk infused melodic death (as only goblins can deliver) that their dark onslaught just didn’t date! Goblins, hobgoblins and gore, oh my! These are a few of Madam X’s favorite things. Join her as she examines the weirdly melodic death metal of Nekrogolikon.

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Labyrinth Review

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Labyrinth Review

Labyrinth is 2013’s incarnation of Fleshgod‘s neo-classical death metal. Once again, Labyrinth is not a clone of the band’s previous work, but instead it seems to be Fleshgod‘s attempt to reach a happy medium between Agony and Oracles, musically.” Angry Metal Guy weighs in to wordily explain how he feels about the latest slab of orchestral tech death from Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse. When we say wordily, we really mean it. Like a thousand freaking words just telling you what he thinks of this album. It’s kind of ridiculous really. No one should spend that much time writing about an album. Who the hell does he think he is?

We Butter the Bread with Butter – Goldkinder Review

We Butter the Bread with Butter – Goldkinder Review

“They may butter the bread with butter, but Nutella-ing the bread with Nutella gives it a sweeter and richer (albeit more sinful) taste. It’s more fattening too, which is what these skinny German kids seem to be in need of.” HMG explains why We Stupid the Stupid with Stupid is the band that signals the electronicapolypse. Gird your loins, metal elitists, the shitstorm is coming!

Ultra-Violence – Privilege to Overcome Review

Ultra-Violence – Privilege to Overcome Review

“Re-thrashers just keep coming through the floorboards and as with roaches, for every one you see, hundreds more lurk just out of sight. Ultra-Violence is a new bug and they hail from Italy of all places. Their Privilege to Overcome debut doesn’t completely reinvent the thrash wheel, but it does offer a dizzyingly schizoid blend of modern thrash, second wave Bay Area style thrash like Defiance and Faith or Fear, Germanic thrash, crossover hardcore like D.R.I. and modern stuff like Machine Head.” If that doesn’t sound like a thick re-thrash stew, nothing does! Join Steel Druhm as he examines if Ultra-Violence has what it takes to kick the requisite amount of buttcheek.

Månegarm – Legions of the North Review

Månegarm – Legions of the North Review

In the late ’90s and early ’00s (aughts, as I call ’em), there was a swath of Scandinavian bands forming something of a scene around the sound of folk influenced black metal. Chief among these were ThyrfingMoonsorrow, and Månegarm. While Moonsorrow changed their sound with time and went on to have widespread respect, the Swedish bands (Månegarm and Thyrfing) both labored in relative obscurity. Why Månegarm never quite pushed their way onto the international stage is mysterious for me, because they’ve always been a band producing unique, interesting, and enjoyable music. In any case, Legions of the North marks the band’s first record since 2009’s Nattväsen which was released on the struggling (and now defunct) Regain Records. While Nattväsen was excellent, my major complaint was simply that it was largely a repetition of 2007’s Vargstenen. After 4 years, signing with Napalm Records, getting a new drummer and losing violinist Janne Liljeqvist, can Månegarm present a fresh face and fill their little niche in folk metal?