2021

Teramaze – And the Beauty They Perceive Review

Teramaze – And the Beauty They Perceive Review

“One country whose output always perks my ears up is Australia. It seems like the Aussies just know how to craft strong albums, whether it’s the catchy hard rock of Butterfly or the avant-garde insanity of Portal, music from Down Under never fails to entertain. Nowhere is this more evident than in the country’s progressive metal scene, which features such bands as Karnivool, Voyager, Dead Letter Circus, and current kings of the mountain Caligula’s Horse. All of these bands craft terrific songs featuring strong musicians, but more importantly stellar vocalists. Let’s go ahead and add Teramaze to this list now.” Hit the Tera button.

Lotus Thrones – Lovers in Wartime Review

Lotus Thrones – Lovers in Wartime Review

“Heath Rave is the man behind Lotus Thrones. He was also the drummer for Wolvhammer and Across Tundras. This solo project came to be, as many have, due to last year’s many months of quarantine. Rave started Lotus Thrones to return to creating music, moving in directions not really related to his former bands but showing influence from acts such as Neurosis, Sisters of Mercy, and more.” Things to do during plague.

Distant – Aeons of Oblivion Review

Distant – Aeons of Oblivion Review

“Netherlands outfit Distant emerged on the scene with 2019’s Tyrannotophia debut, showcasing their self-proclaimed downtempo deathcore brand, with atmospheric stylings. While potential was evident, overall the album fell short of the mark, marred by monotonous writing and lack of interesting and dynamic arrangements. I missed their stopgap EP from 2020, but with two years having slipped by I plunge in with trepidation and hope to see if Distant have revamped their brand enough to sustain a deeper level of engagement.” Maintaining minimum safe distance.

Gojira – Fortitude Review

Gojira – Fortitude Review

Fortitude was certainly on my list of most anticipated 2021 releases. I was in the minority here at the AMG Worldwide Pit of Ultimate Darkness when it came to my adoration of Magma – perhaps because the sense of loss that permeated that album resonated with me. Even though I lost my mom decades ago, that sort of thing sticks with you. But beyond that, the songs themselves were superbly written, and the band executed their vision to perfection. So with all the anticipation, why is this review two weeks late? Well, Roadrunner deem it unnecessary to send review material to lowlifes such as Angry Metal Guy, so I had to wait for release day just like everyone else, and then spend two weeks listening to Fortitude. Has it been worth it?” We must flee!

Monarch – Future Shock Review

Monarch – Future Shock Review

“Another week, another contest contestant, this time in the form of San Diego thrashers Monarch, winners of the 2019 Wacken Metal Battle USA. That’s better than a Participant ribbon! Led by guitarists Casey Trask and Matt Smith (who also serves as vocalist), Monarch’s style harkens back to the early days of thrash, with plenty of punky attitude and silly subject matter yet loads of technical skill. After 2017’s debut Go Forth…Slaughter, the band played a ton of gigs, honed their songwriting skills, and went into the studio (rather than the debut’s DIY approach) to craft Future Shock, an album they hope is a big step forward.” Born to rule?

Byron – The Omega Evangelion Review

Byron – The Omega Evangelion Review

“Ah, the random promo pick. It worked well for Gardenstale, who wrote some fancy algorithm that randomly assigned him a Record O’ The Month in Iotunn. Hoping for lighting to strike twice, Yours Truly dug into his hope chest and unearthed his multi-sided dice set. A quick throw of the d30 yielded The Omega Evangelion, the debut album from Finnish upstarts Byron. What started out as a solo project by ex-Church of Void drummer Johannes Lahti.” Dragons, dice, destiny.

Dreamslain – Tales of Knights and Distant Worlds Review

Dreamslain – Tales of Knights and Distant Worlds Review

“It involved a lot of bushwhacking, riding across three passes, through streams, losing our way, carrying our bikes up the backside of two mountains, and being eaten alive by black flies. We made it, though, and because we are stupid we did it again a month later. When we found a review of the trail, several years old by this time, the summary read, ‘I can only recommend this ride to the most foolhardy of idiots.’ Where am I going with this? Read on, dear friend, read on.” A dream to some… a nightmare to others!